NIDCD DUAL-DEGREE INDIVIDUAL PREDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS FOR TRAINING 
PHYSICIAN-SCIENTISTS

Release Date:  July 31, 2001

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-122 (This PA has been replaced, see PA-05-151)

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
 (http://www.nidcd.nih.gov)

PURPOSE

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) 
invites applications for Individual Predoctoral National Research Service Award 
Fellowships (F30) to train physician-scientists on a dual MD/PhD track to 
conduct biomedical and behavioral research on human communication.  There is a 
critical need for physician-scientists who can apply both their medical and 
research training to investigate problems of disease in humans.  This initiative 
is designed to increase the number of physician-scientists trained to conduct 
basic and clinical research in the normal and disordered processes of hearing, 
balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language.

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 program announcement 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

Citizenship: By the time of award, individuals must be citizens or non-citizen 
nationals of the United States, or must have been lawfully admitted to the 
United States for permanent residence (i.e., possess a currently valid Alien 
Registration Receipt Card I-551, or other legal verification of such status).  
Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying possessions of the 
United States (i.e., American Samoa and Swains Island).  Individuals on 
temporary or student visas are not eligible.

Degree Requirements: The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree and show 
evidence of both high academic performance in the sciences and significant 
interest in research within the scientific mission areas of the NIDCD.  The 
applicant must be enrolled in an MD program at an accredited medical school, 
accepted in a science PhD program and supervised by a mentor in that scientific 
discipline at the time the application is submitted.  The typical applicant will 
apply during the first two years of medical school, however, applications may be 
submitted at any stage of medical school.

Sponsor: Before submitting a fellowship application, the applicant must identify 
a sponsoring institution and an individual who will serve as a sponsor (also 
called mentor or supervisor) and will supervise the training and 
research experience.

The applicant"s sponsor should be an active investigator in the area of the 
proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate"s research.  
Furthermore, the sponsor must hold research grant support from the National 
Institutes of Health (NIH).  The sponsor must document the availability of 
staff, research support, and facilities for high-quality research training.

The sponsoring institution must be a domestic private (profit or nonprofit) or 
public academic institution.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Awards made under this program announcement will use the Individual Predoctoral 
NRSA for MD/PhD Fellowship (F30) mechanism to provide combined medical school 
and predoctoral PhD support for a maximum of six years, no other predoctoral 
NRSA support may be received during this time.  Any exception to these 
limitations requires a waiver from the NIDCD, based on a review of the 
justification provided by the individual awardee and his or her sponsor.  
Continued support beyond the first year is dependent upon satisfactory progress 
toward the combined degree.  Annual reports are to be provided by the fellow, 
the PhD department and sponsor, and the medical school.

Although NRSAs are not usually awarded for training leading to a health 
professional degree, or for training that is part of a clinical residency, this 
program is specifically designed to support training in a combined 
MD/PhD program.

NIDCD intends to award up to three fellowships per year under this initiative.

Allowable Costs

Stipends:  The annual stipend for predoctoral individuals will remain fixed for 
the period of support, unless the stipend level is changed in the NIH annual 
appropriation.  Applicants should consult with Institute staff, noted at the end 
of this announcement, for the latest stipend level.  Alternatively, applicants 
may obtain information about current stipend levels and other policies from the 
"NIH Research Training Opportunities” website:  
http://www.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm

Tuition, Fees and Health Insurance:  The NIDCD will offset the combined cost of 
tuition, fees and health insurance (self only or family, as appropriate) at the 
following rate: 100 percent of all costs up to $3,000, plus 60 percent of costs 
above $3,000. A full description of the tuition policy is contained under “NRSA 
Policy Guidelines” on the NIH website at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm

Institutional Allowance:  An allowance of up to $2,500 per twelve month period 
may be requested by the sponsoring institution to help defray such expenses as 
research supplies, equipment, travel to scientific meetings, and related items 
for the fellow.  The allowance is provided only upon official activation of the 
award, and the sponsoring institution is expected to administer the allowance 
and disburse the funds.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Recent reports issued by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental 
Biology (FASEB) (Zemlo et al., 2000) and by other groups underscore the critical 
shortage of physician-scientists in the United States, despite the current era 
of expansion of biomedical research.  Declining numbers of matriculating and 
graduating medical students elect to pursue a career in research.  Moreover, 
while the number of Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08) 
applications submitted to and awarded by the NIH has dramatically increased 
between 1978 and 1998, there is no net growth in the number of first-time MD 
applicants for NIH research project grants (RPGs) over the same period.  In 
contrast, the number of first-time MD/PhD applicants for RPGs, albeit very small, 
has steadily increased over this period.  In a study of its dual-degree Medical 
Scientist Training Programs (MSTPs), the National Institute of General Medical 
Sciences (NIGMS) of the NIH found that while MD/PhDs constitute only 2.5% of the 
medical student graduates each year, they hold about one-third of the NIH grants 
going to physician-scientists (NIGMS, 1998).  Clearly MSTP graduates and other 
MD/PhDs represent a small subgroup of physicians who, as a group, are committed 
to establishing an independent research program and receive training, 
encouragement and mentorship toward that goal.  The FASEB Report underscores 
that additional measures are needed to identify and train students who become 
inspired to pursue careers in biomedical research during the course of their 
medical education.

In December 1999, the NIDCD convened a working group to discuss research 
training and career development needs relevant to its scientific mission.  The 
report of the Work Group on Research Training and Career Development(WGRTCD) can 
be found at: http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/about/groups/ndcdac/minutes/oct98/wgsmpgreport.asp).  The 
WGRTCD recommended that the NIDCD establish an F30 fellowship program to support 
MD/PhD students interested in pursuing their thesis research in the human 
communication sciences.

Goals

The NRSA legislation requires that the Nation"s overall need for biomedical 
research personnel be taken into account by giving special consideration to 
training physicians who propose to become active biomedical researchers.  The 
NIDCD recognizes the critical importance of training physicians and other health 
professionals to conduct biomedical and behavioral research, particularly 
patient-oriented research.

The purpose of the current initiative is to nurture physician-scientists who 
will perform research on human communication as their primary professional 
activity or as a major component of their professional activities.  Applicants 
must propose to conduct basic or clinical biomedical or behavioral research in 
one or more of the scientific mission areas of the NIDCD: hearing, balance, 
smell, taste, voice, speech and language.  In addition, applicants must document 
that both the proposed graduate program and dissertation research project offer 
them an opportunity to develop research skills and knowledge leading to a 
research career in one or more of these scientific domains.  This research 
training shall be under the sponsorship of an active and established 
investigator holding NIH research grant support in the area of the applicant’s 
proposed research and committed to the research training of the candidate.  
Furthermore, the training program shall be conducted in a research-intensive 
environment that includes appropriate staff and technical resources and is 
demonstrably committed to the research training of physician-scientists.

The application must include evidence that instruction in the principles of 
responsible conduct of research will be incorporated into the proposed research 
training plan.  This training should consist of a semester-long course or 
seminar series to be taken during the first year of the PhD phase of the program.  
Applications without plans for training in responsible conduct of research will 
not be reviewed until such information is provided.

Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
strongly encouraged to apply.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Awards must be activated within six months of receipt of the award notice (see 
below for application receipt, review, and start dates).  No funds may be 
disbursed until the individual has started training under the award and an 
Activation Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to and accepted by the NIDCD.

Individuals are required to pursue their MD/PhD training program on a full-time 
basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week to the training program.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their 
sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and behavioral 
research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling 
rationale and justification are 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 research involving human subjects should read the 
UPDATED "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts on 
August 2, 2000 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-048.html), 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_update.htm.  The 
revisions relate to NIH defined Phase III clinical trials and require:  a) all 
applications or proposals and/or protocols to 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) all 
investigators to report accrual, and to conduct and report analyses, as 
appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH that children (i.e., individuals under the age of 21) 
must be included in all human subjects research, conducted or supported by the 
NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. This 
policy applies to all initial (Type 1) applications submitted for receipt dates 
after October 1, 1998.All investigators proposing research involving human 
subjects should read the "NIH Policy and Guidelines on the Inclusion of Children 
as Participants in Research Involving Human Subjects" that was published in the 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, March 6, 1998, and is available at the 
following URL address:  
http://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.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a project 
that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly 
and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force 
and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  It is 
important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment.  NIH 
has provided guidance at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA 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.

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.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Prospective applicants are encouraged to communicate with the NIDCD Program 
Staff Contact listed below, under INQUIRIES, for pre-application consultation 
and information regarding the application process.  The Individual National 
Research Service Award application kit PHS 416-1 (rev. 12/98) must be used in 
applying for fellowships.  These forms are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research or may be obtained from the Division of Extramural 
Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 
Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD  20892-7910, Telephone:  (301) 435-0714, 
FAX:  (301) 480-0525, Email:  GrantsInfo@nih.gov.  Application kits are also 
available on the Internet at:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm.

The number and title of this program announcement must be typed in Item 3 on the 
face page of the application form.  At least three completed letters of 
reference in sealed envelopes must be attached to the application.  Applications 
without the required number of reference letters will be returned without review.

Application Receipt and Review Schedule:

Applications for fellowship applications responding to this Program Announcement 
will be accepted and reviewed three times a year, according to the 
following schedule:

Application Receipt Date:      April 5, August 5, and December 5
Review Meeting:                June/July, October/November, and February/March
Notification:                  July/August, November/December, and March/April
Earliest Possible Start Date:  August, December, and April

Applications received after these receipt dates are subject to assignment to the 
next cycle, or may be returned to the applicant upon request by the applicant.

An original and one copy of the completed and signed application are to be 
submitted to:

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

Applicants should send, at the time of submission of the original application 
and one copy to the Center for Scientific Review, one additional copy of the 
completed and signed application and all sets of appendix materials (if any) to:

Chief, Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400C, MSC-7180
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7180 (for regular mail)
ROCKVILLE, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)
ATTN:  NRSA F30 Fellowship

The NIDCD now conducts the initial peer review of applications for its 
fellowship programs within its Scientific Review Branch based on an expedited 
schedule of four months from submission to award.  In order to maintain this 
schedule, it is imperative that applicants meet the NRSA submission deadlines of 
April 5, August 5 and December 5, and concurrently send the additional copy to 
the NIDCD official noted above.  Late applications may be returned.

Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the following important items 
in PHS 416-1:

Part I (Prepared by Applicant):

Item 5. Training Under Proposed Award. Identify the PhD discipline according to 
the NIH Lexicon of NRSA disciplines on page 27 of the instructions.  For 
example, candidates who expect to receive a PhD in Neuroscience should enter a 
code number of 188 (Neurobiology).

Item 22. Scholastic Performance.  In addition to the information requested in 
the application, applicants should provide scores for MCAT, GRE, and other exams 
relevant to medical and graduate school that they have recently taken.

Item 29a. Activities Under Award.  Typically, an MD/PhD student spends the first 
two years of the program in medical school courses,  with a limited amount of 
time devoted to the PhD component of the program, the third and fourth years of 
support are spent on the PhD work, and the last two years are used to complete 
medical school.  Applicants should describe how they expect to divide their time 
between medical and graduate school, e.g., medical school courses, graduate 
school courses, dissertation research, research training, etc., during both the 
school year and the summer for each year of the program.  A minimum of 40 
hours/week are required for support under the NRSA program.

Item 29b. Research Proposal.  All applicants should provide a research plan, 
including a description of a research proposal in which they will be involved as 
part of their training.  The plan should include substantive detail that adds to 
the information about time allocations requested in Item 29a.

Part II (Prepared by Sponsor):

Items 32 and 33. Sponsor"s Previous Fellows/Trainees, Training Plan, 
Environment, and Research Facilities.  The sponsor must currently be funded by 
the NIH to conduct independent research (e.g., Principal Investigator on an R01, 
P01 or P50 subproject or equivalent) and must describe past experience in the 
guidance of other research trainees and fellows.  In addition, the sponsor must 
describe in detail his/her commitment to, and proposed role in, guiding the 
individual applicant.  The chairman of the graduate committee for the PhD 
program must also describe the department"s commitment to, and proposed role in, 
guiding the individual applicant and any modifications to the department"s usual 
PhD requirements that are necessary to facilitate this trainee"s special needs.

The application must include evidence that training in the principles of 
responsible conduct of research, within the format of a semester-long course or 
seminar series, will be incorporated in the first year of the PhD program.  This 
should be presented under Item 33.  Issues such as conflict of interest, data 
recording and retention, professional standards and codes of conduct, 
responsible authorship, and ethics in biological and behavioral research can 
provide the substantive basis of such training.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, all F30 applications will be reviewed for completeness by the 
Center for Scientific Review.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed and 
may be returned to the applicants without further consideration.

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by the NIDCD Scientific 
Review Branch, in accordance with the standard NIH peer review procedures for 
fellowship applications.  As part of the merit review, all applications will 
receive a written critique and will be assigned a priority score.

Review Criteria

The F30 individual MD/PhD predoctoral fellowship is designed to train future 
generations of qualified physician/scientists committed to pursuing a research 
career in the sciences underlying human communication.  The review of an 
application will focus on the following:  the applicant, the research training 
plan, the sponsor, and the institutional environment/commitment.  Information 
from the letters of reference will be used to inform considerations of these 
factors, and the final priority score will reflect the overall evaluation of the 
entire application.

Applicant:

o  the applicant"s potential for, and commitment to, a productive scientific 
career.  The reviewers may take into account the applicant"s history as a 
student, as well as past and current involvement in research activities.

Research Training Plan:

o  Objectives, design, and direction of the proposed research program

o  Specificity and clarity of the description of the research skills and 
knowledge to be acquired, and objective evaluation of progress in each area

o  Clarity, completeness, originality, and significance of the goals of the 
proposed research training plans

o  Adequacy of knowledge of relevant literature and current methods in the 
proposed research area

o  Adequacy of plans for the protection of human subjects, animals, or the 
environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the 
research proposed

o  Adequacy of plans to include women, children, and minorities as subjects in 
research, if applicable

o  Adequacy of plans to provide training in the responsible conduct of 
scientific research

Sponsor:

o  Caliber of the sponsor as a researcher, including successful competition for 
research support

o  Evidence of the proposed sponsor"s understanding of, and commitment to, 
fulfilling the role of sponsor and mentor

o  Evidence of an understanding of the applicant"s research training needs and a 
demonstrated ability, on the part of the sponsor, to assist in meeting 
those needs

o  Past research training record of the sponsor, in terms of the rate at which 
former predoctoral trainees obtain their doctoral degrees and continue on to 
postdoctoral or other scientific careers

o  Plan to provide the fellow with individualized supervised experiences that 
will develop research skills

Institutional Environment/Commitment:

o  Training environment, including the institutional commitment to research 
training and career development, the quality of the facilities and related 
resources (e.g., equipment, laboratory space, computer time, subject 
populations), and the availability of research support

AWARD CRITERIA

The responsibility for award decisions resides solely with authorized staff of 
the NIDCD.  The following criteria will be used in making award decisions:  (1) 
overall merit of the application, (2) relevance of the application to the 
research mission and priorities of the NIDCD and program balance, and (3) 
availability of funds.

INQUIRIES

Prospective applicants for this program and their sponsors are strongly 
encouraged to contact the following program official prior to submitting 
an application:

Daniel A. Sklare, Ph.D.
Research Training Officer
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892
Phone:  (301) 496-1804
Fax:  (301) 402-6251
Email:  daniel_sklare@nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Sara Stone
Chief, Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Research
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
6120 Executive Boulevard, Room 400C, MSC 7180
Bethesda, MD  20892
Phone:  (301) 402-0909
Fax:  (301) 402-1758
Email:  stones@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.173.  Awards are made under authorization of 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 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, and 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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