MBRS SUPPORT OF CONTINUOUS RESEARCH EXCELLENCE (SCORE)

RELEASE DATE:  October 1, 2003

PA NUMBER: PAR-04-001 (See Modification in PAR-06-490, PAR-06-491,
PAR-06-492 & PAR-06-493)

EXPIRATION DATE: July 20, 2006, unless reissued. 
 
Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) 
 (http://www.nigms.nih.gov/)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.859

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION
 
o Purpose of the PA
o Program and Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Reporting Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Post-Award Reporting Requirements
o Required Federal Citations
 
PURPOSE OF THIS PA

The Minority Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) Branch of the Division 
of Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE), National Institute of 
General Medical Sciences, re-announces the Support of Continuous 
Research Excellence (SCORE) program.  This program announcement (PA) 
replaces an earlier announcement, PAR-99-152, which was published in 
the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Guide for Grants and Contracts 
dated August 20, 1999, and integrates, unifies and supersedes the 
content of the prior SCORE PA and SCORE Supplemental Instructions for 
PHS 398 and for PHS 2590.  All applications submitted for June 1, 2004 
or later application receipt dates must be responsive to this PA.  
The mission of the MORE Division programs is to increase the numbers of 
underrepresented minority students who pursue research training for 
scientific careers, to increase the numbers of underrepresented 
minority faculty engaged in biomedical and behavioral research, and to 
enhance the science curricula and research capabilities of institutions 
with substantial minority enrollments.  The purpose of the MBRS 
programs is to increase the numbers of underrepresented minority 
faculty, investigators, and students engaged in biomedical or 
behavioral research and to broaden the opportunities for participation 
in biomedical or behavioral research of underrepresented minority 
faculty and students.  The SCORE program seeks to accomplish the above 
goals by supporting meritorious, investigator-initiated research 
projects in biomedical or behavioral sciences at minority-serving 
institutions.  In addition to the SCORE program, the MBRS Branch also 
offers, for eligible institutions, the Research Initiative for 
Scientific Excellence (RISE) and the Initiative for Minority Student 
Development (IMSD) Programs.  The announcements for these programs are 
available at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/minority/.
  
PROGRAM and RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was encouraged to increase 
the number of underrepresented minorities participating in biomedical 
and behavioral research.  In response to the Act, starting in 1996 the 
MBRS Branch offered institutional grants under the SCORE program. The 
objective of the SCORE PA is to increase the numbers of 
underrepresented minorities who are professionally engaged in 
biomedical/behavioral research.  This objective will be achieved by 
providing support to investigator-initiated research projects and pilot 
research projects (see below), and to establish and/or upgrade research 
facilities including shared core research equipment at minority-serving 
institutions that satisfy both the eligibility and award criteria 
stipulated in the authorizing legislation (see eligibility below).  It 
is an expectation of the SCORE program that participating 
faculty/investigators will increase their productivity and 
competitiveness and that the institutions benefiting from SCORE support 
will improve their research capabilities.  Thus, support for faculty 
participating in pilot research projects is considered preparatory to 
seeking a SCORE regular research project, while support for a regular 
research project is considered preparatory to seeking more substantial 
funding from other extramural sources.  The length of time for these 
transitions to occur, however, may vary depending on the 
characteristics of a given faculty member and the institution.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT
 
This PA will use the NIH MBRS (S06) award mechanism.  As an applicant, 
you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing 
the proposed project.  

The total project period for an application submitted in response to 
this PA may not exceed four years. 

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  This PA uses the non-modular 
budgeting format (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).  A non-
modular budget is one in which each item listed in the budget must be 
clearly justified.  This program does not require cost sharing as 
defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_i_1.htm.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS
 
As described in the authorizing legislation for the MBRS program you 
may submit an application if your institution is one of the following:
 
o  an accredited public or private nonprofit university, two-year or 
four-year college, or other institution offering undergraduate, 
graduate, or health-professional degrees, with a traditionally high 
(more than 50 percent) underrepresented minority student enrollment; or 

o  an institution (as described above) with a student enrollment a 
significant proportion (but not necessarily more than 50 percent) of 
which is derived from underrepresented minorities provided the 
Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services through the 
MBRS Branch Chief determines that said institution has a demonstrated 
commitment to the special encouragement of, and assistance to, 
underrepresented minority students and faculty; or

o  an Indian tribe that has a recognized governing body and that 
performs substantial governmental functions, or an Alaska Regional 
Corporation (ARC), as defined in the Alaska Native Claims Settlement 
Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.); and

o  located in a State, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the 
Virgin Islands, the Canal Zone, Guam, America Samoa, or the Trust 
Territory of the Pacific Islands.

In addition, eligible institutions should demonstrate the need for 
improvement of their research capability.  Eligible institutions with 
well-developed researchers with significant extramural funding and a 
record of research productivity generally are not suitable applicants 
for SCORE grants. 
 
Underrepresented minorities are individuals belonging to a particular 
ethnic or racial group that has been determined by the grantee 
institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral 
research.  Historically, individuals who have been found to be 
underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research include, but are 
not limited to, U.S. citizens who are African Americans, Hispanic 
Americans, Native Americans (including Alaska Natives) and natives of 
the U.S. Pacific Islands. 

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS
 
Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to 
manage a SCORE program and to carry out the proposed research projects 
are invited to work with their institutions to develop an application 
for support.

SCORE grants require a Principal Investigator for the application, 
referred to as the Program Director (PD), who is responsible for 
administration of the overall institutional program and serves as 
liaison between the grantee institution and NIH.  In addition, 
Principal Investigators, designated as PIs, will be responsible for 
carrying out their proposed research projects.  Typically, the PD and 
PIs possess a Ph.D. or M.D./Ph.D. degree.  They must also have a 
permanent, full-time faculty appointment at the applicant institution 
and be eligible to apply for an NIH R01 research grant. A PD may serve 
concurrently as a PI.  The PD should also have the experience and 
authority to coordinate research projects of investigators who may be 
affiliated with different departments. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

SCORE grants are institutional grants that consist of an overall 
program component and up to a maximum of 28 individual research 
projects (see below).  An institution may submit only one SCORE program 
grant application and may hold only one award.  A SCORE grant 
application must have at least one individual research project or pilot 
project but no more than 20 research projects and 8 pilot research 
projects in addition to the overall program component.  Pilot projects, 
which can receive a maximum of four year of support, are generally not 
renewable.  A PI may apply for a Research or Pilot Research Project but 
not for both.  A PI may only hold one active Research or Pilot Project. 

Supplemental applications to active SCORE grants may be submitted only 
if a two-year award can be made without extending the funding period of 
the parent grant.  Thus, supplements may be submitted only in the first 
12-15 months of a four-year SCORE grant, depending on the actual award 
date.  It is advisable to consult with MBRS program or grant 
managements staff to confirm eligibility.  Supplemental applications 
may include one or more research and/or pilot research projects but 
only one supplemental application may be submitted at any application 
receipt date.  This limitation does not apply to RFA-invited 
supplemental applications.

Current NIH policy permits a component research project of a SCORE 
grant application to be submitted concurrently as a traditional 
individual research project (R01) application.  If, following review, 
both the research project in the SCORE application and the R01 
application are found to be in the fundable range, the investigator 
must relinquish the SCORE subproject.  

The specific instructions given under 'Application Content' must be 
followed when submitting a new (Type 1), competing renewal (Type 2) or 
supplemental (Type 3) SCORE application.
 
WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES
 
We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the 
opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries 
may fall into three areas: programmatic/research, peer review and 
financial or grant management issues:  
 
o Direct your questions about programmatic/research issues to:

Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D.
Chief, MBRS Branch 
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-3900
FAX:  (301)480-2753
E-mail:  zlotnikh@nigms.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12F, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-2881
FAX:  (301)480-8506
E-mail:  sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management 
matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-5132
FAX:  (301)480-2554
E-mail:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov
 
SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

There are three types of applications: new application (Type 1), 
competing renewal application (Type 2), and supplemental application 
(Type 3).  In addition, Type 1, 2 and 3 applications may be submitted 
as revised applications if they were not funded on the first or second 
attempt.  Applications of Types 1, 2 or 3 must be prepared using both 
the PHS 398 research grant application instructions and the 
organizational requirements and content instructions provided in this 
PA.  

Applications must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal 
Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when 
applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements.  The DUNS number 
can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at 
http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/.  The DUNS number should be entered on 
line 11 of the Face Page of the PHS 398 form.  The PHS 398 (rev. 
5/2001) is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an 
interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. 

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this 
program announcement will be accepted at the standard application 
deadlines, which are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines are also 
indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the checklist, and three signed 
photocopies in one package 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)

At the time of submission, two additional single-sided photocopies of 
the application plus appendices must also be sent to:
 
Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12F, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-6200
Telephone:  (301)594-2881
 
APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be mailed on or before the 
receipt dates described above in this PA.  The CSR will not accept any 
application in response to this PA that is essentially the same as one 
currently pending initial review unless the applicant withdraws the 
pending application.  The CSR will not accept any application that is 
essentially the same as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude 
the submission of a substantial revision of an application already 
reviewed, but such application must include an Introduction addressing 
the previous critique.  

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and 
funding assignment within 8 weeks.

APPLICATION CONTENT 

New applications (Type 1):

These are applications from institutions that have had no previously 
funded SCORE grant or that had a grant that lapsed for several years.  
In preparing your SCORE grant application, follow the PHS 398 
instructions for research project grant applications 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html), but modify 
the placement of Form Pages and application as described below.  

A SCORE grant application consists of two distinct parts: 
1) Overall SCORE Program Plan and 2) Investigator-initiated research 
projects.  The following specific instructions for the budget and 
narrative of these two parts supersede those in PHS 398: 

Presentation of Overall SCORE Program

I. Budget:
  
The budget of SCORE grant application must be presented in two parts: 
1) estimated expenses for administering the institutional overall 
program (administrative budget with justifications) and 2) the combined 
projected costs of all investigator-initiated research projects as well 
as the administrative costs (total overall budget with justifications).  
Use PHS 398 FORM Pages 4 (detailed budget for initial budget period) 
and 5 (budget for entire proposed project period) for each one of the 
above required budget parts.
  
In addition to the two sets of budget sheets discussed above, each of 
the investigator-initiated research projects has its own set of budget 
pages (Form Pages 4 and 5 along with budget justification pages).  
Place these budget pages at the beginning of each of the investigator-
initiated research project application. 

II. Overall SCORE Program Plan 

The Overall SCORE Program Plan should include the following sections: 
A. SCORE Program Goals and Specific Objectives; 
B. Current Status of the Institutional Research Environment; 
C. Rationale for the Selection of SCORE Program Participants;
D. Core Facilities/Renovations (if applicable); 
E. SCORE Program Plan;
F. Program Administration; 
G. Program Evaluation;
H. Literature Cited for the Overall SCORE Plan; 
I. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements with MBRS-eligible Institutions; 
J. Letters of Support.  

Do not exceed 25 pages for the SCORE program plan narrative (this page 
limit does not include figures, charts, or tables, but all of these 
should be referenced in the narrative). 

A. SCORE Program Goals and Specific Objectives: 

In this section, provide a concise description of the goals and 
measurable objectives of the overall SCORE program to be accomplished 
in the four-year period.  For example, a goal might be to increase the 
number of minority faculty members participating in SCORE funded 
projects from X% to Y%.  Another goal might be to increase the research 
competitiveness of X number of faculty so that in Y years they will be 
able to obtain individual extramural research support.  A specific 
measurable objective might be an increase in the number of peer-
reviewed publications from a four-year baseline of X to 2X by the time 
the competing renewal is submitted.  Another specific measurable 
objective might be an increase in the number extramural grant 
applications submitted and funded during a grant award period.  The 
selected goals may also be related to improvements in research 
infrastructure of minority-serving institutions that in turn increase 
competitiveness and productivity of scientists.  Additionally, the 
applicant must provide an explanation of how the proposed goals and 
objectives would help achieve the SCORE program objectives of 
increasing the number of underrepresented minority scientists 
professionally engaged in basic biomedical and behavioral research and 
improving the institutional research capability.

B. Current Status of the Institutional Research Environment: 

In this section, provide a description of the current capability of the 
participating departments to conduct biomedical research and clearly 
identify the investigators whose research competitiveness will be 
developed (from stage X to Y) and how this and other proposed 
improvements will impact the institution's research capabilities.  
Baseline data for the past four years characterizing key aspects of the 
research enterprise and its productivity, such as the number of total 
faculty and minority faculty engaged in research, number of grants and 
amount of extramural funding for research, number of research support 
staff, shared research facilities, and number of peer-reviewed 
publications, are required. 

In addition to the above, each applicant must provide in tabular form a 
summary of the institution's profile that provides the following 
information for the past four years (see suggested sample format tables 
1 to 6 at http://www.nigms.nih.gov/funding/score_sample_tables.html; 
use only the tables applicable to your institution:

o the total student enrollment at the institution and the number and 
percent of underrepresented minorities (e.g., Native American, African 
American, Hispanic American, natives of the U.S. Pacific Islands) in 
the total student population;

o number and percent of underrepresented minority students 
(undergraduate and graduate) enrolled in the participating departments;

o number and percent of total underrepresented minority students 
(undergraduates and graduate) graduating from the participating 
departments; 

o number and percent of total and underrepresented minority faculty in 
the participating departments and the total number of faculty and of 
underrepresented minority faculty from these departments participating 
in funded research;

o number of alumni of participating departments who went on to obtain 
Ph.D. degrees in sciences in the past 20 years.  (This information also 
can be obtained from WebCaspar, an NSF data base.  See URL 
http://caspar.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/WebIC.exe?template=nsf/srs/webcasp/start.wi) 

C. Rationale for the Selection of SCORE Participants: 

In this section identify the faculty members who have been selected to 
participate in the SCORE-supported research projects, explain the 
rationale for their selection, and indicate how their participation 
will help achieve the MBRS objective of increasing the numbers of 
underrepresented minority researchers.  In addition, address the level 
of research development of each PI and describe how participation in 
SCORE will increase the individual's productivity and improve his/her 
competitiveness for independent research funding.  For each PI provide 
the estimated time line for anticipated SCORE participation and his/her 
transition to independent research support. 
  
Principal investigators who have had substantial extramural research 
support and a record of research productivity may submit a proposal for 
a research project but justification and a timeline for their 
participation as a PI must be given, and their role in increasing the 
number of minority scientists engaged in research must be described. 

Information helpful in establishing the level of development of PIs 
being considered for inclusion in the SCORE program can be found at 
http://www.nigms.nih.gov/news/reports/mbrs_focusreport.html#exec.

D. Core Facilities/Renovations (if applicable):

In this section explain the need for the proposed core or multi-user 
research facilities, core equipment, and/or renovations.  Give the 
names of the PIs expected to benefit from the use of these 
facilities/equipment and a detailed plan on their coordinated use as 
well as the long-term plan for their maintenance/staffing.  Please note 
that estimated costs of each item, including quotations for the 
equipment over $25,000 or remodeling, must be submitted with the 
application.

E. SCORE Program Plan:

Explain the plan for managing the SCORE program, insuring that PIs have 
the required administrative/clerical support and access to core 
facilities/specialized equipment (if applicable) or other research 
resources, and monitoring research progress and faculty productivity 
and research competence.  Also provide the details and timeline for any 
proposed institutional activities such as scientific seminars or 
workshops. Give names of potential speakers and explain if any of these 
speakers will assist the program in any other way.  Provide details of 
who will attend and benefit from these activities.
 
F. Program Administration: 

Describe the level of involvement of the Program Director in 
administering the overall program in relation to the time and effort 
requested.  Explain how the PD's involvement is relevant to the goals 
of the program.  Describe, in addition, how the PD will relate to the 
institutional administrative structure needed for the appropriate 
functioning of the program.  The PD must have knowledge of NIH 
policies, including those governing the use of human subjects, animals, 
and hazardous materials.  An external advisory committee may be 
appointed and budgeted to assist the PD in monitoring the quality of 
research.  

G. Evaluation Plan: 

Evaluation of progress is a required component of every SCORE program 
to demonstrate overall improvement of the PIs' productivity and 
competitiveness and of the institutional research capability.  The 
evaluation plan must describe the procedures and methods that will be 
used to collect and analyze the data needed to assess the extent to 
which the proposed SCORE and MBRS objectives have been achieved.  In 
presenting the evaluation plan, restate each of the specific objectives 
and provide appropriate baseline data and proposed improvement relative 
to baseline data.  Discuss anticipated intermediate and final outcomes. 
Provide information on the qualifications of the person(s) conducting 
the evaluation, the kind of data to be collected, and the data 
collection schedule.

Note: In addition to the summary on human subjects and animals provided 
in the overall SCORE plan, each PI using vertebrate animals and/or 
human subjects in his/her research must include in his/her project plan 
detailed responses to the specific questions asked in PHS 398 
instruction pages 18-29.

H. Literature Cited: 

Cite any literature or supporting material referred to in the Overall 
SCORE Program plan (see PHS 398).

I. Consortium/Contractual Arrangements with MBRS SCORE-eligible 
institutions. 

Follow instructions in PHS 398.

J. Letters of Support:

These include letters from collaborators, evaluators, etc.

III. Investigator-initiated Research Projects

A Research Project proposal, comparable to a regular NIH research 
project grant (R01) application, identifies a specific unsolved problem 
and means to obtain data pertinent to the problem.  Pilot Research 
Projects aim to collect preliminary data necessary to develop a 
research project.  Ordinarily, a PI may apply for only one pilot 
project, not a succession of pilot research projects.  An exception to 
this is if the proposed pilot project results do not support the 
original research hypothesis. 

Investigator-initiated research project and pilot research project 
plans may be in any of the areas of science currently supported by the 
NIH.  SCORE PDs are strongly encouraged to visit the NIH website, 
http://www.nih.gov, to search the NIH archives for all past and 
currently funded NIH grants and research areas.

In the preparation of Research Projects and Pilot Research Projects, 
follow the PHS 398 instructions and use Form Pages provided with the 
following two exceptions: 1) Do not use the PHS 398 Face Page for these 
applications; instead use the investigator-initiated research project 
Cover Page (Sample Format 7 at 
http://www.nigms.nih.gov/funding/score_sample_tables.html)  2) Do not 
include a checklist page.  The 25-page limit set for a research project 
plan in PHS 398 also applies to each regular research project.  Pilot 
research project plans, however, are restricted to 10 pages each and 
should contain the same parts required of a regular project.  In 
addition, a pilot research project must contain a section at the end of 
the narrative that explains how the results of the pilot will be used 
to develop a long-term research project plan.  

Note that each of the Research Project and Pilot Research Project plans 
has its own budget and requires PHS 398 Form Pages 2 to 5 and 
biographical and resource pages.  If animal and human subjects are to 
be used in the research carefully follow PHS 398 instructions regarding 
the questions that need to be answered and the submission of the 
required Targeted/Planned Enrollment Tables and Inclusion Enrollment 
Report Tables (for additional information refer to 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/instructions2/p2_human
_subjects_definitions.htm).  

IV. Arrangement and Numbering of SCORE Grant Application Pages:
 
Order to follow:

o PHS 398 Form Pages 1 to 5, which includes the budget and budget 
justification pages for the overall followed by biographical sketch(es) 
(Format Pages) of all key personnel for the overall SCORE program plan 
and the Resources Format page. 

O Overall SCORE Program Plan (sections A-M)

o Research Project proposals and Pilot Research Project proposals.  
(Arrange all research project plans in alphabetical order of PI last 
names followed by pilot research project plans also arranged 
alphabetically by PI last name.)
 
o Checklist 

o Appendix (material relevant to the overall SCORE program plan as well 
as to the Research Project and Pilot Research Project plans [see PHS 
398 pp. 29-30] and progress reports of PIs who are not applying for 
competing renewal of projects). 
  
Number the PHS 398 Form Pages and the pages of overall SCORE Program 
plan and Research Project and Pilot Research Project plans sequentially 
at bottom center.  

Competing Renewal Applications (Type 2):

In addition to all the information required for Type 1 (new) 
applications, the Overall SCORE Program section of Type 2 applications 
(competing continuation applications) must include a report on progress 
made in reference to the goals and objectives described in the previous 
application in a separate section titled Overall Progress Report.  This 
overall progress report must be placed immediately after the section on 
the Current Status of the Institutional Research Environment and it is 
not counted in the overall 25 page limit.  The overall progress report 
should include:

1) A list of the funded projects (with the PIs names) indicating which 
are being submitted as competing renewals and which are not being 
continued and why.
2) A description of the progress made towards the goals and objectives 
set for individual PIs as well as for the overall program and of how 
the evaluation results contributed to assessing anticipated outcomes 
and improving the program. 
3) The contribution of the SCORE program to achieving the MBRS 
objective of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities 
engaged in biomedical or behavioral research. 
4) The impact of the research accomplishments of individual PIs on the 
institutional research capability.  
5) A concise summary (not more than 100 words) of the progress made in 
each previously funded research project or pilot research project even 
if the PI is not requesting competing renewal of the project.  (Note 
that a detailed progress report of each previously funded research or 
pilot project must be included in the individual project renewal 
application, see below.)  If a previously funded PI is not seeking 
SCORE support, or is proposing to change his/her field of research, 
include a detailed progress report on this project (limited to four 
pages per project).  Place it in the appendix.
6) A list of all peer-reviewed and other publications by the 
previously-funded PIs.

The Investigator-initiated Projects of Type 2 applications must include 
a detailed progress report (refer to PHS 398) and a list of the peer-
reviewed publications resulting from SCORE support.  Information on the 
level of funding (dollars per year) during the previous grant period 
and on the number of technical personnel (technicians, postdoctoral 
research associates, and other research associates) who participated in 
the project (whether or not paid from SCORE funds) must be included in 
the progress report.  Progress on the project during the previous 
funded period is an important review criterion.  The progress report 
section must be placed immediately after the section on background and 
significance as described in PHS 398. 

Competing renewal applications without an overall or individual PIs' 
progress reports will be returned without review.

The budget reporting, arrangement and numbering of the pages of Type 2 
applications are identical to that of the Type 1 applications.
  
Supplemental Applications (Type 3):

Supplemental applications to active SCORE grants to request funding for 
additional investigator-initiated research projects or pilot research 
projects may be submitted only if a two-year award can be made without 
extending the funding period of the parent grant.  Thus, supplemental 
applications may be submitted only in the first 12-15 months of a four-
year SCORE grant, depending on the actual award date.  

Such a supplemental grant application (Type 3) must include an 
Introduction (one page) elaborating the need for the supplement and a 
list of the currently funded projects.  The Introduction is placed 
before the section on program goals and specific objectives.  The 
supplemental applications do not require the information requested in 
Type 1 and Type 2 applications in the sections on the Current Status of 
the Institutional Research Environment, Administrative and Evaluation 
Plans.  The Overall SCORE Plan section of the Type 3 application is 
limited to five pages. 

For the supplemental SCORE application, use and follow the instructions 
of PHS 398 except for the arrangement of the pages and pagination which 
should follow the same order as in Type 1 applications.  These 
applications will be reviewed and will compete with new and competing 
renewal applications for available funding.  Note that the 
administrative budget pages are not required unless additional 
administrative costs are requested.

Revised SCORE applications: 

If Type 1, 2, or 3 applications did not receive funding, a revised 
application may be submitted.  The revised application must include an 
Introduction that addresses fully the questions raised by the reviewers 
of the previous application.  In addition, the body of the application 
must indicate, by changes in font or other means, the revised sections 
(See PHS 398 instructions).  The structure of budget requests, 
application content and format, and arrangement and numbering of pages 
are as described for the Type 1, 2, or 3 applications.

ALLOWABLE COSTS 

The costs budgeted for MBRS grants may not duplicate items already 
included as Facilities and Administrative (F&A) costs.  The grantee 
institution must be prepared to provide documentation showing the 
direct relationship of proposed costs to the program and that costs of 
this type are charged in a consistent manner to all other grants and 
other activities at the institution regardless of the source of 
support.

o Overall SCORE Program: 

Salaries: Salary support for the Program Director is allowable for that 
portion of time or effort required for administering the SCORE program 
and must be justified explicitly and in detail.  The level of support 
typically ranges from zero to 25% and depends, in part, on the 
responsibilities of the PD as related to the size of the program. 
Limited salary support for secretarial or clerical help in direct 
support and according to the size of the SCORE program is also 
allowable and must be justified in detail.  Evaluation costs are 
allowable and must be justified.  If the evaluator is an employee of 
the applicant institution, the costs of his/her services must be listed 
under salaries.  If the evaluator is not an employee of the applicant 
institution the charges must be budgeted under consultants.  Costs of 
consultants who serve on an external advisory committee must be 
budgeted under consultants and fully justified.

Multi-user Research Core Facilities: Costs for acquisition of shared 
equipment and its maintenance beyond the warranty period are allowable, 
if justified.  Plans to maintain the core facility beyond the grant 
period should be addressed.  Personnel costs to maintain and service 
the equipment are also allowable and must be explicitly justified in 
detail.  

Alterations and Renovation Costs: Costs for upgrading research space 
(up to $40,000) are allowable only when essential to conducting the 
proposed research and when fully justified. 

Scientific Seminars and Workshops: Costs to support on-campus 
scientific seminars and workshops that directly benefit PIs' research 
are allowable if justified.  However, support for PI participation in 
off-campus workshops, meetings and specific collaborations with 
specialists in the field can be supported only through individual 
research project budgets (see below).
 
o Research Projects: 

There are no preset budget limits.  Costs essential to the conduct of 
research projects, such as technical assistance, consultants, 
equipment, travel, and supplies are allowable and must be adequately 
justified.  Faculty salaries, typically based on a full-time, nine-
month contract, are reimbursed according to percent time and effort 
dedicated to the proposed research.  Summer salary support based on 
time and effort on the funded SCORE research project is allowable if 
permitted by institutional policy.  The maximum summer-salary support 
provided by the program may not exceed the equivalent of three months 
at 100% effort or another length of time specified by the institution 
as its policy, whichever is shorter.  In support of each request for a 
summer salary, provide evidence of the institutional policy and written 
assurance that the PI will forego vacation during the supported period.  
A statement explaining and justifying the summer salary must be 
provided by the PI in the budget justification.  Cost of consultants, 
including foreign scientists, who are active researchers in the subject 
area of the PI, is allowable if fully justified.

Foreign travel to a major scientific meeting is allowed only if the 
PI's participation represents a direct benefit to the project.  

Costs of consortium arrangements with other SCORE-eligible institutions 
are allowable and may include personnel costs, supplies, etc.  (For 
more information refer to PHS 398.)

Fee-for-service contract costs for research support services, such as 
testing of biological materials, provided by SCORE-ineligible 
institutions, will be considered on a case-by-case basis and must be 
strongly justified. 

For Pilot Research Projects, applicants may request support for up to a 
maximum of $50,000 (direct costs) per year for a maximum of four years.  
Purchase of essential equipment for the conduct of the research is 
allowable within the budgetary limit. 

UNALLOWABLE COSTS

Unallowable costs include costs for student development (e.g., student 
salary, stipend or tuition), textbooks, journals, memberships, and 
Internet subscription costs.  

Employees from the applicant institution may not serve as paid 
consultants.  Support for foreign institutions or foreign 
components/consortia in research projects or foreign consultants for 
evaluation is not allowable.  Foreign travel for technical personnel is 
not allowable.

Collaborators at a SCORE-ineligible institution are expected to have 
their own research funds, i.e., SCORE grant funds may not be utilized 
to provide salary support for technical personnel (or to purchase 
equipment) at a SCORE-ineligible institution.  Consortium arrangements 
with SCORE-ineligible institutions are not allowable. 
 
PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications submitted for this PA will be assigned to and reviewed by 
NIGMS on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines.  
Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and 
technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the 
NIGMS in accordance with review criteria stated below.  In evaluating 
the application, both the merit of the SCORE Overall Program plan and 
that of the Investigator-initiated Research Projects, which are 
assessed as independent efforts, will be considered.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed 
to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of 
applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority 
score;
o Receive a written critique;
o Receive a second level review by the NIGMS National Advisory Council.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  
In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the 
following aspects of the application in order to judge the likelihood 
that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the 
pursuit of these goals.  The scientific review group will address and 
consider each of these criteria in assigning the application's overall 
score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The application does not need to be strong in all categories to be 
judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high 
priority score.  For example, you may propose to carry out important 
work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a 
field forward.  

A. Review of the SCORE Overall Program Plan

In reviewing the overall program, the initial review group will take 
into account: 
 
SIGNIFICANCE: Would the program goals, specific measurable objectives, 
and anticipated milestones, if achieved, significantly improve the 
research capabilities of the institution?  Would the institutional 
goals and objectives, if achieved, contribute to MBRS mission of 
increasing the number of underrepresented minority scientists engaged 
in biomedical or behavioral research?

APPROACH: Is the proposed institution's overall plan to accomplish the 
proposed goals and objectives, including the rationale for the 
selection of PIs and upgrading of core or shared research facilities, 
reasonable and feasible?  Are the rationale for the selection of the 
research and pilot research project PIs and the PIs' developmental 
plans likely to result in their increased productivity and 
competitiveness?  Are the proposed research projects meritorious and 
will they contribute to the overall success of the program?  Are the 
plans to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed program and measure 
the outcomes clearly described and are they adequate? 

INNOVATION: Does the proposed overall program plan take into 
consideration the existing knowledge or strategies for improving the 
competitiveness of faculty for research funding and to increase the 
number of underrepresented minority scientists and does it include any 
novel strategies?

INVESTIGATOR: Does the SCORE PD possess the skills, knowledge, and 
abilities needed to lead the program, achieve the goals and objectives 
of the program, and perform the specified PD functions?  Are the 
administrative structure and the advisory committee (if applicable) 
appropriate to implement the proposed program? 

ENVIRONMENT: Does the institution have the necessary research 
infrastructure?  Are the research facilities adequate for the proposed 
research projects?  Is the quality of individual research projects 
included in the application indicative of a supportive research 
environment?  

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed administrative budget and 
the requested period of support in relation to the proposed SCORE 
program.

MULTI-USER CORE FACILITIES/RENOVATION (if applicable): Is the 
justification for a multi-user core research facility or equipment 
and/or laboratory renovation plans appropriate and adequate?  Is there 
a reasonable plan for shared use and maintenance of the facility and 
for providing technical support?  Are the plans to maintain the core 
facility beyond the current grant period realistic?

OVERALL PROGRESS REPORT (for Competing Continuation (Type 2) 
applications only): Is overall progress reasonable and commensurate 
with the previous level of research support?  Is there evidence that 
the institutional research capabilities have improved as a result of 
SCORE support?  Does the overall progress indicate that the PIs' 
research competitiveness has improved?

B. Review of Investigator-initiated Research Projects
 
SIGNIFICANCE: Does this study address an important problem?  If the 
aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be 
advanced?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or 
methods that drive this field? For Pilot Research Projects, would the 
planned investigations yield data that could form the basis for a 
regular Research Project application or a grant application for other 
extramural funding? 

APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and data 
analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the 
aims and timeline of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge 
potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies?  Is the 
literature review critical and current, and does it identify gaps in 
the knowledge that will be addressed in the proposed research? 

INNOVATION: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods?  Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 
technologies?

INVESTIGATOR: Is the investigator appropriately trained and well-suited 
to carry out this work?  Is the proposed work appropriate to the 
experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers 
(if any)?  Will the proposed scientific project allow the investigator 
to continue improving his/her research competence/productivity? 

ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed 
experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific 
environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?  If resources such as specific 
technical expertise and/or equipment are not currently available at the 
applicant institution, are there plans to acquire, or gain access to, 
the necessary resources to conduct the research?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, the 
following items will be considered in the determination of scientific 
merit and the priority score:

PROGRESS REPORT (for competing renewal (Type 2) applications only): Has 
the investigator been productive in documenting his/her research 
findings in refereed journals?  Has the investigator's productivity 
been commensurate with the level of previous MBRS and/or other research 
support?  Did the research competence of the PI improve as a result of 
the supported work?

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK: The involvement of 
human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their 
participation in the proposed research will be assessed.  (See criteria 
included in the section on Federal Citations, below.)
 
INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH: The adequacy 
of plans to include subjects from both sexes, all racial and ethnic 
groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific 
goals of the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of 
subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria included in 
the section on Federal Citations, below.)

CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH: If vertebrate animals 
are to be used in the project, the five items described under section 
'F' of the PHS 398 research grant application instructions (rev. 
5/2001) will be assessed.

ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

SHARING RESEARCH DATA:  Applicants requesting more than $500,000 in 
direct costs in any year of the proposed research are expected to 
include a data sharing plan in their application. The reasonableness of 
the data sharing plan or the rationale for not sharing research data 
will be assessed by the reviewers. However, reviewers will not factor 
the proposed data sharing plan into the determination of scientific 
merit or priority score.

BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested 
period of support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA
 
Applications submitted in response to this PA will compete for 
available funds with all other recommended applications from eligible 
institutions. The following will be considered in making funding 
decisions:  

o Availability of funds; 
o Scientific merit as determined by expert review; 
o Likelihood that the goals and objectives, if achieved, would increase 
the number of underrepresented minority research scientists engaged in 
biomedical and behavioral research and thus promote MBRS goals and 
objectives;
o Portfolio balance;
o Research development needs of the institution and the percent of 
underrepresented minority students;
o Number of years/cycles of prior MBRS support for the PIs submitting 
competing renewals;
o The institution's capability, from a scientific and technical 
standpoint, to develop a competitive research environment by engaging 
in biomedical research;  
o Other research support available to the applicant, PIs, and/or the 
applicant institution.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that 
applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated 
with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection 
against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the 
subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to 
be gained. 
http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm . 

DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN: Data and safety monitoring is required 
for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and 
dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (phase II), efficacy, 
effectiveness and comparative trials (phase III). The establishment of 
data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site 
clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to 
the participants.    (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH 
Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).  

SHARING RESEARCH DATA: Starting with the October 1, 2003 receipt date, 
investigators submitting an NIH application seeking more than $500,000 
or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a 
plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible. 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing Investigators should 
seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to 
institutional policies, local IRB rules, as well as local, state and 
Federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers 
will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into 
the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH: It is the 
policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their 
sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research 
projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided 
indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health 
of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results 
from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 
103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm.  
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition 
of clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in 
compliance with the new OMB standards; clarification of language 
governing NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials consistent with the new 
PHS Form 398; and updated roles and responsibilities of NIH staff and 
the extramural community.  The policy continues to require for all NIH-
defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) all applications or 
proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of plans to 
conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by sex/gender 
and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and b) 
investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals 
under the age of 21) must be included in all human subjects research, 
conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and 
ethical reasons not to include them. This policy applies to all initial 
(Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates after October 1, 
1998.

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should 
read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines" on the inclusion of children as 
participants in research involving human subjects that is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm.

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS: NIH 
policy requires education on the protection of human subject 
participants for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for 
research involving human subjects.  You will find this policy 
announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, 
dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of 
research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp 
and at  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  
Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the 
NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal 
funding (see http://escr.nih.gov).  It is the responsibility of the 
applicant to provide, in the project description and elsewhere in the 
application as appropriate, the official NIH identifier(s)for the hESC 
line(s)to be used in the proposed research.  Applications that do not 
provide this information will be returned without review. 

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: 
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been 
revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom 
of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) 
first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with 
Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency 
in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a 
regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is important for 
applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH has 
provided guidance at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application 
should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design 
and include information about this in the budget justification section 
of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to 
structure informed consent statements and other human subjects 
procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under 
this award.

STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION: 
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final 
modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable 
Health Information", the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002.  The 
Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance 
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the 
protection of individually identifiable health information, and is 
administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). 
Those who must comply with the Privacy Rule (classified under the Rule 
as "covered entities") must do so by April 14, 2003  (with the 
exception of small health plans which have an extra year to comply).  

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule 
reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website 
(http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, 
including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am 
I a covered entity?"  Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy 
Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress 
monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts 
can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html.

URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and 
proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page 
limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, 
Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information 
necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to 
view the Internet sites.   Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their 
anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet 
site.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to 
achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of 
"Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority 
areas. This PA is related to one or more of the priority areas. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance at http://www.cfda.gov/ and is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
or Health Systems Agency review.  Awards are made under the 
authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act 
as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 
and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. See also Senate Appropriations Committee 
Report, No. 92-316, July 29, 1971, Executive Order 12900, Educational 
Excellence for Hispanic Americans February 22, 1994, Executive Order 
12876, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, November 1, 1993, 
and Executive Order 13021, October 21, 1996 and Outline of Work Plan, 
August 18, 1998, White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and 
Universities.  All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost 
principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy 
Statement.  The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm 

The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke-
free workplace and discourage the 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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


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