SMALL GRANT PROGRAM FOR THE NIDCD

Release Date:  November 25, 1998

PA NUMBER:  PAR-99-018

P.T.

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

Application Receipt Date:  December 22, 1998; April 20, and August 24, 1999
                           December 22, 1999; April 20, and August 24, 2000
                           December 22, 2000; April 20, and August 24, 2001

PURPOSE

This Program Announcement (PA) supersedes all previous announcements of the
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) Small
Grant (R03) Program for support of pilot research that is likely to lead to a
subsequent Individual Research Project Grant (R01) application. The research must
be focused on one or more of the areas within the biomedical and behavioral
scientific mission of the NIDCD:  hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech,
or language.

The Small Grant Program is designed to support basic and clinical research of
scientists who are in the early stages of establishing an independent research
career.

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 PA, Small Grant Program for the NIDCD,
is related to the priority area of clinical prevention services.  Potential
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" (Full Report:  Stock
No.017-001-11474-0 or Summary Report:  Stock No. 017-001-11473-1) 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 and local governments, and eligible agencies of the
Federal government.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply.  Foreign institutions and United States
organizations located in foreign countries are not eligible to apply for this
program.

Individuals who have served as Principal Investigators (including subprojects of
program projects and centers) on any NIH research grant or other Federally funded
research grants are not eligible for the R03 mechanism.

Former recipients of Federally funded Training or Career Development awards are
eligible for this Small Grant Program.  Examples include:  Mentored Research
Scientist Development Awards (K01); Mentored Clinical Scientist Development
Awards (K08); Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Awards (K23);
Individual (F32) or Institutional (T32) National Research Service Awards. 
However, individuals may not hold an R03 award concurrent with Training or Career
Development support.

Other questions about eligibility may be directed to one of the program officials
listed under INQUIRIES.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Applicants may request up to $35,000 (direct costs) per year through the R03
mechanism.  Any consortium/contractual cost that may be requested must not exceed
the direct cost limits.  The grant may not exceed three years and is not
renewable. The Small Grant funds may not be used to supplement projects currently
supported by Federal or non-Federal funds, or to support thesis or dissertation
research.

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 protocols 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.

For the purpose of this policy, clinical research is defined as human biomedical
and behavioral studies of etiology, epidemiology, prevention (and prevention
strategies), diagnosis, or treatment of diseases, disorders or conditions,
including, but not limited to, clinical trails.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH 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 was published in the NIH Guide for Grants
and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the following URL address: 
http://www.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in applying
for these grants.  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, telephone 301/435-0714, email
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The specific R03 guidelines listed below (e.g., page limitations, number of
copies, application dates) supersede the PHS 398 instructions.

FACE PAGE:  Item 2, type "Small Grant Program NIDCD" in "Title" box, and check
the "YES" box, indicating response to Program Announcement.  

Do not exceed a total of five pages inclusive of the following sections: 
Specific Aims; Background and Significance; Preliminary Studies/Progress Report
(or other evidence of feasibility); and Research Design and Methods.  Pertinent
subject selection and recruitment information (e.g., inclusion of woman,
minorities, children), as it impacts on study design, should also be included. 
Tables, figures and photographs are included in the five page limitation. 

For revised applications, an additional introduction (not to exceed one-half
page) is permitted.  This introduction should respond to the comments and
concerns of the Initial Review Group delineated in the summary statement.  

Applications that exceed the page limit or requirements for type size and margins
will be returned to the investigator.  (Refer to PHS 398 application for
details.) 

The five page limit does not include information regarding safety and ethical
issues related to subjects in research (Human Subjects, Inclusion of Children as
Participants in Research, Vertebrate Animals) or Consortia and Literature Cited
(Section E-I).

Appendix materials may not be used to circumvent the page limit.  However,
letters of support may be used to establish the Principal Investigator's research
as separate and distinct from those of a former mentor or to denote collaborative
or consultant relationships.  Up to three publications, submitted manuscripts or
abstracts may also be included.  Five copies of appendix materials should be
submitted.  (Refer to PHS 398 application for additional Appendix guidelines.)

Use the mailing label in the application kit to mail the original and three
copies of the application to:

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

To ensure that the application is received in sufficient time for the review,
send an additional two copies of the application to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400-C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

Schedule

Application Receipt Dates:  Dec 22      Apr 20      Aug 24
NIDCD Committee Review:     Feb/Mar     Jun/Jul     Oct/Nov
Council Review:             May         Oct         Jan
Earliest Funding:           Aug         Jan         May

If the receipt date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following
Monday; if the date falls on a holiday, it will be extended to the following
business day.

Only one Small Grant application may be submitted by a Principal Investigator per
receipt date.  Applicants may not submit an R01 application on the same topic
concurrently (to be considered at the same National Advisory Council meeting)
with the submission of a Small Grant application.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit in accordance
with the standard NIH procedures by an initial review group (IRG) convened by the
NIDCD.  As part of the initial review, all applications will receive a written
critique. Those applications deemed to have the highest merit, generally the top-
half of applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score,
and receive a second level of review by the NIDCD Advisory Council.

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance the understanding of
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In the
written review, comments on the following aspects of the application will be made
in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a
substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these criteria will
be addressed and considered in the assignment of the overall score.

(1) 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?

(2) Approach.  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses
adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the
project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider
alternative tactics?

(3) Innovation.  Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method? 
Are the aims original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing
paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?

(4) Investigator.  Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to
carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level
of the principal investigator and other researchers (if any)?

(5) 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?

The initial review group will also examine the provisions for the protection of
human and animal subjects, the safety of the research environment, and conformity
with the NIH Guidelines for the Inclusion of Women and Children as Subjects in
Clinical Research.

Applications will be subsequently reviewed by the National Deafness and Other
Communication Disorders Advisory Council.

AWARD CRITERIA

The awarding of grant funds is contingent on:  (1) the receipt of applications
of high scientific merit; (2) responsiveness to this Program Announcement,
including the eligibility of investigators; (3) relevance to the mission of the
NIDCD; and (4) the availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions
from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Hearing
Dr. Chyren Hunter
Telephone:  (301) 402-3461
Email:  Chyren_Hunter@NIH.GOV

Balance/Vestibular
Dr. Daniel Sklare
Telephone:  (301) 496-1804
Email:  Daniel_Sklare@NIH.GOV

Smell/Taste
Dr. Rochelle Small
Telephone:  (301) 402-3464
Email:  Rochelle_Small@NIH.GOV

Voice/Speech
Dr. Beth Ansel
Telephone:  (301) 402-3461
Email:  Beth_Ansel@NIH.GOV

Language
Dr. Judith Cooper
Telephone:  (301) 496-5061
Email:  Judith_Cooper@NIH.GOV

The address and FAX number for the above named persons are:

Division of Human Communication
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400-C, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
FAX:  (301) 402-6251

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Sharon Hunt
Grants Management Office
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400-B, MSC-7180
Bethesda, MD  20892-7180
Telephone:  (301) 402-0909
FAX:  (301) 402-1758
Email:  SH79F@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
No.93.173.  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 grants policies and Federal Regulations 42
CFR 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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