SCIENCE EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP AWARD 

Release Date:  December 22, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-036 (see replacement RFA-RR-04-004)

National Center for Research Resources

Application Receipt Date: March 16, 2000 for FY 2000 awards; thereafter, 
October 1, annually

PURPOSE

The Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) Program encourages biomedical 
and/or behavioral scientists to work as partners with science museum 
educators, media experts,  and other interested organizations on projects to 
improve the student (K-12) and the public understanding of the health 
sciences.

This Program Announcement (PA) is intended to support either the development 
(Phase I) or the dissemination (Phase II) of highly meritorious and 
innovative models for enhancing K-12 student and/or general public health 
science education. 

The biomedical research community is engaged in exciting and highly complex 
research to cure or delay the onset of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, 
arthritis and many other conditions.  The research community is also 
exploring new frontiers in molecular biology and mapping of the human genome.  
The general public is aware and supportive of these efforts, but  lacks an 
understanding of the purposes, implications and findings of biomedical 
research and their impact on the health of this nation.  Science museums and 
centers are highly trusted and respected institutions within their respective 
communities and throughout the nation.  Science museums and science centers 
work closely with schools, research institutions and other community 
organizations to build public understanding of complex scientific topics.  
Science museums use interactive and "hands on" learning techniques to engage 
youth and adults in exploring science and in seeking knowledge.   
Consequently, science museums and science centers are strongly encouraged to 
submit applications in response to this announcement.

The National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) encourages the submission 
of grant applications from eligible organizations to 1) develop and evaluate 
model biomedical and/or behavioral science education partnership programs 
that focus on health-related research; 2) develop effective strategies for 
the dissemination of successful existing innovative biomedical and/or 
behavioral science education partnership models; 3) inform the public about 
health research  so that they can make healthier lifestyle choices from 
advances that emerge from health-related research supported by the National 
Institutes of Health (NIH); 4) pique the interest of youngsters in science in 
order to increase the number of college science majors.  This should increase 
the number of students, particularly members of underrepresented groups, who 
pursue graduate degrees in the biomedical sciences; and 5) develop a more 
science competent workforce. 

The NIH is offering programmatic assistance for applicants through a workshop 
scheduled for January 21, 2000 at:

Two Rockledge Centre
6701 Rockledge Drive
Room 9112/9116
Bethesda, MD
For updated information call: 301-435-0788

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000 

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000", a PHS-
led national activity for setting priority areas.  This PA, Science Education 
Partnership Award (SEPA), is related to all priority areas.  Potential 
applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at 
http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

Domestic organizations with a scientific and/or educational mission are 
eligible to submit applications.  Such entities include science museums, 
colleges and universities, state and local education agencies, biomedically-
oriented professional societies, science technology centers, research 
laboratories, media producers, private foundations, and other public and 
private education-related organizations, for-profit or non-profit.  
Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with disabilities are 
encouraged to apply as principal investigators.  Foreign entities are not 
eligible. 

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

Awards under this PA will use the education projects (R25) grant mechanism.  
The applicant will be solely responsible for the planning, direction, and 
execution of the program.  This PA is a continuing solicitation and is 
effective until otherwise announced in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts.  The earliest annual award date for SEPA applicants responding to 
the March 16, 2000 deadline will be September 29, 2000.  For applications 
submitted for the October 1, 2000 deadline, the earliest award date will be 
July 1 of the following year. 

Because of the wide range of programs that may be proposed, the duration and 
size of awards may vary also.  However, requests may not exceed three years 
of support and requested annual direct costs may not exceed $300,000.  
Applicants may choose to submit proposals that combine Phase I and Phase II; 
the project period for combined Phase I/Phase II applications may not exceed 
five years at an annual direct cost of $300,000.  Combining Phase I and Phase 
II may be of particular value for applications submitted from science museums 
and technology centers.  Facilities and administrative (F&A) costs, other 
than those awarded to State or local government agencies, will be reimbursed 
at eight percent of total allowable direct costs.  State and local government 
agencies will receive reimbursement at their full F&A cost rate. 

The number of applications funded in response to this PA is contingent upon 
sufficient number of highly meritorious applications received and the 
availability of funds as well as the diversity of programs in the portfolio 
and geographic distribution. 

Conditions of Award 

Two copies of the finished product must be provided along with the annual or 
final progress report.  Any products derived from the project activity must 
be publicized and must be freely available in the public domain.  Any project 
funded under the SEPA Program may not be used to endorse or publicize any 
profit-making activities. 

All publications, audiovisual materials and other products resulting from 
SEPA activities supported entirely or in substantial part by NIH should 
include the following or comparable acknowledgment of support:  "The project 
described was supported by Grant Number R25 RR XXXXX, from the National 
Center for Research Resources, National Institutes of Health" and  "Its 
contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily 
represent the official views of NCRR or NIH." 

A progress report must be submitted to the Office of Grants Management, NCRR, 
as part of the noncompeting continuation application submitted each year, due 
two months prior to the anniversary date of the project.  A final progress 
report is due within 90 days of the end of the project period.  Reports 
should summarize the goals, methods, and results of the activity undertaken.  
It should be accompanied by at least two copies of any materials intended for 
dissemination developed as part of the SEPA project.  The conditions of award 
cited above represent only a portion of applicable NIH policies under which 
SEPA awards will be administered.  All awards will be administered under the 
NIH Grants Policy Statement (revised October 1998), available on the NIH 
homepage at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps/.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 

Background 

In order for the NIH to fulfill its mission, it is necessary for adequate 
numbers of students to enter and remain in mathematics and science education 
tracks so that there will be a sufficient supply of scientists, engineers, 
and technicians to meet the Nation's future workforce needs in   the 
biomedical sciences and in the sciences related to health.  The NIH also is 
dependent on a scientifically literate public that understands the behaviors 
and lifestyles that increase the risk of disease and the necessity of the lay 
public to understand the key role of NIH-supported research which impacts on 
disease prevention, diagnosis of disease, and novel therapies that may 
alleviate or cure diseases.  Collectively, the purpose of NIH-based research 
is to improve health of people everywhere. 

Program Characteristics 

The SEPA Program is intended to 1) support the development and evaluation of 
model biomedical and/or behavioral science education partnership programs 
(Phase I) or 2) provide funding for the development of effective strategies 
for the dissemination of successful existing innovative biomedical and/or 
behavioral science education partnership models (Phase II). 

The program will support grants designed to encourage scientists to work with 
educators, community leaders and others to improve student and public 
understanding of science, and increase interest of young people in health 
science careers.  The focus of student activities is to be at the 
kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) level.  The scientists who study 
disease and illness, and those investigators who carry out basic research 
relating to these disorders, have a major contribution to make by conveying 
their knowledge and also the excitement in doing research.  However, it is 
essential that scientists work with elementary and secondary school educators 
and administrators, community leaders, foundations, industry, museums, the 
media, and others in order to make effective contributions to improving 
science education and improving public understanding of both the process and 
accomplishments of science. 

The program will support the development or the dissemination of model 
programs that join working scientists, educators and others in enhancing the 
pre-college science education and public understanding in biomedical science 
areas such as molecular biology, molecular genetics, immunology, 
neuroscience, and bioinformatics; behavioral science areas such as health 
promotion and prevention of disease, such as AIDS; and ethical issues 
relating to, for example, genetic engineering, environmental health, and 
responsible use of animals and humans in research.  These are but a few 
examples; numerous other biomedical and/or behavioral science areas may be 
proposed.  While SEPA projects must represent new activities and focus on 
health-related science, coordination with existing science education 
improvement programs, such as those funded by the National Science 
Foundation, the Department of Energy, the Department of Education, and 
others, are encouraged. 

The types of activities that may be proposed include, for example, the 
enhancement of current concepts in health sciences for present and 
prospective pre-college teachers; development of innovative curricula 
involving state-of-the-art technologies; facilitation of linkages between 
biomedical scientists and local community and school programs, involving 
students, teachers and parents; inclusion of a variety of media options in an 
educational partnership program; traveling exhibits and mobile science 
laboratories; large-format, high visibility films that can reach large 
audiences in a multitude of settings; interactive electronic media programs 
and experiences; hands-on laboratory experiences for students in faculty 
research laboratories (this is allowable for academic institutions and can be 
requested for Phase II proposals only); and the provision of 
scientific/educational consultation to professional or educational 
organizations or community groups to facilitate scientific literacy.  Many 
other types of activities may be proposed. 

Use of advanced technologies that incorporate modern pedagogical approaches, 
such as technology-based curricula and interactive computer strategies for 
enhancing student and teacher learning, are encouraged, as are programs that 
support the enhancement of  biomedical science literacy for underrepresented 
groups in science, including women and minorities.  Programs aimed at 
selected target populations, such as ethnic, racial, disadvantaged or gender-
specific activities, must be culturally appropriate for these populations. 
Grant funds may be requested for expenses clearly related and necessary to 
conduct the projects, including both direct costs that can be specifically 
identified with the project and allowable facilities and administrative (F&A) 
costs of the institution.  Expenses must be itemized and justified for each 
year of the proposed project. 

If the didactic materials are targeted to high school students, Phase II 
applications may include a summer research experience component for high 
school students.  In these instances,  the applicant must provide the names 
and competencies of the selection committee; describe the selection process,  
including the selection criteria; and include 3-4 examples of the research 
experiences that students will be provided.  

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS 

An annual SEPA Principal Investigator Meeting will be convened to foster 
collaboration, discuss newly emerging national strategies, coordinate 
dissemination, share evaluation methodologies and outcomes, and minimize 
duplication of efforts.  Travel funds for these activities should be included 
in the budget request for each year, and a statement regarding willingness to 
participate in these activities should be included in the application. 

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 subpopulations must be included in all NIH supported biomedical and 
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and 
compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is 
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of 
the research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993 
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the 
"NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research," which have been published in the Federal Register of March 28, 
1994 (FR 59 14508-14513) and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Vol. 
23, No. 11, March 18, 1994 available on the web at the following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

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

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) 
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 the policy from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy. 

APPLICATION PROCEDURES 

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in 
applying for these grants.  These forms are available in most institutional 
offices of sponsored research and may be requested from the Office of 
Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, Office of Extramural Research, 
National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 6207, MSC 7910, 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, fax 301/480-0525, Email: 
grantsinfo@nih.gov. 

Applicants must follow the instructions provided in form PHS 398 except for 
the following special instructions below. 

Face Page 

Item 1.  Also indicate whether this is a Phase I, a Phase II or a combination 
of both Phase I and II  application. 

Item 2.  Check "YES" and identify the number and title of this PA. 

Items 4 and 5 must be completed.  

Item 6.  The project period begin date should be the anticipated award date 
(i.e., July 1 or later).  The length of the project period may not exceed 
three years for applications requesting separate support for Phase I and II.  
Applications that request support for both Phase I and II may request support 
for up to five years. 

Research Plan 

Except as noted below, the following guidelines are applicable to both Phase 
I and Phase II applications. 

In general, the research plan should be structured to provide information 
sufficient to allow the reviewers to assess the project in terms of the 
review criteria stated below.  Note that there are separate sets of review 
criteria; one for plans to develop new SEPA models (Phase I), another for 
plans to develop strategies to disseminate SEPA-type models that have already 
been developed (Phase II). 

Goals and Objectives (Phase I and Phase II applications) 

Identify the long-range goals for the project and describe the specific 
objectives for the proposed project period. 

Significance and Rationale (Phase I and Phase II applications) 

Briefly summarize the background leading to the development of this plan.  
Explain why the particular strategy was chosen.  Include information on the 
process and rationale for selecting the scientific area, the educational 
approach, and the target population, and indicate how this project will 
address an unmet need.  Describe the advantages and limitations of the model 
selected, and its potential for widespread dissemination and adaptability for 
use by others. 

Preliminary Studies (Phase I applications only) 

For Phase I (model development), include any preliminary studies relevant to 
this application by the principal investigator and/or other key personnel.  
Also provide any other information that will help to establish the experience 
and competence of both program leadership and partnership organizations to 
effectively carry out the proposed project. 

Progress Report (Phase II applications only) 

For Phase II (dissemination), provide a detailed progress report of 
achievements with the existing pilot model, including: 

A description of the educational approach, the scientific content, and the 
nature and extent of existing educational and scientific partnerships and 
collaborative interactions. 

A detailed description of the educational material produced.  Identify the 
actual materials as "Exhibits" and include in the application.  Do not label 
these materials as appendices.  Some examples of exhibit items are: print 
materials (newsletters, booklets), videos, diskettes, and other computer 
software.  Limit exhibits to items that are readily portable and to materials 
considered to be essential to review. 

A description of the evaluation process.  Summarize the results of this 
process.  Include the evaluation instruments in the appendix. 

A summary of the impact of the current pilot model to date.  Include numbers 
of students, teachers and/or the public impacted by this approach, and other 
relevant outreach accomplishments. 

A description of any dissemination activities to date, or a description of 
the stage of development of the current model with respect to future 
dissemination plans. 

Proposed Plan (Phase I and Phase II applications) 

Describe in detail the activities proposed and how they will contribute to 
achieving the stated goals of the program.  Give quantitative data on the 
numbers of teachers, students, and/or members of the general public projected 
to be involved and the quantity and types of educational materials to be 
produced and/or disseminated. 

Explain the relevance and potential of this project for dissemination to a 
broad population, including efforts aimed at underrepresented groups in 
science, including both women and minorities. 

Explain clearly the nature and extent of educational and scientific 
partnerships and collaborations to be developed (or, for those already 
established, any plans for expansion or modification), and the roles of key 
participants in the planning and conduct of the project.  Provide 
documentation of the interest and commitment of partnership members to this 
project. 

If the didactic materials are targeted to high school students, Phase II 
applications may include a summer research experience component for high 
school students.  In these instances, the applicant must: provide the names 
and competencies of the selection committee; describe the selection process, 
including the selection criteria; and provide 3-4 examples of the research 
experiences that students will be provided. 

Describe the administrative plan to organize and manage the overall project, 
and provide a timetable for the various tasks and activities for the entire 
project period requested.

Describe the development and implementation of the plan for formative and 
summative evaluations of project activities.  Include strategies for 
revisions to evaluative instruments and educational processes and/or 
materials. 

For Phase II (dissemination) applications, describe the plans for 
continuation of the program following the end of support from SEPA/NCRR.

Appendix Material 

Information essential for the review of the application should not be 
included in the appendix.  Appendix materials submitted with the application 
must adhere to the PHS 398 requirements. 

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and three signed, exact photocopies in one package to: 

Center for Scientific Review 
(formerly Division of Research Grants)
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040, MSC 7710 
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) 

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application, and five 
copies of the Appendix, are to be sent to: 

Office of Review 
National Center For Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6018, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD 20892-7965
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service) 

After the March 16, 2000 receipt date, applications must be received by the 
October 1 deadline.  If an application is received after the deadline, it 
will be returned to the applicant without review. 

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS 

Applications will be reviewed by NIH staff for completeness and 
responsiveness.  Applications that are incomplete or non-responsive to this 
PA will be returned to the applicant. 

Applications that are considered complete and responsive will be evaluated 
for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group 
convened by the NCRR in accordance with NIH peer review procedures, using the 
review criteria stated below.  As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in which 
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, 
generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed, 
assigned a priority score, and receive a second-level review by the National 
Advisory Research Resources Council. 

Review Criteria 

Phase I - Development of New Models 

Significance of Model 

o  Appropriateness of proposed model to NCRR SEPA goals. 

o  Significance and merit of the proposed educational pilot model in terms of 
educational goals to be achieved for the target population and evidence of 
unmet needs to be addressed.  Potential adaptability of the model for use by 
others. 

o  Significance of biomedical and/or behavioral science content and 
participation by active scientists in appropriate disciplines. 

o  Relevance and potential for dissemination to a broad population, including 
underrepresented groups in science. 

Program Design and Evaluation 

o  Overall quality, feasibility, and adequacy of the design of the program to 
achieve its specific aims and long-term objectives. 

o  Merit of the program's evaluation plans, including formative and summative 
evaluation strategies. 

Resources and Personnel 

o  Qualifications, experience and commitment of the principal investigator 
and other key personnel. 

o  Appropriateness of proposed educational and biomedical and/or behavioral 
scientific partnerships and collaborations. 

o  Adequacy of institutional commitment from partnership members, including 
evidence of contributions to the project, availability of resources, and/or 
other examples of institutional commitment. 

Phase II - Dissemination of Existing Models 

Significance of Model 

o  Appropriateness of selected model to NCRR SEPA goals. 

o  Significance and merit of the selected educational pilot model in terms of 
educational goals to be achieved for the target population and evidence of 
unmet needs to be addressed. 

o  Relevance and potential impact of dissemination to a broad population, 
including underrepresented groups in science. 

o  Adequacy of biomedical and/or behavioral science content, and 
participation by active scientists in appropriate disciplines. 

Progress and Current Status of Model 

o  Significance of past progress, including evaluation of existing model, 
program impact to date, and readiness for dissemination. 

o  Effectiveness of existing resources and personnel, including partnerships 
and collaborations. 

o Applicability of model to broad populations.

o If summer research experiences are proposed for students, the adequacy of 
the proposed plans for selecting and preparing the students to pursue college 
careers in the sciences.
 
Program Design and evaluation 

o  Overall quality, feasibility, and adequacy of the design of the program to 
achieve its specific aims and long term objectives. 

o  Merit of the plans to evaluate dissemination activities, including 
formative and summative evaluation strategies. 

o  Adequacy of accessibility, feasibility, scope, and cost effectiveness of 
dissemination strategies. 

o  Appropriateness of plans to sustain the program after the period of grant 
support ends. 

Resources and Personnel 

o  Appropriateness and qualifications of the program leadership and other 
personnel to implement future plans as proposed. 

o  Adequacy of scientific and educational partnerships and collaborations for 
the proposed dissemination activities. 

o  Adequacy of institutional commitment from partnership members, including 
evidence of contributions to the project, availability of resources, and/or 
other examples of institutional commitment. 

AWARD CRITERIA 

Award decisions will be based on the technical merit of the application as 
determined by peer review, availability of funds, and programmatic priorities 
to ensure a balance among the various types of programs, populations served, 
and geographic distribution.  Consideration will be given to reaching 
underrepresented groups, including women and minorities. 

INQUIRIES 

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this PA are encouraged.  The 
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants is 
welcome. 

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: 

Dr. Krishan K. Arora
Research Infrastructure 
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6030, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0766
Email: arorak@ncrr.nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to: 

Mr. Paul Karadbil
Office of Grants and Contracts Management
National Center for Research Resources
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 6218, MSC 7965
Bethesda, MD  20892-7965
Telephone:  (301) 435-0844
Email: paulk@ncrr.nih.gov 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.3992.  Awards are made under authorization of the Public Health Service 
Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 
USC 241 and 285) 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 recipients to provide a smoke-free 
workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In addition, 
Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in 
certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.  This is consistent 
with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of 
the American people.


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