NATIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE AWARD INDIVIDUAL POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

Release Date:  October 16, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PA-99-005

March 2, 2006 (NOT-OD-06-046) – Effective with the June 1, 2006 submission date, 
all R03, R21, R33 and R34 applications must be submitted through Grants.gov using 
the electronic SF424 (R&R) application. Replacement F32 (PAR-06-409) funding opportunity announcements have been issued for the 
submission date of June 1, 2006 and submission dates thereafter.

P.T. 

Agency for Health Care Policy and Research

PURPOSE

The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) announces its
continuing interest in supporting the postdoctoral National Research Service
Award (NRSA) individual fellowships (F32) in health services research. These
postdoctoral research fellowships provide opportunities for one or more years
of academic training and supervised experience in applying quantitative
research methods to the systematic analysis and evaluation of health care
services.

AHCPR supports and conducts research to improve the outcomes, quality, access
to, and cost and utilization of health care services.  AHCPR achieves this
mission through health services research designed to: (1) improve clinical
practice, (2) improve the health care system"s ability to provide access to
and deliver high quality, high-value health care, and (3) provide policy
makers with the ability to assess the impact of system changes on outcomes,
quality, access, cost and use of health care services.

AHCPR programs and products are designed to be responsive to the needs of
consumers, patients, clinicians, and other providers, institutions, plans,
purchasers, and public and private policy makers at all levels for evidence-
based information they may need to improve quality and outcomes, control
costs, and ensure access to needed services.

This Program Announcement (PA) updates and supersedes the "NRSA Individual
Postdoctoral Fellowship" PA-94-068, published in the NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts on May 20, 1994.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000" a PHS-led national
activity for setting health priority areas.  AHCPR encourages applicants to
submit grant applications with relevance to the specific objectives of this
initiative.  Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000",
(Full Report: Stock No. 017-001-00474-0 or Summary Report: Stock No.
017-001-00473-1) through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing
Office, Washington, DC 20402-9325, telephone 202-512-1800.

Nondiscrimination

The AHCPR postdoctoral fellowship program is conducted in compliance with
applicable laws that provide that no person shall, on the grounds of race,
color, national origin, sex, disability, or age, be excluded from
participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to
discrimination.  Applicant organizations are required to have appropriate
Assurance of Compliance forms filed with the Office of Civil Rights, Office of
the Secretary, DHHS before a grant may be made to that institution.  The
Research Education Division, Office of Research Review, Education and Policy
(ORREP), should be contacted with any questions concerning compliance (See
INQUIRIES).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

To qualify for an award under this program applicants for postdoctoral
fellowships must, at the time of award, be citizens of the United States, non-
citizen nationals, or non-citizens who have been lawfully admitted to the
United States for permanent residence and have in their possession an Alien
Registration Receipt Card I-551 or I-151 or other legal verification of such
status.  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Applicants must have received, by the activation date of the NRSA fellowship,
a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.M.D., Sc.D., Dr.P.H., D.Pharm., or equivalent
doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign institution. 
Certification from an authorized official of the degree-granting institution
specifying that all degree requirements have been met is acceptable.  (Persons
possessing the J.D. degree as the sole advanced degree are not considered
postdoctoral for NRSA purposes.) NRSA fellowships may not be used to support
studies leading to the M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., or equivalent health
professional degree nor do they support residency training.

Before submitting a postdoctoral fellowship application, applicants must
identify a sponsoring institution and an individual who will supervise their
training and research experience. The sponsoring institution may be private
(profit or non-profit) or public.  Applicants should select an advisor who is
an active investigator in the area of the proposed research.  As part of the
application the advisor must document the training plan for the applicant, the
availability of staff, research support, and facilities for high-quality
research training.

Applicants proposing training at their doctorate institution or at the
institution where they have been training for more than a year must document
the opportunity for new training experiences that would broaden their
scientific background and prospective.

Under exceptional circumstances applicants may request support for training
abroad.  In such cases, applicants are required to provide a detailed
justification for why the facilities, the advisor, or other aspects of the
proposed experience are more appropriate and relevant than training in a
domestic setting.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Under the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship (F32) mechanism, responsibility for the
planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project is solely that of
the applicant and the sponsoring institution.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Through the NRSA postdoctoral fellowship program AHCPR seeks to expand the
number of researchers who conduct health services research in areas identified
in the "AHCPR Health Services Research" Program announcement (PA) published in
the NIH Guide on March 26, 1998. The PA outlines broad research interests in
the following areas:

o  Health outcomes, at the clinical and system levels,

o  Quality measurement and improvement including the use of evidence-based
practice information and tools,

o  Organization, financing, and delivery of health care and the
characteristics of primary care practices with emphasis on health issues
related to priority populations including minority populations, women, and
children,

o  Health services research, especially cost-effectiveness analysis, and

o  Ethical issues across the spectrum of health care delivery.

Applicants who have questions regarding the relevance of their research to
AHCPR goals should contact, by telephone, E-mail or letter, staff listed under
INQUIRIES.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES, AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH STUDY POPULATIONS
INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of AHCPR that women, and members of minority groups should be
included in all AHCPR-supported research projects involving human subjects,
unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided that
inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the
purpose of the research.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Guidelines on the Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in
Clinical Research," which was published in the Federal Register of March 28,
1994 (FR 59 14508-14513), and printed in the "NIH Guide for Grants and
Contracts" of March 18, 1994.  AHCPR follows the NIH Guidelines, as
applicable.

AHCPR is also encouraging investigators to consider including children in
study populations, as appropriate. AHCPR announced in the NIH Guide of May 9,
1997, that it is developing a policy and implementation plan on the inclusion
of children in health services research.  This Notice is available through the
AHCPR Web site http://www.ahcpr.gov  (Funding Opportunities) and InstantFAX
(see instructions under INQUIRIES).

Investigators may obtain copies of these guidelines and policies from the
sources listed above or from the AHCPR contractor, Equals Three
Communications, Inc., (see INQUIRIES.)

AHCPR program staff may also provide information concerning these policies
(See INQUIRIES).

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the Individual NRSA application form PHS
416-1 (rev. 8/95) and will be accepted on the application receipt dates
indicated in the application kit.  Application kits are available at most
institutional offices of sponsored research, from the Division of Extramural
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701
Rockledge Drive, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda MD 20892-7910,
telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: grantsinfo@nih.gov.

NRSA application kits and fellowship materials for AHCPR support also are
available from the AHCPR contractor:

Equals Three Communications, Inc.
7910 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 200
Bethesda, MD  20814-3015
Telephone:  (301) 656-3100
FAX:  (301) 625-5264

If the applicant is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent
residence, a notarized statement documenting this status is required.

The completed, signed, typewritten, original application and two copies must
be sent or delivered to:

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE, ROOM 1040, MSC 7710
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications for NRSA fellowships will be reviewed by a peer review committee
that includes experts from appropriate fields of science.  The committee will
use the following criteria in evaluating applications:

o  an applicant"s past academic and research accomplishments,

o  an applicant"s research and training goals and potential for a health
services research career,

o  research training program proposed (including the training potential, and
the scientific merit of the research project),

o  qualifications and suitability of the proposed sponsor and appropriateness
of the institutional environment, and

o  references and other relevant information.

AWARD CRITERIA

For AHCPR applications, awards will be made based upon the recommendations of
the peer review committee, relevance of the application to AHCPR research
priorities and training needs, and availability of funds.

Stipends and Other Training Costs

A stipend is provided to each NRSA fellow to help defray living expenses
during the research training experience.  The stipend amount is determined by
the number of full years of relevant postdoctoral experience as of the date
the award is issued.  Relevant experience may include research experience,
teaching, internship, residency, or other time spent in full-time studies in a
health-related field beyond that of the qualifying doctoral degree.

No departure from the standard stipend schedule may be negotiated between the
institution and the fellow.  Current postdoctoral stipend levels are listed
below:

Full years 
of relevant              Annual
experience               stipend

None                     $21,000
1                         22,176
2                         26,160
3                         27,492
4                         28,824
5                         30,144
6                         31,476
7 or more                 33,012

AHCPR will provide an allowance of $4,000 per 12-month period to non-Federal,
non-profit sponsoring institutions to cover such awardee expenses as self-only
health insurance, research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings,
and related educational items.

AHCPR will provide for-profit institutions with up to $3,000 for the fellow"s
self-only health insurance, scientific meeting travel expenses, and books. 
The $3,000 is paid to the for-profit institution for disbursement to the
fellow, and any unexpended funds are to be returned to AHCPR.

For new competing fellowships applications submitted in response to this
program announcement, tuition and fees (except health insurance), when
applicable, are no longer included a part of the institutional allowance. 
That cost will be awarded in accordance with tuition policy below.

Additional funds may be requested by the institution for extraordinary costs
for fellows who are disabled, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities
Act.  Such additional funds are provided only in exceptional circumstances and
must be fully justified and explained by the institution.

Supplementation:  Institutions may use non-Federal funds to
supplement NRSA stipends.  Federal funds may be used for stipend
supplementation only if specifically authorized under the terms of the program
from which the supplemental funds are derived.  An individual may use Federal
educational loan funds or Veterans Administration benefits when permitted by
those programs.  Supplementation, when provided, must be without obligation to
the trainee.

Compensation:  Trainees may be permitted to receive compensation for work in
another position (for example, teaching or laboratory assistance) when the
trainee is in an employee-employer relationship, the payments are for services
rendered, and the situation otherwise meets conditions for student
compensation as specified in the PHS Grants Policy Statement.  Compensation
may not be from a research grant that supports the same research that is part
of the NRSA experience.  Compensation for services must occur on a limited,
part-time basis apart from the normal full-time training activities.  A
minimum of 40 hours per week of training activities is required, other
activities must not interfere with the successful completion of the training
program.

Under no circumstances can the conditions of either stipend supplementation or
student compensation for coincidental employment detract from or prolong the
research training.  Further information on stipend supplementation and
compensation is available in "National Research Service Awards -- Guidelines
for Individual Awards - institutional Grants," NIH Guide, June 20, 1997.  This
guideline may be obtained at the following URL: 
http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not97-009.html

Conditions of the Award

Applications may be for one, two, or three years of fellowship support.  No
one is eligible for more than three years of aggregate NRSA support at the
postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional
training grants and individual fellowships.

Fellowships are awarded for full-time research training.  However, it is
recognized that a close interrelationship between teaching and research may
exist in the academic environment.  Fellows are permitted, with the approval
of the sponsor, to undertake teaching that can contribute meaningfully to
their academic training.  Any teaching undertaken by a fellow may not occupy
more than 10 percent of work time during the year or exceed four hours per
week.  Fellows in clinical areas are expected to devote their time to the
proposed research training program and to confine limited clinical duties to
those that are part of the research training.

Concurrent awards:  An NRSA postdoctoral fellowship may not be held
concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar Federal
award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates provisions of the NRSA.

Activation:  The awardee must start work on the fellowship within six months
of the issue date on the award notice.  No funds may be disbursed until the
award is activated. Under unusual circumstances, AHCPR may grant an extension
of the activation period upon receipt of a specific request from the fellow.

Tax liability of stipends:  Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies
to the tax treatment of all scholarships and fellowships.  It must be
emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of tax laws are the
domain of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. courts.  AHCPR does not
have the authority to advise students or institutions about their tax
liability.  The business office of the sponsoring institution is responsible
for the annual preparation and issuance of the IRS Form 1099 for postdoctoral
fellows training at the institution. Individuals should consult their local
IRS office for more detailed information on the proper steps to be taken
regarding their tax obligations.

The taxability of stipends in no way alters the relationship between NRSA
fellows and their institutions.  NRSA stipends are not now, and have never
been, salaries.  Fellows supported under a National Research Service Award are
not in an employer-employee relationship with AHCPR or with the institution in
which they are pursuing research training.  It is inappropriate and
unallowable for institutions to seek funds or to charge individual fellowship
awards for costs normally associated with employee benefits (such as FICA,
workers" compensation, or unemployment insurance).

Termination and post-award reporting:  At the conclusion of the fellowship,
the fellow must submit a termination notice (form PHS 416-7) to AHCPR.  NRSA
fellowship recipients are responsible for informing AHCPR of changes in their
status or address and for submitting the Annual Payback Activities
Certification (form PHS 6031-1) yearly until any required payback service
obligation is satisfied.  The Termination Notice Form PHS 416-7 and the Annual
Payback Activities Certification Form 6031-1 will be sent to the fellow by
AHCPR prior to the scheduled termination date.  For early terminations, the
forms will be issued immediately upon receipt of notification from the fellow
or an authorized institutional official.

Payback provision:  Before an award is made, the fellow must sign an agreement
to fulfill the congressionally mandated payback requirements.  The NIH
Revitalization Act of 1993 substantially modified the existing service payback
requirements for individuals supported under NRSA programs.  For fellowship
awards beginning after June 10, 1993, only fellows in the first 12 months of
postdoctoral NRSA support will incur a service obligation of one month for
each month of support.  Postdoctoral fellows in the 13th and subsequent months
of NRSA support will not sign the Payback Agreement Form (Form PHS 6031) and
will incur no further obligation.  The 13th and each subsequent month of
postdoctoral NRSA support will be considered acceptable payback service,
therefore, individuals who begin the initial postdoctoral fellowship on or
after June 10, 1993, and continue under that award for two years will have
fulfilled their first year obligation by the end of the second year of
training.

Service payback obligations can also be repaid after the period of training by
engaging in health services related research (including research
assistantship/associateships and fellowships) and/or teaching for at least 20
hours per week averaged over a full year.

Positions after training are arranged by the individual, not AHCPR.

Recipients must undertake the obligated service on a continuous basis within
two years after termination of NRSA support.  The period for undertaking
payback service may be delayed for temporary disability, for completion of
residency requirements, or for completion of the requirements for a graduate
degree.  Requests for an extension must be made in writing to AHCPR and must
specify the need for additional time and the length of the required extension.

Individuals who fail to fulfill any required obligation through service must
pay back the total amount of NRSA funds paid to them for the obligation period
plus interest at a rate determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. 
Financial payback must be completed within three years beginning on the date
the United States becomes entitled to recover such amount.

Under certain conditions, the Secretary, DHHS, or an authorized delegate may
extend the period for starting service or for repayment, permit breaks in the
period of service or repayment, or otherwise waive or suspend the payback
obligation of an individual.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquires are encouraged.  AHCPR welcomes the opportunity
to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues, including information on the
policies of inclusion of women, minorities, and children to:

Research Education Division
Office of Research Review, Education and Policy
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 400
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone: (301) 594-1452
Email:  Training@AHCPR.Gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal and administrative matters to:

Al Deal
Grants Management Specialist
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research
2101 East Jefferson Street, Suite 601
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone: (301) 594-1447
Email:  Adeal@AHCPR.Gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number
93.225.  NRSA individual postdoctoral fellowship awards are made under
authorization of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42
USC 288).  Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 66, is applicable
to this program.  This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review
requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In
addition, Public Law 103-227, The Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of
the American people.


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