Part I Overview Information


Department of Health and Human Services

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

Components of Participating Organizations
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

Title: NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium Research Hubs (U01)

Announcement Type
New

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-HL-09-004

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number(s)
93.837, 98.838, 93.839

Key Dates
Release Date: January 30, 2009
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): April 1, 2009
Application Receipt Date (s): May 1, 2009
Peer Review Date: July-August, 2009
Council Review Date: August 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 30, 2009
Additional Information To Be Available Date (URL Activation Date): January 12, 2009
Expiration Date: May 2, 2009

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents


Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
1. Mechanism(s) of Support
2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
2. Cost Sharing or Matching
3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Address to Request Application Information
2. Content and Form of Application Submission
3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
         1. Letter of Intent
    B. Sending an Application to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
    D. Application Assignment
4. Intergovernmental Review
5. Funding Restrictions
6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria
2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices
2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
     A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award
         1. Principal Investigator Rights and Responsibilities
         2. NIH Responsibilities
         3. Collaborative Responsibilities
         4. Arbitration Process
3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
1. Scientific/Research Contact(s)
2. Peer Review Contact(s)
3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s)

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement


Section I. Funding Opportunity Description


1. Research Objectives

Purpose

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) invites applications to participate in the NHLBI Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium.  The goal of the Consortium is to identify and characterize progenitor cell lineages, to direct the differentiation of stem and progenitor cells to desired cell fates, and to develop new strategies to address the unique challenges presented by the transplantation of these cells.  The Consortium will assemble clusters of synergistic research projects, each with a multi-disciplinary team of Principal Investigators, to establish virtual Research Hubs focused on progenitor cell biology.  The Consortium will also contain core research support facilities and skills development components. 

At present, a number of promising discoveries, technologies, and reagents are poised to have a catalytic effect on the field of regenerative biology and medicine.  The aim of this initiative is to markedly accelerate progress by forming a coordinated Consortium that includes leading scientists in the field of cardiovascular, pulmonary and hematopoietic cell biology, working closely with experts in the general field of progenitor cell biology.  Additional expertise in areas such as immunology, developmental biology, bioengineering, animal model development, and imaging will also be required to develop and translate these technologies. The goal of the Consortium will be to harness advances in stem cell and progenitor cell biology to improve the understanding and treatment of cardiovascular, lung, and blood diseases.  Areas of emphasis are expected to include lineages derived from murine, human, and other embryonic stem cells, progenitor cells, somatic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (somatic cells reprogrammed to become pluripotent), which are all included in the progenitor cell biology Consortium described in this FOA.  In addition, the derivation of iPS cells from patients with genetic diseases, and differentiation of these cells to specific cell types, is expected to give unique mechanistic insight into disease processes.  The development of allogeneic cell lines offers the promise of faster, simpler, and cheaper regenerative therapies, but brings new challenges in understanding immune tolerance and therapy to prevent rejection.  The generation of publicly available molecular, epigenetic, and functional databases on specific embryonic stem cell lines, induced pluripotent cells, and progenitor lineages will also be a priority.  Participants in the Consortium will be expected to share data and resources with the Consortium rapidly in order to promote the goals of the Consortium.

The research emphasis within the Consortium will vary depending upon the status of stem and progenitor cell science.  NHLBI recognizes that fundamental knowledge of cardiovascular and pulmonary stem and progenitor cell biology, including progenitor cell lineages, lags behind the level of understanding in the hematopoietic field.  Therefore, an area of emphasis is the generation of well-characterized cardiovascular and lung progenitor cell fate maps, integrated with specific approaches to identify, purify, renew, and direct the differentiation of specific lineages of interest.  Another important focus will be regional and/or developmental differences in cell origin and lineage, for example proximal versus distal lung versus upper respiratory tract, and the identification of appropriate phenotypic markers to facilitate these studies.  For hematopoietic studies, the de novo generation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) will be a key objective, taking advantage of established stem cell markers, models and reagents.  Accomplishment of this goal has clear clinical implications given the uses of HSC for transplantation.  The combination of cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematopoietic cell biology within the Consortium is seen as a clear advantage anticipated to accelerate progress in all three areas.  The Consortium is expected to foster innovative new technologies, reagents, strategies, and protocols that will have a major impact on scientific, translational, and clinical utility of cardiovascular, lung, and hematopoietic progenitor cell lineages. 

Selected research examples include, but are not limited to:

Program Structure

The goal of this FOA is to develop a highly interactive and synergistic Consortium of investigators who will share ideas, data and resources to move the field of progenitor cell biology forward. The Consortium will consist of virtual Research Hubs formed from clusters of synergistic research projects funded through this FOA, and an Administrative Coordinating Center (ACC) supporting the Consortium funded through a separate FOA, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-09-005.html. The ACC will also administer funds to support cores, pilot studies, and ancillary and collaborative studies.

Research Hub Structure

To foster new collaborations and facilitate partnerships among different disciplines, applications will be submitted as two to four clustered grant applications, each derived from separate R03 applications submitted in response to FOA RFA-HL-08-012. Within each cluster, a lead PI/PD must be identified who will be the point of contact and will represent the Hub to NHLBI staff.  PI/PDs of other application(s) in the cluster will be collaborating PI/PDs.  A minimum of 3 calendar months effort is required for the lead PI/PD, and a minimum 2.4 calendar months effort is required for the PI/PDs of the collaborating grants in the Hub.

The Hub of applications must clearly describe the management of the collaborative research. To ensure this, they must include a management plan and identify a scientific oversight committee. The management plan will:

Each Hub of applications must identify a scientific oversight committee, consisting of those individuals identified in the management plan, who together would have the intellectual and leadership responsibilities for the collaborative research project normally attributed to the PI/PD. At a minimum, the oversight committee must have a representative from each collaborating application in the Hub. Funds should be budgeted for administering the scientific oversight committee and activities noted in the management plan.

Consortium Structure

The Consortium will consist of multiple clusters of applications, each forming a virtual Research Hub.  In addition to interactions within Research Hubs, extensive collaboration between Hubs is expected.  The Consortium will be supported by an ACC to provide logistical support to the Consortium activities.

Support for Skills Development:  Full implementation of a nationwide effort in progenitor cell research requires the availability of MD, MD/PhD, and PhD scientists capable of independent research careers and equipped with the leading experimental strategies and techniques to address the outstanding questions in the field.  Hence, a unique feature of the Consortium is to support and develop promising new researchers with advanced skills required to conduct research using state-of-the-art technologies and approaches.  These can be investigators beginning their research careers or established investigators who are new to the application of the relevant disciplines to the mission areas of the NHLBI.  Applicants should budget into their applications support for investigator skills development to be supported by the Consortium for up to 2 years, during which time it will be expected that the supported investigator will apply for NIH training or research grants to continue supporting the research initiated through the Consortium.  In this way, Consortium funds will be available for additional new investigators on a continuous basis to optimize the number of MD, MD/PhD, and PhD scientists developed by the program.  Supported investigators will be encouraged to rotate through different laboratories in order to learn new skills, and to facilitate this process each application should identify a Skills Development Coordinator.

Annual Grantee Meeting: Upon initiation of the program, the ACC on behalf of the NHLBI will arrange annual meetings to encourage the exchange of information among the investigators who participate in this program. In the preparation of the budget for the grant application, applicants should include travel funds for one meeting each year to be held in or near Bethesda, MD, for the Principal Investigators and key collaborators. At these meetings awardees will be expected to share their results and to help evaluate the progress of the Centers.  Attendance at these meetings is required.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information


1. Mechanism of Support

This funding opportunity will use the Research Project Cooperative Agreement (U01) award mechanism(s). In the cooperative agreement mechanism, the Project Director/Principal Investigator (PI/PD) retains the primary responsibility and dominant role for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project, with NIH staff being substantially involved as a partner with the Principal Investigator, as described under the Section VI. 2. Administrative Requirements, "Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award." This is a one-time solicitation to fund the Progenitor Cell Biology Consortium Administrative Coordinating Center for seven years.  The Consortium will undergo a mid-course review by the External Advisory Committee during the fourth year of funding to determine how well the Consortium is meeting its goals.  Continued funding for individual progenitor cell biology research projects funded through this FOA, and for the ACC funded through FOA http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-09-005.html, will be contingent on the outcomes of this review. Metrics to be assessed in the review of the research projects will include how well they are achieving the milestones proposed in the research plan, productivity, contributions to the overall goals of the Consortium, and data sharing. Continuation of this program at the end of the seven years will depend on evaluations conducted by the External Advisory Committee, NHLBI strategic priorities, and available funds. 

This FOA uses “Just-in-Time” information concepts. It also uses non-modular budget formats described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html). 

2. Funds Available

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the IC(s) provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by Consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation; see NOT-OD-05-004.

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information


1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

The following organizations/institutions are eligible to apply:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

This program does not require cost sharing as defined in the current NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Applicants are not permitted to submit a resubmission application in response to this FOA.

Renewal applications are not permitted in response to this FOA.  

TO BE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY TO THIS FOA, PDs/PIs MUST HAVE BEEN PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR OR CO-INVESTIGATOR ON AN R03 AWARD FUNDED IN RESPONSE TO FOA HL-08-012 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-08-012.html), AND MUST ALSO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN THE DECEMBER 15, 2008, GRANTEES MEETING IN BETHESDA, MARYLAND. 

Investigators may submit only one application as PI/PD; participation in additional applications as co-investigator is permitted provided they are scientifically distinct. Only one Lead PI /PD application, and only two U01 applications in total, may be derived from any R03 application (i.e. one Lead PI/PD application and one non-Lead, or two non-Lead PI/PD applications.

Applicants to this FOA may not be part of an application to the Consortium Administrative Coordinating Center (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-09-005.html). 

Multiple applications may be submitted from a single institution.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information


1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-5936.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dnb.com/us/. The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed in item (box) 2 only of the face page of the application form, and the YES box must be checked.

Additional information is available in the PHS 398 grant application instructions.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Letters of Intent Receipt Date: April 1, 2009
Application Receipt Date: May 1, 2009
Peer Review Date: July-August 2009
Council Review Date: August 2009
Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 30, 2009

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

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

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 IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed in Section IV.3.A.

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214
Bethesda, MD  20892-7924
Bethesda, MD  20817 (express/courier service)
Telephone:  301-435-0270
FAX:  301-480-0730
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the forms found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application. 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 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-040.html).

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7214
Bethesda, MD  20892-7924
Bethesda, MD  20817 (express/courier service)
Telephone:  301-435-0270
FAX:  301-480-0730
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date) described above (Section IV.3.A.). If an application is received after that date, the application may be delayed in the review process or not reviewed.  Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and for responsiveness by the reviewing Institute incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity 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 a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity 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.

Information on the status of an application should be checked by the Principal Investigator in the eRA Commons at: https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/.

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award if such costs: (1) are necessary to conduct the project, and (2) would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project (see NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part6.htm).

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Instructions for preparation of a Hub (cluster) of applications

All applications in a Hub must share identical titles and must refer to the lead PI/PD’s application in the cover letter.  The Research Plan sections for each of the individual applications in the Hub will describe the research project or related projects to be carried out by that component of the Hub.  The Research Plan section for the lead PI/PD application will additionally describe the overall goals of the Research Hub in the context of their vision for the Consortium, and the synergistic integration of research throughout the Research Hub. The review of the application will evaluate the entire project as a whole, the strength of the collaborating component projects, and the synergy between the Hub components.

Research Plan  

The organization of the application will be as described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html).  The Research Design and Methods section for each component application of the Hub should propose a project or group of related projects consistent with the objectives of the FOA and interrelated with the other applications in the Hub that can be completed by the investigators in the Hub component in seven years.  Page limits will allow up to a total of 20 pages for the Specific Aims, Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies, and Research Design and Methods. 

In addition, the Background and Significance section for the application from the Lead PI for the Hub of applications will include an additional section labeled “Research Hub Plan,” for which up to an additional 10 pages can be used.  This section will include a discussion of the research team’s views of the important questions facing the field of progenitor cell biology and its application to heart, lung and/or blood diseases, and explain how their proposed research addresses one or more of these questions.  The interactions between the individual component applications of the Hub, and the synergies provided by the formation of a Research Hub through this cluster of applications, should be clearly identified.   

The Research Hub Plan in the Lead PI’s application must clearly describe the management of the collaborative research. To ensure this, it must include a management plan and identify a scientific oversight committee. The management plan will:

If the Multiple PI/PD approach is chosen, the research plan will also include a Multiple PI/PD Leadership Plan.

Qualifications and Experience

Applicants should describe qualifications and experience in the appropriate narrative sections of the application.  Participation in the Consortium will be a complex and time-consuming undertaking.  Applicants should have an established research program in progenitor cell biology.  Research Hub PIs will be required to declare a minimum effort of 2.4 calendar months in Section VI. 2. A, with the exception of the Lead PI for the Hub who will be required to declare a minimum of 3 calendar months.  Applications proposing Multiple PDs/PIs must have a minimum combined PI effort of 2.4 months, or 3 months for the lead application for the Hub.

Collaboration

Applicants should state their general support of collaborative research and their willingness to participate in a collaborative and interactive manner with other Research Hubs, the Administrative Coordinating Center, and NHLBI.      

Applicants must agree, if awarded, to accept the “Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award” in Section VI. 2. A.

5.  Additional submission requirements for the preparation of the Detailed Budget

Research Hubs.   All costs required for the proposed research must be included in the application and be fully justified.  The budget must include support for a minimum of 2.4 calendar months effort for the applicant PI or a minimum of 2.4 calendar months combined effort for all PIs if the multiple PI strategy is used.  For the Lead PI application, the budget must include support for a minimum of 3 calendar months effort for the applicant PI or a minimum of 3 calendar months combined effort for all PIs if the multiple PI strategy is used.  The Hub should identify an individual with experience in skills development who will serve as representative on the Skills Development Committee.  This individual should declare a minimum effort of 0.6 calendar months specifically for skills development activities, in addition to any research activities undertaken by the individual. Applicants should budget into their applications support for investigator skills development to be supported by the Consortium for up to 2 years, during which time it will be expected that the supported investigator will apply for NIH training or research grants to continue supporting the research initiated through the Consortium. The budget should include the costs associated with data collection, analysis, and dissemination.  Travel costs for two Steering Committee meetings per year in Bethesda should be included for the Lead PI for the Research Hub.    Core functions that are essential for the functioning of the Research Hub should be included within the budgets for the cluster of applications.  Direct costs cannot exceed $750,000 in any year for any application in the Hub.

Summary Budget of Each Hub.   In addition to the individual application budget, the application from the Lead PI of each Hub must include a categorical summary budget totaling the direct costs of the Hub.        

Consortium Cores.  In addition to cores that are essential for the function of the individual Research Hub, applicants may propose one or more core labs that they believe would enhance the synergistic function of the Consortium, A description of the proposed service and an estimated budget should be provided at the end of the Background and Significance section; up to 3 additional pages may be used per core proposed.  The budget must include personnel, supplies, travel for the core Director to one Steering Committee meeting per year in Bethesda, MD, and any other expenses.  These budgets are for planning purposes only, so will be on separate budget pages, will not be included in the proposal budget pages and requested direct cost total, and will not be subject to the $750,000 direct costs cap.  Additional funds for the cores will be available though the ACC (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HL-09-005.html).  The NHLBI, with input from the External Advisory Committee, will determine the Core configuration, and the ACC will allocate funds accordingly. Cores may be phased in and out based on scientific need during the course of this FOA.   

Annual Grantee Meeting: Upon initiation of the program, the ACC and NHBLI will arrange annual meetings to encourage the exchange of information among the investigators who participate in this program. In the preparation of the budget for the grant application, applicants should include travel funds for one meeting each year to be held in or near Bethesda, MD, for the Principal Investigators and key collaborators. At these meetings awardees will be expected to share their results and to help evaluate the progress of the Centers. Attendance at these meetings is required.

Appendix Materials

All paper PHS 398 applications submitted must provide appendix material on CDs only. Include five identical CDs in the same package with the application. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-031.html.

Do not use the Appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Plan component. An application that does not observe the required page limitations may be delayed in the review process.

Resource Sharing Plan(s)

NIH considers the sharing of unique research resources developed through NIH-sponsored research an important means to enhance the value of, and advance research. When resources have been developed with NIH funds and the associated research findings published or provided to NIH, it is important that they be made readily available for research purposes to qualified individuals within the scientific community. If the final data/resources are not amenable to sharing, this must be explained in Resource Sharing section of the application. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing/data_sharing_faqs.htm.

(a) Data Sharing Plan: Regardless of the amount requested, investigators are expected to include a brief 1-paragraph description of how final research data will be shared, or explain why data-sharing is not possible. Applicants are encouraged to discuss data-sharing plans with their NIH program contact. See Data-Sharing Policy or http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-032.html.

(b) Sharing Model Organisms: Regardless of the amount requested, all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated are expected to include a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organisms and related resources, or state appropriate reasons why such sharing is restricted or not possible. See Sharing Model Organisms Policy, and NIH Guide NOT-OD-04-042.

(c) Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS): Regardless of the amount requested, applicants seeking funding for a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible.  A genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight) or the presence or absence of a disease or condition.  For further information see Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088, and http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/.

Section V. Application Review Information


1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process.

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications that are complete and responsive to the FOA will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the NHLBI and in accordance with NIH peer review procedures (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/peer/) using the review criteria stated below.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications will:

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

The review of the application will evaluate the entire project as a whole, the strength of the collaborating component projects, and the synergy between the Hub components.  The Hub of applications will receive a single priority score.

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria 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 assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a meritorious 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 this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?   

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? Is the leadership approach, including the designated roles and responsibilities, governance, and organizational structure, consistent with and justified by the aims of the project and the expertise of each of the PDs/PIs?

Innovation:  Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area?  

Investigators: Are the investigators 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? Does the PI/PD(s) and investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?  Do the investigators have documented experience with coordinating basic and translational research, particularly in the areas related to progenitor cell biology? Does the Lead PI for the Research Hub have experience in leading a collaborative research program? Do the other PI(s) in the Hub have prior experience with collaborative research? Does the designated Skills Development Coordinator have well documented relevant experience?      

Environment:  Do(es) the scientific environment(s) in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support?    

In addition to the above review criteria, the following criteria will be applied to applications in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score.

Potential for Collaboration:  Does the Hub provide significant synergies between the individual applications?  Do the Hub applicants have a plan for regular interactions and the exchange of ideas?  Would the project proposed benefit from collaborative interactions with the Consortium?  Will the proposal allow flexibility in collaboration with the Consortium?  Will the investigators bring valuable areas of expertise to the Consortium that will maximize flexibility for the program?  Does the application describe prior successful collaborative research? 

Data generation and dissemination plan:  How will the anticipated data benefit the scientific community?  How will data handling and analysis benefit from collaboration with the Consortium? Will the data be interoperable with existing resources?  Will the data collection follow accepted standards? Does the dissemination plan propose rapid dissemination of data and resources without restrictions in regard to prior publication by Consortium members?

Resource sharing:  Does the application indicate a willingness to share rapidly with other Consortium members resources and reagents developed through Consortium funding?

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the rating:

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 the Research Plan section on Human Subjects in the PHS 398 instructions).

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 will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan section on Human Subjects in the PHS 398 instructions).

Care and Use of Vertebrate Animals in Research: If vertebrate animals are to be used in the project, the five points described in the Vertebrate Animals section of the Research Plan will be assessed.

Biohazards: If materials or procedures are proposed that are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, determine if the proposed protection is adequate.

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Resource Sharing Plan(s)   

When relevant, reviewers will be instructed to comment on the reasonableness of the following Resource Sharing Plans, or the rationale for not sharing the following types of resources. However, reviewers will not factor the proposed resource sharing plan(s) into the determination of scientific merit or priority score, unless noted otherwise in the FOA. Program staff within the IC will be responsible for monitoring the resource sharing.

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

N/A

Section VI. Award Administration Information


1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PI/PD will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 12 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the Notice of Award. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_Part4.htm) and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/NIHGPS_part9.htm).

The following Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the award statement and will be provided to the Principal Investigator as well as to the appropriate institutional official at the time of award.

2.A. Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when state and local governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

2. A.1. Principal Investigator Rights and Responsibilities

The Principal Investigator will have the primary responsibility for all aspects of the study, including any modification of study design, conduct of the study, quality control, data analysis and interpretation, preparation of publications, and collaboration with other investigators, unless otherwise provided for in these terms or by action of the Steering Committee. 

Awardee(s) agree to the governance of the study through a Steering Committee. Steering Committee voting membership shall consist of the Principal Investigators (i.e., cooperative agreement awardees), the NHLBI Project Scientist, and the Chairperson, and the ACC PI.  Meetings of the Steering Committee will ordinarily be held by telephone conference call or in the Metropolitan Washington Area.

Study investigators are encouraged to publish and to release publicly and disseminate results and other products of the study, in accordance with study protocols and governance. Within three years of the end of the period of NHLBI support for the project, data not previously released and other study materials or products not previously distributed are to be made available to individuals who are not study investigators, provided such release is consistent with the study protocol and governance.  In addition, study investigators must establish a plan for making data sets and materials available to the scientific community and to the NHLBI immediately upon completion of the three-year period following the end of the period of NHLBI support.               

Upon completion of the project, awardees are expected to put their intervention materials and procedure manuals into the public domain and/or make them available to other investigators, according to the approved plan for making data and materials available to the scientific community and the NHLBI, for the conduct of research at no charge other than the costs of reproduction and distribution.

Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to their data developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies. The collaborative protocol and governance policies will call for the continued submission of data centrally to the coordinating center for a collaborative database; the submittal of copies of the collaborative datasets to each Principal Investigator upon completion of the study; procedures for data analysis, reporting and publication; and procedures to protect and ensure the privacy of medical and genetic data and records of individuals. The NHLBI Project Scientist, on behalf of the NHLBI, will have the same access, privileges and responsibilities regarding the collaborative data as the other members of the Steering Committee.

Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

2. A.2. NIH Responsibilities
 
The NHLBI Project Scientist will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below.

The NHLBI Project Scientist will serve on the Steering Committee; he/she or other NHLBI scientists may serve on other study committees, when appropriate. The NHLBI Project Scientist (and other NHLBI scientists) may work with awardees on issues coming before the Steering Committee and, as appropriate, other committees, e.g., data sharing and database development, quality control, adherence to protocol, core establishment.

The NHLBI reserves the right to withhold funding or curtail the study (or an individual award) in the event of (a) substantive changes in the agreed-upon work scope with which NHLBI cannot concur, (b) human subject ethical issues that may dictate a premature termination. 

Support or other involvement of industry or any other third party in the study -- e.g., participation by the third party; involvement of study resources or citing the name of the study or NHLBI support; or special access to study results, data, findings or resources -- may be advantageous and appropriate. However, except for licensing of patents or copyrights, support or involvement of any third party will occur only following notification of and concurrence by NHLBI. 

Additionally, an agency program official or NIH program director will be responsible for the normal scientific and programmatic stewardship of the award and will be named in the award notice.  The assigned program director may also serve as an NIH Project Scientist.

2.A.3. Collaborative Responsibilities

Awardees agree to the governance of the Consortium through the Steering Committee.  Membership will include, at a minimum, the Consortium PIs, the PI of the ACC, and the NHLBI Project Scientist.  The Steering Committee Chair will be appointed by NHLBI.  Additional members may be added by majority vote of the Steering Committee.

Awardee members of the Steering Committee will be required to accept and implement policies approved by the Steering Committee. 

2.A.4. Arbitration Process

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to arbitration. An Arbitration Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special arbitration procedure in no way affects the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulations 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and HHS regulations 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the Non-Competing Continuation Grant Progress Report (PHS 2590) annually and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and Financial Status Report are required when an award is relinquished when a recipient changes institutions or when an award is terminated.

Section VII. Agency Contacts


We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity 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:

1. Scientific/Research Contacts:

For information about the Consortium mechanism and cardiovascular research topics:

Denis Buxton, Ph.D.
Division of Cardiovascular Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Rockledge 2, Room 8216
6701 Rockledge Dr, MSC 7940
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 435-0513
E mail: Buxtond@nhlbi.nih.gov

For information on pulmonary research topics:

Carol J. Blaisdell, M.D.
Division of Lung Diseases
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Rockledge 2, MSC 7952
6701 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD 20892-8902
Telephone:  (301) 435-0222
E-mail: blaisdellcj@nhlbi.nih.gov

For information on hematopoietic research topics:

John Thomas, Ph.D.
Division of Blood Diseases and Resources
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Rockledge 2, MSC 7950
Bethesda MD 20892-7950
Telephone: (301) 435-0065
Email: thomasj@nhlbi.nih.gov

2. Peer Review Contacts:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research Activities
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive
Room 7214, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924 (Express zip: 20817)
Telephone: (301) 435-0270
FAX: (301) 480-0730
Email: nhlbichiefreviewbranch@nhlbi.nih.gov


3. Financial or Grants Management Contacts:

Ronald Caulder
NHLBI/Office of Grants Management
Rockledge II
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7162
Bethesda, MD 20892-7926
Phone: 301-435-0166
Fax:     301-451-5462
Email: caulderr@nhlbi.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information


Required Federal Citations

Use of Animals in Research:
Recipients of PHS support for activities involving live, vertebrate animals must comply with PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/PHSPolicyLabAnimals.pdf) as mandated by the Health Research Extension Act of 1985 (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/olaw/references/hrea1985.htm), and the USDA Animal Welfare Regulations (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/legislat/usdaleg1.htm) as applicable.

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

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

Sharing Research Data:
Investigators submitting an NIH application seeking $500,000 or more in direct costs in any single year are expected to include a plan for data sharing or state why this is not possible (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/data_sharing).

Investigators should seek guidance from their institutions, on issues related to institutional policies and local IRB rules, as well as local, state and federal laws and regulations, including the Privacy Rule. Reviewers will consider the data sharing plan but will not factor the plan into the determination of the scientific merit or the priority score.

Policy for Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS):
NIH is interested in advancing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) to identify common genetic factors that influence health and disease through a centralized GWAS data repository. For the purposes of this policy, a genome-wide association study is defined as any study of genetic variation across the entire human genome that is designed to identify genetic associations with observable traits (such as blood pressure or weight), or the presence or absence of a disease or condition. All applications, regardless of the amount requested, proposing a genome-wide association study are expected to provide a plan for submission of GWAS data to the NIH-designated GWAS data repository, or provide an appropriate explanation why submission to the repository is not possible. Data repository management (submission and access) is governed by the Policy for Sharing of Data Obtained in NIH Supported or Conducted Genome-Wide Association Studies, NIH Guide NOT-OD-07-088. For additional information, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/gwas/

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 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 funding opportunity 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.

Sharing of Model Organisms:
NIH is committed to support efforts that encourage sharing of important research resources including the sharing of model organisms for biomedical research (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/model_organism/index.htm). At the same time the NIH recognizes the rights of grantees and contractors to elect and retain title to subject inventions developed with Federal funding pursuant to the Bayh Dole Act (see the NIH Grants Policy Statement http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2003/index.htm). All investigators submitting an NIH application or contract proposal, beginning with the October 1, 2004, receipt date, are expected to include in the application/proposal a description of a specific plan for sharing and distributing unique model organism research resources generated using NIH funding or state why such sharing is restricted or not possible. This will permit other researchers to benefit from the resources developed with public funding. The inclusion of a model organism sharing plan is not subject to a cost threshold in any year and is expected to be included in all applications where the development of model organisms is anticipated.

Inclusion of Women And Minorities in Clinical Research:
It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43). All investigators proposing clinical research should read the "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is 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 Clinical Research:
The NIH maintains a policy that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) must be included in all clinical 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 (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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

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

NIH Public Access Policy Requirement:
In accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-033.html) investigators must submit or have submitted for them their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from NIH funds and are accepted for publication as of April 7, 2008, to PubMed Central (http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/), to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after publication. As of May 27, 2008, investigators must include the PubMed Central reference number when citing an article in NIH applications, proposals, and progress reports that fall under the policy, and was authored or co-authored by the investigator or arose from the investigator’s NIH award.  For more information, see the Public Access webpage at http://publicaccess.nih.gov/.

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. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.  Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 FOA 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. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. 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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40-hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see: http://www.lrp.nih.gov.


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