SMALL GRANTS PROGRAM FOR CANCER EPIDEMIOLOGY

RELEASE DATE:  October 16, 2002

PA NUMBER:  PAR-03-010 (see addendum NOT-CA-04-020 and replacement PAR-04-159)  

EXPIRATION DATE:  September 27, 2004 (per replacement PAR-04-159)
 
National Cancer Institute (NCI) 
 (http://www.nci.nih.gov/)  

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES
April 21, 2003, August 20, 2003, December 22, 2003, April 20, 2004, August 
20, 2004, December 20, 2004, April 20, 2005, August 22, 2005

This Program Announcement (PA) replaces PA-01-021, which was published in the 
NIH Guide on November 28, 2000.

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:

o Purpose of the PA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism 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 Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences of the National Cancer 
Institute (NCI) invites Small Grant (R03) applications relating to cancer 
epidemiology with a primary focus on etiologic cancer research.  These are 
short-term awards intended to provide support for pilot projects, testing of 
new techniques, or development of innovative projects that could provide a 
basis for more extended research.

This PA will expire August 23, 2005 unless reissued.  NIH Grants policies 
apply to these awards.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Investigators may apply for a small grant to support research on a topic 
relevant to cancer etiology, which may lead to cancer control/prevention.  
Investigations may include:

Planning a complex epidemiologic investigation which may lead to a future R01 
application;

Developing or validating a laboratory, statistical or methodological 
procedure that has the potential for improving the quality of cancer 
epidemiologic research;

Analyzing previously collected data for epidemiologic purposes, such as 
combining data from several studies to examine consistency or strength of 
observed associations;

Obtaining support to study a question relevant to cancer epidemiology in 
special situations, such as the availability of special personnel for limited 
time periods, rapidly evolving research or limited access to an important 
resource; or

Obtaining funding for investigations of urgent or emergent issues in cancer 
epidemiology.

High priority areas in cancer epidemiology research have been identified by 
Progress Review Groups which help raise awareness of scientific opportunities 
afforded by each disease, such as multiple myeloma and cancers of the breast, 
colon/rectum, prostate, lung, pancreas, and brain.  Reports from these groups 
are available at the following website: 
http://www.nci.nih.gov/research_programs/priorities/.   Applicants submitting 
grants to this PA are encouraged to review these reports and consider 
research in these areas in planning a future R01 grant; developing and 
validating measurement methods; and linking genetic polymorphisms with other 
variables related to cancer risk. 

Examples of research proposals that would apply to this PA include, but are 
not limited to:  validating measurements in body fluids and tissues of 
exogenous exposures associated with the development of cancer; planning an 
epidemiologic study to apply validated relevant carcinogenesis markers to 
better understand the natural history of neoplasms and identify individuals 
at high risk; determining applicability of biomarkers of tumor initiation and  
progression for epidemiologic studies; developing and validating methods, 
including statistical applications, to measure dietary components and 
metabolites in foods and body fluids; developing a novel way to explore the 
relationship of obesity to cancer risk; or developing methodology to collect 
epidemiological data via the internet, maintaining integrity and 
confidentiality. 

Applications for support of purposes other than those stated should be 
discussed with program staff in advance of submission.  This initiative 
permits a wide range of epidemiologic investigations to enhance knowledge 
about the etiology of various cancers and means for their prevention. It is 
intended to encourage less experienced investigators, investigators at 
institutions without well-developed research traditions and resources, or 
experienced investigators for exploratory studies which represent a 
significant change in their research direction. 

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This PA will use the NIH R03 award mechanism.  The total budget may not 
exceed $100,000 in direct costs for the entire project.  The direct costs in 
any one year must not exceed $50,000.  The NIH has adopted a policy that 
limits the number of amendments to two.  The small grant is not renewable.  
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 budgeting 
format (see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm).
 
ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS 

You may submit an application 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 or community-based organizations

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

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

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

We encourage your inquiries concerning this PA and welcome the opportunity 
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:

Dr. Virginia Hartmuller
Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences
National Cancer Institute
6130 Executive Blvd., Room 5102
Bethesda, MD  20892-7324
Telephone:  (301) 594-3402
FAX:  (301) 402-4279
Email: hartmulv@mail.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD 20892-8329
Telephone: (301) 496-3428
FAX: (301) 402-0275 
Email:  ncidearefof@mail.nih.gov

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

Crystal Wolfrey
Team Leader, DCCPS Team
National Cancer Institute
6120 Executive Blvd., Suite 243
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone:  (301) 496-8634
FAX:  (301) 496-8601
Email:  wolfreyc@mail.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.

All application instructions outlined in the PHS 398 application kit are to 
be followed, with the following requirements for R03 applications:  

1.  R03 applications will use the "MODULAR GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" 
concepts. The total budget may not exceed $100,000 in direct costs for the 
entire project. The direct costs in any one year must not exceed $50,000. The 
total project period for an application submitted in response to this program 
announcement may not exceed two years.

2.  Sections a-d of the Research Plan of the R03 application may not exceed 
25 pages, including tables and figures.  

3.  Follow PHS 398 for R03 appendix materials.

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATES:  Applications submitted in response to this 
program announcement will be accepted by the receipt dates listed at the 
beginning of this program announcement.  

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FOR MODULAR GRANT APPLICATIONS:  Applications 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.

SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed, typewritten original of 
the application, including the checklist, and three signed photocopies in one 
package to:

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

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be 
sent to:

Referral Officer
Division of Extramural Activities
National Cancer Institute
6116 Executive Boulevard, Room 8041, MSC 8329
Bethesda, MD  20892-8329
Rockville, MD  20852 (for express/courier service)

APPLICATIONS HAND-DELIVERED BY INDIVIDUALS TO THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE 
WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED.  This policy does not apply to courier deliveries 
(i.e. FEDEX, UPS, DHL, etc.) 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-CA-02-002.html)
This policy is similar to and consistent with the policy for applications 
addressed to Centers for Scientific Review as published in the NIH Guide Notice
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-012.html.

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received by the date listed on 
the first page of this PA.  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

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
for adherence to the guidelines of this PA by the NCI program staff.  
Applications not adhering to the guidelines of this PA, and those 
applications that are incomplete as determined by CSR or by NCI program 
staff, will be returned to the applicant without review.

Applications that are complete and adhere to the guidelines of this PA will 
be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review 
group convened by the Division of Extramural Activities of the NCI in 
accordance with the review criteria stated below.  

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

o  Receive a written critique
o  Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the applications under 
review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score
o  Those that receive a priority score will undergo a second level review by 
the National Cancer Advisory 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:

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)

DATA SHARING:  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data.
 
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).  

Clinical trials supported or performed by NCI require special considerations.  
The method and degree of monitoring should be commensurate with the degree of 
risk involved in participation and the size and complexity of the clinical 
trial.  Monitoring exists on a continuum from monitoring by the principal 
investigator/project manager or NCI program staff or a Data and Safety 
Monitoring Board (DSMB).  These monitoring activities are distinct from the 
requirement for study review and approval by an Institutional review Board 
(IRB).  For details about the Policy for the NCI for Data and Safety 
Monitoring of Clinical trials see: 
http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/grantspolicies/datasafety.htm.  For Phase I and II 
clinical trials, investigators must submit a general description of the data 
and safety monitoring plan as part of the research application.  See NIH 
Guide Notice on "Further Guidance on a Data and Safety Monitoring for Phase I 
and II Trials" for additional information: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-038.html.  
Information concerning essential elements of data safety monitoring plans for 
clinical trials funded by the NCI is available:  
http://www.cancer.gov/clinical_trials/

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.  A 
continuing education program in the protection of human participants in 
research in now available online at: http://cme.nci.nih.gov/

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC):  Criteria for federal funding of research 
on hESCs can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/stem_cells.htm and at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html.  Guidance 
for investigators and institutional review boards regarding research involving 
human embryonic stem cells, germ cells, and stem cell-derived test articles 
can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-044.html. 
Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human 
Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see 
http://escr.nih.gov).   It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide 
the official NIH identifier(s)for the hESC line(s) to be used in the proposed 
research.  Applications that do not provide this information will be returned 
without review.

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 
http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of 
Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.393, Cancer Cause and Prevention Research 
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.

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


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