CDC PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH: HEALTH PROTECTION RESEARCH INITIATIVE
INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING GRANT 
 
RELEASE DATE:  April 23, 2004
 
RFA Number:  RFA-CD-04-003  

EXPIRATION DATE:  June 22, 2004

Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
 
PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
 (http://www.cdc.gov)

COMPONENTS OF PARTICIPATING ORGANIZATION:  
Office of the Director (OD), Office of Science Policy and Technology 
Transfer (OSPTT), Office of Public Health Research (OPHR)
 (http://www.cdc.gov/od/ads/) 

Note:  The policies, guidelines, terms, and conditions stated in this 
announcement may differ from those used by the NIH.

CATALOG OF FEDERAL DOMESTIC ASSISTANCE NUMBER(S):  93.061
 
LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE:  May 24, 2004
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:  June 21, 2004  
 
THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research Objectives
o Mechanism of Support 
o Funds Available
o Eligible Institutions
o Individuals Eligible to Become Program Directors
o Eligible Scholars
o Special Requirements
o Allowable Costs
o Where to Send Inquiries
o Letter of Intent
o Submitting an Application
o Supplementary Instructions
o Peer Review Process
o Review Criteria
o Additional Review Considerations
o Receipt Schedule
o Award Criteria
o Required Federal Citations

PURPOSE OF THIS RFA 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office of Public 
Health Research (OPHR) announces the availability of FY 2004 public 
health research funds for institutional training grants to eligible 
institutions to develop or enhance training programs to provide 
research training opportunities for individuals, selected by the 
institution, who are training for careers in specified areas of health 
protection research.  Health protection should be interpreted to 
include activities that 1) promote health and/or prevent disease, 
injury, or disability or 2) protect people from health threats 
including infectious, environmental, and terrorist threats.  

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The large discrepancies between what Americans spend on health and the 
outcomes they experience may stem from how the nation’s health 
knowledge and resources are deployed within the health system and other 
sectors of society.  Most resources are deployed when people seek care 
for specific diseases and health conditions; health protection, health 
promotion, and prevention activities account for less than 3% of the 
nation’s investment for health services.  A major obstacle to 
prioritizing health protection is the lack of evidence supporting 
specific programs, practices, and policies that affect health decisions 
made by people and those responsible for health policies and programs 
in the public health, health care delivery, and educational systems, as 
well as their counterparts in businesses and other private sector 
enterprises, governments, and governmental agencies.  Development of 
this evidence is hampered by the lack of appropriately trained, 
qualified, and supported public health research investigators in 
relevant disciplines across all academic environments.  CDC has 
initiated this focus on development of institutional training programs 
that enhance the recruitment and training of public health 
investigators as one key component of its public health research agenda 
to address this gap. 

CDC has aligned its priorities and investments with those of the 
Department of Health and Human Services to achieve 2 overarching health 
protection goals: 

1) Health protection / Disease, injury and disability prevention: All 
people will achieve their optimal lifespan with the best possible 
quality of health in every life stage.  The strategies to accomplish 
this goals include developing the knowledge and tools that integrate 
perspectives from multiple scientific disciplines to focus on health 
evolving in “life stages” over a lifetime (infants, children, 
adolescents, young adults, middle-age adults and older adults), and in 
all situations (at work, in churches and communities, in school, at 
home, and at play).  Integral to the successful accomplishment of this 
goal is the elimination of health disparities that afflict many people 
in our society. 

2) Preparedness: People in all communities will be protected from 
infectious, environmental, and terrorist threats.  The strategies to 
accomplish this goal include developing the knowledge and tools that 
integrate perspectives from multiple scientific disciplines to focus on 
exposure prevention, rapid detection and diagnosis, investigation, 
containment, and recovery from health threats.

CDC’s health protection research initiative is designed to support 
achievement of these goals, and will help develop and disseminate the 
knowledge and tools that can be used by individuals, public health 
professionals, health care providers, educators, policy makers, 
businesses, private sector organizations, and others to measurably 
improve the health of Americans and reduce health disparities at all 
life stages and in all settings. 

Program Objectives

CDC is initiating institutional training grants in institutions of 
higher education to ensure a continuing supply of well-trained 
scientists prepared to lead efforts in conducting cutting-edge public 
health research.

The institutional research training grants described in this 
announcement provide support to training programs at institutions of 
higher education.  Institutional training grants are designed to allow 
the director of the institutional program to select the scholars and to 
develop a curriculum of study and research experiences necessary to 
provide high quality public health research training.  Training 
programs that allow support for study opportunities from complementary 
disciplines and/or stimulate other relevant interdisciplinary training 
within the institution are encouraged.  In order to maximize the unique 
strengths and capabilities of institutions, consideration will be given 
to the development of new and innovative academic component programs 
that are relevant to the field of public health research.

In conducting activities to achieve the purpose of this program, the 
awardee institution will be responsible for the following activities 
that define the programs to be conducted:

o  Provide measures of effectiveness that will demonstrate the
accomplishment of the various objectives of the grant. Measures must be 
objective/quantitative and must measure the intended outcomes. These 
measures shall be submitted with the application and shall be an 
element of the evaluation.
o  The applicant shall be an identifiable organizational unit.
Relationships and cooperative arrangements should be made with other 
schools or departments with relevant disciplines and resources (e.g., 
epidemiology, biostatistics, environmental health, law, business 
administration, education).
o  Designate a program director who is full-time faculty and
professional staff and who is capable of planning, establishing,
implementing, and evaluating the training program.
o  Designate faculty and staff with demonstrated training and research 
expertise, appropriate facilities, and ongoing training and activities 
in public health research.  While the institution is expected to have 
sufficient ongoing public health research  projects, it may lack 
specific shared public health research support elements.  Therefore, 
programs may ask for funding to develop additional shared public health 
research support facilities critical to the conduct of team research, 
including, for example, specialized expertise in research design or 
biostatistics, or a pool of study coordinators to be used by the 
scholars.

Individuals will be trained in team research settings.  Programs will 
include didactic and practical training in various aspects of the 
design, conduct, and analysis of public health research with the goal 
of advancing public health research in complex areas of health 
protection research and promoting the conduct of research in highly 
collaborative settings.  Programs must develop and propose a core 
didactic curriculum that will be presented to all first year public 
health scholars. Examples of a multidisciplinary core curriculum 
include:

o Research methodology (including hypothesis generation, protocol
design, pilot studies, outreach efforts to transfer research findings 
into practice)
o Epidemiology
o Biostatistics
o Informatics
o Economics
o Ethical issues in research 
o Compliance with regulatory requirements for research
o Team leadership and management
o Grant writing

The first year of each scholar’s program should be dedicated primarily 
to core curriculum that must include a multi-disciplinary aspect to 
foster interaction among scholars and faculty from various disciplines.  
The curriculum should link to other available research training 
programs at the institution.  The program must demonstrate the 
flexibility to accommodate multiple disciplines and scholars with 
different levels of education, training, and didactic and research 
experience.

The second through third year of each scholar’s program should consist 
of: (1) a “hands-on” research experience (e.g., protocol development, 
data analysis, and report writing) in an existing team research 
setting, and (2) developing a public health research project to provide 
experience in grant writing and program management.

Predoctoral Training.  Predoctoral research training must lead to the 
Ph.D. degree or a comparable research doctoral degree.  Students 
enrolled in health-professional training programs that wish to postpone 
their professional studies in order to engage in full-time research 
training may also be appointed to an Institutional Research Training 
Grant.  Predoctoral research training must emphasize fundamental 
training in areas of public health sciences.  

Postdoctoral Training.  Postdoctoral research training is for 
individuals who have received a Ph.D., D.V.M, D.D.S., M.D., or a 
comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign 
institution. Research training at the postdoctoral level must emphasize 
specialized training to meet national public health research 
priorities.

Research training grants are a desirable mechanism for the postdoctoral 
training of physicians and other health professionals who may have 
extensive medical/epidemiological training but limited research 
experience.  For such individuals, the training may be a part of a 
research degree program.  In all cases, postdoctoral scholars should 
agree to engage in at least 2 years of research, research training, or 
comparable activities beginning at the time of appointment.  The 
duration of training has been shown to be strongly correlated with 
retention in post-training research activity.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This Institutional research training grant will be awarded for periods 
up to 3 years.  It is the first award of this type offered by CDC and 
it is not renewable.  Successful applicants may use the information and 
the research results from this first award to show eligibility or 
responsiveness for future announcements.  

Awards within an approved project period are made in 12-month 
increments with support for additional years based on satisfactory 
progress and the continued availability of funds.  The institution is 
responsible for planning, directing, executing, and evaluating the 
training program.

This RFA uses the non-modular budgeting format, as described in the 
instructions for non-modular budget research grant applications.
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html.  This program 
does not require cost sharing.   

Scholar appointments are normally made in 12-month increments. No 
scholar may be appointed for less than 9 months during the initial 
period of appointment, except with the prior approval of CDC. No 
individual scholar may receive more than 3 years of aggregate support 
at the predoctoral or the postdoctoral level.  

FUNDS AVAILABLE
 
CDC intends to commit approximately $4,000,000 in FY 2004 to fund 2 to 
4 new grants.  An applicant may request up to three consecutive 12-
month budget periods within a project period of up to 3 years.  Because 
the nature and scope of the proposed training program will vary from 
application to application, it is anticipated that the size and 
duration of each award will also vary.  Awards pursuant to this RFA are 
contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a 
sufficient number of meritorious applications. 

Matching funds are not required.

ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS

Eligible institutions include:
o Non-profit organizations
o Public or private institutions, such as schools of public health,  
schools of medicine, other health professional schools, or other   
institutions of higher education
o Domestic institutions/organizations

Foreign institutions and foreign collaborators are not eligible for 
this award.

The applicant institution must have a strong research program in the 
area(s) proposed for research training and must have the requisite 
staff and facilities to carry out the proposed program.  Collaborating 
institutions may be included to supplement training activities in 
needed areas.

An applicant organization may submit only one (1) application. 

Note: Title 2 of the United States Code section 1611 states that an 
organization described in section 501©(4) of the Internal Revenue Code 
that engages in lobbying activities is not eligible to receive Federal 
funds constituting an award, grant, or loan.

INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PROGRAM DIRECTORS

The program director will be responsible for planning, directing, 
executing, and evaluating the proposed training program for the 
institution.  Program directors should have a strong and active track 
record in research, research training, and administration that 
demonstrates the skills, knowledge, and experience necessary to develop 
and manage the proposed Career Development Program.  Any individual 
with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to organize and 
implement a high quality research training program is invited to work 
with their institution as the director of the research training program 
in order to develop an application for support.  Individuals from 
underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with 
disabilities are always encouraged to apply for CDC programs.  The 
research training program director at the institution will be 
responsible for the selection and appointment of scholars to the 
research training grant and for the overall direction, management, 
evaluation and administration of the program.

ELIGIBLE SCHOLARS

Research scholars are appointed to the training program with the 
primary objective of developing or extending their research skills and 
knowledge in preparation for a public health research career.  The 
scholar must be a citizen or non-citizen national of the United States 
or must have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in 
possession of a currently valid Alien Registration Receipt Card I-551, 
or some 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. 

Scholars must devote 100 percent (at least 40 hours per week) of their 
full-time professional efforts to the training program and have a 
mentor with extensive research experience.

Predoctoral Scholars.  Predoctoral scholars 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 science or in an equivalent research 
doctoral degree program.  Health-professional students, graduate 
students in the quantitative sciences, or individuals in postgraduate 
epidemiologic training who wish to interrupt their studies for a year 
or more to engage in full-time research training before completing 
their normal training programs are also eligible.

Postdoctoral Scholars.  Postdoctoral scholars must have received, as of 
the beginning date of the appointment, a Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., or 
comparable doctoral degree from an accredited domestic or foreign 
institution.  Eligible doctoral degrees include, but are not limited 
to, the following: D.M.D., D.C., D.O., D.V.M., O.D., D.P.M., Sc.D., 
Eng.D., Dr.P.H., D.N.Sc., Pharm.D., N.D. (Doctor of Naturopathy), 
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 the beginning date of training is acceptable.
 
SPECIAL PROGRAM CONSIDERATIONS  

The primary objective of the program is to develop and establish 
programs to ensure a continuing supply of well-trained scientists to 
lead efforts in conducting cutting edge public health research.  Within 
the expanded framework of public health research, recruiting 
individuals from racial or ethnic underrepresented groups is a high 
priority.  The following groups have been identified as 
underrepresented in translating knowledge about disease and injury into 
scientifically grounded public health programs, policies, and 
interventions with significant impact on people in all life stages: 
African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaska 
Natives, Asians, and Pacific Islanders.  Use of the term "minority" in 
this announcement will refer to these groups.

ALLOWABLE COSTS  

Funds may be requested for:

A.  Stipends:  Funds, in the form of stipends, are provided to graduate 
students and postdoctoral scholars.  A stipend is provided as a 
subsistence allowance to help scholars defray living expenses during 
the research training experience.  It is not provided as a condition of 
employment with either the Federal Government or the awardee 
institution.  Stipends must be paid to all scholars at the levels 
approved by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human 
Services.  Stipend levels are adjusted nearly every year and current 
stipend levels are available on the NIH website at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsa.htm.  

The training institution may not alter established stipend levels.  
Further, stipend amounts are not to be changed in the middle of an 
appointment period.  Stipends may be adjusted only at the time of 
appointment or reappointment.  Finally, stipends must be based on the 
levels established for the current fiscal year of the grant.  For 
appointments of less than a full year, the stipend will be based on a 
monthly or daily pro-ration.  The monthly stipend amount is calculated 
by dividing the current annual stipend by 12.  The daily stipend is 
calculated by dividing the current annual stipend by 365.  For 
postdoctoral scholars the appropriate stipend level is based on the 
number of FULL years of relevant postdoctoral experience at the time of 
appointment.  Relevant experience may include research experience 
(including industrial), teaching, internship, residency, public health 
duties, or other time spent in full-time studies in a health-related 
field following the date of the qualifying doctoral degree. 

B.  Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance:  The combined cost of tuition, 
fees, and health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) 
at the following rate: 100 percent of all costs up to $3,000 and 60 
percent of costs above $3,000.  Costs associated with tuition, fees, 
and health insurance are allowable only if they are applied 
consistently to all persons in a similar research training status at 
the institution regardless of the source of support.  A full 
description of the tuition policy is contained within the Grants Policy 
Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_iib_4.htm#_Toc504812072. 

C.  Other Scholar Costs: Scholar travel, including attendance at 
scientific meetings that the institution determines to be necessary to 
the individual's research training, is an allowable scholar expense.  
In addition, support for travel to a research training experience away 
from the institution may be permitted.  Research training experiences 
away from the parent institution must be justified considering the type 
of opportunities for training available, the manner in which these 
opportunities differ from and complement those offered at the parent 
institution, and the relationship of the proposed experience to the 
scholar's career stage and goals.  This type of research training 
requires prior approval from the CDC.  Letters requesting such training 
may be submitted to the OPHR at any time during the award period.  
Under exceptional circumstances, which can include providing 
accommodations for a scholar with disabilities, it is possible to 
request institutional costs above the standard rate.  Requests for 
additional scholar costs must be explained in detail and carefully 
justified in the application.  Consultation with OPHR program staff in 
advance of such requests is strongly advised.

D.  Training Related Expenses: Institutional costs of $2,200 a year per 
predoctoral scholar and $3,850 a year per postdoctoral scholar may be 
requested to defray the costs of other research training related 
expenses, such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research 
supplies, and travel expenses for the training faculty.  Training 
related expenses may be adjusted in future fiscal years. 

E.  Facilities and Administrative Costs:  A facilities and 
administrative allowance (indirect cost allowance) based on 8 percent 
of total allowable direct costs (this excludes amounts for tuition, 
fees, health insurance, and equipment) may be requested.  Information 
on Facilities and Administrative Costs is available in the Grants 
Policy Statement at 
http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/part_iib_4.htm#_Toc504812080.

STIPEND SUPPLEMENTATION, COMPENSATION, AND OTHER INCOME 

The grantee institution is allowed to provide funds to an individual in 
addition to the stipends paid by the CDC.  Such additional amounts 
either may be in the form of augmented stipends (supplementation) or in 
the form of compensation, such as salary or tuition remission for 
services such as teaching or serving as a laboratory assistant, 
provided the conditions described below are met.  Under no 
circumstances may the conditions of stipend supplementation or the 
services provided for compensation interfere with, detract from, or 
prolong the scholar's approved research training grant program.  
Stipend Supplementation: Supplementation or additional support to 
offset the cost of living may be provided by the grantee institution. 
Supplementation does not require additional effort from the scholar.  
DHHS funds may not be used for supplementation under any circumstances.  
Additionally, no funds from other Federal agencies may be used for 
supplementation unless specifically authorized by the CDC and the other 
Federal Agency.   
 
Compensation:  An institution may provide additional funds to a scholar 
in the form of compensation (as salary and/or tuition remission) for 
services such as teaching or serving as a research assistant.  A 
scholar 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 the 
research training experience. 

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:  A research training grant may not be held 
concurrently with another federally sponsored fellowship or similar 
Federal award that provides a stipend or otherwise duplicates 
provisions of this grant. 

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 scholar and institutions.  The stipends are not considered 
salaries.  In addition, scholars supported under the grant are not 
considered to be in an employee-employer relationship with the CDC 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 training grant.  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 CDC 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.

LEAVE

In general, scholars may receive stipends during the normal periods of 
vacation and holidays observed by individuals in comparable training 
positions at the grantee institution. For the purpose of these awards, 
however, the period between the spring and fall semesters is considered 
an active time of research and research training and is not considered 
to be a vacation or holiday.  Scholars 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.  Scholars 
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 grant funds for leave not taken.  Individuals requiring periods of 
time away from their research training experience longer than specified 
here must seek approval from the CDC for an unpaid leave of absence.  
At the beginning of a leave of absence, the scholars must submit a 
Termination Notice (PHS Form 416-7) and upon return from the leave of 
absence, the scholars must be formally reappointed to the grant by 
submitting an updated Statement of Appointment (PHS Form 2271).  

PART-TIME TRAINING

Under unusual and pressing personal circumstances, a Program Director 
may submit a written request to the awarding component to change a 
scholar appointment to less than full-time.  Such requests will be 
considered on a case-by-case basis and must be approved by the CDC 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, public health practice, 
public health training, or for other responsibilities associated with 
the scholars' position at the institution.  In each case, the Program 
Director must submit a written request countersigned by the scholars 
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 scholars intends to 
return to full-time training when that becomes possible, and an 
assurance that the scholar intends to complete the research training 
program. In no case will it be permissible for the scholar to be 
engaged in 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 training grant support.  The 
stipend will be pro-rated in the grant award during the period of any 
approved part-time training.
 
WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

CDC encourages inquiries concerning this RFA and welcomes the 
opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.  Inquiries 
may fall into three areas:  scientific/research, peer review, and 
financial or grants management issues:

o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to:

Tanja Popovic, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.M.
Acting Associate Director for Science
Office of Science Policy and Technology Transfer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, N.E., Mail Stop D-50
Atlanta, Georgia, 30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-7240
Email: TPopovic@cdc.gov

o Direct your questions about peer review issues to:

Catherine Spruill
Office of Science Policy and Technology Transfer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road N.E., Mail Stop D-50
Atlanta, Georgia, 30333
Telephone:  (404) 639-7240
Email: CSpruill@cdc.gov

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

Sylvia Dawson
Procurements and Grants Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Koger Office Park, Colgate Building, Mail-Stop E-14
2920 Brandywine Road, 
Atlanta, Georgia, 30341-5539 
Telephone:  (770) 488-2771
Email: SDawson@cdc.gov 
 
LETTER OF INTENT
 
Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that 
includes the following information:
o Descriptive title of the proposed research
o Name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address of the   
Principal Investigator
o Names of other key personnel 
o Participating institutions
o Number and title of this RFA 

Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does 
not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information 
that it contains allows CDC staff to estimate the potential review 
workload and plan the review.
 
The letter of intent is to be sent by the date listed at the beginning 
of this document.  The letter of intent should be sent to:

Heidi Steele
Office of Public Health Research
Office of Science Policy and Technology Transfer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road N.E., Mail Stop D-50
Atlanta, Georgia, 30333
Telephone:  (770) 488-8612
Email: HSteele@cdc.gov

SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION

Applications must be prepared using the PHS 398 research grant 
application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001).  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 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form. The PHS 398 document is 
available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in 
an interactive format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.
 
Instructions provided with this RFA supercede instructions provided in 
PHS 398.  

USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 
5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page 
of the application.  Type the RFA number on the label.  Failure to use 
this label could result in delayed processing of the application such 
that it may not reach the review committee in time for review.  In 
addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face 
page of the application form and the YES box must be marked. The RFA 
label is also available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/labels.pdf.
 
SENDING AN APPLICATION 

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

Center for Scientific Review
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier services)
 
At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and 
the appendix material must be sent to:

Heidi Steele
Office of Public Health Research
Office of Science Policy and Technology Transfer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road N.E., Mail Stop D-50
Atlanta, Georgia, 30333
Telephone:  (770) 488-8612
Email: HSteele@cdc.gov

APPLICATION PROCESSING: Applications must be received on or before the 
application receipt date listed in the heading of this RFA.  If an 
application is received after that date, it will be returned to the 
applicant without review. 

Although there is no immediate acknowledgement of the receipt of an 
application, applicants are generally notified of the review and 
funding assignment within 8 weeks.
 
Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by Center 
for Scientific Review, NIH, and for responsiveness by the Office of 
Public Health Research, CDC.  Incomplete applications and applications 
that are not responsive to the eligibility criteria will not be 
reviewed.  Applicants will be notified that their applications did not 
meet submission requirements.

PEER REVIEW PROCESS  
 
Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be 
evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer 
review group convened by CDC in accordance with the review criteria 
stated below.  CDC uses a peer review process modeled after that of the 
NIH, including a streamline review process, essentially as spelled out 
in the website located at: http://www.csr.nih.gov/REVIEW/streamln.htm 

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

o Undergo a process in which only those applications deemed to have 
the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of the 
applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority 
score
o Receive a written critique

Applications in the upper half will receive a secondary review by the 
secondary review committee.

REVIEW CRITERIA

The goal of this Institutional Research Training Grant is to ensure 
that highly trained public health researchers will be available in 
adequate numbers and in appropriate research areas to enhance the 
public health research enterprise for the conduct of public health 
investigation.  In the written comments, reviewers will be asked to 
discuss the following aspects of the application in order to judge the 
likelihood that the proposed program will have a substantial impact on 
the pursuit of these goals.

o Approach/Meeting the Intent of this Initiative 
o Institutional Commitment
o Public health Research Capability and Infrastructure
o Program Leadership/Management
o Program Mentors/Team Leaders
o Didactic Core Requirements
o Interactions 
o Scholar Pool and Recruitment Plans
o Evaluation/Tracking
o Planning Phase

The scientific review group will address and consider each of these 
criteria in assigning the application's overall score, weighting them 
as appropriate for each application.  The application does not need to 
be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major 
scientific and technical merit and thus deserve a high priority score.
 
(1) APPROACH/MEETING THE INTENT OF THIS INITIATIVE: The adequacy of the 
overall program strategy from the planning to the full implementation 
and evaluation phase in satisfying the intent of this initiative to 
develop and sustain a high quality institutional research training 
program that addresses a wide range of public health disciplines, 
specialties, and sub-specialties.  Does the program provide excellence 
in the design and conduct of public health research and training?  Is 
the plan for evaluation including process, output, and outcome measures 
adequate?  Will the program prepare scholars to become potential 
leaders in public health research?  Does the program take maximum 
advantage of existing didactic capabilities, public health 
infrastructure, and faculty strengths?

(2) INSTITUTIONAL COMMITMENT:  Is the institutional leadership 
committed to this program and its goals?  Does the institution provide 
assurances that the institution intends the program to be an integral 
part of its research endeavor, and that public health research 
facilities and training opportunities will be a critical part of the 
environment?  Have institutional barriers for public health research 
and public health researchers been adequately addressed?  Adequacy of 
cooperative arrangements between consortium institutions, if 
applicable, that will ensure that the program performs effectively as 
one activity across institutional boundaries.  Does this Program cross 
all departments and integrate all public health research training 
programs and public health research infrastructure elements within the 
institution, to benefit the entire institution?  Is there adequate 
commitment of the institution(s) from the institutional leadership to 
Department Chairs to protect the time of scholars, guarantee 100 
percent professional effort (at least 40 hours per week) of each 
scholar, actively engage in the promotion of each scholar’s public 
health research career, and support the career and tenure process for 
public health researchers at the institution?

(3) PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH CAPABILITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE:  The adequacy 
of the overall public health research and training environment and 
track record of the institution(s) in conducting interactive, 
multidisciplinary, collaborative, peer-reviewed public health research 
(e.g., translational research, epidemiological studies, etc.) involving 
a broad range of public health disciplines and diseases.  The adequacy 
of the existing infrastructure of the institution(s) (e.g., cores for 
biostatistics, informatics, data management, research nurses, data 
managers) supported by CDC and other sources.  Are there sufficient 
plans to improve and complement the existing infrastructure, and to 
integrate infrastructure and eliminate overlap in order to support a 
high quality Career Development Program in public health research?  Are 
the plans for the shared public health research Support Facility 
adequately justified?

(4) PROGRAM LEADERSHIP/MANAGEMENT:  Does the Program Director have the 
necessary recent public health research background and administrative 
qualifications and experience to provide scientific leadership, 
management, and coordination of a public health research training 
program of this size and complexity?  Have the Program Director and co-
director(s) committed sufficient time to devote to this program?  Will 
the program director have sufficient authority and credibility in the 
Institution to work across institutional boundaries?

(5) PROGRAM MENTORS/TEAM LEADERS:  Are the mentors and team leaders who 
will participate in this program clearly delineated, do they have the 
experience, skills, and track record at mentoring necessary to provide 
scholars with high quality multidisciplinary, team-oriented research 
training, and do they broadly represent the disciplines, specialties, 
and sub-specialties necessary to make this program work effectively?  
Will the mentors commit sufficient time to ensure the success of the 
program?

(6) DIDACTIC CORE REQUIREMENTS:  Are the didactic requirements 
sufficient to train scholars to lead, design, and conduct public health 
research, and work effectively in collaborative teams?  Have the 
various didactic resources within the institution (been integrated and 
extended, as necessary (e.g., specialized courses and shared 
facilities), to effectively meet the needs of the program?  Does the 
program have adequate flexibility to accommodate scholars with 
different levels of experience?  

(7) INTERACTIONS:  Commitment of the applicant to work with other 
programs and the CDC as reflected by their proposed ideas to improve 
performance and outcomes.  Commitment to share best practices and to 
participate in improving the national public health research 
enterprise. 

(8) SCHOLAR POOL AND RECRUITMENT PLANS:  Does the application 
demonstrate well-defined recruitment procedures, potential sources, and 
number of high-quality scholars, scholar selection criteria, and 
retention strategies?  Are these processes adequate to achieve a high-
quality pool of scholars representative of a broad range of public 
health disciplines, specialties, and sub-specialties?  Does the program 
seek to recruit scholars from outside the institution?  Adequacy of 
plans to recruit women and members of underrepresented racial/ethnic 
minorities.

(9) EVALUATION/TRACKING:  Adequacy of the plans for evaluate the 
performance of the program as a whole (e.g., quality of the didactic 
cores, adequacy of the performance of mentors, adequacy of faculty 
participation), and to make changes that improve performance and 
outcomes.  Adequacy of the plans to track career outcomes of scholars, 
including positions held, papers published, grants and awards 
submitted/obtained, and other relevant information.  Annual and close 
out reports will be required to include evaluation measures as 
specified in the evaluation plan. 

(10) PLANNING PHASE:  If all milestones are met during the planning 
phase, will this be sufficient to implement the program after six 
months?

ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA:  In addition to the above criteria, the 
following items will be considered in the determination of scientific 
merit and the priority score:

PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECTS FROM RESEARCH RISK:  The involvement of 
human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their 
participation in the proposed research will be assessed.  (See criteria 
included in the section on Federal Citations, below.)

INCLUSION OF WOMEN, MINORITIES AND CHILDREN IN RESEARCH:  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.)

CARE AND USE OF VERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN RESEARCH:  If vertebrate animals 
are to be used in the project, the five items described under Section f 
of the PHS 398 research grant application instructions (rev. 5/2001) 
will be assessed.

RECEIPT SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  May 24, 2004
Application Receipt Date:  June 21, 2004
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  October 1, 2004

AWARD CRITERIA

Applications are selected for funding primarily based on scientific and 
educational merit.  Other factors considered by the secondary review 
committee are:  availability of funds, research program priorities, the 
balance among types of research training supported by CDC, the 
acceptability of the plan for minority recruitment, and the 
acceptability of the proposal for instruction in the responsible 
conduct of research.  

The CDC will notify the applicant of the final action shortly after 
secondary peer review.  For additional information, see the current 
Grants Policy Statement at: http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/forminfo.htm . 
 
REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS 

For full explanation of additional federal citations required for 
applications to this RFA see: http://www.cdc.gov/od/pgo/funding/ARs.htm 

HUMAN SUBJECTS PROTECTION: Federal regulations (45 CFR Part 46) 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 

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH: It is the 
policy of CDC to ensure that individuals of both sexes and the various 
racial and ethnic groups will be included in all CDC-supported studies 
involving human subjects, whenever feasible and appropriate.  
Furthermore, it is CDC policy to identify significant gaps in knowledge 
about health problems that affect women and racial and ethnic minority 
populations and to encourage studies which address these problems. 
Policy available in the Federal Register volume 60 number 179, 
September 15, 1995, page 47948-51.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of 
research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp 
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, in the project description and elsewhere in the 
application as appropriate, 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. Guidance is 
available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA 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). 
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 CDC GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and 
proposals for CDC funding must be self-contained within specified page 
limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in a CDC 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 CDC 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 RFA is 
related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may 
obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at 
http://www.healthypeople.gov/.

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: Awards are made under authorization of 
Sections 301 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 
and 284) and administered under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Parts 52 and 
45 CFR Parts 74 and 92.  This RFA is not subject to the 
intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372.

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.


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