NLM SENIOR FELLOWSHIP FOR INFORMATIONIST TRAINING (F38)

RELEASE DATE:  October 21, 2003

PA NUMBER:  PAR-04-014 (This PAR has been suspended, see NOT-LM-05-014)
                       (Scientific review contact change, see NOT-LM-05-013)
                       (Contact change, see NOT-LM-05-007 and Correction to eligibility
requirements, see NOT-LM-05-005)

EXPIRATION DATE:  November 30, 2005

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)

PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:

National Institutes of Health (NIH)
 (http://www.nih.gov)

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATIONS:

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

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER: 93.879 NLM Medical 
Library Assistance 
 
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 OF THIS PA

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) believes that clinical care, 
biomedical research and education, and public health administration can 
be improved by the inclusion of in-context information specialists 
(informationists) into work and decision settings.  Informationists are 
information specialists who have received graduate training and 
practical experience that provides them with disciplinary background 
both in medical or biological sciences and in information 
sciences/informatics.  Their cross training provides informationists 
with a unique perspective on the acquisition, synthesis and application 
of information to problem solving and program development in their 
chosen area. 

The NLM Senior Fellowship for Informationist Training provides support 
for experienced librarians, scientists, health professionals and others 
who wish to become in-context information specialists.  Priority areas 
for informationist training are:  
o clinical informationist – to work in health care delivery and 
clinical research 
o research informationist – to work in biomedical research, research 
administration, or scientific curation
o public health informationist – to work in public health at the 
national, regional or local level
o consumer health informationist – to work with the general public on 
health information issues 

These fellowships are intended for experienced health sciences 
librarians, scientists, health professionals and others who wish to 
broaden their existing scientific background by acquiring the 
additional disciplinary knowledge to function as an informationist. The 
senior fellowship awards will enable professionally qualified 
individuals with at least ten years of post-graduate experience to take 
time from their regular professional responsibilities for the purpose 
of receiving specialized training. This award can be used in 
conjunction with a sabbatical experience.   

The candidates for this award will have an appropriate graduate degree 
for professional practice in their field, such as a research or health-
professional doctorate for researchers and clinicians. The requirement 
for a doctoral degree need not apply to candidates in the following 
professional fields: engineering, computer science, library and 
information sciences, nursing. However, graduate preparation for 
professional practice is required in those fields. 

TRAINING OBJECTIVES

New strategies are required to bring the benefits of the rich and 
complex digital information streams into the settings of clinical care, 
biomedical research, health administration and health professions 
education in a way that improves outcomes, reduces errors and fosters 
innovation. NLM sponsors a variety of informatics training programs for 
basic and applied research informaticians, but there is a need to 
expand the supply of information specialists who have cross training. 
Those who apply for NLM’s Fellowship for Informationist Training should 
have a work setting identified.
 
There is no widely-accepted curriculum framework for in-context 
information specialists. Upon completion of the training, fellows 
should be familiar with the use and potential of modern information 
technology to support work and decisions in one of the four priority 
areas: clinical practice, biomedical research, public health and 
consumer health and should also be conversant with a biomedical domain. 
Informationist fellows will achieve this goal through an individually 
tailored program of (1) formal coursework, (2) practicum experience, 
and (3) research project.  The program of coursework should augment the 
trainee's basic professional education by adding graduate-level domain 
expertise needed for informationist work.  The 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 each type of informationist may be 
different from that needed for basic research or for practice in a 
field. In all cases, the proposed curriculum should provide sufficient 
theoretical foundation in the chosen area for in-context application.

Working with information issues in-context is fundamental to the 
informationist concept. The fellowship must include a practicum, i.e., 
hands-on information management experience in the chosen setting. In 
addition, the fellow must complete a research project in the chosen 
setting. An opportunity to carry out supervised research, service 
and/or applications development in is essential to achieve the primary 
objective of this fellowship. Projects may be in basic informatics or 
information sciences research areas or may 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 relevance of the proposed project to the chosen setting.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT 

This program announcement for Senior Individual Biomedical Informatics 
Fellowships uses the F38 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 
fewer than ten years of professional experience are encouraged to 
investigate their eligibility for the Individual Informationist 
fellowship (F37).  The project period may be for one to two years, and 
awards are not renewable.

ELIGIBLE SPONSORING INSTITUTIONS

The sponsoring institution may be any of the following:

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 and labs of the Federal government including NIH 
intramural labs  
o Domestic or foreign

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS

By the date of appointment, applicants must have at least ten full 
years of relevant independent professional experience beyond the 
qualifying degree and any associated postdoctoral or residency 
training.  Relevant post-graduation experience may include research 
experience (including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, 
clinical duties, library service, or other time spent full-time in a 
health-related field following the date of the qualifying professional 
degree.  Exceptions must be approved in advance by the NLM Program 
Officer. All candidates must be willing to spend a minimum of 50 
percent of full-time professional effort in fellowship activities 
during the entire award period.

Candidates for the F38, under some circumstances, may have been 
principal investigators (PIs) on NIH research or career development 
awards, provided the research experience proposed in this application 
is in a fundamentally new field of study or there has been a 
significant hiatus in their research career because of family or other 
personal obligations. Current PIs on NIH career awards are not 
eligible.  A candidate for the F38 award may not have pending nor 
concurrently apply for any other type of NIH career development award.

Postdoctoral Trainees
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 some professions do not customarily require a 
doctoral degree (e.g., library science and nursing) and encourages 
application on behalf of individuals without doctoral degrees 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.  

Women, 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.

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. 

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

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

To apply for support, an institution must submit an application on 
behalf of the individual seeking the fellowship. Applicants proposing 
training at their doctorate institution or at the institution where 
they have been working for more than a year must document how the 
fellowship is designed to broaden their scientific background.  

Each fellow must have mentorship that provides guidance and oversight 
for the the selection of appropriate coursework, for the research 
project and the practicum experience. The mentorship may come from an 
individual or team of individuals who are expert in the domain area and 
area of informatics or information science that is pertinent to the 
proposed program. The mentor(s) may be at the applicant's home 
institution or at another institution.  If the latter, the plan for 
supervision and interaction must be described.  

OPTIONAL TRAINING COMPONENT AT NATIONAL CENTER FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY 
INFORMATION

Trainees who are interested in bioinformatics, either for clinical or 
for basic biological research, are encouraged to consider an elective 
training period during the fellowship of up to nine weeks at NLM’s 
National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI.)  Established in 
1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information, NCBI 
creates public databases, conducts research in computational biology, 
develops software tools for analyzing genome data, and disseminates 
biomedical information - all for the better understanding of molecular 
processes affecting human health and disease.
Fellows interested in the NCBI elective should contact:

Dr. David Wheeler
Tel: 301-435-5950 
Email: wheeler@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

ALLOWABLE COSTS
 
Stipends
Stipends for NLM Informationist Fellowships are determined individually 
at the time of award.  The amount of the stipend shall be based on the 
documented salary or remuneration paid to the candidate from the home 
institution at the time of award, and shall be based on the normal 
full-time 12-month staff appointment at the home institution.  However, 
in no case shall the NIH contribution to the stipend during the 
fellowship exceed the current legislated maximum salary; in Fiscal Year 
2002, the maximum salary provided by a Federal grant is $166,700.  For 
Fellows on sabbatical, the level of the stipend award will take into 
account concurrent sabbatical salary support provided by the home 
institution, and any other supplementation.

Training awards provide stipends to fellows 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 institutions, 
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. No departure from the established stipend schedule may be 
negotiated between the institution and the fellow. 

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  

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 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 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.  

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 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.

The institution may request additional funds 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.

Salary for mentors, secretarial, and administrative assistance, etc., 
is not allowed.

STIPEND SUPPLEMENTATION, COMPENSATION, AND OTHER INCOME

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. 

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, research, or clinical care.  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. 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.  

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 informationist fellowships (F38) 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

Full-time Fellows
Funded training periods may be for one to two years, and customarily 
require a full-time commitment.  That is, trainees are typically 
required to pursue their informationist training on a full-time basis, 
devoting at least 40 hours per week to the program.  Within the 40 
hours per week training period, informationist trainees in clinical 
areas must devote their time to the proposed training and must confine 
clinical duties to those that are an integral part of the research 
training experience. If the fellowship is proposed at less than full 
time, stipends will be adjusted appropriately. The minimum effort 
permitted is 50 percent of full-time.

Part-time Fellows
Fellows are typically expected to make a full-time commitment to their 
training program.  However, under unusual and pressing personal or 
professional circumstances, part-time training may be appropriate.  
Part-time training program at a level of 50 to 99 percent effort will 
be considered on an ad hoc basis with sufficient justification of need.  
If part-time training is requested, the application clearly justify the 
level of effort proposed, and clearly demonstrate how the research and 
program of study will be accomplished with respect to other duties and 
responsibilities.  A fellow will not be permitted to engage in NLM-
supported research training for less than 50 percent effort.  
Individuals desiring to 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.  
Stipend levels for part-time trainees will be appropriately pro-rated 
according to their level of effort.

Other Appointment Terms
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 Fellowships for 
Informationist Training 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. 

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.  F38 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 two areas, programmatic,  
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 changed, 
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 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. 6/02). 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 instructions and forms are available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/416/phs416.htm . Applications must have a Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the Universal Identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The DUNS number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at http://www.dunandbradstreet.com/. The DUNS number should be entered on line 12 of the face page of the PHS 416-1 form. The PHS 416-1 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/416/phs416.htm in an interactive format. Complete Item 3 on the face page of the application indicating that the application is in response to this announcement and print F38 NLM SENIOR FELLOWSHIP FOR INFORMATIONIST TRAINING. 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 career performance and the potential to become an important contributor to the chosen area of in-context information services. Sponsor and Training Environment: An assessment of the quality of the training environment and the qualifications of the chosen mentor(s) for the proposed research training and practicum 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 informationist. Additional Review Criteria In addition to the above criteria, applications 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 In addition to the general review criteria outlined above, reviewers of Informationist Fellowships will consider the following specific evidence: o The appropriateness of the coursework chosen to provide disciplinary foundations the applicant needs to function as an informationist in the chosen setting o The mentored practicum experience that requires the fellow to apply what is being learned o The quality of the research project that addresses an information problem in the chosen setting o The appropriateness of the mentorship communication plan o The feasibility of the timeline and milestones for accomplishing what is proposed o The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data, if applicable o The fellow’s plan for obtaining employment as an informationist. 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: o Scientific merit of the proposed project as determined by peer review o Availability of funds o Relevance to program priorities 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. F38 awards will not contain any provision giving PHS rights to inventions made by the awardee. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION: Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained. http://www.hhs.gov/ohrp/humansubjects/guidance/45cfr46.htm DATA AND SAFETY MONITORING PLAN: Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic, toxicity, and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (phase II), efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (phase III). The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants. (NIH Policy for Data and Safety 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 "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 is 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. STANDARDS FOR PRIVACY OF INDIVIDUALLY IDENTIFIABLE HEALTH INFORMATION: The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule," on August 14, 2002. The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR). Those who must comply with the Privacy Rule (classified under the Rule as "covered entities") must do so by April 14, 2003 (with the exception of small health plans which have an extra year to comply). Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/) provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-03-025.html. URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. 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. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found 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. REFERENCES: 1. National Library of Medicine Long Range Plan 2000-2005/Report of the Board of Regents. National Library of Medicine. [Bethesda, MD]: National Library of Medicine, 2000, pp. 17-18 2. Florance V, Giuse NB, Ketchell, DS. Information in context: integrating information specialists into practice settings. J Med Libr Assoc 2002 Jan; 90(1):49-58. see also Proceedings of the Informationist Conference, http://mlanet.org/research/informationist/conference_0402.html


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