NHLBI MINORITY INSTITUTION RESEARCH SCIENTIST DEVELOPMENT AWARD (K01)

Release Date:  June 8, 2000

RFA:  HL-00-017

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  July 21, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       September 12, 2000

PURPOSE

This program provides research support to faculty members at minority 
institutions who have the interest and potential to conduct high quality 
research in the areas of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep 
disorders.  Important program goals are to enhance the institution’s science 
infrastructure and to provide “hands on” research opportunities for 
underrepresented minority students at the applicant institutions.  The NHLBI 
Minority Institution Research Scientist Development Award is renewable.

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 Request for Applications (RFA), 
NHLBI Minority Institution Research Scientist Development Award (K01), 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/.     

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A.	Minority School

The Institution must be a domestic college or university with students from 
minority ethnic groups (including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska 
Natives, and Pacific Islanders) comprising a majority (more than 50%) of the 
school’s enrollment.  It must have the ongoing staff and facilities required 
for the proposed program.  The candidate for the award (proposed program 
director at the minority school) will be responsible for the selection and 
appointment of students and the overall direction of the program.

B.	Research Scientist Development Award Candidate

Candidates for this award are minority school faculty members who: 1) are 
citizens of the United States, non-citizen nationals or permanent residents at 
the time of application; 2) have a doctoral degree or equivalent in a 
biomedical or behavioral science; 3) wish to receive specialized training in 
cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research; 4) have 
the background and potential to benefit from the training; and 5) are 
committed to providing research opportunities for underrepresented minority 
students at their institution.  The candidate is responsible for tracking and 
reporting on the progress of the students for up to five years after they 
complete their undergraduate education.

C.	Mentor at Same or Collaborating Research Center


Each candidate must also identify and complete arrangements with a mentor (at 
the same institution or at a collaborating research center) who is recognized 
as an accomplished investigator in the research area proposed and who will 
provide guidance for the candidate's development and research plan.  
Arrangements with mentors at institutions at some distance from the applicant 
institution will be considered, but approaches for ensuring close and active 
involvement of a distant mentor must be clearly outlined in the application.  
Plans for intensive training of the candidate and his/her student(s) during 
the summer period (2 - 3 months) as well as during the academic year should be 
developed with the mentor.  The establishment of a viable mentoring plan is 
essential to the success of the candidate and the student. 

The commitment of the mentor and the mentor's departmental chair to both the 
summer and academic year training periods must be documented in the 
application.  A mentoring plan that describes the candidate’s interaction with 
the mentor and his/her staff, how it will enhance the candidate’s research 
capabilities and teaching skills, and steps to assist the candidate and 
student(s) advance their career goals must be delineated in the application.  
The mentor must provide an annual evaluation of the candidate’s career 
development.  This evaluation is to be included as part of the Application for 
Continuation Grant if an award is made.

D.	Student Research Assistants

Student research assistants are underrepresented minority students enrolled at 
the applicant institution who: 1) are citizens of the United States, 
noncitizen nationals, or permanent residents (i.e. in possession of a 
currently valid alien registration receipt card) at the time of application; 
2) have declared a major or concentration in a biomedical, mathematical, 
computer, or behavioral science; 3) have at least an overall C+ grade average; 
4) have the potential and desire to pursue an advanced degree in the 
biomedical, mathematical, computer, or behavioral sciences; and 5) wish to 
receive research training in areas relevant to cardiovascular, pulmonary, 
hematologic, or sleep disorders research.  At least one and a maximum of two 
students may participate on the project simultaneously as research assistants. 
 Students are expected to participate in the program for a minimum of two 
years.  

The candidate should identify and list in the application the student(s) 
proposed for the first two-year period; provide a brief summary of their 
interest in biomedical, mathematical, computer or behavioral science; and 
describe any previous research or laboratory experience of the students.  The 
candidate should describe how (s)he and the mentor will foster student 
interest in graduate school in behavioral or biomedical research and a career 
in scientific research in areas related to heart, lung, blood, or sleep 
disorders.

For the purpose of this announcement, underrepresented minority students are 
defined as individuals belonging to a particular ethnic or racial group that 
has been determined by the applicant institution to be underrepresented in 
biomedical or behavioral research.  Nationally, NHLBI considers Black, 
Hispanic, American Indian, Alaska Native, and Pacific Islander students to be 
underrepresented.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT


This RFA will use the NHLBI Minority Institution Research Scientist 
Development Award (K01) mechanism of support.  However, specific application 
instructions have been modified to reflect “JUST-IN-TIME” streamlining efforts 
implemented by NIH and published in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS, 
Vol. 25, No. 10, March 29, 1996.  This process allows candidates to submit 
certain information only when there is a possibility for an award.  It is 
anticipated that these changes will reduce the administrative burden for the 
candidates, applicant institutions, and reviewers.

For this RFA, no detailed budget is required.  However, total direct costs for 
all years must be provided in addition to the name, role on project, percent 
effort, and narrative justification for all project personnel, including the 
student(s).  Instructions for completing the Biographical Sketch have also 
been modified.  In addition, Other Support information for the candidate is 
not required as part of the initial application.  Other Support information is 
required, however, for the mentor.  If there is a possibility for an award, 
the necessary budget and other support information will be requested by NHLBI 
staff following the initial review.  The Application Procedures section of 
this RFA provides specific details of modifications to standard PHS 398 
application kit instructions.

Because the research training environment provides a powerful context in which 
to promote responsible research practices, all competing applications must 
include a description of formal or informal activities or instruction related 
to the responsible conduct of research that will be incorporated into the 
proposed research training program.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The estimated funds (total costs) available for the first year of support for 
the entire program is expected to be approximately $400,000 in fiscal year 
2001.  The actual amount may vary, depending on the response to the RFA and 
availability of funds.  Three new awards are anticipated.

BACKGROUND

Measurements of health status indicate that Americans today are, on the whole, 
healthier than at any other time in our history.  Life expectancy has 
increased while infant mortality statistics indicate that fewer infants are 
dying at birth or in the first few months of life.  Diseases that disabled or 
killed at the start of the century have virtually disappeared.  In spite of 
this national trend toward better health, there is a continuing disparity in 
the burden of death and illness experienced by Blacks and other minority 
Americans.  This segment of the population continues to be over represented 
among those in poor health and has remarkably higher death rates from 
cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic diseases. 

Despite a recent decline in the death rate from coronary heart disease, 
cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the 
United States, accounting for almost one million deaths annually.  Roughly 68 
million Americans are estimated to have diseases of the heart and blood 
vessels, resulting in a large burden of acute and chronic illness and 
disability.  Heart and blood vessel diseases cost the economy tens of billions 
of dollars per year in lost wages, reduced productivity, and expenses for 
medical care.  


Diseases of the lung also constitute a major national health problem.  About 
one in every five persons has some chronic respiratory problem resulting in an 
annual estimated cost to the nation of over $29 billion.  In the newborn, the 
most common cause of death is neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).  
Respiratory failure during the neonatal period may be implicated in 
development of adult respiratory disease as well.  Of the adult respiratory 
diseases, emphysema and chronic bronchitis are major causes of death.  
Fibrotic and immunologic lung diseases are serious causes of lung problems in 
the young adult.  Asthma, emphysema and chronic bronchitis represent 
particularly pressing health problems, affecting an estimated 17 million 
Americans.  Moreover, the death rate and prevalence of these conditions have 
increased at an alarming rate over the past 15 years.  As a disabling disease, 
chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a leading cause of worker retirement 
on Social Security disability payments.

Disorders of the blood, including congenital or acquired disorders or 
deficiencies, are another major cause of death and disability in the United 
States.  Disorders of the blood affect not only the blood itself, but the 
tissues and organs through which it flows.  Recent research findings have 
revealed the widespread involvement of thrombosis in the pathology of numerous 
disorders, including the development of atherosclerosis and coronary 
thrombosis.  Aggressive therapy for cancer has resulted in the increased 
susceptibility of patients to bleeding disorders and has increased the demand 
for blood products for therapeutic purposes.  A significant segment of the 
population has inherited blood disorders, such as sickle cell disease, 
hemophilia, or Cooley's anemia, which require life-long hematologic attention 
and blood product support.

Chronic disorders of sleep affect an estimated 40 million Americans.  Sleep 
problems affect men and women of every age, race, and socioeconomic class.  
Many people are unaware of their illness and are not receiving adequate 
treatment.  About 20 million adults have chronic insomnia.  Sleep apnea, a 
cessation of breathing during sleep, is the second most common sleep disorder. 
 It affects about 12 million Americans.  Other startling statistics include 
the following:  about 25% of American children aged 1 to 5 have a sleep 
disturbance; an estimated 250,000 people suffer from narcolepsy; more than 50% 
of Americans aged 65 and older have a sleep problem; and disturbed sleep is 
among the reasons most frequently cited by caretakers for institutionalization 
of older Americans.  Each year, sleep disorders, sleep deprivation, and 
daytime sleepiness contribute a substantial burden to national health care.   
Additional costs to society for such consequences as lost worker productivity, 
accidents, and the contribution of sleep disorders to other serious health 
problems such as heart disease and stroke are just being identified and 
studied.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) continues its commitment 
to address these important medical challenges.  One way of meeting these 
challenges is to increase the pool of well-trained investigators, especially 
in minority groups where the proportion of biomedical investigators is 
strikingly lower than the percentage of minority U.S. citizens.   While 12% of 
the population is Black, less than 0.25% of persons holding a Ph.D. in science 
are Black.  The figures are even lower for Black Ph.D.s in the biomedical 
sciences.  Furthermore, the number of doctorates, both M.D.s and Ph.D.s, in 
other ethnic minority groups (such as American Indians or Hispanics) is 
proportionally lower than for Blacks.  Vigorous recruitment is underway 
throughout the government, academic institutions, hospitals, research 
institutions, and industry.


The NHLBI Minority Institution Research Scientist Development Award is 
designed to address this critical need by increasing the research and academic 
capabilities of faculty members at minority schools.  By developing these 
capabilities, the candidate will be better able to prepare and direct his/her 
students to pursue advanced degrees and, ultimately careers in biomedical and 
behavioral research, thereby increasing the pool of well-trained biomedical 
and behavioral investigators in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and 
sleep disorders research.  Because it is important to sustain the candidate=s 
research program following the initial period, recipients may reapply for an 
additional five-year of support.  More than one candidate from each 
institution may apply.  Former awardees within three years of the end of their 
award may also apply for an additional five years of support.  At the end of 
the period of K01 support, it is anticipated that the awardee will be prepared 
to apply for other types of NIH support such as the Research Project Grant 
(R01), Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA, R15), or Minority Biomedical 
Research Support Program (MBRS, S06.)

PROVISIONS OF THE AWARD

Salary

The awardee (program director at the minority institution) will receive salary 
support up to a maximum of $75,000 per year plus fringe benefits for five 
years.  These funds must be used to support the awardee.  The level of support 
will be based upon the awardee’s actual salary and must be consistent with the 
established salary structure of the minority institution for persons of 
equivalent qualifications, experience, and rank.  The actual salary level will 
be determined by the amount of effort devoted to this program.  Awardees must 
commit 100% effort during summer and/or off-quarter periods and at least 25% 
of effort during the academic year.  Supplementation of the awardee's salary 
from non-Federal sources is permissible.  Supplementation of the awardee's 
salary from other Federal funds is not allowed unless explicitly authorized by 
both the program from which funds are derived and the NHLBI.  In no case may 
other NIH funds be used to supplement the salary of the awardee.

In addition to salary support for the awardee, support for up to 5% of the 
mentor's salary plus fringe benefits during the summer experience may also be 
requested.  If funds are to be transferred to the mentor's institution for the 
mentor's salary, arrangements for the transfer of funds and the conduct of 
activities should be formalized in a subcontract agreement with the mentor's 
institution.  A letter of intent from each institution must be submitted with 
the application. 

A maximum of $8.50 per hour plus fringe benefits may be requested for the 
student research assistant(s).  Level of support and hours worked during the 
academic year should reflect the institution’s policy for student work-study 
programs.  Students must commit 100% effort during the summer and off-quarter 
periods and at least 25% effort during the academic year. 

Research Support

Up to $36,000 per year beyond that requested for the awardee's, mentor’s, and 
student(s)’ salaries will be provided for research support.  Details regarding 
the apportionment of these funds between the minority institution and the 
mentor’s institution must be worked out with the mentor, agreed to by 
representatives of both institutions, and included as part of the subcontract 
agreement submitted as part of the application.   See the PHS 398 for 
information on Consortium/Contractual Agreements.  

These research support funds may be used for:

o Personnel: support for technical personnel.

o Equipment: limited to specialized research equipment essential to the 
proposed program. In accordance with PHS policy, title to such equipment will 
vest with the grantee institution.

o Supplies: consumable supplies essential to the proposed program.

o Travel:  essential to the proposed program.

o Other:  publication costs, computer costs, or other costs necessary for the 
research program.

Student Housing and Travel

The applicant institution is encouraged to provide no-cost housing and meals 
to the students during the summer or off-quarter periods if the training will 
be provided at a local institution, as a commitment to the student’s 
development and as an incentive to participate in the program.  If training is 
not at a local institution, up to $500 per month per student during the summer 
only may be requested for housing.  Funds to allow the student(s) to travel to 
a scientific meeting should also be requested.

Facilities and Administrative (F & A) Costs

F & A costs will be provided at a rate of 8% of the total direct costs of each 
award, exclusive of equipment.  The F & A cost rate on a subcontract with the 
mentor's institution may not exceed 8%.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN STUDY POPULATIONS

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,” published in the 
Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR 59 15508-14513) and in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994, available at the 
following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

NIH POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON THE 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” published in 
the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the 
following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

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.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by July 21, 2000, a letter of 
intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed research, name, 
address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of 
other key personnel and participating institutions, and the number and title 
of the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.
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 NHLBI staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan 
the review.  

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. C. James Scheirer at the address 
listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES by the letter of intent receipt date 
listed.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in 
applying for these grants, with the modifications noted below.  These forms 
are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research or from the: 

Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources
Office of Extramural Research
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
Telephone 301/435-0714
Email: grantsinfo@nih.gov
Internet: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application form must be affixed to the 
bottom of the face page of the application.  Failure to use this label could 
result in the delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach 
the review committee in time for review.  In addition, the RFA title (NHLBI 
MINORITY INSTITUTION RESEARCH SCIENTIST DEVELOPMENT AWARD (K01)) and number 
(HL-00-017) must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form 
and the YES box must be marked.  

The sample RFA label available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to 
allow for this change.  Please note this label is in pdf format.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application 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 courier service)

At the time of submission, send two (2) additional copies of the application  
to:

Dr. C. James Scheirer 
Director, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Affairs, NHLBI	
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7216, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)  

Telephone (301) 435-0266		
FAX: (301) 480-3541
Internet Address: js110j@nih.gov

It is important to send these two copies at the same time as the original and 
three copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).  These copies 
are used to identify conflicts and help ensure the appropriate and timely 
review of the applications.

Applications must be received by September 12, 2000.  If an application is 
received after that date, it will be returned to the candidate without review. 
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 candidate withdraws the pending application.  In 
addition, the CSR will not accept any application that is essentially the same 
as one already reviewed.  This does not preclude the submission of substantial 
revisions of the applications already reviewed, but such applications must 
include an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NHLBI.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications 
will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. 

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by a Special Emphasis Panel in the Division of 
Extramural Affairs, NHLBI, in accordance with the review criteria stated 
below.  As part of the initial merit review, all applications will receive a 
written critique and 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, assigned a priority score, and 
receive a second level review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory 
Council.

Review Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the evaluation of the proposed 
NHLBI Minority Institution Research Scientist Development Award program:

o Candidate -- The candidate's overall competence as demonstrated by academic 
record and research performance, potential for a career as an independent 
researcher, commitment toward pursuit of an academic research career and 
toward the enhancement of the scientific program at the minority institution, 
and commitment to the career development of minority students.

o Career Development Plan -- The adequacy of the research career development 
plan, based on the candidate's past research experience, training, and career 
goals as demonstrated by such things as maintenance of a research laboratory, 
attendance at scientific meetings, and participation in journal clubs and 
research seminars.  The adequacy of the student career development plan as 
demonstrated by such things as exposure to research, opportunities to 
attend/present at scientific meetings, and tutoring for graduate level exams 
such as GRE or MCAT.

o Research Project -- Scientific merit of the proposed research project and 
its appropriateness as a vehicle for developing the candidate's and 
student(s)’ research skills.


o Training Students -- The candidate’s record and an outline of future plans 
for involving students in research and guiding them to science graduate 
programs and careers in academic biomedical and behavioral research, and plans 
for tracking students.

o Mentor(s) -- The mentor's accomplishments in the scientific research area(s) 
proposed, plans for mentoring the candidate and students, experience and 
record in training investigators, and commitment for the duration of the 
project.  A curriculum vitae with relevant publications and a list of current 
and pending research support must be included for all mentors.  Mentors should 
also include a list of current and past research trainees (not more than the 
last 10 years) with information on their current positions.

o Environment -- The applicant institution's ability to provide adequate 
facilities, resources, and opportunities necessary for the candidate's and 
student(s)’ training, and the institutional commitment to the candidate and 
student(s).  If different from the applicant institution, the quality and 
extent of interaction of the faculty in the basic and clinical sciences, and 
the quality of the research and research training programs at the mentor's 
institution.

o Institutional commitment -- The institution’s commitment to the development 
of the candidate and student(s).

o Other Considerations -- The personnel category will be reviewed for 
appropriate staffing based on the requested percent effort and justification 
provided.

Award Criteria

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o Scientific, technical, and career development merit of the application as 
determined by peer review;

o Availability of funds; and

o Program balance among the research areas of the announcement.

INQUIRIES

Potential candidates are strongly encouraged to contact NHLBI staff prior to 
preparation of an application. 

Joyce I. Creamer, M.B.A.
Division of Blood Diseases and Resources (responding for all NHLBI 
programmatic Divisions)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7952
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-7952
Telephone:  (301) 435-0064
FAX: (301) 480-0867
Internet Address: CreamerJ@gwgate.nhlbi.nih.gov          

For fiscal and administrative matters, please contact:

Robert Vinson
Grants Management Specialist
Division of Extramural Affairs

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0175
FAX: (301) 480-3310
Internet Address: rv7g@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, 
numbers 93.233, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839.  Awards are made under 
authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as 
amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered under NIH grants policies and 
Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This program is not 
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 
or a 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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