CENTERS FOR AIDS RESEARCH (CFARs)

Release Date:  March 20, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-98-043

P.T.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
National Cancer Institute
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institute of Mental Health

Pre-Application Conference Date:  April 6
Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  April 17
Application Receipt Date:  May 14

PURPOSE

This program announcement replaces PAR-97-027 published in the NIH Guide, Vol.
26, No. 3, January 31, 1997.

Participating Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) invite
applications for center core grants (P30) to support Centers for AIDS Research
(CFARs).  CFAR cores provide infrastructure and promote basic, clinical,
behavioral and translational AIDS research activities at institutions that
receive significant AIDS funding from multiple NIH Institutes or Centers.  CFARs
foster synergy and improve coordination of research, support emerging research
opportunities, and promote economy of scale through resources shared by multiple
independent laboratories.  CFARs also encourage other activities that serve the
requirements of AIDS research.  CFARs are not intended to be "Centers of
Excellence" in specific areas of AIDS research, but instead are intended to
promote all AIDS research efforts at CFAR institutions.  Before preparing an
application to support a CFAR, investigators are urged to consult with the
program staff listed under INQUIRIES.

DEFINITIONS

Throughout this program announcement P30 applications to support CFARs are
abbreviated as "CFAR applications" and the corresponding P30 awards to support
CFARs are abbreviated as "CFAR awards."  NIH CFAR awards support administrative,
developmental, basic science and clinical science cores for AIDS research.  AIDS
research and AIDS-related research are abbreviated as "AIDS research."

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 priority areas.  This program announcement (PA), CENTERS FOR
AIDS RESEARCH, is related to the Priority area of "HIV infection."  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).

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals,
laboratories, units of State or Local Government, and eligible agencies of the
Federal Government.  Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply, but CFAR
cores may be located at foreign sites. Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women,
and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal investigators.

o  One CFAR award per Institution.  No institution will receive more than one
CFAR award.  Institutions that have significant overlap in faculty, resources or
administration should submit only one application.  Independent campuses that are
part of a large multiple city university are considered to be separate
institutions.  Applicants may contact program staff listed under "Inquiries" for
additional guidance.

o  Multi-Institutional CFARs.  Two or more institutions that can demonstrate a
credible plan for collaborative research networks using CFAR cores may submit an
application for a single CFAR award involving multiple institutions.  A multi-
institutional CFAR application must designate a prime institution that will
receive the award and provide details of agreements regarding coordination and
support of cores and activities at other participating institutions.

With appropriate justification, CFAR awards may support a core at a distant site,
including a foreign site, that provides a unique resource such as a primate
facility or a high resolution NMR facility.  To achieve administrative efficiency
and foster a sense of community and collaboration, it is expected that each
unique resource would serve as a core for only a single CFAR, and that all cores
within any single institution would be part of the same CFAR award.

o  NIH AIDS Funded Research Base.  The purpose of CFARs is to support the AIDS
research activities of investigators at applicant institution(s) that have
significant NIH funding for AIDS research (NIH AIDS funded research base).  The
NIH AIDS funded research base includes the total cost of research awards and the
number of these awards to investigators participating in the CFAR. The research
base includes peer-reviewed AIDS grants, cooperative agreements, and research
contracts utilizing only the following mechanisms:  P01, R01, R03, R21, R29, R35,
R37, U01, U10, U19, and K series awards, R18, and N01 (excluding contracts that
primarily fund the production of materials or services for support of research). 
Excluded from the NIH AIDS funded research base are all funds from any source
other than NIH.

Multi-institutional CFAR applications may combine the NIH AIDS funded research
of the investigators participating in the proposed CFAR to meet the funding
policies of participating Institutes described below.

o  Funding Policies of Participating Institutes.  CFAR awards are intended to
support AIDS research activities for applicants who receive significant NIH AIDS
funds. Significant NIH AIDS funds are defined as an NIH AIDS Funded Research Base
in excess of $6 million in annual total cost for the NIH fiscal year (October 1
to September 30) preceding receipt of CFAR applications.

A CFAR award may include funds from multiple NIH Institutes.  Usually, an
Institute will contribute to a CFAR award only when that Institute has provided
active AIDS awards totaling more than $1 million in annual cost to three or more
principal investigators who agree to participate in the CFAR.

Generally, the maximum amount of funds from each Institute will be 10% of the
amount received by the applicant from that Institute for AIDS research as
reported by the Office of AIDS Research for the NIH fiscal year preceding receipt
of CFAR applications.  The actual amount of funds will be influenced by the
potential synergy and collaboration with Institute-supported investigators
demonstrated by the CFAR application and the percent of Institute-supported AIDS
investigators who agree to participate in the CFAR.

NIH will provide applicants with a spreadsheet (Excel) indicating all
investigators receiving NIH AIDS funding at an applicant(s) institution,
organized by NIH funding Institute.  Applicants should indicate those
investigators who have formally agreed to participate in the CFAR.

Review committees are interested in why investigators listed in the spreadsheet
chose not to be part of the CFAR.  For example, they may have moved or may no
longer be involved in AIDS-related research.  Applicants may also delineate
investigators at their institution(s) who will be part of the CFAR but who were
not included in the spreadsheet. For example, they may have recently moved to the
institution(s) or have recently become involved in AIDS-related research. It is
important that the CFAR be inclusive of the full range of AIDS science funded at
a given institution so the inquiry into inclusion or not of a given investigator
is also intended to address this issue.

A CFAR award (total cost) will be limited to 10% of the amount of funds received
by the applicant for AIDS funding as reported by the Office of AIDS Research for
the NIH fiscal year preceding receipt of the application.  Also, no CFAR award
will exceed $1.5 million annually and no participating NIH Institute will provide
more than $1.2 million for any one award.

o  Applications over $500,000.  NIH Institutes participating in this CFAR program
announcement have agreed to co-fund successful applicants through a review and
award process administered by the NIAID.  Applicants planning to submit a CFAR
application requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs in any year are advised
that it is important that they contact program staff listed as they begin to
develop plans.  Applicants should contact Dr. Janet Young at the address listed
under "Inquiries" for guidance.  Applications received without prior staff
contact may be delayed in the review process or returned to the applicant without
review (NIH GUIDE, Volume 22, Number 45, December 17, 1993).

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

The mechanism of support will be the Center Core Grant (P30).  Responsibility for
the planning, direction and execution of the proposed project will be solely that
of the applicant.  The total requested project period may not exceed five years
and applicants are encouraged to apply for five years.  However, applicants are
notified that grants may be awarded for three, four, or five years.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The NIAID CFAR program was established in 1988 and was renewed in 1993.  The
mission of the CFAR program and mechanisms for achieving this mission were
developed with the assistance of CFAR directors in 1995 and revised in 1996.

The mission of the CFARs is to support a multi-disciplinary environment that
promotes basic, clinical, behavioral, and translational research in the
prevention, detection, and treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.  The CFARs
accomplish this mission by:

o  Providing scientific leadership dedicated to AIDS research.
o  Providing institutional infrastructure dedicated to AIDS research.
o  Stimulating scientific collaboration and translational research.
o  Fostering scientific communication.
o  Sponsoring training and education.
o  Promoting knowledge of CFAR research findings and the importance of AIDS
research through community outreach.
o  Facilitating development of AIDS therapeutics, vaccines and diagnostics
through promotion of scientific interactions between CFARs and industry.

Objectives and Scope

CFARs should promote and encourage activities that enhance collaboration and
coordination of AIDS research and serve the requirements of all AIDS
investigators at the applicant institutions regardless of funding source.

CFAR awards support four different types of cores:  administrative,
developmental, basic science, and clinical studies.  Each CFAR should have a
single administrative and a single developmental core, and a number of basic and
clinical science cores selected to support optimally the AIDS research at the
applicant institution(s).  The smallest CFAR would consist of one of each type
of core.  The definition of what constitutes a basic or clinical core should be
considered sufficiently broad to meet the needs of the applicant institution(s)
and may vary among CFAR applicants.  For example, epidemiology, biostatistics,
and behavioral cores could be classified as either basic or clinical cores.

The successful management of AIDS resources with minimal CFAR funding is an
important measure of a CFAR's value to AIDS investigators.  Basic and clinical
cores may be supported totally by CFAR funds, only in part by CFAR funds, or not
at all by CFAR funds.  Applicants are encouraged to develop creative
collaborations to improve utilization of existing resources.  Convincing
justification will be necessary for duplication of any basic or clinical core
that exists in a similar form elsewhere in the applicant institution(s). 
Applicants should describe how cores with partial or no CFAR funding will be used
to enhance the research of CFAR investigators.  For example, a CFAR core
supported by other funding (e.g., an NIAID AIDS Clinical Trial Unit or a NCI core
facility) may become more accessible to AIDS investigators through CFAR
association and coordination.

A CFAR has considerable flexibility within its budget to alter funding of a basic
or clinical core, to delete a core, or to initiate a new core.  Policies should
be described for changes in CFAR funding levels of initially proposed cores and
for the establishment of new cores as needed to meet research needs without
additional funding.  Applicants should describe how the proposed policies protect
and incorporate the divergent needs of CFAR investigators.

An applicant's initial choice of basic and clinical cores is an important measure
of  the management process.  Applicants should describe the basic and clinical
cores to be supported at the time that the CFAR is awarded, how this choice of
cores was selected, other potential cores that were evaluated but not selected, 
mechanisms for evaluating utilization of proposed cores, and criteria for
increased or decreased funding of these cores during the course of award.

Cores should be responsive to the needs of AIDS investigators at the applicant
institution(s).  Applicants should describe in detail the operation of the each
core (quality control, procedures, safety, training, etc.). Applicants are
encouraged to contact program staff listed under "Inquiries" to discuss the
choice of cores they are planning.  In making final funding decisions for CFAR
support, individual NIH Institutes direct considerable attention to how the CFARs
address and plan to address programmatic areas of interest to the involved
funding Institutes.

A CFAR has the responsibility to use its resources in the best manner to meet the
needs of its investigators and the authority to alter allocation of resources
within the guidelines of the CFARs operating policies and procedures.  Applicants
should describe how proposed policies and procedures provide oversight for
different types or levels of decisions and how each of the following individuals
or groups would participate in the decision process: a core director,  the CFAR
director, an internal advisory board, CFAR investigators, an external advisory
board, NIH program staff.

Additional CFAR supported activities are encouraged.  Examples include industry
collaborations, development of minority scientists in AIDS research, AIDS
research communications to non-scientists, addressing problems in enrollment and
retention of women and minority groups in AIDS clinical trials, international
collaborations, and other activities that meet the AIDS research needs of
applicant institutions.

Applicants may wish to contact program staff to discuss the types of cores and
additional activities they are considering.

Commitments for continued funding in the non-competitive continuation years of
all NIH grants are dependent upon the availability of funds.  CFAR awards that
receive co-funding from multiple Institutes may encounter decreased funding if
any of these Institutes decreases their funding commitment. Therefore, applicants
should describe policies and processes for CFAR "down-sizing" decisions should
decreased funding be necessary in continuation years.

o  Administrative core.  The administrative core is led by a CFAR director (P30
grant's principal investigator) who should be a recognized leader in the field
of AIDS research.  The administrative core also may require a senior
administrator, a CFAR office that is a clearly separate entity, and a modest
staff for support of CFAR activities.  The responsibilities and time allocation
of each staff person and the proposed operation procedures for the administrative
core should be described in detail.  The administrative core is responsible for
the management of all CFAR activities.

The administrative core section of the CFAR application should contain a separate
section describing the strategic plan and a separate section on policies and
procedures for the first year of operation.  Both of these sections will be
incorporated by reference into Terms and Conditions of Award.

Strategic plan.

The purpose of the strategic plan is to identify the most significant
opportunities and gaps in science that will be addressed by the CFAR in the short
and long term and to identify objective milestones to measure success or failure. 
The following process and organization is suggested for the strategic plan:

o  Strengths - Describe the strengths of the CFAR including a summary of research
of CFAR participants and the current facilities and resources available.  Outline
the major AIDS studies to be supported by the CFAR.  Organize by studies related
to the mission of the relevant co-funding Institutes (one page or less is
suggested per funding Institute).  Cite grant numbers listed in the Excel table
showing the NIH AIDS funded research base of the institution(s).

o  Opportunities - Identify and evaluate all potential opportunities for use of
CFAR funds.  This analysis will probably require outreach for suggestions from
all potential CFAR participants.  Conduct a cost/benefit analyses to determine
which opportunities both utilize the applicants unique strengths and address the
missions of funding Institutes.

o  Action Plan - Choose the highest priority opportunities and develop a detailed
plan for the first year of funding.  Examples of an action plan include
determining which cores will be established; determining how existing cohorts
will be utilized; identifying the categories of support for developmental
projects, communication and outreach, and identifying the lectures and meetings
the CFAR will sponsor.

o  Outcome Measurements - Determine how progress on action plans will be
measured.  Select long-term goals and annual milestones for the first year.

In addition to other items, place information about any advisory committees under
the administrative core. Describe membership of all committees, how participants
were selected, terms of appointment, authority and responsibility of members.

The ability to manage the CFAR award will be judged by the clarity and
thoughtfulness of the administrative and developmental core sections of the
proposal, and evidence of the selection and organization of additional cores
through acquisition of information, support, and participation of the AIDS
investigators at the applicant institution(s).

Policies and Procedures.

Policies should be considered to be "a set of guiding principles of operation. 
There are no "correct" policies and different CFARs may adopt different polices. 
Below are several non-inclusive examples of justifiable but not necessarily
compatible policies that might be used to address funding issues.  Funding issues
are an example of only one area that the CFAR will consider in the development
of policies and procedures.

o  CFAR funding will be allocated to disciplines in proportion to research in
those disciplines.
o  CFAR funding will be allocated to projects based on a majority vote of all
CFAR members.
o  CFAR funding will be allocated to projects based on majority vote of an
internal advisory board.

Procedures should be considered to be a set of established actions to conduct the
affairs of the CFAR.  Procedures should specify specifically how various tasks
will be accomplished within the policy guidelines of the CFAR.  The policies and
procedures should describe:

o  The proposed roles in decision processes of the CFAR director, core directors,
CFAR investigators, advisory boards, institutional officials, and NIH program
staff.

o  The annual strategic planning process;  how funds will be allocated to all
types of cores and activities; procedures for changes in support of any cores;
how CFAR-sponsored conferences, seminars, workshops, and other activities will
be identified; how priorities for communication, outreach and additional CFAR
activities will be established; how cores, core directors, leaders of additional
CFAR activities, internal and external advisory committees will be selected and
evaluated;  the authority and responsibility of internal and external advisory
committees; how developmental projects are selected and evaluated; how cores are
selected and reports to be developed, including the annual strategic plan and the
noncompetitive renewal.

o  The mechanisms used to determine AIDS research basic core needs at the
applicant institution(s), assign priorities to potential cores, and select the
basic cores that are included in the application.

o  The mechanisms used to determine AIDS research clinical core needs at the
applicant institution(s), to assign priorities to potential cores, and to select
the clinical cores that are included in the application.

o  Developmental Core.  The intent of a CFAR developmental core is to support
scientific studies for short periods of time to develop preliminary data for
peer-reviewed research applications.  Four general areas are eligible for support
as developmental awards:  investigators new to AIDS research who have not
previously received R01-type awards in AIDS research, feasibility studies,
emerging research opportunities and AIDS research activities of newly recruited
faculty.  Applicants may wish to consult with the program staff listed under
INQUIRIES to discuss how developmental cores are used at current CFARs.

The CFAR administrative core should establish the mechanisms for allocation of
developmental funds and for annual evaluation of supported activities.  CFAR
applicants should describe the mechanism to be used for identification, peer-
reviewed selection and outcome evaluation of projects supported by the
developmental core.  Applicants who have current CFARs should describe outcome
evaluation of previously funded developmental projects.

The developmental core section should contain a plan for the use of the first
year developmental funds.

o  Basic Science Cores.  Basic science cores support shared research activities
that cannot easily be funded through standard research granting mechanisms. 
Basic science cores should provide economy of scale through use by multiple
laboratories and foster collaboration between basic and clinical investigators. 
Basic science cores should not substitute for resources that are obtainable
commercially or replace existing resources normally supported by individual
research grants.

CFAR applications should describe the mechanisms used to determine AIDS research
basic core needs at the applicant institution(s), assign priorities to potential
cores, and select the basic cores that are included in the application.

CFAR applications should describe the basic science cores to be supported at the
time of the award and any changes anticipated during the course of the award. 
A basic science core should be designed to support multiple AIDS investigators
and applicants should indicate the anticipated users and the percent time of use
by each.  Mechanisms should be described to select users, evaluate annual use,
and justify level of continued CFAR support in comparison with other AIDS
research needs at the applicant institution(s).

o  Clinical Cores.  Clinical cores should provide the resources for AIDS
translational research collaboration between clinical and basic scientists. 
Activities that will not be supported by a CFAR clinical core are normal patient
care including screening of clinical specimens, diagnosis, treatment or
rehabilitation.

CFAR applications should describe the mechanisms used to determine AIDS research
clinical core needs at the applicant institution(s), to assign priorities to
potential cores, and to select the clinical cores that are included in the
application.

Mechanisms should be described to select users, to evaluate annual use, and to
justify level of continued CFAR support in comparison with other AIDS research
needs at the applicant institution(s).

o  Institutional Commitment.  Institutional commitment is particularly important
for the coordination of resources across the broad areas and potential boundaries
of research supported by the co-funding Institutes.  Provide a letter(s) from the
appropriate institutional official(s) (e.g., Dean, President, or Provost)
defining:

-  Position, authority, and reporting responsibility (on institution's
organizational chart) for the CFAR director.

-  Financial and other resource support for the CFAR that will be provided by the
applicant institution(s).

-  Authority or influence that the CFAR director has over other AIDS projects,
facilities and space, decisions on new faculty and support personnel.

CFAR BUDGET ITEMS

o  Percent Effort.

The percent effort requested should be limited to time devoted specifically to
managing CFAR activities and not to research activities.  The effort devoted to
CFAR activities should not be that which would normally be supported by research
grants.  Information documenting the level of effort on CFAR activities must be
included in the application.  The need for all requested personnel costs should
be thoroughly justified.

The percent effort of the CFAR director should be justified with the director's
other responsibilities.  Administrative support (a secretary or an administrative
assistant) should be requested for the CFAR office only for matters directly
pertaining to the CFAR.

Core directors are CFAR members who are responsible for the overall technical
excellence of a core facility.  The CFAR supported percent effort of core
directors involved in research activities should only include core management 
time.  The CFAR may support technical staff to provide CFAR services in core
facilities.

Salary support using developmental core funds should only be used for junior
faculty.  Established investigators with R01-type grants are expected to have
salary support from other sources.

o  Core Budgets.

Core budgets may include equipment, supplies, support contracts, and other
necessary expenses. All items should be fully justified for allocation of CFAR
funds.

o  Other Administrative Costs.

This category includes the costs necessary for the central administration and
fiscal management of the CFAR, including relevant and reasonable costs for
reprints, graphics, and publications for developmental core users.

o  Travel.

CFAR directors' meeting(s) - The CFAR directors and one senior scientist per
center will meet two times per year, at the NIH, at a CFAR site or at the site
of a scientific conference that most of the directors plan to attend. Applicants
should include travel funds specifically for these meetings in the CFAR
administrative core budget request.  For budget purposes, applicants may assume
a total annual cost for the CFAR directorsþ meeting of $5000.

Other Travel - Applicants may request and justify travel funds in addition to the
funds required for the two directors' meetings.  These funds should not be used
for travel to scientific meetings.  For example, this travel could promote
collaboration among CFAR investigators and AIDS investigators not in a CFAR
program or at distant cores.  These additional travel funds should not exceed
$5000.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their
subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and behavioral
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.  This
policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public
Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994
(FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994.

Investigators may obtain copies from these sources or from Dr. Young (listed in
INQUIRIES below) who may also provide additional relevant information concerning
the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by April 17, a letter of intent that
includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address, and
telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of other key
personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title of this
program announcement.  Although a letter of intent is not required, is not
binding, and does not enter into the review of subsequent applications, the
information allows staff to estimate the potential review workload and to help
avoid conflict of interest in the review.  The letter of intent is to be sent to
Dr. Janet Young at the address listed under INQUIRIES.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff early in application
development with any questions regarding the responsiveness of their application
to the goals of this PA.

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev.
5/95) and will be accepted only once each year on the annual receipt date. 
Application kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored
research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and
Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC
7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, Tel: (301) 435-0714, email: asknih@od.nih.gov.

Page limitations.

Page limitations have been increased from the normal 25 page limit for sections
A-D of the "Research Plan" of an application.  For applications in response to
this program announcement, the page limitation has been increased to 300 pages
for the entire CFAR application excluding only appendices.  Please note that
appendices will only be provided to the primary reviewers.  Appendices should not
contain information required for review by other committee members.  The 300 page
limit is a maximum and applicants are encouraged to be concise.

Organization of Application

In order to facilitate the review process, applicants should follow the
instructions described in "Special Instructions for Preparation of the CFAR
Application."  The Special Instructions  provides information on how to organize
and present information in the CFAR application to facilitate review and award. 
The CFAR web site includes the Special Instructions and the CFAR Program
Announcement: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/cfarpa.htm

Hard copies of both documents may be obtained from the Program Staff listed under
INQUIRIES.

Applications must be mailed to both the NIH Center for Scientific Review and to
the NIAID Division of Extramural activities.  For purposes of identification and
processing, item 2 on the face page of the application must be marked "YES". 
Also, the PA number and title, CENTERS FOR AIDS RESEARCH (CFAR), of this program
announcement must be typed in Item 2.

The completed signed original application and three single sided copies of the
application 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)

Two single-sided copies of the application and five copies of appendices must be
sent or delivered to:

Dianne Tingley, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6003 Executive Boulevard, Room 4C07
Bethesda, MD  20892- MSC 7610
Telephone:  (301) 496-2550
FAX:  (301) 402-2638
Email:  dt15g@nih.gov

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the NIH Center
for Scientific Review and for responsiveness to the goals of this PA by NIAID
staff in consultation with the other co-funding Institutes.  Incomplete or non-
responsive applications will be returned to the applicant without further
consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive will be evaluated for scientific
and technical merit by an Initial Review Group (IRG) of NIAID.  As part of the
initial merit review, all applications will receive a written critique, assigned
a priority score, and receive a second level review by an appropriate national
advisory council(s) or board(s).

Review criteria

Review criteria are based on the mission of the CFAR Program and mechanisms for
achieving this mission.  The initial review group (IRG) will evaluate CFAR
applications for significance, approach, innovation, investigator, and
environment.  In these evaluations, the IRG will also look for evidence of
successful performance from applicants that have had CFAR awards or similar
programs at their institutions.

The organizational structure of sections of a CFAR application resembles that of
an R01 application:

CFAR Application            R01 Application

Strengths                   Background

Opportunities               Significance

Action Plan
  and Outcome Measurements  Specific Aims

Policies and Procedures     Materials and Methods

Choice of Cores and their Operating Structures

Preliminary Results for new applications

Progress Report for renewal applications

The NIH review criteria have been adapted to ensure that the major components of
a CFAR application are evaluated appropriately.  The score should reflect the
overall impact that the project could have on the field based on consideration
of the five criteria, with the emphasis on each criterion varying from one
application to another, depending on the nature of the application and its
relative strengths.  Note that an application need not be strong in all
categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve
a high priority score.  For example, an investigator may propose to carry out
important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a
field forward.  The review criteria are:

Significance - The effect that a CFAR award would have on an applicant's AIDS
research efforts.

1.  The ability of cores to support the research base, foster synergy, coordinate
AIDS research collaborations and produce an economy of scale.
2.  Proposed scientific communication, outreach, training efforts, and
collaborations with industry and evidence that CFAR will enhance these
collaborations.
3.  Developmental core procedures for selection of projects and outcomes
evaluation.

Approach - The quality of the CFAR planning and management process.

4.  Annual strategic planning process.
5.  Policy and procedures to judge value of cores and reassign funding
priorities.
6.  Methods for selection of basic and clinical core users and for prioritization
of use.

Innovation - The utilization of CFAR resources in unique ways to achieve the
scientific goals of all AIDS investigators at the participating institution(s).

7.  The degree of variety in AIDS research projects and disciplines that commit
to participation in and coordination through the CFAR structure.

8.  The incorporation into the CFAR of resources (cores, projects, cohorts,
trials, etc.) that are supported in part or not at all by CFAR funds.

Investigator - The choice of appropriate leaders to carry out the CFAR mission.

9.  Choice of CFAR director, e.g., managerial experience, commitment, leadership
in AIDS research and at the applicant institution.
10.  Choice of core directors and key personnel, e.g., qualifications, competence
and commitment.
11.  Proposed advisory groups: their responsibility and methods for their
selection.

Environment -- The likelihood that a CFAR will achieve its objectives.

12.  Institutional commitment including space, institutional financial support
and other institutional resources and oversight provided for CFAR activities.
13.  Previous history of support for developmental projects that have successful
outcomes.
14.  Appropriateness of budget of the overall CFAR and of the individual cores.

In addition, applicants must demonstrate adequate provisions for the protection
of human and animal subjects, the safety of the research environment, and
conformance with the NIH "Guidelines for the Inclusion of Women and Minorities
as Subjects in Clinical Research."

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o  Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review.
o  Availability of funds.
o  Institute's priority for area of proposed research.

CONDITIONS OF AWARD

The Conditions of Award will incorporate the following items proposed by the
applicant with potential modifications based on recommendations of the Initial
Review Committee:

CFAR Strategic Plan.
CFAR Policies and Procedures.
CFAR Advisory Committee(s) authority and responsibility.

Any changes in these items from the Notice of Award will require concurrence of
NIH.

INQUIRIES

The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions regarding CFARs or CFAR
applications is welcome.  Especially encouraged are inquiries through the CFAR
web site: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/cfarpa.htm

In addition to submitting inquiries at this web site, applicants may view
inquiries by others, read the official NIH responses, and obtain suggestions for
application organization.

Questions regarding CFAR scientific issues, management issues, or issues on cores
related to NIAID may be directed to:

Janet M. Young, Ph.D.
Division of AIDS
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building, Room 2C11 - MSC 7620
Bethesda, MD  20892-7620
Telephone:  (301) 496-6714
FAX:  (301) 402-3211
Email:  jy6r@nih.gov

Questions on review issues may be directed to:

Dianne Tingley, Ph.D.
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building
6003 Executive Boulevard, Room 4C07, MSC 7610
Bethesda, MD  20892-7610
Telephone:  (301) 496-2550
FAX:  (301) 402-2638
Email:  dt15g@nih.gov

Questions on fiscal issues may be directed to:

Ms. Pamela Fleming
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Solar Building, Room 4C25 - MSC 7610
Bethesda, MD  20892-7610
Telephone:  (301) 402-6580
FAX:  (301) 480-3780
Email:  pf49e@nih.gov

CFAR program staff contacts for other participating Institutes.  Questions
specifically related to program interests of other Institutes may be directed to:

Margaret Holmes, Ph.D.
Office of the Deputy Director for Extramural Science
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Boulevard, Room 502
Rockville, MD  20852
Telephone:  (301) 496-8531
FAX:  (301) 402-0181
Email:  mh67g@nih.gov

Elaine Sloand, M.D.
AIDS Coordinator
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute
31 Center Drive, Room 4A11, MSC 2490
Bethesda, MD  20892-2490
Telephone:  (301) 496-3245
FAX:  (301) 594-1290
Email:  es38n@nih.gov

Anne Willoughby, Ph.D.
Pediatrics, Adolescent, and Maternal AIDS Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room B11H
Rockville, MD, 20852
Telephone:  (301) 496-7339
FAX:  (301) 496-8678
Email:  aw55g@nih.gov

Steven W. Gust, Ph.D.
Office on AIDS
National Institute on Drug Abuse
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 10-05
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-6480
FAX:  (301) 443-4100
Email:  sgust@nih.gov

Dianne Rausch, Ph.D.
Office of AIDS Research
National Institute of Mental Health
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 18-105
Rockville, MD  20857
Telephone:  (301) 443-7281
FAX:  (301) 443-7274
Email:  dr89b@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, 93.856 -
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Research and 93.855 - Immunology, Allergy
and Transplantation Research.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public
Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law
99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grant policies and Federal
Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  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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