ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE: PARTNERSHIPS FOR COMMUNICATION

RELEASE DATE:  June 9, 2004   

RFA NUMBER:  RFA-ES-04-007  (See Receipt Date Change in NOT-ES-05-002)

EXPIRATION DATE:  January 8, 2005 (per NOT-ES-05-002)

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 (http://www.nih.gov)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 (http://www.cdc.gov)

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) 
 (http://www.niehs.nih.gov/)
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
 (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/)

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBERS: 93.113, 93.114, 93.115 (NIEHS); 
93.956 (NIOSH)

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: December 7, 2004 (per NOT-ES-05-002)
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: January 7, 2005 (per NOT-ES-05-002) 

THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Receipt and Review Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS RFA

The purpose of this program is to strengthen the National Institute of 
Environmental Health Sciences' (NIEHS) and the National Institute for 
Occupational Safety and Health's (NIOSH) support of research aimed at achieving 
environmental justice for socioeconomically disadvantaged and medically 
underserved populations in the United States.  One goal of the NIEHS and NIOSH 
is to understand the influence of economic and social factors on the health 
status of individuals exposed to environmental toxicants and occupational 
hazards and impact public health.  The intent is to promote health research, 
education and intervention programs that address improved ways to serve low 
income, immigrant, and minorities who may be disproportionately exposed to 
environmental and occupational stressors.  This component of the research 
program in environmental justice is designed to encourage community outreach, 
training, research, education and evaluation efforts that will become the 
catalyst for reducing exposure to or reducing the health impact from 
environmental and occupational stressors in underserved populations.  The main 
objective of this RFA is to establish methods for linking members of a 
community, who are directly affected by adverse environmental or occupational 
conditions, with researchers and health care providers and to create 
partnerships that can address environmental and occupational health problems 
and develop appropriate research and policy strategies to impact public health.  

With the intention of impacting public health and policy the National 
Institute of Environmental Health Sciences established the Translational 
Research Program.  This effort supports research and education examining the 
effects and risks to human health from exposure to physical and social 
environmental agents.  The Environmental Justice agenda, which falls within the 
Translational Research Program, is one such endeavor that seeks to minimize and 
prevent adverse health effects from environmental exposures through public 
outreach and education coupled with innovative research to develop solutions 
and have significant impact on public health and policy. For further 
information on the Translational Research Program, see 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/translat/envjust/envjust.htm.

This current effort on environmental justice will ensure that:

o The community is aware of basic environmental/occupational health concepts, 
issues, and resources.

o The community has a role in identifying and defining problems and risks 
related to environmental and occupational exposures and stressors.

o The community is included in the dialogue and is integral in shaping research 
and policy approaches to the problem.  

o The community actively participates with researchers and health care 
providers in developing responses and setting priorities for education and 
intervention strategies.  

One aim of this program is to facilitate the process of developing the trust 
needed for establishing effective partnerships among individuals who are 
adversely impacted by environmental and occupational hazard(s) in a 
socioeconomically disadvantaged community, researchers in 
environmental/occupational health, and health care providers.  The 
collaborative team should then be able to initiate a research program that 
incorporates all parties and seek to reduce exposure to or health impact from 
environmental and occupational stressors that may manifest in the workplace or 
home environment.

It is important to note that, because of the wide range of environmental and/or 
occupational health problems to be addressed and the diversity of affected 
communities, applications must be multidisciplinary in nature.  At least one 
member of each of the following three personnel groups must have an active and 
meaningful role in both the development of the application and conduct of the 
proposed project: 

o A research scientist in environmental health sciences (including but not  
limited to those at NIEHS Environmental Health Sciences Centers or NIEHS 
Centers for Children's Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research or 
NIOSH Educational and Research Centers or Agricultural Research Centers).

o A primary health care provider directly involved in a community affected by 
environmental or occupational hazard(s).  This may include a public health 
nurse and other such professionals. This individual must have a record of 
providing health care to the participating community.  It is not necessary that 
the person be affiliated with a county or state public health department.

o A community-based organization (CBO) in an area having an underserved 
population that is adversely affected by an environmental or occupational 
hazard.  This CBO must work directly and regularly with the affected community.  

These personnel must be listed on Page 2 of the PHS 398 application, and a 
biographical sketch must be provided for each.  The role of each member of 
these three personnel groups in developing the application and carrying out the 
project must be clearly identified and fully described.  There should be an 
equitable distribution of responsibilities as well as of requested financial 
resources among the three personnel groups.  This goal is often accomplished 
through the inclusion of one or more subcontract arrangements, which may be 
helpful in defining all parties' programmatic and budgetary roles.  
Applications lacking the required personnel will not be considered.

The NIEHS and NIOSH have a significant commitment to the support of programs 
designed to increase the number of underrepresented minority and female 
scientists participating in biomedical, environmental, and behavioral research.  
Therefore, applications from minority individuals and women are encouraged.  
Since the projects are situated in the community, well-established community-
based or faith-based organizations are encouraged to consider their capacity to 
serve as the primary applicant organization.  Due to the complex 
administrative, programmatic, and financial responsibilities associated with 
this role, such groups should contact Program Staff listed under WHERE TO SEND 
INQUIRIES for guidance.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Generally, people want to live long and healthy lives, and a majority of them 
achieve that goal.  However, people who are economically disadvantaged and/or 
who live or work in areas and occupations where conditions result in greater 
exposure to hazardous substances are less likely to do so.  At every stage of 
life, these persons suffer disproportionate levels of morbidity and mortality.  
Research evidence suggests that certain groups, especially minorities and low-
income communities, bear an uneven burden of hazardous environmental or 
occupational stressors.  These socioeconomically disadvantaged people suffer 
the lowest life expectancy and the highest adverse health consequences of 
inadequate access to high quality health care.  Additionally, they most often 
experience the highest degree of exposure to environmental agents and 
frequently have the least information available about the health consequences 
of exposure to these agents.  

Environmental justice refers to the need to remedy the unequal burden of 
exposure and disease borne by socioeconomically disadvantaged persons in terms 
of residential exposure to greater than acceptable levels of environmental 
pollution, exposure to occupational hazards, and fewer civic benefits such as 
sewage and water treatment.  Geographic location plays an important role in 
environmental exposure of socioeconomically disadvantaged persons.  Health 
problems may be exacerbated by issues relating to geographic location and 
consequences of the built environment such as the lack of consistent planning 
and negligent or unregulated policies in land use and zoning, the development 
and expansion of highways near low income and indigent neighborhoods or 
inadequate transportation facilities.  A specific under-addressed area of 
interest to NIEHS is the public health challenge arising from the health impact 
of the built environment.  For information on the built environment, see 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/translat/news.htm.

The lack of resources for early identification of the effects of toxic agents 
may lead to an increased disease burden among people who are economically least 
able to cope with it.  Most complex chronic health conditions or diseases have 
an environmental component in their etiology.  An amalgamation of factors 
result in exacerbating the health conditions for low income and minority 
populations.  Many low-income workers are temporary employees or may be 
employed in substandard workplaces and therefore may receive inadequate 
workplace protections and occupational health and safety training programs.  
These workers may also face language or cultural barriers at the workplace.  
When this is the case, the community rather than the workplace may be the 
preferable place to reach these workers to conduct occupational health outreach 
and intervention programs.  For more information about occupational health 
priorities see http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/nora.html.
  
It is necessary that the projects submitted under this program be innovative, 
especially with regard to implementation of the educational/intervention 
program.  So, new and continuing grantees submitting in response to this RFA 
have to demonstrate direct relevance to an environmental or occupational 
stressor, its potential impact and the innovative aspects of the proposal.  
Issues related to health disparities are not included under this RFA as the 
emphasis here is on environmental justice.  Thus, proposals should show that 
the issues they are addressing are directly related to environmental justice.  
NIEHS and NIOSH have made significant investments in asthma and lead exposures 
projects to date.  Therefore, for the purposes of this RFA, NIEHS and NISOH 
will not accept projects on asthma or lead exposures.  Principal Investigators 
and collaborators interested in the above two areas are required to call the 
Program Administrator listed under WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES to discuss their 
interests and potential support opportunities beyond this RFA.  

Current grantees applying for continuation support for years 5-9 are eligible 
to apply.  However, grantees who have received 8 years of support are not 
eligible to apply for continued funding on the current topic and therefore 
should propose a new project and submit as a new application.  These grantees 
should contact the Program Staff as listed under WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES for 
additional guidance.  

Some of the issues identified by research in the field of environmental and 
occupational health are:

o Toxic waste sites are more frequent in rural, low socioeconomic counties in 
the United States.  

o Nuclear facilities and chemical plants are often located in rural areas.  

o Disadvantaged neighborhoods may rely on water that may be polluted with toxic 
chemicals.  

o Medical care is often inadequate or unavailable to a significant proportion 
of the socioeconomically disadvantaged and minority people. 
 
o High blood pressure and prostate cancer are very common among African 
Americans.

o Low birth weight babies and other problems during pregnancy are common among 
groups of women who do not have access to good prenatal care.  

o Minority and immigrant workers are employed disproportionately in industries 
with higher injury and illness rates, such as food processing, textile and 
garment manufacturing, services including health care services, construction 
and agriculture.
 
o Both African-American and Hispanic workers have been shown to be 
disproportionately impacted by workplace injuries and fatalities. 

o Workers exposed to hazardous substances at workplaces with inadequate cleanup 
facilities can contaminate their homes with toxic substances. 

o Greater incidence of obesity are associated with issues relating to 
inadequate urban and rural planning (built environment) especially in 
vulnerable populations (e.g., children, aging, low SES). 

Recent Progress and Opportunities

Over the past ten years, the NIEHS has supported a variety of environmental 
justice and community-based participatory research programs.  For information 
on previously funded Environmental Justice projects, see 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/translat/envjust/envjust.htm, and for community-based 
participatory research programs, see 
http://www.niehs.nih.gov/translat/cbpr/cbpr.htm.  These programs have been very 
successful in achieving open and honest communication between researchers and 
community members and have had an impact on the health of the public.  Working 
together, researchers and community leaders have been successful in identifying 
the disproportionate environmental health risks in certain communities and have 
formulated viable research agendas.  A needed step in this process is gaining 
participation of community members in efforts to understand the problem as well 
as gather preliminary health and exposure data.  Ongoing projects within the 
Environmental Justice: Partnerships for Communication Program are committed to 
enhancing community participation in research studies and facilitating 
communication among environmental/occupational health researchers, community 
health care providers, and community members.  Methods utilized in these 
projects include:

o Assessment and/or surveys of environmental/occupational hazard(s).

o Community based exposure assessment of environmental pollutants and hazards.

o Characterization and evaluation of the distribution and health impact of 
environmental contaminants and occupational hazards.

o Provision of environmental health and toxic exposure training for health care 
providers.

o Development of culturally and linguistically appropriate education and 
communication materials.

o Development and implementation of exposure reduction/pollution prevention 
strategies.

o Evaluation of training and education materials and assessment of policy 
impact.

Objectives and Scope

One component of the mission of the NIEHS and the NIOSH is to promote research 
aimed at achieving environmental justice by identifying and addressing 
disproportionately high and adverse effects of environmental pollutants and 
occupational hazards on human health in low income and minority populations.  
The two main objectives of this program are to: establish methods for linking 
members of a community, who are directly affected by adverse 
environmental/occupational conditions, with researchers and health care 
providers; and enable this partnership to develop appropriate research 
strategies to address environmental/occupational health problems of concern to 
impact public health and health policy.  Development of such community-based 
strategies to address these health problems requires approaches that are not 
typically familiar to environmental, occupational and medical research 
communities.  Customary approaches to risk assessment and management often 
neglect the knowledge and experience of at risk populations and the socio-
cultural context of environmental/occupational hazards.  The distinctive needs 
of individual communities are only rarely considered in identifying 
environmental or occupational health problems and devising appropriate disease 
and pollution prevention tactics.  In addition, for occupational health a 
community setting may be the workplace where the social and political dynamics 
are very different from a residential community setting.  Occupational health 
researchers generally construct their exposure assessments based on 
observations and measurements in the workplace and/or documents provided by the 
employers.  In the residential community setting many of these exposure sources 
may be unavailable.  Underserved populations are often diverse, fragmented, and 
isolated, making it difficult to obtain their input and to integrate their 
concerns in decision-making processes.  Assays of the health effects of 
environmental pollution, as well as regulations based on such assays, are often 
performed with little or no input from the affected community.  The purpose of 
this program is to institute mechanisms to bridge this communication gap.  Once 
communication and collaboration have been achieved, researchers and community 
members should then develop a research agenda to identify and assess 
environmental or occupational risks.  Establishing and maintaining trust among 
all partners is important throughout the process, as it will enhance the 
capacity to collect preliminary health and exposure data.  Since the ultimate 
goal of this program is to improve health in these populations and reduce the 
burden of disease, participation of the affected community is essential for 
both the identification of health risks as well as the effective implementation 
of policies to reduce exposure.  Applicants are therefore expected to create 
equitable partnerships among researchers in environmental/occupational health, 
health care providers, and representatives of low income or medically 
underserved communities affected by environmental health problems. 

Types of activities that may be proposed include, but are not limited to:

o Develop efficacious methods for risk communication in low-income and 
underserved communities unfavorably impacted by environmental/occupational 
hazards.

o Develop community-based, culturally sensitive educational programs to 
mitigate adverse health effects from environmental toxicants or occupational 
hazards in low-income and underserved communities.

o Establish and evaluate the efficacy community-based training to increase 
environmental and/or occupational health literacy, i.e., increase awareness of 
the public, in such neighborhoods.

o Train and educate neighborhood health care professionals in the prevention, 
diagnosis, and treatment of disorders having an etiology related to exposure to 
hazardous substances and evaluate the efficacy, i.e., increase awareness of 
health care providers.  These providers should have a direct role in assisting 
a community affected by exposure to an environmental or occupational hazard.

o Develop a research agenda to measure population exposure and/or quantify 
human health impacts.  We wish to encourage a broad, comprehensive approach to 
this problem that emphasizes both education and research.  

o Include a comprehensive plan to have an ongoing evaluation from the inception 
of the project to its completion – including but not limited to an assessment 
of the partnership among various team members and policy and public health 
impact.

o Suggest recommendations for future activities, beyond the period of current 
funding, to assure continued participation of community members in research and 
service programs addressing environmental injustices. 

The following four elements must be included in applications submitted in 
response to this RFA.  Applications lacking any one of the following elements 
will be considered non-responsive.  Potential applicants are strongly 
encouraged to consult Program Staff listed under WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES about 
their capacity to address each of these factors.  The required four elements 
for each application are:

o Assessment Plan. Identify means of establishing effective input from an 
underserved community affected by an environmental/occupational hazard. 
Applicants are encouraged to create a community-based advisory board or 
steering committee to facilitate planning, education, outreach, dissemination, 
and evaluation efforts.  Input could be obtained directly from members of a 
community affected by an environmental toxicant and/or occupational hazard as 
well as from representatives of such groups as community and neighborhood 
associations, churches, public housing resident councils, community health 
centers, local public health service departments, and minority educational 
institutions.  An objective assessment process should be designed to:

- Identify priority areas in environmental/occupational health as perceived by 
community members.
- Identify and characterize environmental/occupational stressors of concern.
- Develop a consensus among community members about plausible approaches.
- Build upon existing experience and knowledge within the community.
- Detect any potential constraints in implementing the project.

o Implementation Plan. 
- Develop appropriate education and communication modules. 
- Develop research, intervention and policy approaches.  For example, projects 
to collect and analyze exposure/health data would be appropriate and are 
encouraged.
- Training/Educational programs in the community and at universities.

o Communication and Dissemination Plan. 
- Methods and process for dissemination within the community.
- Method for community members to have a voice that reaches researchers and 
health care providers.
- Policy/regulatory impact of the activities carried by this project.

o Evaluation Plan. Evaluation of the project's public health impact should be 
integral to the project. Both process and outcome measures should be addressed.  
A procedure must be developed to have an ongoing evaluation of the project, 
including the usefulness of the project's education, communication and research 
activities.  

- Process evaluation, includes, but is not limited to:
1. Assessment of interaction and association among various partners in the 
project.
2. Assessment of the process of developing and disseminating the education and 
training information.
3. The degree of capacity building and leadership training in the community, of 
researchers, and health care providers.

- Outcome evaluation, includes, but is not limited to: 
1. Assessment of the usefulness of the information disseminated at meetings, 
through brochures, etc, to influence the public and health care providers 
knowledge and behavior.
2. Assessment of hazardous environmental or occupational exposures and the 
capacity of the project to reduce such exposures. 
3. Policy, regulatory or legislative impact that results in improved public 
health. 
4. Assessment of public health outcomes as measured, for example, by lower 
rates of exposure to pesticides or/and allergens, etc. 
5. Assessment of whether and to what extent the project has been capable of 
translating research in environmental/occupational health to the public to 
develop prevention, education, and training programs.

It is further encouraged that a social scientist be involved in the development 
of quantitative and qualitative tools to assess progress and programmatic 
achievements.  Applications that do not contain both process and outcome 
evaluation components will be considered non-responsive and returned to the 
applicant without review.

All of the above elements are essential to fulfill the education, 
communication, research, and outreach aims of this RFA.  Applicants lacking any 
of the above components will be considered non-responsive.  

It is important to note that award of a grant under this RFA does not imply a 
commitment to future funding of any extensions or new projects planned with the 
support of such a grant.  Separate applications must be submitted for such 
programs, and such applications will be evaluated on the basis of their own 
merits.  

Activities conducted under this RFA should be consistent with Federal 
Executive Order No. 12988 entitled, "Federal Actions to Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations."  For further 
information, see http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/legsregs/directives/orders/6640_23.htm
To the extent to which it is practical and permitted by law, grantees shall 
make achieving environmental justice part of their project's mission by 
identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high- and 
adverse human health effects of environmental contaminants on minority, low-
income, and medically underserved populations, including African, Hispanic, 
Asian, Pacific Islander, and Native American.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the NIH Education Research Program grant (R25) award 
mechanism.  As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, 
directing, and executing the proposed project.  This RFA is a one-time 
solicitation.  Future unsolicited, competing-continuation applications based on 
this project will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and will 
be reviewed according to the customary peer review procedures.

This RFA uses the non-modular budgeting format.  Applicants must use the forms 
for regular research grants, follow the specific instructions in the PHS 398 
application kit, and provide a complete detailed budget (Form Pages 4 and 5) 
with narrative justifications.
 
The anticipated award date is July 30, 2005.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NIEHS intends to commit approximately $1.67 million in FY05 to fund five to 
six new and/or competitive continuation grants in response to this RFA.  The 
NIOSH intends to commit approximately $500,000 in FY05 to fund two to three new 
grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant may request a project period of 
up to four years and a budget for direct costs of up to $225,000 per year.  
Indirect costs will be paid at eight percent of direct costs less appropriate 
exclusions.  This is not a modular grant program and a detailed budget is 
expected.  The application should include within its scope the plans for the 
entire length of the grant.  Although the financial plans of the NIEHS and 
NIOSH provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this RFA are 
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient 
number of meritorious applications.  

ELIGIBILE INSTITUTIONS

Community-based organizations are especially encouraged to apply.  You may 
submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following 
characteristics: 

o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, 
and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic institutions/organizations
o Faith-based or community-based organizations

Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply.

Usually, only one award under this RFA will be funded at an institution or 
organization.  Although a single institution or organization must be the 
applicant, a multi-institutional arrangement (consortium) is possible.  Such 
consortia, entailing active participation by more than one organization, are 
encouraged if there is clear evidence of close interaction and responsible 
partnership among the participants.  

Current grantees applying for continuation support for years 5-9 are eligible 
to apply.  However, grantees who have received 8 years of support are not 
eligible to apply for continued funding on the current topic and therefore 
should propose a new project and submit as a new application.  These grantees 
should contact the Program Staff as listed under WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES for 
additional guidance.  All competitive continuation applications must follow 
PHS398 guidelines for competitive renewal, including a progress report.

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS   

Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out 
the proposed research is invited to work with his/her institution to develop an 
application for support.  Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic 
groups, women and individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply 
for NIH programs.   

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

To encourage applicants to share information gained via these grants, a member 
of each of the three types of required personnel on each project (scientist, 
health care provider, and a member of the community-based organization) will be 
asked to attend an annual meeting in the Research Triangle Park, NC area.  
Applicants should include such travel in their budget requests.

During the four-year project period, the NIEHS may provide supplemental funds 
for logistical arrangement for the annual Environmental Justice grantee 
meeting.  This meeting will convene all the Environmental Justice grantees and 
will serve to inform other Environmental Justice grantees and the research 
community of the progress to-date in developing the program, creating 
educational materials, the process of dissemination, and the evaluation 
program.  NIEHS may provide these supplemental funds to the selected host 
institution, after the receipt of an appropriate application and review by 
Program Staff.  Applicants are still expected to provide travel for the three 
types of required personnel on each project (scientist, health care provider, 
and a member of the community-based organization) in their grant budget.

ALLOWABLE COSTS

Allowable costs must be consistent with NIH policy and be reasonable, 
allowable, and well-documented and justified for the research education 
program.  Grant funds may not be used to supplant funds otherwise available at 
the applicant institution.

Personnel Costs - individuals participating in the design and implementation of 
the research education program may request salary and fringe benefits 
appropriate for the percent of time devoted to the program.  Normally, all 
personnel costs (including administrative and clerical costs) associated with 
directing, coordinating, and administering the program are not expected to 
exceed 25% of the total direct cost.  Salaries requested may not exceed the 
levels commensurate with the institution's policy for similar positions and may 
not exceed the congressionally mandated cap.  

Limited administrative and clerical salary costs associated distinctly with the 
program that are not normally provided by the applicant organization may be 
directly charged to the grant only when specifically identified and justified.  
Consultation costs, equipment, supplies, necessary travel, and other program-
related expenses must be justified as specifically required by the program 
proposed and not duplicate items generally available for educational programs 
at the host institution.

Participant Support - participants in the education program may receive 
subsistence allowance, which includes partial costs of meals and lodging 
(unless furnished as part of the fee for registration). They may also receive 
partial tuition, other education-related and travel expenses with the United 
States, if strongly justified.  Note that effort and how the dollar amount is 
determined must be included when describing the participant support and also be 
listed in the budget justification area. These costs are allowable with prior 
approval of the awarding agency.

Individuals supported by NIH training and career development mechanisms (K, T 
or F Grants) may not receive stipend or salary support from the grant.  
However, if funds are not available from other sources, limited support to 
defray participation costs (e.g., travel, meals, lodging) may be provided.

Partial costs for off-site rental space will be considered if it is short-term 
and shown to be necessary for the implementation and execution of the 
educational program (seminar, workshop, etc.).  Matching funds from applicant 
institutions or other organizations for such off-site costs are strongly 
encouraged.

Facilities and Administrative (F&A) Costs, formerly known as "indirect costs," 
may be allowed for the applicant organization and any approved subcontract 
based on 8% of total direct costs exclusive of tuition and fees and 
expenditures for equipment.

Normally, funds will not be provided for fringe benefits or health insurance 
for participants involved in this education program.

Note that all costs associated with consortium/contractual arrangements, both 
direct and F&A costs are considered direct costs and are included in the 
$225,000 direct costs ceiling limitation for this program.  

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to 
answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three 
areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management 
issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Shobha Srinivasan, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Administrator
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-21
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Phone: (919) 541-2506
Fax: (919) 316-4606
Email: sriniva2@niehs.nih.gov

Adele M. Childress, Ph.D., M.S.P.H.
Program Administrator
Office of Extramural Programs
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, N.E.
Executive Park Building 24, Room 1427, MS E-74
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: (404) 498-2509
Fax: (404) 498-2571
Email: ahc0@cdc.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Leroy Worth, Jr., Ph.D.
Scientific Review Administrator
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-0670
Fax:  (919) 541-2503
Email: worth@niehs.nih.gov

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

Carolyn Winters
Grants Management Specialist
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-22
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-7823
Fax:  (919) 541-2860
Email: winters@niehs.nih.gov

Robin Solow
Contracts Management Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
626 Cochrans Mill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0070
Telephone: (412) 386-6428
Email: rsolow@cdc.gov

LETTER OF INTENT
 
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the 
following information:

o Descriptive title of the proposed research
o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter 
into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains 
allows NIEHS staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the 
review.
 
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning of this 
document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Leroy Worth, Jr., Ph.D.
Scientific Review Administrator
Division of Extramural Research and Training 
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
Telephone:  (919) 541-0670
Fax:  (919) 541-2503
Email: worth@niehs.nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant application 
instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). 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 document 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.

USING THE RFA LABEL:  The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) 
application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the 
application.  Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use this label 
could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not 
reach the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title and 
number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form, and 
the YES box must be marked.  The RFA label is also available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf
 
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 copies of the application and all 
copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Leroy Worth, Jr., Ph.D.
Scientific Review Administrator
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
P.O. Box 12233, MD EC-30
111 T.W. Alexander Drive
Research Triangle Park, NC  27709
79 T.W. Alexander Drive, 4401 Building, 3rd Floor (courier/express service)
Telephone:  (919) 541-0670
Fax:  (919) 541-2503
Email: worth@niehs.nih.gov
 
APPLICATION PROCESSING:  Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.  If an application 
is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without 
review.  

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

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not accept any application in 
response to this RFA that is essentially the same as one currently pending 
initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application.  
However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an 
investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to an RFA, 
it is to be prepared as a NEW application.  That is, the application for the 
RFA must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements 
made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous 
unfunded version of the application.
  
PEER REVIEW PROCESS  
 
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NIEHS.  Incomplete and/or nonresponsive applications will 
not be reviewed.  

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
the NIEHS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the 
initial merit review, all applications will:

o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest 
scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under review, will 
be discussed and assigned a priority score.
o Receive a written critique.
o Receive a second level review by the National Advisory Environmental Health 
Sciences 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 evaluate 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 the following 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, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by 
its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

SIGNIFICANCE:  Does the project identify key environmental/occupational 
stressors that affect the health and quality of life of people who live in or 
around communities thought to be at risk?  If the aims of the application are 
achieved, to what extent will the project further the goals of improving 
understanding of environmental/occupational hazards and disease susceptibility?  
If the aims of the application are achieved, how do they advance scientific 
knowledge?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods 
that drive this field?

APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, analyses, and 
evaluation components well developed and integrated, and appropriate to the 
aims of the project?  Are potential problem areas identified and alternative 
tactics suggested?

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?  Does the project 
establish a focus and adopt appropriate strategies and procedures for 
information exchange related to environmental/occupational health problems in 
socioeconomically disadvantaged communities?  Does the project have a direct 
impact on the health or quality of life of individuals in affected communities 
(including but not limited to policy and prevention programs), e.g., by 
diminishing exposure to environmental toxicants or occupational hazards?

INVESTIGATOR:  Are the investigator and partners appropriately trained and well 
suited to carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to the 
experience level as the Principal Investigator and to that of other 
researchers?  Is there evidence of access to, interaction with, and input from 
a minority, low-income, or underserved community, whose members' health is 
adversely impacted by an environmental or occupational hazards?  There should 
be evidence of effective involvement of such a community in development of the 
application as well as in conduct of the project.  There should be evidence of 
effective cooperation and interaction in development of the application as well 
as in execution of the project among the three types of required personnel: a 
researcher in environmental/occupational health sciences, a health care 
provider, and a community-based organization in an area having an underserved 
population that is adversely affected by an environmental/occupational hazard.  
There should be an equitable distribution of responsibilities among the three 
types of required personnel.

ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific and community environment in which your work 
will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Is there evidence of 
institutional support commitment as evidenced by provision of appropriate 
resources, services, technical support, and allocation of space?  Is the 
approach and methodology proposed to accomplish the project's objectives 
appropriate and adequate?  Has consideration been given to the effectiveness of 
the proposed plan in reaching the target audience?  For example, many 
socioeconomically disadvantaged persons tend not to obtain information from the 
written word.  Low literacy and/or inability to read and understand English may 
be challenges.  Materials may need to be generated that are linguistically and 
culturally appropriate.

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:

EVALUATION:  Plans for evaluation of factors contributing to the project's 
effectiveness.  Evaluations should include a measure of the impact of the 
project on community members' knowledge and awareness of issues and resources 
related to environmental health sciences.  Similarly, evaluation of the 
effectiveness of health care provider training should be conducted.  Both 
process and outcome evaluation tools should be incorporated.  Applications 
without evaluation components will be returned without review.  It is 
imperative to assess whether the project enhances awareness of environmental 
health problems among members of the public and/or health care providers living 
or working in low-income or underserved communities.  

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 
of Federal Citations, below).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH:  The adequacy of plans 
to include subjects from both genders, 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 REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of 
support in relation to the proposed research.  In conjunction with the 
consistent and an equitable distribution of responsibilities, there should 
likewise be an equitable distribution of requested financial support among the 
three types of required personnel.

RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 17, 2004
Application Receipt Date:  November 17, 2004
Peer Review Date:  February 2005
Council Review:  May 2005
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 30, 2005

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o Availability of funds.
o Programmatic priorities.
 
REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION:  Federal regulations (45 CFR 46) 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 

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 involving 
human subjects 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 read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research B 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.  

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

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 RFA 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).  

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 RFA 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 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.  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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