INDIVIDUAL BIOMEDICAL INFORMATICS FELLOWSHIPS

RELEASE DATE:  February 12, 2003

PA NUMBER:  PAR-03-070 (This PAR has been suspended, see NOT-LM-05-014)
                       (Scientific review contact change, see NOT-LM-05-013)
                       (Peer Review contact change, see NOT-LM-05-007)
                       (see change NOT-LM-04-004)

EXPIRATION DATE:  November 30, 2005.

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

This program announcement supersedes PA-92-90.

THIS PA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose 
o Training Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Eligibility Requirements
o Eligible Sponsoring Institutions
o Allowable Costs
o Stipend Supplementation, Compensation, and Other Income
o Tax Liability
o Payback Requirements
o Leave Policies
o Trainee Terms of Appointment
o Part-Time Training
o Other Special Requirements
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Submitting an Application
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Other Review Criteria
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE

Individual biomedical informatics fellowships provide support for the training 
of informatics scientists able to perform research into basic informatics 
problems or to application of informatics to any area of biomedicine, 
including clinical medicine, basic biomedical research, clinical and health 
services research, public health, professional education, and administration. 
Post-doctoral, pre-doctoral and, in certain specified fields, some post-
baccalaureate candidates are eligible.

TRAINING OBJECTIVES

Health informatics is concerned with the acquisition, representation, 
storage, retrieval, and utilization of information in a health-relevant 
domain.  Fellowship training is intended to help meet the growing national 
need for research investigators and leaders trained in the myriad of 
specialized areas in biomedical computing and health informatics.  Thus, this 
fellowship is suitable for training in informatics specializations ranging 
from clinical informatics to the informatics of molecular biology and other 
large research datasets.  Applications that focus on building new skills or 
extending the applicant's existing expertise are particularly desirable.  

Upon completion of training, fellows should be able to conduct basic or 
applied research at the intersection of biology and medicine with computer and 
cognitive sciences, and are expected to be familiar with the use and potential 
of modern information technology.  Fellows in informatics will achieve this 
goal through an individually-tailored program of formal coursework and 
research experience, culminating in a project.  

Although a canonical set of basic courses for informatics training has not 
yet evolved, there is general agreement that the field is interdisciplinary, 
and includes, among others, components of computer science, information 
science, cognitive science, and knowledge of one or more domains of 
biomedicine.  The program of coursework should develop or augment the 
trainee's basic competency in each of these areas.  This fellowship may lead 
to a degree, although it is not a requirement.  Whether or not the training 
is to be used for credit or certification in an educational program is up to 
the applicant, the fellowship sponsor, and the organization involved.  The 
curriculum for applied research training may be different from that needed for 
basic research training, but should provide sufficient theoretical foundation 
in the area of application.

The availability of opportunities to carry out supervised research and/or 
applications development in informatics is essential to achieve the primary 
objective of developing or extending knowledge and skills.  The fellowship 
must provide hands-on experience obtained via a defined project related to one 
or more of the NLM program areas.  Projects may be in basic informatics 
research areas or address an informatics application.  An applied informatics 
project does not require the form or concepts of a research project, and need 
not be hypothesis-driven, but the proposal should provide sufficient detail to 
permit reviewers to judge importance of the problem, feasibility of the 
approach, and the post-training utility of the informatics techniques 
required.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This program announcement for Individual Biomedical Informatics Fellowships 
uses the F37 funding mechanism.  For NLM, these awards are authorized by the 
Medical Library Assistance Act and are not a part of the National Research 
Service Awards Program (NRSA) of the Public Health Service.  However, the 
policies and requirements of the NLM program are similar in most respects to 
NRSA awards.  Applicants with 10 or more years of professional experience are 
encouraged to investigate their eligibility to apply for the Senior 
Informatics fellowship (F38). 

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS 

Postdoctoral Trainees
By the date of appointment, postdoctoral trainees must have received a Ph.D., 
M.D. or comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign 
institution.  Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited to, the 
following:  D.D.S., D.M.D., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., Eng.D., Dr. 
P.H., D.N.Sc., D. Pharm., D.S.W., and Psy.D. Documentation by an authorized 
official of the degree-granting institution certifying all degree requirements 
have been met prior to appointment is acceptable.  

Professional degrees
The NLM recognizes that graduates of training programs in professions that do 
not customarily require a doctoral degree (e.g., library science and nursing) 
can make important contributions to Informatics.  The NLM also encourages 
applications on behalf of individuals without doctoral degrees, but who have 
significant professional training and experience in closely related cognate 
fields.  Nurses, health science librarians, researchers, educators, 
administrators, and other health professionals are eligible, as are computer 
scientists and engineers who wish to focus on the health domain.  Successful 
applicants with no post-baccalaureate training typically have substantial 
professional experience in an area relevant to health or biomedical 
informatics.

Predoctoral Trainees 
Predoctoral trainees must have received a baccalaureate degree by the 
beginning date of their appointment, and must be training at the post-
baccalaureate level and enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in biomedical 
sciences or in an equivalent research doctoral degree program.  Predoctoral 
trainees with masters degrees are also eligible for this program so long as 
they are enrolled in a program leading to a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences or in 
an equivalent research doctoral degree program.  Health-professional students 
who wish to interrupt their studies for a year or more to engage in full-time 
research training before completing their professional degrees are also 
eligible.  

Applications on behalf of women and other groups underrepresented in 
biomedical informatics are strongly encouraged.

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

ELIGIBLE SPONSORING INSTITUTIONS

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

To apply for support, an institution must submit an application on behalf of 
the individual seeking the fellowship.  Applications on behalf of prospective 
fellows may be submitted by domestic non-profit organizations, public or 
private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, laboratories, units of 
State or local government, and eligible agencies of the Federal government. 
Applicants proposing training at their doctorate institution or at the 
institution where they have been training for more than a year must document 
the opportunities for new training experiences designed to broaden their 
scientific background.  

Each fellow must have a mentor who provides guidance and oversight for the 
training program. The mentor should be expert in an area of informatics or 
information science that is pertinent to the proposed program, and should be 
an active investigator in the area of the proposed research who will directly 
supervise the candidate's research. The sponsor must document the availability 
of staff, research support, and facilities for high-quality research training.  
The mentor may be at the applicant's home institution or at another 
institution.  If the latter, the plan for supervision and interaction must be 
described.  

The Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHCNBC) Co-
Mentorship Program is available to NLM Individual Informatics Fellows with 
project interests that coincide with research and development ongoing at the 
NLM.  In this program plan option, the Fellow spends the academic year at the 
home (sponsoring) institution, and the three summer months of each fellowship 
year on site at the LHNBC in Bethesda doing a relevant research project under 
the supervision of an NLM staff scientist.

Applications from underrepresented minorities (African Americans, Alaskan 
Native, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Pacific Islanders) and 
persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as applicants and as 
mentors.

ALLOWABLE COSTS

Stipends  
Training awards provide stipends to fellows as a subsistence allowance to help 
defray living expenses during the research training experience. The awards are 
not provided as a condition of employment with either the Federal government 
or the sponsoring institution.  For fellows sponsored by domestic non-federal 
institutions, the stipend will be paid through the sponsoring institution. For 
fellows sponsored by Federal, the monthly stipend payment will be deposited in 
the fellow's U.S. bank account or paid directly to the fellow by U. S. 
Department of Treasury check. 

Stipends must be paid to all trainees at the levels stipulated by NLM stipend 
schedules, which are based on NRSA levels.  The NRSA stipend schedule is 
updated from time-to-time and applicants are advised to check for the posting 
of the current stipend schedule on the NIH website at 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.  The NLM will adjust awards on 
trainee's anniversary date to ensure consistency with the current stipend 
schedule.  Applicants should contact the NLM individuals listed at the end of 
this announcement for current information on stipend rates not specified in 
this announcement or in the NIH Guide.

Postdoctoral Stipends
The current annual stipend for postdoctoral trainees is determined by the 
number of FULL years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of award.  
Relevant experience may include research experience (including industrial), 
teaching, internship, residency, clinical duties, or other time spent in full-
time studies in a health-related field following the date of the qualifying 
doctoral degree.  

Postdoctoral stipend rates in FY 2002 are as follows:

Years of Experience
0           $31,092
1           $32,820
2           $38,712
3           $40,692
4           $42,648
5           $44,616
6           $46,584
7 or more   $48,852

Fellows with less than one full year of postdoctoral experience at the time of 
award will receive initial support at the zero level.  The stipend for each 
subsequent year of support is the next level in the stipend structure and 
begins on the anniversary date of the award (does not change mid-year). No 
departure from the established stipend schedule may be negotiated between the 
institution and the fellow. 

Predoctoral stipends
Applicants not holding a doctoral degree at the time of award are eligible to 
receive the base NRSA predoctoral stipend.  In addition, trainees may be 
eligible for supplemental increases for professional training and experience 
in designated priority areas.  At present, the priority areas are health care 
and biological sciences, engineering and computer sciences, and library and 
information sciences.  Applicants with relevant professional training and 
experience in one or more of these priority areas should contact the Program 
Officer named at the end of this announcement for information on stipend 
adjustments for which they may be eligible.  The 2002 NRSA stipend for 
predoctoral trainees is $18,156.  

Tuition and Fees  
NLM will award 100% of the combined costs of tuition, fees, and health 
insurance up to $3,000 and 60 percent of the combined costs above $3,000.  The 
tuition formula is used for award calculation purposes only.  Actual costs may 
be higher.  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/nrsa.htm.  

Fellowships may not be used for study leading to the M.D., D.D.S., or other 
clinical, health-professional degrees except when those studies are a part of 
a formal combined research degree program, such as the M.D./Ph.D.  Similarly, 
trainees may not accept NLM support for studies, which are part of residency 
training leading to certification in a medical or dental specialty or 
subspecialty, except when the residency program credits a period of full-time, 
postdoctoral research training toward board certification.  

Trainee Travel 
Travel for attendance at scientific meetings that are important to the 
individual's training is an allowable trainee expense. The base formula for 
travel allows up to $1,000 per year per trainee.  In their proposed budgets, 
applicants for NLM fellowships should request additional trainee travel funds 
for a two-day meeting each year, to be held at the National Library of 
Medicine in Bethesda or at another site.  The purpose of these meetings will 
be to exchange information among all NLM trainees, including those at NLM 
institutional training program sites, institutional program directors, NLM 
program staff, and other selected participants. 

Support for travel by NLM fellows to a research training experience away from 
the primary institution is also permitted. Such experiences are acceptable as 
a complement to the course work, expertise, and experiences available at the 
parent institution.  Letters requesting such training may be submitted to the 
NLM at any time during the award period, and should explain the type of 
opportunities for training available, how these opportunities differ from 
those offered at the parent institution, and the relationship of the proposed 
experience to the trainee's career stage and goals.  The LHNCBC co-mentorship 
program described above is an example of such a program.

Awards for training at a foreign site may include a single economy or coach 
round-trip travel fare.  No allowance is provided for dependents.  U.S. flag 
air carriers must be used to the maximum extent possible when commercial air 
transportation is available for travel between the United States and a foreign 
country or between foreign countries.  Funds are not provided to cover the 
cost of travel between the fellow's place of residence and a domestic training 
institution. However, in cases of extreme need or hardship, a one-way travel 
allowance may be authorized by the sponsoring institution. Such travel must be 
paid from the Institutional Allowance. 

Health Insurance
In order to adjust policies to facilitate the recruitment of women and 
individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds as required by Section 487 of the 
Public Health Service Act (as amended), NLM will allow costs associated with 
family health insurance for trainees who have families and are eligible for 
family health insurance coverage at the sponsoring institution.  Self-only 
health insurance will continue to be an allowable cost for trainees without 
families.  Institutions may include the cost of family health insurance for 
trainees who are eligible for this coverage in the calculation of the combined 
cost of tuition, fees, and health insurance.  

Institutional Costs  
NLM provides an institutional allowance of $6000 per year per trainee to 
defray the costs of other research training expenses, including consultant 
costs, equipment, and research supplies.   This allowance is intended to cover 
training-related expenses for the individual trainee and is not available 
until the fellow officially activates the award. NIH will provide an 
institutional allowance of up to $3,000 for fellows sponsored by Federal 
laboratories for expenses associated with travel to scientific meetings, 
health insurance, and books. Funds for fellows at Federal laboratories will be 
disbursed from the NIH awarding institute.

Additional funds may be requested by the institution when the training of a 
fellow involves extraordinary costs for travel to field sites remote from the 
sponsoring institution or for accommodations for fellows who are disabled, as 
defined by the Americans With Disabilities Act. The funds requested for costs 
of this nature must be reasonable in relationship to the total dollars awarded 
under the fellowship and must be directly related to the approved research 
training experience. Such additional funds shall be provided only in 
exceptional circumstances that are fully justified and explained by the 
sponsoring institution.  Consultation with NLM program staff in advance of 
such requests is advised.
  
Facilities and Administrative (F&A, indirect) costs are not allowed on 
individual fellowship awards.

STIPEND SUPPLEMENTATION, COMPENSATION, AND OTHER INCOME

The grantee institution may provide supplementation or additional support to 
offset the cost of living on the condition that such supplementation does not 
require any additional effort from the trainee.  Federal funds may not be used 
for supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of both the 
program from which such supplemental funds are to be received and the program 
whose funds are to be supplemented.  Under no circumstances may Department of 
Health and Human Services (DHHS) funds be used for supplementation.  

An institution may also provide additional compensation to a trainee in the 
form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for services such as 
teaching, clinical care, or serving as a research assistant.  A trainee may 
receive compensation for services as a research assistant or in some other 
position on a Federal research grant, including a DHHS research grant. 
However, compensated services should occur on a limited, part-time basis apart 
from the normal research training activities, which require a minimum of 40 
hours per week. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a research 
grant supporting research that is part of the research training experience.  
Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or 
additional compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong the trainee's 
approved training program.  

An institution is permitted to provide funds to a fellow in addition to the 
stipend paid by the NIH.  Such additional amounts may be in the form of 
augmented stipends (supplementation) or compensation. 

Supplementation. Supplementation or additional support to offset the cost of 
living may be provided by the sponsoring institution, but must not require any 
additional effort from the fellow. Federal funds may not be used for 
supplementation unless specifically authorized under the terms of both the 
program from which such supplemental funds are to be received and the program 
whose funds are to be supplemented. Under no circumstances may Department of 
Health and Human Services (DHHS) funds be used for supplementation. 

Compensation. An institution may provide additional funds to a fellow in the 
form of compensation (such as salary and/or tuition remission) for services 
such as teaching or research. A fellow may receive compensation for services 
as a research assistant on a Federal research grant, including a PHS research 
grant. However, compensated services must only occur on a limited, part-time 
basis apart from the normal research training activities, which require a 
minimum of 40 hours per week. In addition, compensation may not be paid from a 
research grant supporting research that constitutes the research training 
experience. 

Under no circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the 
services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or prolong 
the fellow's approved NLM training program. Additionally, compensation must be 
in accordance with institutional policies applied consistently to both 
federally and non-federally supported activities and supported by acceptable 
accounting records determined by the employer-employee relationship agreement. 

Educational Loans or G.I. Bill. An individual may make use of Federal 
educational loan funds and assistance under the Veterans Readjustment Benefits 
Act (G.I. Bill). Such funds are not considered supplementation or 
compensation. 

Concurrent Awards. An NLM fellowship may not be held concurrently with another 
Federally sponsored fellowship or similar award that provides a stipend or 
otherwise duplicates provisions of the NLM award.

TAX LIABILITY  

Section 117 of the Internal Revenue Code applies to the tax treatment of all 
scholarships and fellowships.  Under that section, non-degree candidates are 
required to report as gross income any monies paid on their behalf for 
stipends, or any course tuition and fees required for attendance.  Degree 
candidates may exclude from gross income (for tax purposes) any amount used 
for tuition and related expenses such as fees, books, supplies, and equipment 
required for courses of instruction at a qualified educational organization. 
The taxability of stipends, however, in no way alters the relationship between 
NIH trainees and institutions.  NLM fellowship stipends are not considered 
salaries.  In addition, trainees supported under these fellowships are not 
considered to be in an employee-employer relationship with the NIH or the 
awardee institution. It is therefore, inappropriate and unallowable for 
institutions to charge costs associated with employment (such as FICA, 
workman's compensation, or unemployment insurance) to the fellowship award.  
It must be emphasized that the interpretation and implementation of the tax 
laws are the domain of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the courts.  The 
NIH takes no position on the status of a particular taxpayer, and it does not 
have the authority to dispense tax advice.  Individuals should consult their 
local IRS office about the applicability of the law to their situation and for 
information on their tax obligations.

PAYBACK REQUIREMENTS

Because the NLM individual informatics fellowships (F37) are not subject to 
NRSA policies, there are no service payback requirements.

LEAVE POLICIES

In general, fellows may receive stipends during the normal periods of vacation 
and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training positions at the 
sponsoring institution. For the purpose of these awards, however, the period 
between the spring and fall semesters is considered to be an active time of 
research and research training and is not considered to be a vacation or 
holiday.  Fellows may receive stipends for up to 15 calendar days of sick 
leave per year.  Sick leave may be used for the medical conditions related to 
pregnancy and childbirth.  Fellows may also receive stipends for up to 30 
calendar days of parental leave per year for the adoption or the birth of a 
child when those in comparable training positions at the grantee institution 
have access to paid leave for this purpose and the use of parental leave is 
approved by the program director.

A period of terminal leave is not permitted and payment may not be made from 
fellowship funds for leave not taken. Fellows requiring periods of time away 
from their research training experience longer than specified here must seek 
approval from the NLM program staff for an unpaid leave of absence.  

TRAINEE TERMS OF APPOINTMENT

Funded training periods may be for one to three years, and customarily require 
a full-time commitment.  That is, trainees are required to pursue their 
research training on a full-time basis, devoting at least 40 hours per week 
to the program.  Within the 40 hours per week training period, research 
trainees in clinical areas must devote their time to the proposed research 
training and must confine clinical duties to those that are an integral part 
of the research training experience.  

No individual trainee may receive more than 4 years of aggregate NLM support 
at the predoctoral level or 3 years of support at the postdoctoral level, 
including any combination of support from institutional training grants and 
individual fellowship awards. 

Any extension of the total duration of trainee support at either the 
predoctoral or postdoctoral level requires approval by NIH.  Requests for 
extension must be made in writing by the trainee, endorsed by the sponsor and 
the appropriate institutional official, and addressed to the NLM Program 
Officer. The request must include a sound justification for an extension of 
the limits on the period of support.

General information about NIH support of fellowships, including those awarded 
by the NLM, can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/training/extramural.htm.  
Please note that the "Service Payback" provisions do not apply:  NLM's 
Individual Informatics Fellowships require no payback.  Information about 
current NIH stipend levels and other support may be found in NATIONAL RESEARCH 
SERVICE AWARD (NRSA) STIPEND INCREASE AND OTHER BUDGETARY CHANGES EFFECTIVE 
FOR FISCAL YEAR 2002 at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-028.html. 

PART-TIME TRAINING

Fellows are expected to make a full-time commitment to their training program.  
However, under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a fellow may 
submit a written request to the NLM to change to less than full-time training.  
Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  They must be 
approved by the NLM in advance for each budget period.  The nature of the 
circumstances requiring the part-time training might include medical 
conditions, disability, or pressing personal or family situations such as 
child or elder care.  Permission for part-time training will not be approved 
to accommodate other sources of funding, job opportunities, clinical practice, 
clinical training, or for other responsibilities associated with the fellow's 
position at the institution.  In each case, the fellow must submit a written 
request countersigned by the sponsor and an appropriate institutional business 
official that includes documentation supporting the need for part-time 
training.  The written request also must include an estimate of the expected 
duration of the period of part-time training, an assurance that the fellow 
intends to return to full-time training when that becomes possible, and an 
assurance that the trainee intends to complete the proposed research training 
program. In no case will it be permissible for the fellow to be engaged in 
NLM-supported research training for less than 50 percent effort.  Individuals 
who must reduce their commitment to less than 50 percent effort must take a 
leave-of-absence from NLM fellowship support.  The fellowship notice of award 
will be reissued and the stipend will be pro-rated during the period of any 
approved part-time training.  

OTHER SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Certification and Reporting Procedures. No application will be accepted 
without the applicant signing the certification block on the face page of the 
application.  Individuals admitted to the United States as Permanent Residents 
must submit notarized evidence of legal admission prior to the award.  When 
support ends, the fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to the 
NIH.  Forms may be found on the NIH Website at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm. 

Inventions and Publications. Fellowships made primarily for educational 
purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements.  F37 awards will 
not contain any provision giving PHS rights to inventions made by the awardee. 

Data Sharing.  It is the policy of the DHHS that the results and 
accomplishments of all funded activities should be made available to the 
public.  This policy also applies to individuals supported by individual NRSA 
postdoctoral fellowships.  The sponsoring institution should place no 
restrictions on the publication of results in a timely manner. 

Copyrights. Except as otherwise provided in the terms and conditions of the 
award, the recipient is free to arrange for copyright without approval when 
publications, data, or other copyrightable works are developed in the course 
of work under a PHS grant-supported project or activity. Any such copyrighted 
or copyrightable works shall be subject to a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and 
irrevocable license to the Government to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use 
them, and to authorize others to do so for Federal Government purposes. 

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

Inquiries from potential applicants concerning this PA are encouraged.  
Inquiries about NLM Fellowships may fall into three areas, programmatic, peer 
review, and financial or grants management issues, and should be directed to 
the following individuals accordingly.

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to: (Contact change, see NOT-LM-05-013)

Dr. Charles Friedman
6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 301 Bethesda , MD 20892-7968 
Telephone: (301) 594-4882
FAX: (301) 402-2952
Email: Friedmc1@mail.nih.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: (Contact changed, see NOT-LM-05-007) Dr. Arthur Petrosian Scientific Review Administrator 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 301, MSC 7968 Bethesda, MD 20892-7968 Bethesda, MD 20817 (for courier/express service) Telephone: (301) 594-4933 FAX: (301) 402-2952 Email: petrosia@mail.nih.gov o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to: Dwight Mowery Extramural Programs National Library of Medicine Rockledge 1, Suite 301, 6705 Rockledge Drive Bethesda, MD 20892 Telephone: (301) 496-4221 FAX: (301) 402-0421 SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Individuals must submit the application form PHS Individual National Research Service Award (PHS 416-1, rev. 12/98). APPLICATIONS MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST THREE SEALED LETTERS OF REFERENCE. APPLICATIONS WITHOUT AT LEAST THREE LETTERS OF REFERENCE MAY BE RETURNED OR DELAYED IN REVIEW. Application kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research offices, online at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/416/phs416.htm, and may be obtained from: Extramural Outreach/Information Resources National Institutes of Health 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910 Bethesda, MD 20892-7910 telephone 301/435-0714 FAX 301/480-0525 email: grantsinfo@nih.gov Complete Item 3 on the face page of the application indicating that the application is in response to this announcement and print F37 NLM INDIVIDUAL INFORMATICS FELLOWSHIP. If the applicant has been lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, the appropriate item should be checked on the Face Page of the application. Applicants who have applied for and have not yet been granted admission as a permanent resident should check the Permanent Resident block on the Face Page of the PHS 416-1 application, and also write in the word "pending." A notarized statement documenting legal admission for permanent residence must be submitted prior to the issuance of an award. Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application (including the Checklist, Personal Data form, AT LEAST THREE SEALED REFERENCE LETTERS, and all other required materials) and two (2) exact, clear, single-sided photocopies of the signed application, 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) INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE REVIEWED. Concurrent Applications An individual may not have more than one individual NRSA fellowship or comparable application pending review or award at the NIH or other DHHS agencies at the same time. 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. Application Receipt Dates and Review Schedule Fellowship applications undergo a review process that takes between 5 and 8 months. The receipt dates and the three annual review cycles are as follows: Application Receipt Dates: Apr 5 Aug 5 Dec 5 Initial Review Dates: Jun/Jul Oct/Nov Feb/Mar Secondary Review Dates: Aug/Sep Dec/Jan Apr/May Range of Likely Start Dates: Sep 1 - Dec 1 Jan 1 - Mar 1 May 1 - Jul 1 PEER REVIEW PROCESS Applications will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit by the NLM Biomedical Library and Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC) in accordance with standard NIH peer review procedures. In general, the merit review criteria customarily employed by the NIH for fellowship applications will be followed. Additional information may be found at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm. After the initial merit review, the NLM program official will forward to each applicant a written critique and summary of the review of the application prepared by the Scientific Review Administrator. After scientific-technical review, staff within the NLM will provide a second-level review to evaluate relevance to the mission and scope of NLM. Following the second-level review, the NLM program official will notify each applicant of the final disposition of the application. Any questions on BLIRC recommendations and funding possibilities should be directed to the NLM program official, not the Scientific Review Administrator. REVIEW CRITERIA Candidate: An assessment of the candidate's previous academic and research performance and the potential to become an important contributor to biomedical, behavioral, or clinical science. Sponsor and Training Environment: An assessment of the quality of the training environment and the qualifications of the sponsor as a mentor for the proposed research training experience. Research Proposal: The merit of the scientific proposal and its relationship to the candidate's career plans. Training Potential: An assessment of the value of the proposed fellowship experience as it relates to the candidate's needs in preparation for a career as an independent researcher. 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) Budget. The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. Training In The Responsible Conduct Of Research. Applications must include a description of a program to provide instruction in scientific integrity and the responsible conduct of research. (See the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 21, Number 43, November 27, 1992.) OTHER REVIEW CRITERIA All applications must include in the proposed research plan an outline and description of the project including specific hypotheses, objectives, and milestones as appropriate. Applied fellowship applications will be judged as such and not as research training applications. Applications with an applied rather than research focus must include a specific section labeled Milestones following the Research Plan. Milestones should be well described, quantifiable, and scientifically justified. A discussion of the milestones relative to the progress of the project, as well as the implications of successful completion of the milestones for further investigation or implementation, should be included. The milestone section should be indicated in the Table of Contents. The clarity and completeness of the application with regard to specific goals and feasibility of milestones is critical. The presentation of milestones that are not sufficiently scientifically rigorous to be valid for assessing progress will reflect upon the scientific judgment of the applicant in this application. Applications for the LHNCBC co-mentorship program must clearly describe the plan for shared mentorship as well as supervision of the proposed project(s), and must include a letter of commitment from the proposed NLM mentor and the Director of the LHNCBC. AWARD CRITERIA Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved applications assigned to NLM. The following factors will be considered when making funding decisions: 1. Conformity to the features of this program announcement 2. Eligibility of the applicant 3. BLIRC recommendation of the overall merit of the application 4. Relevance of the application to the NLM program priorities and balance 5. Availability of funds Activation No funds may be disbursed until the fellow has started training under the award and an Activation Notice (PHS 416-5) has been submitted to the NIH. An awardee has up to 6 months from the issue date on the award notice to activate the award. Under unusual circumstances, an NIH institute may grant an extension of the activation period upon receipt of a specific request from the fellow. Terms And Conditions Of Support Fellowships must be administered in accordance with the current NRSA Policy Guidelines for Individual Awards and Institutional Grants (see the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm), the current NIH Grants Policy Statement (see the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm), and any terms and conditions specified on the award notice. Certification and Reporting Procedures No application will be accepted without the applicant signing the certification block on the face page of the application. Individuals admitted to the United States as Permanent Residents must submit notarized evidence of legal admission prior to the award. When support ends, the fellow must submit a Termination Notice (PHS 416-7) to the NIH. Forms may also be found on the NIH Website at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/forms.htm. Inventions and Publications Fellowships made primarily for educational purposes are exempted from the PHS invention requirements. F37 awards will not contain any provision giving PHS rights to inventions made by the awardee. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 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. 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. 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, Medical Library Assistance, 93.879. Awards are made under the authority of the Public Health Service Act, Section 472 (42 USC 286b-3) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations, most specifically at 42 CFR Part 61 and 45 CFR Part 74. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. This authority is separate and distinct from the National Research Service Award (Summary of Major NIH Support Mechanisms). Therefore, Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended (42 USC 288) and implementing regulations (42 CFR Part 66), requiring satisfactory assurance of meeting the service requirement is not applicable. While signature is still required on page 1 of the application, parts I, II, and III of the National Research Service Award Service Assurance are not included. 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. Note for Potential Applicants From time to time, NLM may change some elements of this announcement. Please consider the version on the National Library of Medicine WWW site at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/ to be the most recent revision.


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