INFORMATICS FOR DISASTER MANAGEMENT

RELEASE DATE:  July 25, 2002

PA NUMBER: PAR-02-137

EXPIRATION DATE: September 30, 2003 (per replacement PA-03-178) 

National Library of Medicine (NLM)
 (http://www.nlm.nih.gov)

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism(s) of Support 
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS PA
  
The National Library of Medicine wishes to support informatics research 
that addresses information management problems relevant to management 
of disasters. Disasters can be caused by nature or by man, through 
accident or by malice. Terrorism, particularly bioterrorism, is now an 
important focus of federal activity, but terrorism is only one of a 
number of threats to public safety classified as disasters. Disaster 
management is heavily dependent on efficient flow of information. How 
best to utilize information technology in a disaster situation poses a 
number of problems for which relevant informatics research is 
necessary.    

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classifies disasters as 
Natural (e.g. earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, wildlife fires etc.) or 
Technological (e.g. terrorism, nuclear power plant emergencies, 
hazardous materials etc.). Other classification schemes exist, but 
whatever the cause, certain features are desirable for management of 
almost all disasters:

o Prevention 
o Advance warning 
o Early detection 
o Analysis of the problem, and assessment of scope
o Notification of the public and appropriate authorities
o Mobilization of a response
o Containment of damage
o Relief and medical care for those affected

Because efficient realization of these elements is heavily dependent on 
adequate and timely flow of information, appropriate use of modern 
information technology can be of enormous help to those responsible for 
disaster management. How best to use the information systems in place, 
and how to improve their contribution to disaster management are the 
concerns of this PA.

Some informatics issues relevant for disaster management include, among 
others:

Standards to permit collection of data from diverse sources
Coordination of disparate information systems across jurisdictional 
boundaries, and among system owners
Design and deployment of appropriate databases
Current, accurate information for clinicians and public
Decision support systems for diagnosis and treatment
Pattern recognition algorithms
Preserving privacy while protecting the public
Tracking systems for response personnel, disaster victims, and other 
resources
Timely mobilization 

For the most part these are the same issues that have interested 
informaticians during the past decade with considerable success for 
clinical information systems. However, specific solutions are needed 
within the context of disaster management.  Universal installation of 
electronic medical record systems and physician order entry would 
doubtless provide multiple benefits, however, such systems are not 
likely to be widely in place in the near future. Solutions are needed 
that can utilize or incrementally improve the health care information 
systems of today. This PA is intended to encourage applications that 
seek such solutions.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the NIH R01 award mechanism.  As an applicant, you 
will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the 
proposed project. 

This PA uses just-in-time concepts.  It also uses the modular and non-
modular budgeting formats. (see 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).   
Specifically, if you are submitting an application with direct costs in 
each year of $250,000 or less, use the modular format.  Otherwise, use 
the standard PHS 398 instructions for detailed budgets. 

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the 
following characteristics:)
	
o For-profit or non-profit organizations 
o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, and laboratories 
o Units of State and local governments
o Eligible agencies of the Federal government  
o Domestic or foreign
o Faith-based organizations 

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

Individuals with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to 
carry out the proposed research are invited to work with their 
institutions 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 programs.  

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA 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:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Carol Bean, PhD
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 301 
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-4882
FAX:  301 402-2952
Email: beanc@mail.nlm.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: 

Merlyn M. Rodrigues, M.D., Ph.D.
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Rockledge 1, Suite 301, 6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 594-4253
FAX:  (301) 402-2952
Email: rodrigm@mail.nlm.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters 
to:

Chris Robey
Extramural Programs
National Library of Medicine
Rockledge 1, Suite 301, 6705 Rockledge Drive
Bethesda, MD  20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-4221
FAX:  (301) 402-0421
robeyc@mail.nlm.nih.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  The PHS 398 is 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in 
an interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES: Applications submitted in response to this 
program announcement will be accepted at the standard application 
deadlines, which are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/dates.htm.  Application deadlines are also 
indicated in the PHS 398 application kit.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS: Applications 
requesting up to $250,000 per year in direct costs must be submitted in 
a modular grant format.  The modular grant format simplifies the 
preparation of the budget in these applications by limiting the level 
of budgetary detail.  Applicants request direct costs in $25,000 
modules.  Section C of the research grant application instructions for 
the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html includes step-
by-step guidance for preparing modular grants.  Additional information 
on modular grants is available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPLICATIONS REQUESTING $500,000 OR MORE PER 
YEAR: Applications requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any 
year must include a cover letter identifying the NIH staff member 
within one of NIH institutes or centers who has agreed to accept 
assignment of the application.   

Applicants requesting more than $500,000 must carry out the following 
steps:
	
Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the 
application, i.e., as you are developing plans for the study, 

2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept your 
application for consideration for award, and,
  
3) Identify, in a cover letter sent with the application, the staff 
member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.  

This policy applies to all investigator-initiated new (type 1), 
competing continuation (type 2), competing supplement, or any amended 
or revised version of these grant application types. Additional 
information on this policy is available in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts, October 19, 2001 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-004.html. 

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten 
original of the application, including the checklist, and 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)

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by or mailed on 
or before the receipt dates described at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionschedule.htm.  The CSR 
will not accept any application in response to this PA that is 
essentially the same as one currently pending initial review unless the 
applicant withdraws the pending application.  The CSR will not accept 
any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed.  
This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an 
application already reviewed, but such application must include an 
Introduction addressing the previous critique.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS

Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit by the 
NLM Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC) 

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

o Receive a written critique
o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed 
to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of 
applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority 
score
o Receive a second level review by the appropriate national advisory 
council or board
	
REVIEW CRITERIA

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  
In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to discuss the 
following aspects of your application in order to judge the likelihood 
that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the 
pursuit of these goals: 

o Significance 
o Approach 
o Innovation
o Investigator
o Environment
  
The scientific review group will address and consider each of these 
criteria in assigning your application"s overall score, weighting them 
as appropriate for each application.  Your application does not need to 
be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major 
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score.  For example, 
you may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not 
innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

(1) SIGNIFICANCE:  Does your study address an important problem? If the 
aims of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific 
knowledge?  What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or 
methods that drive this field?

(2) APPROACH:  Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and 
analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the 
aims of the project?  Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and 
consider alternative tactics?

(3) INNOVATION:  Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or 
methods? Are the aims original and innovative?  Does your project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or 
technologies?

(4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well suited to 
carry out this work?  Is the work proposed appropriate to your 
experience level as the principal investigator and to that of other 
researchers (if any)?

(5) ENVIRONMENT:  Does the scientific environment in which your work 
will be done contribute to the probability of success?  Do the proposed 
experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific 
environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?  Is there 
evidence of institutional support?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your 
application will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o Can the project produce results useful now or in near future?
o Is the work applicable to other sites
o Is the P.I. appropriately aware of existing disaster management 
plans and resources?
o Is attention paid to the use of standards for information 
management?
o Are user acceptance issues considered ?
o Will the work be adaptable to tomorrow"s information technology?
o Is evaluation plan appropriate?

PROTECTIONS:  The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, 
animals, or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely 
affected by the project proposed in the application.

INCLUSION:  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.  Plans for the 
recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. (See 
Inclusion Criteria included in the section on Federal Citations, below)

BUDGET:  The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested 
period of support in relation to the proposed research.

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications submitted in response to a PA will compete for available 
funds with all other recommended applications.  The following will be 
considered in making funding decisions:  

o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review
o Availability of funds 
o Relevance to program priorities

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

MONITORING PLAN AND DATA SAFETY AND MONITORING BOARD: 
Research components involving Phase I and II clinical trials must 
include provisions for assessment of patient eligibility and status, 
rigorous data management, quality assurance, and auditing procedures.  
In addition, it is NIH policy that all clinical trials require data and 
safety monitoring, with the method and degree of monitoring being 
commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for Data Safety and Monitoring, 
NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).  

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 AMENDMENT 
"NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in 
Clinical Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide 
for Grants and Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html), a 
complete copy of the updated Guidelines are 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 RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy 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 is available at 
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 proposals for 
research involving human subjects.  You will find this policy 
announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, 
dated June 5, 2000, at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html. 

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.   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 PA is related to one or more of the priority areas. 
Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at    
MACROBUTTON HtmlResAnchor http://www.health.gov/healthypeople.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.879, and is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.  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 described 
at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm and under Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92  

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.


Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices


Office of Extramural Research (OER) - Home Page Office of Extramural
Research (OER)
  National Institutes of Health (NIH) - Home Page National Institutes of Health (NIH)
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
  Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) - Home Page Department of Health
and Human Services (HHS)
  USA.gov - Government Made Easy


Note: For help accessing PDF, RTF, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Audio or Video files, see Help Downloading Files.