SMALL GRANTS FOR UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITY SCIENTISTS IN DIABETES AND DIGESTIVE 
AND KIDNEY DISEASES

Release Date:  November 22, 1999

RFA:  DK-00-007
 
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
 
Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 22, 2000
Application Receipt Date: March 22, 2000
 
THIS RFA USES THE "MODULAR GRANT" AND "JUST-IN-TIME" CONCEPTS.  IT 
INCLUDES DETAILED MODIFICATIONS TO STANDARD APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS 
THAT MUST BE USED WHEN PREPARING APPLICATIONS IN RESPONSE TO THIS 
RFA.

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases 
(NIDDK) recognizes the need to increase the number of individuals 
from underrepresented minority groups committed to scientific 
careers in research areas served by the NIDDK.  This program is 
aimed primarily at recently trained M.D. and/or Ph.D. minority 
investigators.  The program will enable the applicant to accept a 
tenure-earning position, gain additional research experience and 
obtain preliminary data on which to base a subsequent research grant 
application in an area of diabetes, endocrinology, metabolism, 
digestive diseases, and nutrition, kidney, urology or hematology.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health 
promotion and disease prevention objectives of “Healthy People 
2000,” a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas.  This 
RFA, Support of Minorities in Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney 
Disease, is related to the priority area of increasing 
underrepresented minority health scientists.  Potential applicants 
may obtain a copy of “Healthy People 2000” at 
http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000. 
 
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

For the purpose of this announcement, underrepresented minority 
investigators are defined as individuals belonging to a particular 
ethnic minority investigators are defined as individuals belonging 
to a particular ethnic or racial group has been determined by the 
grantee institution to be underrepresented in biomedical or 
behavioral research.  Awards will be limited to citizens or non-
citizen nationals of the United States or to individuals who have 
been lawfully admitted for permanent residence (i.e., in possession 
of an Alien Registration Receipt Card) at the time of application.  

An applicant must have a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., D.O., D.D.S., 
D.V.M.).  He or she should have received at least two years of 
postgraduate research training in an area of research applicable to 
research supported in this institute.  He/she should have direct 
access to an expert in the area of the proposed research who can 
provide guidance or any necessary assistance in carrying out the 
proposed research.  Applicants may not hold, nor apply concurrently 
for any other PHS research project grant at the time of this 
application.  Priority will be given to those applicants who have 
not previously been a Principal Investigator on a major research 
grant.  Applicants are encouraged to apply for other research 
project grants during the course of, or following, this award.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support will be provided through the Small Research Grant (R03) 
program administered by the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and 
Metabolism, the Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, and 
the Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases in the 
NIDDK.  Responsibility for the planning, direction, and execution of 
the proposed project will be that of the applicant.  Awards will be 
administered under NIH grants policy as stated in the NIH Grants 
Policy Statement.

Applicants from institutions that have a General Clinical Research 
Center (GCRC) funded by the NIH National Center for Research 
Resources may wish to identify the GCRC as a resource for conducting 
the proposed research.  If so, a letter of agreement from either the 
GCRC program director or principal investigator should be included 
with the application.

This RFA is a one-time solicitation.  Future unsolicited 
continuation applications will compete with all investigator-
initiated applications and be reviewed according to the customary 
peer review procedures.  Should the NIDDK determine that there is a 
sufficient continuing program need, a request for new applications 
will be announced.  The total project period for applications 
submitted in response to the present RFA may be for one or two 
years.  In specific circumstances resulting from the requirements of 
a particular research project and the applicant’s need to acquire 
additional skills required for the project, three years may be 
requested.  Direct costs requested must not exceed $50,000 per year.  
A grant funded from this RFA cannot be renewed.  The anticipated 
award date is September 30, 2000.

Specific application instructions have been modified to reflect 
"MODULAR GRANT" and "JUST-IN-TIME" streamlining efforts being 
examined by the NIH.  Complete and detailed instructions and 
information on Modular Grant applications can be found at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm

FUNDS AVAILABLE

For FY 2000, $250,000 in total direct costs for year 01 will be 
committed in each of the three research divisions in the NIDDK.  It 
is anticipated that up to five awards will be made in each of the 
three NIDDK program divisions in FY 2000.  This level of support 
depends on the receipt of a sufficient number of applications of 
high scientific merit.  Although this program is provided for in the 
financial plans of the NIDDK, the award of grants pursuant to this 
RFA is contingent upon the availability of funds for this purpose 
and the receipt of a sufficient number of applications of 
outstanding scientific and technical merit.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

The primary purpose of this RFA is to increase the number of 
underrepresented minority Principal Investigators conducting 
research in areas supported by the NIDDK.  Surveys of research and 
training programs administered by the NIDDK disclose the need to 
increase the access to NIDDK support of recently trained minority 
scientists who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  Those who 
receive several years of training via an individual postdoctoral 
fellowship or an institutional training grant funded by a National 
Research Service Award may still require additional research 
experience and preliminary data to support an independent research 
career at this stage of development.  An additional period of 
training may not be feasible for minority individuals with pressing 
economic burdens.  Such individuals may be lost to academic research 
through a lack of opportunity to obtain an additional one or two 
years of support essential for establishing a research career.

This program is designed to help alleviate some of the above-noted 
problems experienced by underrepresented minorities who may wish to 
pursue a career in research.  The program will allow the minority 
investigator to hold a tenure-earning position, to gain additional 
research experience and to obtain preliminary data on which to base 
a subsequent research grant application.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Applicants are required to have available a recognized expert in the 
area of proposed research for guidance and consultation.  It is 
expected that this expert will assist the applicant in the design 
and conduct of his/her research.  It is not necessary that the 
expert be at the same institution as the applicant, but he/she 
should be within a reasonable proximity to be available for guidance 
and consultation. 

Following the research plan, the applicant is required to provide a 
brief summary of his/her long-term career plans and objectives.  The 
application should state how this award would make a difference in 
and enhance the applicant’s development as a scientist.

The department chairman/head should provide a brief paragraph 
indicating his/her plans for the applicant. This official should 
indicate the extent to which time, space and other necessary support 
will be provided to the applicant to conduct the proposed 
investigation(s).
A letter from a recognized expert in the area of the proposed 
research should accompany the application packet.  The letter should 
attest to his/her willingness to provide counsel and advice to the 
applicant and an initial plan for ongoing contacts with the 
applicant.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority 
groups and their subpopulations must be included in all NIH 
supported biomedical and behavioral research projects involving 
human subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and 
justification is provided 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 research involving human subjects should 
read the “NIH Guidelines For Inclusion of Women and Minorities as 
Subjects in Clinical Research,”published in the Federal Register of 
March 28, 1991 (FR59 14508-14513) and in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS 
AND CONTRACTS Volume 23, Number 11, March 18, 1994, available on the 
web at:  http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of NIH 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 was 
published in the NIH GUIDE FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTS, March 6, 1998, 
and is available at the following URL address:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Investigators may also obtain copies of these policies from the 
program staff listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also 
provide additional relevant information concerning the policy.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by February 22, 2000, a 
letter of intent that includes a descriptive title of the proposed 
research, the name, address, and telephone number of the Principal 
Investigator, the identities of other key personnel and 
participating institutions, and the number and title of the RFA in 
response to which the application may be submitted.
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 NIDDK staff to estimate the 
potential review workload and avoid conflict of interest in the 
review.
The letter of intent is to be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS-37F, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8885
FAX:  (301) 480-3505
 
APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 
398 (rev. 4/98).  The form is available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research, or may be obtained from the Division 
of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National 
Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 
20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The modular grant concept establishes specific modules in which 
direct costs may be requested as well as a maximum level for 
requested budgets. Only limited budgetary information is required 
under this approach.  The just-in-time concept allows applicants to 
submit certain information only when there is a possibility for an 
award. It is anticipated that these changes will reduce the 
administrative burden for the applicants, reviewers and Institute 
staff.  The research grant application 
form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in applying for these grants, 
with the modifications noted below.

BUDGET INSTRUCTIONS

Modular grant applications will request direct costs in $25,000 
modules, up to a total direct cost request of $50,000 per year.  The 
total direct costs must be requested in accordance with the program 
guidelines and the modifications made to the standard PHS 398 
application instructions described below:

PHS 398

o FACE PAGE: Items 7a and 7b should be completed, indicating Direct 
Costs (in $25,000 increments up to a maximum of $50,000) and Total 
Costs [Modular Total Direct plus Facilities and Administrative (F & 
A) costs] for the initial budget period.  Items 8a and 8b should be 
completed indicating the Direct and Total Costs for the entire 
proposed period of support.

o DETAILED BUDGET FOR THE INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD: Do not complete 
Form Page 4 of the PHS 398.  It is not required and will not be 
accepted with the application.

o BUDGET FOR THE ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT: Do not complete 
the categorical budget table on Form Page 5 of the PHS 398.  It is 
not required and will not be accepted with the application.

o NARRATIVE BUDGET JUSTIFICATION: Prepare a Modular Grant Budget 
Narrative page. (See 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm for sample 
pages.)  At the top of the page, enter the Total Direct Costs 
request for each year.  This is not a Form page.

o Under Personnel, list key project personnel, including their 
names, percent of effort, and roles on the project.  No individual 
salary information should be provided.  However, the applicant 
should use the NIH appropriation language salary cap and the NIH 
policy for graduate student compensation in developing the budget 
request.

o BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH: The Biographical Sketch provides information 
used by reviewers in the assessment of each individual’s 
qualifications for a specific role in the proposed project, as well 
as to evaluate the overall qualifications of the research team.  A 
biographical sketch is required for all key personnel, following the 
instructions below.  No more than three pages may be used for each 
person.  A sample biographical sketch may be viewed at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/modular/modular.htm

-Complete the educational block at the top of the form page;

-List position(s) and any honors;

-Provide information, including overall goals and responsibilities, 
on research projects ongoing or completed during the last three 
years.

-List selected peer-reviewed publications, with full citations.

o CHECKLIST: This page should be completed and submitted with the 
application.  If the F & A rate agreement has been established, 
indicate the type of agreement and the date.  All appropriate 
exclusions must be applied in the calculation of the F & A costs for 
the initial budget period and all future budget years.

o The applicant should provide the name and phone number of the 
individual to contact concerning fiscal and administrative issues if 
additional information is necessary following the initial review.  
The program announcement, 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 available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form 
must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  
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 sample RFA label available at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been 
modified to allow for this change.  Please note this is in pdf 
format.

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

CENTER FOR SCIENTIFIC REVIEW
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH 
6701 ROCKLEDGE DRIVE. ROOM 1040 - MSC 7710 
BETHESDA, MD  20892-7710 
BETHESDA, MD  20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application, 
and five copies of any appendix material, must be sent to:

Chief, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS-37F, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
 
Applications must be received by March 22, 2000.  If an application 
is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant 
without review.  The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) will not 
accept any application in response to this RFA 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 substantial 
revisions of applications previously reviewed, but such applications 
must include an introduction addressing the previous critique.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications for the R03 that are complete and responsive to the RFA 
will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an 
appropriate peer review group convened by the NIDDK in accordance 
with NIH peer review procedures.  As part of the initial merit 
review, all applications will receive a written critique and undergo 
a process in which only those applications deemed to have the 
highest scientific merit will be discussed, assigned a priority 
score, and receive a second level review by the NIDDK program 
division to which the application has been assigned.

Review Criteria

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 research will have a substantial impact 
on the pursuit of these goals.  Each of these criteria will be 
addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting 
them as appropriate for each application.  Note that the application 
does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to 
have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score.  
For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work 
that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move the 
field forward.

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

(2) Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and 
analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to 
the aims of the project?  Does the applicant acknowledge potential 
problems areas and consider alternative tactics?

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

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

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

In addition to the noted criteria, all applications will also be 
reviewed with respect to the following:

o Adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their 
subgroups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of 
the research.  Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects 
will also be evaluated.

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

o The extent that the proposed research can be completed in the 
project duration, and the potential of the proposed research to 
provide the bases for future studies.

o The applicant’s plans and career goals, and the availability of a 
recognized expert in the area of the proposed research for council 
and advice as attested to by a letter of agreement. 

AWARD CRITERIA

The anticipated date of award is September 30, 2000.
Applications will compete for available funds with all other 
applications submitted in response to this RFA and recommended by 
the initial review group.  The following will be considered in 
making funding decisions:

o Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review

o Availability of funds

o Program balance among research areas of the RFA.

o The applicant’s history of research support.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  
The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential 
applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Charles H. Rodgers, Ph.D.
Division of Kidney, Urologic and Hematologic Diseases
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AS 19J, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-7717
Email:  rodgersc@extra.niddk.nih.gov
 
Judith M. Podskalny, Ph.D.
Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AN 12E, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8876
Email:  podskalnyj@extra.niddk.nih.gov
 
Ronald Margolis, Ph.D.
Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 5AN 12J, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8819
Email:  margolisr@extra.niddk.nih.gov
 
Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms Nancy C. Dixon
Chief, Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
45 Center Drive, Room 6AN 44C, MSC 6600
Bethesda, MD  20892-6600
Telephone:  (301) 594-8854
Email:  dixonn@extra.niddk.nih.gov
 
Schedule

Letter of Intent Receipt Date: February 22, 2000 
Application Receipt Date: March 22, 2000
Technical/Scientific Review: June/July, 2000
Review by Divisions/NIDDK: September 2000
Anticipated Award Date: September 30, 2000
 
AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic 
Assistance Nos. 93.847, 93.848, and 93.849.  Awards are made under 
authorization of the Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A 
(Public Law 78-410, as amended by Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 
285) and administered under PHS grants policies and Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This program is not 
subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive 
Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to 
provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-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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