This Program Announcement expires on May 15, 2004, unless reissued.

NCRR TRAINING GRANT FOR VETERINARY STUDENTS IN ANIMAL-ORIENTED, 
HYPOTHESIS-BASED RESEARCH

Release Date:  September 20, 2001 (see revision NOT-RR-02-010)

PA NUMBER:  PA-01-138

National Center for Research Resources
 (NCRR:  http://www.ncrr.nih.gov/)

Application Receipt Dates:  January 10, May 10, and September 10

PURPOSE

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) will award National 
Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grants (T32) to 
eligible institutions to develop or enhance animal-oriented, 
hypothesis-based biomedical research training opportunities for 
individuals pursuing a degree in veterinary medicine (D.V.M. or V.M. 
D.). The purpose of this program is to help ensure that highly trained 
comparative medical scientists will be available to meet collaborative 
research needs in animal-based, biomedical research. This award 
provides support for one year of supervised research experience to 
introduce veterinary students with an interest in biomedical research 
at a formative stage of their veterinary medical science education to 
pursue training in research careers.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Summary

Animal models are important tools to study the causes of human disease 
and to develop new treatments.  A large variety of animal models, both 
mammalian and nonmammalian, are currently used in research to improve 
human health.  Gene targeting and transgenic methodologies have 
resulted in the production of an enormous variety of new animal strains 
engineered specifically to study particular genes or diseases.  For 
instance, scientists have recently developed strategies for conducting 
large-scale mutagenesis in mice and zebrafish.  The resultant mutations 
introduced into the genome can be reflected in the alterations in 
physical, biochemical, behavioral and physiologic parameters that are 
relevant to human development as well as aging and disease processes 
such as neurodegeneration and cancer.  As transgenic methodologies have 
resulted in a large variety of new animal model strains to study 
particular genes or diseases, there is an increasing need for 
veterinary scientists to contribute to basic research, assess and 
develop new animal models, and study laboratory animal diseases that 
can interfere with animal-based biomedical research.  Veterinarians of 
the future will need increased scientific skills and specialty training 
to take full advantage of current and evolving biomedical technologies.  
At present, there is a serious shortage of trained veterinary 
scientists to meet the independent and collaborative research needs of 
biomedical science in such fields as genetics, pathology, and 
epidemiology of diseases in laboratory animal models.  This current 
Program Announcement is being issued to enhance the interest of 
veterinary students in biomedical research by initiating a one-year 
program that would provide a mentored research experience at research-
intensive institutions. This program will provide students with an 
introduction to animal-oriented, hypothesis-based, biomedical research 
at a formative stage of their veterinary medical science education. 
Research that aims to assess and develop new animal models and 
techniques, investigate problems relevant to human health, and 
understand the biology of research animals would be responsive to this 
program.

Objectives

The overall objectives of the training program described in this PA are 
to provide support for integrated training programs for future 
veterinarians that enhances their skills in the areas of animal-
oriented, hypothesis-based, biomedical and/or behavioral science. 
To expand the training opportunities for veterinary students in 
biomedical research in order to introduce them to scientific career 
opportunities in research areas including, but not limited to, gene 
targeting and transgenic methodologies; and/or behavioral science. And 
provide the training institutions and mentors with support mechanisms 
characterized by flexibility, by an emphasis on cross-disciplinary 
interactions, and by a diversity of opportunities for sustained 
learning and for training choices for future veterinarians.

SPECIAL PROGRAM CONSIDERATIONS 

The primary objective of the National Research Service Award program is 
to prepare qualified individuals for careers that significantly impact 
the Nation's research agenda. Within the framework of the program's 
longstanding commitment to excellence and projected need for 
investigators in particular areas of research, attention must be given 
to recruiting individuals from minority groups underrepresented 
nationally in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. The following 
groups have been identified as underrepresented in biomedical and 
behavioral research nationally: American Indian or Alaskan Native, 
Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino.   

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applicant Eligibility Requirements

Only domestic, non-profit, private or public institutions may apply for 
grants to support the research-training program described herein.  The 
applicant institution must have a strong research program in the area 
proposed for research training and must have the staff and facilities 
required for a substantive portion of the proposed program.  
Collaborative arrangements with one or more cooperating institutions 
may be proposed to provide multidisciplinary biomedical research 
opportunities not available at the applicant institution. The research 
training program director at the parent institution will be responsible 
for the selection and appointment of trainees to receive NRSA support 
and for the overall direction of the program.

Trainee Eligibility Requirements

Trainees must have a baccalaureate degree and be enrolled in a program 
leading to a D.V.M./VMD degree.  In addition, trainees must have 
completed their first year of veterinary school.  Trainees are required 
to pursue research training on a full-time basis, devoting at least 40 
hours per week to the program. Trainees appointed to the program must 
have the opportunity to carry out supervised research with the primary 
objective of developing or extending their skills and knowledge for 
their professional training in biomedical research. Relevant 
disciplines include, but are not limited to, neuroscience, physiology, 
pathology, behavioral science, immunology, biochemistry, and genetics.

Citizenship

To be appointed to a training position supported by an NRSA research 
training grant, an individual must be a citizen or non-citizen national 
of the United States or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent 
residence (i.e., in possession of a currently valid Alien Registration 
Receipt Card, I-551, or some other legal verification of such status). 
Non-citizen nationals are generally persons born in outlying 
possessions of the United States (e.g., American Samoa and Swains 
Island).  Individuals on temporary or student visas are not eligible.  

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This program announcement will use the National Institutes of Health 
(NIH) Institutional National Research Service Award (T32) mechanism.  
Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of the 
proposed project will be solely that of the applicant institution. The 
total project period for an application submitted in response to this 
program announcement may not exceed 3 years.  Awards may be renewable 
upon submission of a successful competing continuation application, 
depending on programmatic needs and the availability of funds. This 
program announcement is an on-going initiative and will remain 
operational for at least 3 years.  The first receipt date for new and 
competing continuation applications will be January 10, 2002, with 
awards made in December 2002. 

PROVISIONS OF THE AWARD

Funds may be requested for:

A. Stipends - The current NRSA stipend levels for graduate and 
postdoctoral trainees is available on the NIH website at 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.  Stipend levels and other 
financial provisions of these awards are often adjusted at the 
beginning of a fiscal year.  Potential applicants are advised to 
consult this page for the current stipend levels.
 
B. Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance - The combined cost of 
tuition, fees, and health insurance (either self-only or family as 
appropriate) will be offset at the following rate: 100% of all costs up 
to  $3,000 and 60% of costs above $3,000 per trainee.  Costs associated 
with tuition and fees are allowable only if they are required for 
specific courses in support of the research training experience 
supported by the fellowship.  A full description of the tuition policy 
is contained within the NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH website at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm

C. Trainee Travel Costs - The institution may request funds to cover 
the costs of trainees' travel, including attendance at scientific 
meetings, that are necessary to the individual's training.  The maximum 
allowable per student per year is $1,400. 

D. Training-related Expenses - Institutional costs of $2,000 a year per 
predoctoral trainee and $3,500 a year per postdoctoral trainee may be 
requested to defray the costs of other research training related 
expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research 
supplies, and staff travel.  

E. Facilities and Administrative Costs - The Notice of Grant Award will provide 
facilities and administrative costs based on 8% of total direct costs, exclusive 
of tuition, and fees.

F. Short-Term Training - Applicants who wish to include a request for 
short-term research training positions should identify short-term 
positions separately within the "stipends" and "training related 
expenses" categories on the budget page.  Under "stipends," short-term 
positions should be listed in the "other" category.  Tuition, fees, 
health insurance, and trainee travel, and other expenses are to be 
included in "training related expenses."  Within each section of the 
program plan, a separate description of the short-term training should 
be included.  The applicant should address the relationship of 
the proposed short-term training to the regular research training and 
provide assurance that the short-term program will not detract from the 
regular program.  Applicants must observe the 25-page limit on the 
narrative section.

Payback Agreement - As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, 
NRSA recipients incur a service payback obligation only during their 
first 12 months of postdoctoral support.  Additionally, the NIH 
Revitalization Act of 1993 specifies that the second and subsequent 
years of postdoctoral NRSA training will serve to pay back a 
postdoctoral service payback obligation.  Accordingly, the following 
guidelines apply:

Predoctoral trainees are not required to sign the payback agreement and 
do not incur a service payback obligation.

Postdoctoral trainees in the first 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA 
support must sign the payback agreement form (PHS form 6031) before 
initiating an appointment.  Postdoctoral trainees in their first 12 
months of support will incur a period of service payback obligation 
equal to the period of support.

Postdoctoral trainees in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA 
postdoctoral support are not required to sign the payback agreement 
form and will not incur a service payback obligation.

The 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA support are 
considered acceptable payback service for prior postdoctoral support. 
For example, postdoctoral trainees who continue under that award for 2 
years have fulfilled the obligation incurred during the first 12 months 
of support by the end of the second year.  Simple guidelines for 
completing the payback requirement are available at 
http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/funding/policies/t32/payback.htm.  
Service payback obligations can also be paid back by conducting health-
related research or teaching averaging more than 20 hours per week of a 
full work year after terminating NRSA support.

Recipients with service obligations must begin to provide service on a 
continuous basis within two years of termination of NRSA support.  The 
period for undertaking payback service may be delayed for such reasons 
as temporary disability, completion of residency requirements, or 
completion of the requirements for a graduate degree.  Requests for an 
extension must be made in writing to the NIH specifying the need for 
additional time and the length of the required extension.

Recipients of NRSA support are responsible for informing the NIH of 
changes in status or address.

For individuals who fail to fulfill their obligation through service, 
the United States is entitled to recover the total amount of NRSA funds 
paid to the individual for the obligated period plus interest at a rate 
determined by the Secretary of the Treasury. Financial payback must be 
completed within 3 years beginning on the date the United States 
becomes entitled to recover such amount.

Under certain conditions, the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (or those delegated this authority) may extend the 
period for starting service or repayment, permit breaks in service, or 
in rare cases in which service or financial repayment would constitute 
an extreme hardship, may waive or suspend the payback obligation of an 
individual.

Officials at the awardee institution have the responsibility of 
explaining the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective 
training candidates before appointment to the training grant. 
Additionally, all trainees recruited into the training program must be 
provided with information related to the career options that might be 
available when they complete the program.  The relationship of the 
positions available and the training provided must also be 
discussed along with the applicability of these positions to any 
outstanding service payback obligation.

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research:  Every NRSA trainee 
supported by an institutional research training grant must receive 
instruction in the responsible conduct of research.  (For more 
information on this provision see the current announcement for NRSA  
Institutional Research Training Grants [T32] published in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts [PA-00-103; Release Date:  June 1, 2000] or 
the World Wide Web at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-00-103.html).

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained 
within specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an 
NIH solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to 
provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under 
no obligation to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that 
their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an 
Internet site.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

All candidates are strongly encouraged to contact the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Such contact should occur early in the 
planning phase of application preparation.  Such contact will help 
ensure that applications are responsive to the goals and policies of 
NCRR. 

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 
5/2001) at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html are 
to be used in applying for these grants and will be accepted at the 
standard application deadlines (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm) 
as indicated in the application kit.  This version of the PHS 398 is 
available in an interactive, searchable PDF format.  For further 
assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301/435-0714, Email: 
GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

To identify the application as a response to this program announcement, 
check "YES" on item 2 of page 1 of the application and enter the number 
and title of this program announcement.  Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application with five signed photocopies, in one 
package to:

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

The application must contain the following:

A detailed description of the research training program plan that 
should not exceed a 25-page limit.  Within the 25-page limit, a 
description of the Background and training strategies outlining the 
structure and multifaceted training in animal-based research the 
students will receive; special emphasis should, among others, focus on 
training in laboratory techniques such as cell and molecular biology, 
experimental design, statistical analyses, composition of scientific 
papers and reports, exposure to post-doctoral level training 
opportunities, and monitoring of progress; 

Qualifications of the program director and the participating faculty 
mentors, including a short paragraph outlining their research 
interests; 

Past research training records of both the program director and the 
potential faculty mentors; 

Institutional training environment(s), including participating resource 
and support by faculty in other departments or universities, as well as 
the institutional commitment to training veterinary students in 
biomedical research; 

Proposed plans for advertisement and selection of trainees, and 
assignment of mentors; and Institution’s plan for measuring the 
effectiveness of the training program, including the progress of the 
trainees in acquiring biomedical research skills (e.g., presentations, 
abstracts, publications), the impact of the program on the institution, 
and the impact of the program on the career choices, opportunities and 
further research activities of the trainees.  

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS 

Applications are evaluated for merit by NIH initial review groups based 
on the following criteria:

Past research training record of both the program and the designated 
mentors as determined by the success of former trainees in seeking 
further career development and in establishing productive scientific 
careers. Evidence of further career development can include receipt of 
fellowships, career awards, further training appointments, and similar 
accomplishments.  Evidence of a productive scientific career can 
include a record of successful competition for research grants, receipt 
of special honors, a record of publications, receipt of patents, 
promotion to scientific positions, and any other measure of success 
consistent with the nature and duration of the training received; 
Objectives, design, and direction of the research training program; 
Caliber of mentors as researchers, including successful competition for 
research support; 

The institutional training environment, including the level of 
institutional commitment, quality of the facilities, availability of 
appropriate courses, and availability of research support; and

Recruitment and selection plans for trainees and the availability of 
high-quality candidates.

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS 

Minority Recruitment Plan

The NIH remains committed to increasing the participation of 
individuals from underrepresented minority groups in biomedical and 
behavioral research. As first announced in 1989, all competing 
applications for institutional National Research Service Award research 
training grants must include a specific plan to recruit and retain 
underrepresented minorities in the training program. In addition, all 
competing continuation applications also must include a report on the 
recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities during the 
previous award period. If an application is received without a plan, or 
without a report on the previous award period, the application will be 
considered incomplete and will be returned to the applicant without 
review. Additional information on this requirement was published in the 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 22, Number 25, July 16, 1993. 

As indicated above, competing continuation applications must include a 
detailed account of experiences in recruiting individuals from 
underrepresented groups during the previous award period. Information 
must be included on successful and unsuccessful recruitment strategies. 
The report should provide information on the racial/ethnic distribution of:

o Students who applied for admission or positions within the 
department(s) relative to the training grant, 
o Students who were offered admission to or a position within the 
department(s), 
o Students actually enrolled in the academic program relevant to the 
training grant, 
o Students who were appointed to the research-training grant.

For those trainees who were appointed to the grant, the report should 
include information about whether those trainees have finished their 
training in good standing. 

After the overall educational and technical merit of an application has 
been assessed, peer reviewers will examine and evaluate the minority 
recruitment plan and any record of recruitment and retention. For 
competing continuation applications, the reviewers will examine and 
evaluate the record of the program in recruiting and retaining 
underrepresented minority trainees during the previous award period. 
The panel also will consider whether the experience in recruitment 
during the previous award period has been incorporated into the 
formulation of the recruitment plan for the next award period. 

The findings of the panel will be included in an administrative note in 
the summary statement. If the minority recruitment plan or if the 
record of recruitment and retention of minorities is judged to be 
unacceptable, funding will be withheld until a revised plan that 
addresses the deficiencies is received. Staff, within the NIH awarding 
component, with guidance from the appropriate national advisory 
committee or council, will determine whether amended plans and reports 
submitted after the initial review are acceptable. 

Training in the Responsible Conduct of Research
Every predoctoral and postdoctoral NRSA trainee supported by an 
institutional research training grant must receive instruction in the 
responsible conduct of research.  (For more information on this 
provision, see the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 21, 
Number 43, November 27, 1992, see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not92-236.html)   
Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal 
or informal  instruction in bioethics, scientific integrity or the 
responsible conduct of research.

Applications must include a description of a program to provide formal 
or informal instruction in scientific integrity or the responsible 
conduct of research. Applications without plans for instruction in the 
responsible conduct of research will be considered incomplete and may 
be returned to the applicant without review. 

Although the NIH does not establish specific curricula or formal 
requirements, all programs are encouraged strongly to consider 
instruction in the following areas: conflict of interest, responsible 
authorship, policies for handling misconduct, policies regarding the 
use of human and animal subjects, and data management. Within the 
context of training in scientific integrity, it is also beneficial to 
discuss the mutual responsibilities of the institution and the students 
appointed to the program. 

Plans must address the subject matter of the instruction, the format of 
the instruction, the degree of faculty participation, trainee 
attendance, and the frequency of instruction. 

The rationale for the proposed plan of instruction must be provided. 

Program reports on the type of instruction provided, topics covered, 
and other relevant information, such as attendance by trainees and 
faculty participation, must be included in future competing 
continuation and noncompeting applications. 

The NIH encourages institutions to provide instruction in the 
responsible conduct of research to all students in a training program 
or department, regardless of the source of support. 

The NCRR initial review group will assess the applicant's plans on the 
basis of the appropriateness of topics, format, amount and nature of 
faculty participation, and the frequency and duration of instruction. 
The plan will be discussed after the overall determination of merit, so 
that the quality of the plan will not be a factor in the determination 
of the priority score. Plans will be judged as acceptable or 
unacceptable. The acceptability of the plan will be described in an 
administrative note on the summary statement. Regardless of the 
priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded 
until the applicant provides a revised, acceptable plan. Staff within 
the NCRR awarding component will judge the acceptability of the revised 
plan. 

Following initial review, applications are also reviewed by the 
National Advisory Research Resource Council (NARRC).  The NARRC will 
consider, in addition to the assessment of the scientific and 
educational merit of the research training grant application, the 
initial review group's comments on the recruitment of individuals from
underrepresented minority groups into the research training program and 
the plan for instruction in the responsible conduct of research.

Trainee Reporting Requirements 
For those trainees who were appointed to the grant, a report is 
required.  This report should include information about the trainee(s) 
accomplishments upon completion of their award(s) or at the time of 
relinquishment of an award.

AWARD CRITERIA 

Applications are selected for funding primarily on the basis of 
scientific and educational merit, but other factors are considered, 
such as: availability of funds, research program priorities, the 
balance among types of research training supported by the awarding 
component, the acceptability of the plan for minority recruitment, and 
the acceptability of the proposal for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research. NCRR will notify the applicant of the final action 
shortly after advisory council review. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION 

For additional information, see the current document titled, 
"Guidelines for National Research Service Awards, Individual Awards - 
Institutional Grants" usually available at the institution or contact 
the appropriate NCRR staff person listed below. 

INQUIRIES AND NIH STAFF CONTACTS 

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the individuals 
designated below, in advance of preparing an application, for 
additional information concerning the areas of research, receipt dates, 
and other types of pre-application consultation. 

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: 

Franziska Grieder, D.V.M., Ph.D.
Division of Comparative Medicine
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6050 MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone: (301) 435-0744
FAX:  (301) 480-3819
Email:  griederf@ncrr.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Irene Grissom			
Office of Grants Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 6086
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
FAX:  (301) 480-3777
Email: grissomi@ncrr.nih.gov

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 PA, NCRR 
TRAINING GRANT FOR VETERINARY STUDENTS IN ANIMAL-ORIENTED, HYPOTHESIS-
BASED RESEARCH, is related to one or more of the priority areas. 
Potential candidates may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" from 
the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, 
Washington, DC 20402-9325 (telephone 202/512-1800) or electronically 
(http://www.health.gov/healthypeople).

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance 
Number 93.306.  Awards are made under the authority of title III, 
Section 487 of the PHS Act as amended.  The Code of Federal 
Regulations, Title 42 Part 66 are applicable to this program.  This 
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of 
Executive Order 12372 to 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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