Department of Health and Human Services

Part 1. Overview Information
Participating Organization(s)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Components of Participating Organizations

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

Funding Opportunity Title

Hazmat Training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex (UH4)

Activity Code

UH4 (Hazmat Training at DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex)

Announcement Type

Reissue of RFA-ES-09-003

Related Notices

None

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) Number

RFA-ES-14-009

Companion Funding Opportunity

None

Number of Applications

Only one application per institution is allowed, as defined in Section III. 3. Additional Information on Eligibility.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s)

93.142 

Funding Opportunity Purpose

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Complex.

The major objective of this funding opportunity announcement is to prevent work-related harm by assisting in the training and education of workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Safety and health training will transmit skills and knowledge to workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of their being exposed in the course of their work to hazardous materials and hazardous waste products. One effort to enhance training capabilities at these sites has been through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP).

A major goal of this program is to provide assistance to organizations in developing their institutional competency to provide appropriate model training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Both NIEHS and DOE recognize the importance of effectively managing training resources to maintain and improve federal and contractor workforce competencies. Proper use of resources will result in federal and contractor employees who are highly skilled and capable of carrying out our critical missions in a safe and reliable manner consistent with recognized standards of excellence. Continuing improvements will assist in planning and conduct of training programs to ensure that these programs are closely aligned with mission priorities and administered efficiently.    

Key Dates
Posted Date

July 16, 2014

Open Date (Earliest Submission Date)

October 6, 2014  

Letter of Intent Due Date(s)

October 6, 2014

Application Due Date(s)

November 6, 2014, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization. All types of non-AIDS applications allowed for this funding opportunity announcement are due on this date.

Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.

AIDS Application Due Date(s)

Not Applicable

Scientific Merit Review

February/March 2015  

Advisory Council Review

May 2015  

Earliest Start Date

August 2015

Expiration Date

November 7, 2014 

Due Dates for E.O. 12372

Not Applicable

Required Application Instructions

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, except where instructed to do otherwise (in this FOA or in a Notice from the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts). Conformance to all requirements (both in the Application Guide and the FOA) is required and strictly enforced. Applicants must read and follow all application instructions in the Application Guide as well as any program-specific instructions noted in Section IV. When the program-specific instructions deviate from those in the Application Guide, follow the program-specific instructions. Applications that do not comply with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.


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Table of Contents

Part 1. Overview Information
Part 2. Full Text of the Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
Section V. Application Review Information
Section VI. Award Administration Information
Section VII. Agency Contacts
Section VIII. Other Information

Part 2. Full Text of Announcement
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Purpose

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) invites applications for cooperative agreements to support the development of model programs for the training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous materials and waste generation, removal, containment, transportation and emergency response within the Department of Energy (DOE) Nuclear Weapons Complex.

The major objective of this funding opportunity announcement is to prevent work0related harm by assisting in the training and education of workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Safety and health training will transmit skills and knowledge to workers in how best to protect themselves and their communities from exposure to hazardous materials encountered during hazardous waste operations, facility decommissioning and decontamination, hazardous materials transportation, environmental restoration of contaminated facilities or chemical emergency response. Currently, tens of thousands of DOE employees require safety and health training to help reduce the risk of their being exposed in the course of their work to hazardous materials and hazardous waste products. One effort to enhance training capabilities at these sites has been through the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program (WTP).

A major goal of this program is to provide assistance to organizations in developing their institutional competency to provide appropriate model training and education programs to hazardous materials and waste workers in the DOE nuclear weapons complex. Both NIEHS and DOE recognize the importance of effectively managing training resources to maintain and improve federal and contractor workforce competencies. Proper use of resources will result in federal and contractor employees who are highly skilled and capable of carrying out our critical missions in a safe and reliable manner consistent with recognized standards of excellence. Continuing improvements will assist in planning and conduct of training programs to ensure that these programs are closely aligned with mission priorities and administered efficiently.

Background

The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g), authorizes an assistance program for training and education of workers engaged in activities related to hazardous waste generation, removal, containment or emergency response and hazardous materials transportation and emergency response. The Congress assigned responsibility for administering this program to the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS), an Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) within the Public Health Service (PHS) of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal years 1992 and 1993 (42 USC 7274(d)) authorized the Secretary of Energy in section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B) to make awards: "to provide training and education to persons who are or may be engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency at Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities; and to develop response curricula for such training and education." The Secretary was further authorized in Section 3131(a)(2)(A)-(B) to make the training awards to non-profit organizations demonstrating capabilities in: "implementing and conducting effective training and education programs relating to the general health and safety of workers; and identifying, and involving in training, groups of workers whose duties include hazardous substance response or emergency response."

As stated above, under Section 126(g) of Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act (SARA), NIEHS developed and administers a Worker Training Program. During 1992, the DOE evaluated this program developed by NIEHS for suitability of adaptation to its own program and training needs, and determined that the program was suitable. In an effort to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program resources, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer the grants and to adapt its existing program to meet the needs of the DOE nuclear weapons complex.

Protecting worker health and safety through the delivery of safety and health training is a priority of the Secretary of Energy and is a primary goal of the Office of Environmental Management (EM). As the DOE mission has shifted from weapons production to environmental restoration, the site worker will be exposed to new operations and hazards while conducting restoration activities, many of which will be associated with potential exposure to hazardous substances and wastes.

To provide protection to workers' health and safety, all workers at DOE sites engaged or potentially engaged in environmental restoration activities, including hazardous substance response or emergency response, are required by CERCLA and respective DOE Orders to meet the requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) regulations 20 CFR 1910.120 and the EPA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training requirements (40 CFR 300.150).

Environmental cleanup is a complex undertaking, which may often pose significant dangers to remediation workers as well as to residents of the surrounding community. Throughout the Department of Energy (DOE) complex, contamination issues resulting from the historic mission of weapons production, as well as from extensive use of radioactive materials and highly toxic chemicals - have created a unique challenge for those managing environmental cleanups. There is clearly a need for highly trained workers to carry out the actual remediation work.

Model training programs for hazardous waste workers and emergency responders shall satisfy minimum requirements as specified in Federal OSHA rules and other related regulations which have been or may be promulgated. Training programs shall also meet the minimum requirements specified in the Minimum Criteria for Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, updated in 2006 as a result of an NIEHS sponsored technical workshop on training quality. Originally issued in 1991 and expanded in 1994, the latest document incorporates training issues such as the emergence of computer-based training and the training of workers to deal with the aftermath of terrorist actions. The Final Version of the Minimum Health and Safety Training Criteria: Guidance for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) Supporting and All-Hazards Disaster Prevention, Preparedness, and Response can be found at http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/public/hasl_get_blob.cfm?ID=2465.

Consideration should also be given to Appendix E of 29 CFR 1910.120 (59 FR 43268, August 22, 1994), which references much of the NIEHS Minimum Criteria Worker Health and Safety Training for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response. This OSHA guidance is available at: http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9770.

During 2006, the Department of Energy (DOE) established a new safety and health program under Rule 10 CFR 851, Worker Safety and Health Program. This rule established worker safety and health requirements that govern the conduct of contractor activities at non-nuclear, as well as nuclear, sites. The Rule requires that DOE contractor workers are provided with a workplace that is free from recognized hazards that can cause death or serious physical harm.

To accomplish this objective, the Rule establishes management responsibilities, worker rights, safety and health standards, and required training. The Rule incorporates DOE Order 440.1A that provides the basic foundation for a worker protection program to protect workers from hazards associated with their activities. Rule 10 CFR 851 should be a central part of any training activities at DOE sites and may be referenced at http://energy.gov/hss/downloads/10-cfr-part-851-worker-safety-and-health-program-february-9-2006.

In February 2007, WTP updated its strategic plan to be consistent with the NIEHS vision, which includes identification and prevention of hazardous exposures. The WTP uses the environmental sciences to reduce risk and protect worker and public health through training. The strategic plan outlines the directions that the program seeks to take during the next 5 years. It includes information on the development of the plan, partnerships, roles of advanced training technologies, and the central role of 29 CFR 1910.120 in environmental response and cleanup whether at traditional superfund sites, uncontrolled hazardous waste sites, or sites emanating from a natural disaster or an act of terrorism. The WTP Strategic Plan can be found at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/careers/assets/docs/wetp_strategic_plan.pdf

Program Description

The NIEHS Worker Training Program, in partnership with the DOE Environmental Management Program, has supported qualified domestic nonprofit organizations to develop and administer model health and safety education programs for hazardous materials or waste workers within the nuclear weapons complex. In 2009, the DOE Office of Health, Safety and Security (HSS) and the NIEHS Worker Training Program signed a memorandum of understanding in an expanded effort to communicate and improve relationships with those elements that train, manage, and represent the DOE workforce and to improve the safety culture at DOE sites. The objective of this collaboration will be to seek areas/topics where HSS, the NIEHS and its grantees can collaborate with site programs to enhance the safety of site operations through training.

Target populations for training in the DOE nuclear weapons complex include those covered by requirements of Federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration (CFR, Title 29, Part 1910, which is found at:

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9765)

and Environmental Protection Agency (CFR, Title 40, Part 311) standards for Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response, regulations governing the NIEHS Hazardous Waste Worker Training Program (CFR, Title 42, Part 65), as well as hazardous materials transportation workers regulated by the US Department of Transportation.

Further guidance on DOT Hazmat Employees is available at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hazardous-materials

Congress recognized this need and authorized the Secretary of Energy, through the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, Section 3131, to award grants for training and education for persons engaged in hazardous substance response or emergency response at DOE nuclear weapons facilities. For purposes of Section 3131, the term "hazardous substance" in addition to its definition under CERCLA includes radioactive waste, mixed radioactive and hazardous waste.

In an effort to rapidly move to the implementation stage and to leverage program resources, DOE studied the suitability of NIEHS as awards administrator for the DOE program. Based on a review of the NIEHS program, DOE entered into an agreement with NIEHS to award and administer the grants and to adapt the HAZWOPER program to meet the needs of DOE.

The goal of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Training Program has been to provide site-specific, quality training to workers in a timely and cost-effective manner, through a partnership involving government, contractors, and labor organizations. A cornerstone of the program is the use of "worker-trainers," employees well-versed in performing a given task in a hazardous environment who are trained to instruct other workers. Benefits of the partnership include fostering cooperation between management and workers, improving efficiency and quality of training, improving the ability to address worker concerns, and empowering all stakeholders to address site-specific safety and health needs.

NIEHS, through its awardees, has provided high quality hazardous substance response or emergency response training to ensure that: (1) DOE site workers are aware of the hazards that exist at DOE sites; (2) workers are prepared to work safely in such hazardous environments to prevent accidents from occurring; and (3) workers have sufficient knowledge of their work environment and hazardous conditions to identify hazardous situations and to take appropriate actions to protect themselves,

fellow workers, and the environment.

General Training Goals and Objectives

Major program objectives for the future of the DOE/NIEHS Worker Training Program include:

  • Establish DOE and contractor safety and health training programs with best practices by drawing on the skills and knowledge of experienced workers on the job.

  • Facilitate and promote a culture of continuous learning, integrated safety management and improving task readiness within the DOE complex. This includes assisting in the development of a positive safety climate within the complex.

  • Act as a prime source for new training methodologies, innovative techniques, and lessons learned for all DOE operations through partnering with site contractors, regulatory personnel and other stakeholders.

  • Reduce safety and health training costs through standardization, centralized partner development, and minimizing necessary travel and expenses. This includes participation as appropriate with DOE directive P 364.1 which establishes a policy for reciprocity of employee health and safety training among DOE entities responsible for employee health and safety at DOE sites and facilities to increase efficiency and effectiveness of Departmental operations while meeting established health and safety requirements.  This directive is found at https://www.directives.doe.gov/directives-documents/0364.1-APolicy

  • Reduce redundancy within the DOE complex by utilizing existing quality, safety and health training programs located in partner organizations and integrating best-in-class technical training program capabilities.

  • Maximize the use of advanced training technology supported learning tools where available and appropriate for effective delivery and evaluation while integrating web-based, virtual and computer-based methods with traditional hands-on and classroom centered learning.

Awards will be made for direct student and worker trainer training, technical support of training, and training program evaluation. It is believed that adequate curricula and training materials exist for worker training that can be adapted with minimal effort. Means of multiplying training are also encouraged to meet the need; thus, programs such as effective train the trainer programs are encouraged. Programs targeted to multi-state and nationwide coverage to reach wider worker populations will be given preference in funding. Applications will not be considered that cover municipalities or other jurisdictions covering less than two states. Applicants are also encouraged to develop plans for independently continuing the program. Since this program restricts indirect costs to 8%, applicants are also strongly encouraged to develop plans to generate program income to assist in supporting efforts under the award.

Applicants should refer to SARA Section 126 requirements for training.  This identifies workers to be trained based on potential exposure and health risk and requires training for personnel engaged in hazardous substance removal or other activities, such as those involved in transportation, which expose or potentially expose such workers to hazardous substances. In addition, training is required for workers who may be exposed to unique or special hazards.

The training scope covers worker health protection from hazardous waste work and exposure to hazardous substances in the broadest sense. The applicant shall identify workers or groups of workers who need to be trained in hazardous substance response or emergency response to ensure their health and safety. These target populations may include the existing DOE workforce; those likely to perform DOE environmental clean-up and waste management work within 120 days following the

completion of training; those involved in waste transportation on, to, and from DOE sites; appropriate supervisors and managers of contractor and subcontractor activities; emergency response personnel with site mutual aid agreements; and appropriate Federal, State, and local government officials who are involved in compliance efforts.

Applicants are expected to make a reasonable effort to develop cooperative relationships with DOE training managers to: (1) identify what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of employees who need training; and (3) ensure that training meets site-specific needs and is consistent with established quality standards.

Essential components of health and safety programs for those who work with hazardous materials are appropriate education and training. The Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 addresses this in Section 126 which requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to promulgate standards for the health and safety protection of employees in this area. OSHA final rule 29 CFR 1910.120 Hazardous Waste and Emergency Response Operations was

promulgated on March 6, 1989 with an effective date of March 6, 1990. Further information about OSHA resources and interpretations of HAZWOPER training requirements can be found at:

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/hazardouswaste/index.html

The immediate goal of worker health and safety training is educational in nature, designed to provide students with relevant information, problem- solving skills, and the confidence needed to use these tools. Long-term goals of the model training programs should be to assure that workers become and remain active participants in determining and improving the health and safety conditions under which they work and that avenues for collaborative employer-employee relationships in creating safe workplaces are established.

Worker safety and health training is adult-based, action-oriented, and result-centered. The goals and objectives of worker training focus on outcomes rather than on learning for its own sake. Workers come to training with a great volume of experience, and are, in many ways, the richest resources of a training class. Experience shows that successful adult education often emphasizes peer-sharing activities, such as problem-solving and simulation exercises, that tap the experience of the

learner. Successful worker training often mirrors the way people learn at work -- from each other. After training, workers should be able to bring what they have learned in the classroom or work-site training back to their jobs.

A list of curricula developed by current NIEHS awardees is available on the web at

http://tools.niehs.nih.gov/wetp/index.cfm?id=603

Ongoing Program Initiatives

Due to the complexity and the number of new emerging training innovations and technologies occurring in the worker health and safety arena, NIEHS identified several training opportunities in the previous FOA (RFA-ES-09-003) that were specifically related to the advancement of the Worker Training Program (WTP). It was important that these new emerging training technologies and approaches be woven and integrated into the framework of the program. NIEHS had learned that successful examples of training partnerships involve the creation of clear mechanisms for assuring avenues for input and collaboration by labor, management, local government officials and other stakeholders, as well as a vision for integrating training into other workplace programs and initiatives. In addition, it was clear that the context and technical approaches to safety and health training had undergone a rapid transition since 1990, as computer and telecommunications technology had unleashed a wealth of technical information resources and established innovative modes of training development, delivery and evaluation. For a list of these important ongoing program initiatives, applicants should refer to http://www.niehs.nih.gov/careers/hazmat/funding/doe2009_rfa_links.cfm

WTP recognizes that within proposed target populations there are workers who are disadvantaged in education, language skills or limited in literacy. Applicants are encouraged to consider how to address the needs of these workers. 

The inclusion of institutions and organizations that have historical involvement and expertise in responding to environmental justice issues is also strongly encouraged.  Participation of minority institutions and community-based organizations from people of color communities may include the:

  • Adaptation of curricula to address occupational health disparities and environmental justice concerns;

  • Development of training programs that outreach to environmentally disadvantaged groups and non-English speaking populations; and

  • Delivery of high quality training that can augment efforts to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, chemical process safety and pollution prevention.

WTP focused hazardous waste training has long been recognized as protecting the environment and the health of surrounding communities.  Yet the emergence of new health and safety concerns for workers in the areas of green remediation, green chemistry, nanotechnology, new industrial processes and chemicals, combustible dust, climate change, and the storage of nuclear waste, show that additional health and safety training approaches may be appropriate in addressing these new hazards to the hazardous waste workforce. Applicants may consider how these new emerging concerns, when focused on safety and health training for hazardous materials and waste operations, may be incorporated into hazmat training at DOE nuclear weapons sites through existing or new training programs and curricula. 

Section II. Award Information
Funding Instrument

Cooperative Agreement: A support mechanism used when there will be substantial Federal scientific or programmatic involvement. Substantial involvement means that, after award, NIH scientific or program staff will assist, guide, coordinate, or participate in project activities.

Application Types Allowed

New
Renewal

The OER Glossary and the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide provide details on these application types.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

NIH intends to fund an estimate of 7-12 awards, corresponding to a total of $9.5 million for fiscal year 2015.

Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Award Budget

Renewal application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.   A new applicant may request a budget for direct costs of up to $700,000 for the first year.     

Award Project Period

The maximum project period is 5 years.    

NIH grants policies as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement will apply to the applications submitted and awards made in response to this FOA.

Section III. Eligibility Information
1. Eligible Applicants
Eligible Organizations

Higher Education Institutions

  • Public/State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
  • Private Institutions of Higher Education

The following types of Higher Education Institutions are always encouraged to apply for NIH support as Public or Private Institutions of Higher Education:

  • Hispanic-serving Institutions
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCCUs)
  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions
  • Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions (AANAPISIs)

Nonprofits Other Than Institutions of Higher Education

  • Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) IRS Status (Other than Institutions of Higher Education)
Foreign Institutions

Non-domestic (non-U.S.) Entities (Foreign Institutions) are not eligible to apply.
Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are not eligible to apply.
Foreign components, as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement, are not allowed.

Required Registrations

Applicant Organizations

Applicant organizations must complete and maintain the following registrations as described in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide to be eligible to apply for or receive an award. All registrations must be completed prior to the application being submitted. Registration can take 6 weeks or more, so applicants should begin the registration process as soon as possible. The NIH Policy on Late Submission of Grant Applications states that failure to complete registrations in advance of a due date is not a valid reason for a late submission.

  • Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) - All registrations require that applicants be issued a DUNS number. After obtaining a DUNS number, applicants can begin both SAM and eRA Commons registrations. The same DUNS number must be used for all registrations, as well as on the grant application.
  • System for Award Management (SAM) (formerly CCR) – Applicants must complete and maintain an active registration, which requires renewal at least annually. The renewal process may require as much time as the initial registration. SAM registration includes the assignment of a Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) Code for domestic organizations which have not already been assigned a CAGE Code.
  • NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) Code – Foreign organizations must obtain an NCAGE code (in lieu of a CAGE code) in order to register in SAM. 
  • eRA Commons - Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the eRA Commons registration. Organizations can register with the eRA Commons as they are working through their SAM or Grants.gov registration. eRA Commons requires organizations to identify at least one Signing Official (SO) and at least one Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) account in order to submit an application.
  • Grants.gov – Applicants must have an active DUNS number and SAM registration in order to complete the Grants.gov registration.

Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD(s)/PI(s))

All PD(s)/PI(s) must have an eRA Commons account.  PD(s)/PI(s) should work with their organizational officials to either create a new account or to affiliate their existing account with the applicant organization in eRA Commons. If the PD/PI is also the organizational Signing Official, they must have two distinct eRA Commons accounts, one for each role. Obtaining an eRA Commons account can take up to 2 weeks.

Eligible Individuals (Program Director/Principal Investigator)

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

2. Cost Sharing

This FOA does not require cost sharing as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

3. Additional Information on Eligibility
Number of Applications

An institution (normally identified by having a unique DUNS number or NIH IPF number) can submit only one application; however, that institution may also participate as partner via a sub-award or associate program through applications submitted by other institutions.

The NIH will not accept duplicate or highly overlapping applications under review at the same time.  This means that the NIH will not accept:

  • A new (A0) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of an overlapping new (A0) or resubmission (A1) application.
  • A resubmission (A1) application that is submitted before issuance of the summary statement from the review of the previous new (A0) application.
  • An application that has substantial overlap with another application pending appeal of initial peer review (see NOT-OD-11-101).

In addition, the NIH will not accept a resubmission (A1) application that is submitted later than 37 months after submission of the new (A0) application that it follows.  The NIH will accept submission:

  • To an RFA of an application that was submitted previously as an investigator-initiated application but not paid;
  • Of an investigator-initiated application that was originally submitted to an RFA but not paid; or
  • Of an application with a changed grant activity code.
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
1. Requesting an Application Package

Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application package associated with this funding opportunity using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA or following the directions provided at Grants.gov.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

It is critical that applicants follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide, including Supplemental Grant Application Instructions except where instructed in this funding opportunity announcement to do otherwise. Conformance to the requirements in the Application Guide is required and strictly enforced. Applications that are out of compliance with these instructions may be delayed or not accepted for review.

For information on Application Submission and Receipt, visit Frequently Asked Questions – Application Guide, Electronic Submission of Grant Applications.

Letter of Intent

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 IC staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

By the date listed in Part 1. Overview Information, prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

  • Descriptive title of proposed activity
  • Name(s), address(es), and telephone number(s) of the PD(s)/PI(s)
  • Names of other key personnel
  • Participating institution(s)
  • Number and title of this funding opportunity

The letter of intent should be sent to:

Sally E. Tilotta, PhD
Scientific Review Officer
Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Research and Training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
P.O. Box 12233; Mail drop K3-03
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
Telephone: 919-541-1446
Fax: 301-451-5715
Email: sally.tilotta@nih.gov

For Courier delivery:
530 Davis Drive, Room 3076
Morrisville, NC 27560

Page Limitations

All page limitations described in the SF424 Application Guide and the Table of Page Limits must be followed, with the following exceptions or additional requirements:

  • For this specific FOA, the Research Strategy section is limited to 30 pages.
Instructions for Application Submission

The following section supplements the instructions found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide and should be used for preparing an application to this FOA.

SF424(R&R) Cover

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Project/Performance Site Locations

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

SF424(R&R) Other Project Information

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions.

Other Attachments: Applicants should include a diagram of the organizational structure of the Training Center.  This diagram should demonstrate how the interactions between the different aspects of the Center achieve the mandate-driven goals of the Center.  The diagram should be uploaded as a pdf file titled "Training Center Organizational Structure". 

SF424(R&R) Senior/Key Person Profile

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. 

R&R Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. Allowable indirect costs for this program are limited to 8% of a modified indirect cost base which excludes amounts over the first $25,000 for each consortia agreement, equipment costs, and tuition and related trainee fees

R&R Subaward Budget

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed. Allowable indirect costs for this program are limited to 8% of a modified indirect cost base which excludes amounts over the first $25,000 for each consortia agreement, equipment costs, and tuition and related trainee fees

PHS 398 Cover Page Supplement

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed.  

PHS 398 Research Plan

All instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide must be followed, with the following additional instructions: 

Specific Aims:  State the objectives and specific aims for worker health and safety training. Describe the proposed hazardous material and waste worker populations targeted for training including: size, types of work, and geographic locations. Project the number of workers anticipated to be trained.

Research Strategy:  State the broad, long-term objectives and concisely and realistically describe what the proposed training is intended to accomplish. This section should include the following:  Background and Significance; Prior Experience; Administration, Staff, and Advisory Board; Target Populations; and Training Plan.

a. Background and Significance.  

Briefly sketch the relevant background and the need for the proposed health and safety training. Give the rationale for the proposed training program. Applicants must strongly document the organization's past success in performance and effectiveness in planning, implementing, and operating worker health and safety training programs and employing adult education techniques.   Give a summary of worker health and safety activities for the last five years for the major participating organizations in the proposed program. Emphasis should be placed on worker health and safety training and education experience including information on the students trained and their jobs, type of worker health and safety training given, number of workers trained, training duration, outreach activities, and new advances in training.

b. Progress Report/Compliance with Terms of Prior Award(s).

Applicants who are presently being funded under this program should provide a progress report of their activities. This should include: description of efforts to meet established terms and conditions, attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards, ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget periods and a summary of collaborative efforts with other awardees and NIEHS program staff.

c. Administration, Staff, and Advisory Board.

Describe the administrative structure of the proposed program and the distribution of responsibilities within it, including the means by which the PD/PI will obtain continuing advice with respect to the operation of the program.

Describe the extent to which participating faculty members have collaborated with the program in the past. For individuals who are not Senior/Key Personnel, list technical support staff members and identify their roles in the program.   Minimum position qualifications and position descriptions must be provided for proposed staff not yet hired. Be sure to include relevant publications and scholarly articles pertaining to public health, safety, and training.

Provide evidence of lines of responsibility and accountability and this evidence must be clearly delineated when two or more organizations are collaborating on an activity. Provide detailed plans for collaboration.

Evidence that the administrative/business official has experience or knowledge in the management of federal programs and will participate in program decisions should be contained in the application.  Provide evidence of sufficient program staff with demonstrated training experience using appropriate adult education techniques to assure effective direct training, and quality assurance.

This must include:

  • Describing the program's experience with adult education.
  • For individuals who will not be Senior/Key Personnel, document the faculty members' relevant experience and training in appropriate adult education techniques in the area of worker health and safety.
  • Access to appropriate technical expertise including but not limited to toxicology, and industrial hygiene.  It is intended that offsite instruction funded by the NIEHS assistance program will be supplemented with onsite training under the direct supervision of trained, experienced personnel at the time of initial job assignment.  Provide details of an external board of advisors that represents user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response.

Describe the make-up and role of the Advisory Board. Show plans for how they will be used to assure the quality of the training program including frequency of meetings and how they will advise the PD/PI. This should include a description of the expertise of the membership of the external board, detailed plans on when the board will meet, how the board will evaluate training activities, and what formal procedures the board will follow to provide advice to the PD/PI. The advice should include at a minimum incorporation of student feedback mechanisms; review of course critiques and Board of Advisors evaluations and other appropriate evaluations and quality assurance procedures. Potential board members should not be named or contacted for new applications. Advisory Board members should be identified for renewal applications.

d. Target Population(s).

Describe methods and techniques to be used for identifying and accessing target specific worker population(s), whether organized or not, that are engaged in hazardous materials and waste operations and transportation and related emergency response to be trained. Specific descriptions of targeted training populations should reflect the respective regulations of EPA, OSHA, etc. Describe the population(s) to be trained, including size of the target population(s), worker profiles, trades and job categories to be trained, types of hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response, geographic locations of workers and the degree of health and safety training already received. Provide documented assurances of access to these populations for training and identify the target populations requiring training according to EPA, OSHA, and/or DOT statutory authority.

Describe the qualifications of prospective students and the criteria and procedures by which students will be selected. Describe outreach and recruitment plans. Describe the type and give the number of workers who have applied for worker health and safety training given by your organization over the last five years and the number of workers who have completed this training and the resulting benefit of the program to the student and their employers.

Applications should include plans for reaching underserved workers in the proposed target populations especially those disadvantaged in education, language skills or limited in literacy.

e. Training Program.

Describe the proposed training program including the number of students to be trained, durations of training and anticipated course content and training objectives. Document the program's achievement of the minimum criteria for worker health and safety training for hazardous waste operations and emergency response.

Describe curricula to be used, distribution of course materials, and conduct of direct worker training.

Describe the extent of hands-on demonstration and instruction, which simulates hazardous materials and waste operations or emergency response. Describe methods for employing adult education techniques and approaches for training and evaluating instructors. Advanced training technologies, such as e-learning, when used, should be part of a blended learning approach that combines these new technologies with hands-on, small group and other learning activities. Both initial and appropriate refresher training will be covered. The plan must include involvement of appropriate health and safety disciplines.

The plan must describe a system for tracking trainee employment in hazmat- related jobs and must provide evidence of methods proposed for evaluating appropriateness, quality, impact and effectiveness of worker health and safety training. The plan must include information on the training of instructors, including worker trainers, and on-going trainer development and support activities. Indicate how the proposed worker health and safety training will be integrated with other specialized training already provided to the proposed target worker population. Specify and highlight the integration of new program initiatives as identified in the FOA with your proposed training plan. Discuss plans for continuing the program independently beyond the cooperative agreement period.

Plans for reaching underserved worker populations especially those disadvantaged in education, culture, or language or limited in literacy and access to training should be included. Provide evidence of arrangements to assure the inclusion of institutions and organizations, which have historical involvement and expertise in responding to occupational health disparities and environmental justice issues. For example, does your plan include a community outreach and involvement component which can augment the delivery of high quality training in order to promote toxic use reduction, emergency preparedness in the community, and community awareness of chemical process safety and pollution prevention?

Quality Control and Evaluation Plan: Describe how each student's progress will be measured and how the student's performance will be monitored and evaluated. Describe methods and procedures for evaluating appropriateness, quality and effectiveness of worker health and safety training proposed. Evaluation protocols should quantitatively describe a process for assessing instructor effectiveness, trainee retention of knowledge and hands-on skills, and the positive impacts of training activities on work practices and overall worker protection from on-the-job hazards.

Description of Relationships with DOE Training Managers: Describe arrangements made with DOE training managers to: (1) identify what training courses are needed to ensure that applicable health and safety training requirements are met; (2) accurately determine the number of employees who need training; and (3) ensure that training meets site-specific needs and is consistent with established quality standards.

Resource Sharing Plan: Not Applicable

Appendix:  Do not use the Appendix to circumvent page limits. Follow all instructions for the Appendix as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Curricula Outlines: Describe in outline form the applicable standards, curricula components, modules, learning objectives and performance measures. The outline for each curriculum must not exceed two pages in length and should be included here only. Do not include copies of the actual curricula.  

Planned Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Planned Enrollment Reports as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

PHS 398 Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report

When conducting clinical research, follow all instructions for completing Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment Report as described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide. 

3. Submission Dates and Times

Part I. Overview Information contains information about Key Dates. Applicants are encouraged to submit applications before the due date to ensure they have time to make any application corrections that might be necessary for successful submission.

Organizations must submit applications to Grants.gov (the online portal to find and apply for grants across all Federal agencies). Applicants must then complete the submission process by tracking the status of the application in the eRA Commons, NIH’s electronic system for grants administration. NIH and Grants.gov systems check the application against many of the application instructions upon submission. Errors must be corrected and a changed/corrected application must be submitted to Grants.gov on or before the application due date.  If a Changed/Corrected application is submitted after the deadline, the application will be considered late.

Applicants are responsible for viewing their application before the due date in the eRA Commons to ensure accurate and successful submission.

Information on the submission process and a definition of on-time submission are provided in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

4. Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372)

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Pre-award costs are allowable only as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

6. Other Submission Requirements and Information

Applications must be submitted electronically following the instructions described in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.  Paper applications will not be accepted.

Applicants must complete all required registrations before the application due date. Section III. Eligibility Information contains information about registration.

For assistance with your electronic application or for more information on the electronic submission process, visit Applying Electronically.

Important reminders:
All PD(s)/PI(s) must include their eRA Commons ID in the Credential field of the Senior/Key Person Profile Component of the SF424(R&R) Application Package. Failure to register in the Commons and to include a valid PD/PI Commons ID in the credential field will prevent the successful submission of an electronic application to NIH. See Section III of this FOA for information on registration requirements.

The applicant organization must ensure that the DUNS number it provides on the application is the same number used in the organization’s profile in the eRA Commons and for the System for Award Management. Additional information may be found in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

See more tips for avoiding common errors.

Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the Center for Scientific Review and responsiveness by components of participating organizations, NIH. Applications that are incomplete and/or nonresponsive will not be reviewed.  

In order to expedite review, applicants are requested to notify the NIEHS Referral Office by email at Sally.Tilotta@nih.gov when the application has been submitted. Please include the FOA number and title, PD/PI name, and title of the application.

2014 FOA Briefing Informational Meeting

A briefing for interested applicants will be held at NIEHS on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 1-5 PM in Rall Building, Rodbell Conference Room 101B at 111 TW Alexander Drive, Research Triangle Park, NC 27709. NIEHS staff will explain the purpose of the Program, provide instructions about the application process, and answer questions. A summary of responses from the briefing will be available upon request from NIEHS wetp@niehs.nih.gov and may be posted on an FAQ page at a later date.  The briefing will be webcast live and available at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/news/webcasts/index.cfm.

Visiting NIEHS and Directions - You must submit your contact information in advance to Clifton Baldwin at baldwin@niehs.nih.gov or via phone at (919) 541-0303 to RSVP for the Informational meeting. All attendees must contact Mr. Baldwin by Monday, September 15, 2014 to attend the event.   

Post Submission Materials

Applicants are required to follow the instructions for post-submission materials, as described in NOT-OD-13-030.

Section V. Application Review Information
1. Criteria

Only the review criteria described below will be considered in the review process. As part of the NIH mission, all applications submitted to the NIH in support of biomedical and behavioral research are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the NIH peer review system.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance

Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?  Does the training program address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in training workers? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will training be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, services associated with training that drive this field?   

Investigator(s)   

Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?  Does the PD/PI strongly demonstrate the capacity for providing leadership and assuring productivity of appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs and for overall management of the training programs including quality assurance and program evaluation? Is there sufficient evidence of an applicant’s organizational structure or consortium, if applicable, that provides adequate knowledge and oversight of resources and administrative management of the program? Do the PD/PI and the proposed staff have the ability to manage complex training programs?

Innovation

Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?  Is there evidence of inclusion of worker training initiatives and innovations?  

Approach

Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?  Are the methods and techniques to be used for identifying, describing, and accessing target specific worker populations for worker health and safety training and anticipated impact of the proposed program adequate?

Does the applicant provide detailed program plans for adapting existing curricula, training of instructors, distributing course materials, directing worker training, and conducting program evaluations?

Are the combinations of classroom instruction and hands on demonstration and instruction appropriate to simulate worker site activities and conditions? 

Are there plans for independently continuing the program; for the generation of program income, if applicable; and for assuring the long-term viability of the program? 

Is the training plan adequate for reaching underserved worker populations especially those disadvantaged in education, culture, or language or limited in literacy and access to training? 

For a prior awardee, has the awardee demonstrated meeting established terms and conditions of prior awards; attainment of program goals and objectives of prior awards; and ability to manage and expend funds in a timely manner in prior budget periods?

Has the organization or consortium demonstrated effectiveness in planning, implementing and operating appropriate worker health and safety training and education programs? Are they able to immediately initiate direct worker health and safety training, program evaluation, and related support activities

If the project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, are the plans to address 1) the protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion or exclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?  

Environment

Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?  Are the facilities and equipment appropriate to support the described worker health and safety training and education activities, including hands on instruction? Is there evidence that the operation of training facilities assures the protection of prospective trainees during program delivery? Are there appropriate policies and procedures for assuring fitness for training and medical clearance?   

Additional Review Criteria

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will evaluate the following additional items while determining scientific and technical merit, and in providing an overall impact score, but will not give separate scores for these items.

Protections for Human Subjects

For research that involves human subjects but does not involve one of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate the justification for involvement of human subjects and the proposed protections from research risk relating to their participation according to the following five review criteria: 1) risk to subjects, 2) adequacy of protection against risks, 3) potential benefits to the subjects and others, 4) importance of the knowledge to be gained, and 5) data and safety monitoring for clinical trials.

For research that involves human subjects and meets the criteria for one or more of the six categories of research that are exempt under 45 CFR Part 46, the committee will evaluate: 1) the justification for the exemption, 2) human subjects involvement and characteristics, and 3) sources of materials. For additional information on review of the Human Subjects section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Human Subjects.

Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children 

When the proposed project involves human subjects and/or NIH-defined clinical research, the committee will evaluate the proposed plans for the inclusion (or exclusion) of individuals on the basis of sex/gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as the inclusion (or exclusion) of children to determine if it is justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed. For additional information on review of the Inclusion section, please refer to the Guidelines for the Review of Inclusion in Clinical Research.

Vertebrate Animals

The committee will evaluate the involvement of live vertebrate animals as part of the scientific assessment according to the following five points: 1) proposed use of the animals, and species, strains, ages, sex, and numbers to be used; 2) justifications for the use of animals and for the appropriateness of the species and numbers proposed; 3) adequacy of veterinary care; 4) procedures for limiting discomfort, distress, pain and injury to that which is unavoidable in the conduct of scientifically sound research including the use of analgesic, anesthetic, and tranquilizing drugs and/or comfortable restraining devices; and 5) methods of euthanasia and reason for selection if not consistent with the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia. For additional information on review of the Vertebrate Animals section, please refer to the Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section.

Biohazards

Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.

Resubmissions

Not Applicable

Renewals

For Renewals, the committee will consider the progress made in the last funding period.

Revisions

Not Applicable

Additional Review Considerations

As applicable for the project proposed, reviewers will consider each of the following items, but will not give scores for these items, and should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.

Applications from Foreign Organizations

Not Applicable

Select Agent Research

Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).

Resource Sharing Plans

Not Applicable 

Budget and Period of Support

Reviewers will consider whether the budget and the requested period of support are fully justified and reasonable and represent the amount of grant funds necessary for completion of the project..

2. Review and Selection Process

Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by (an) appropriate Scientific Review Group(s) convened by NIEHS, in accordance with NIH peer review policy and procedures, using the stated review criteria. Assignment to a Scientific Review Group will be shown in the eRA Commons.

As part of the scientific peer review, all applications:

  • May undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  • Will receive a written critique.

Appeals of initial peer review will not be accepted for applications submitted in response to this FOA.

Applications will be assigned on the basis of established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center. Applications will compete for available funds with all other recommended applications submitted in response to this FOA. Following initial peer review, recommended applications will receive a second level of review by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Advisory Council. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

  • Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.
  • Availability of funds.
  • Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.
3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons

Information regarding the disposition of applications is available in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VI. Award Administration Information
1. Award Notices

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization for successful applications. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document and will be sent via email to the grantee’s business official.

Awardees must comply with any funding restrictions described in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions. Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs.      

Any application awarded in response to this FOA will be subject to terms and conditions found on the Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants website.  This includes any recent legislation and policy applicable to awards that is highlighted on this website.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General  and Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities. More information is provided at Award Conditions and Information for NIH Grants.

Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions of Award

The following special terms of award are in addition to, and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS grant administration regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 (Part 92 is applicable when State and local Governments are eligible to apply), and other HHS, PHS, and NIH grant administration policies.

The administrative and funding instrument used for this program will be the cooperative agreement an "assistance" mechanism (rather than an "acquisition" mechanism), in which substantial NIH programmatic involvement with the awardees is anticipated during the performance of the activities. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIH purpose is to support and stimulate the recipients' activities by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipients in a partnership role; it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activities. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility resides with the awardees for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities may be shared among the awardees and the NIH as defined below.

The PD(s)/PI(s) will have the primary responsibility for:

The PD/PI has primary authorities and responsibilities to define objectives and approaches, and to plan, conduct, analyze, and publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of their studies and training activities. It is the responsibility of each awardee to develop the details of the training plan, which will be required to describe the technical approaches, target population access and recruitment, curricula modification, training methodology, and program evaluation procedures.

  • Each awardee is required to meet at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and to coordinate training activities. PD/PIs and business officials are required to meet at least annually.

  • Before use, awardees must submit draft copies of training manuals, instructor guides, course curricula and other materials developed for use in training activities supported by NIEHS to the NIEHS Program Coordinator to receive technical comments and suggestions regarding the adequacy, technical accuracy and suitability of materials to be used for worker safety and health training. Final copies of all materials developed with support from NIEHS will be transmitted in approved electronic format by the awardees to the National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response and made available to the general public, subject to any specific legal caveats on use or copyright protection.

  • Each awardee is required to participate annually in two technical workshops, which coincide with the two annual awardee meetings, to be sponsored and planned by the NIEHS Program Coordinator. The technical workshops will present relevant and topical information to assure the continued high quality of worker safety and health training activities carried out by the awardees and encourage the exchange of significant information regarding effective training techniques and approaches.

  • Each awardee is required to convene a Board of Advisors representing user populations, labor, industry, governmental agencies, academic institutions or professional associations with interest and expertise in worker health and safety training related to hazardous materials and waste operations and emergency response. The Board of Advisors must meet annually to evaluate training activities and provide advice to the PD/PI.

  • Each awardee is required to have one individual assigned the responsibility for information technology transfer and dissemination as the point of contact for the NIEHS Program Coordinator. This person would ensure the effective communication and transfer of important training and administrative information to NIEHS and other appropriate audiences, including trainee tracking activities, computation and submittal of training data, coordination of special meetings/conferences, submission of curricula, and other training activities conducted by the program.

  • Each awardee will retain custody of and primary rights to the data and the curricula materials developed under these awards, subject to appropriate Government rights of access consistent with current HHS and NIH policies. Awardees will retain custody of and have primary rights to the data and software developed under these awards, subject to Government rights of access consistent with current HHS, PHS, and NIH policies.

NIH staff have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below:

NIEHS Program Coordinators will have substantial programmatic involvement that is above and beyond the normal stewardship role in awards, as described below.

The role of the NIEHS Program Coordinator will be to facilitate, not to direct, the development of a high quality national worker training resource. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and other HHS, PHS, and NIH Grant Administration policy statements.

The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate activities of mutual interest and benefit to awardees and the Institute. The primary objective of the Worker Training Program will be to stimulate collaborative work between NIEHS and the awardees in the creation of model worker safety and health training programs. Substantial programmatic involvement by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assure that there is not duplication of efforts or overlap in worker safety and health training delivery and program development by the awardees.

  • In order to provide consistent use and delivery of existing curricula for high- quality worker safety and health training, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will ensure that there will be close coordination among awardees, other state and federal governmental agencies, and other training providers. Such program coordination between NIEHS and the awardees will make maximum use of worker safety and health training materials and curricula that have already been developed, evaluated, and used. Training materials developed by the awardees will be submitted for review by the NIEHS Program Coordinator for consistency, appropriateness and technical accuracy before the initiation of worker safety and health training activities.

  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will convene a working meeting at least twice annually to review progress, share information, and discuss technical issues and to coordinate training activities.

  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will provide ongoing technical assistance to the awardees through arrangement of technical workshops related to the substantive technical issues that affect the program. Technical workshops will bring together program directors from each awardee with the relevant technical experts from a number of scientific fields involved in hazardous waste, occupational health, environmental health sciences, and adult education. Examination of training technologies and technical issues which are specific to the program will be developed and coordinated through technical workshops, which will be held at least twice per fiscal year.

  • To assure that training programs developed with assistance from NIEHS will comply with all applicable federal safety and health regulations, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees through continual involvement with other federal regulatory agencies. Operational monitoring by the NIEHS Program Coordinator will assist the awardees in complying with general federal statutory requirements regulating worker safety and health training activities.

  • The NIEHS Program Coordinator will coordinate overall program evaluations to show the impact of the training on improving work practices, reducing work related injury and illness and to document the increased understanding of relevant environmental health sciences by workers involved in environmental cleanups, hazardous waste management and emergency response to chemical releases. While each awardee must have its own evaluation program, the NIEHS Program Coordinator will strive to assess the overall effectiveness of the training programs supported under the cooperative agreements in terms of the nation's needs and in relation to the target populations identified by Congress in SARA Section 126 and related statutes which are referenced above.

  • NIEHS maintains a National Clearinghouse for Worker Safety and Health Training for Hazardous Materials, Waste Operations and Emergency Response to assist awardees by providing information and technical support services to the PD/PIs of NIEHS funded hazardous materials, waste operations, and emergency response worker training programs. The Clearinghouse will also function as a national resource for the dissemination to the general public of program related information and curricular materials that have been developed by the awardees.

  • An NIEHS Program Coordinator will be responsible for normal program stewardship of the award. The NIEHS Program Official may also serve as the NIEHS Program Coordinator.

Areas of Joint Responsibility include:

None.

Dispute Resolution:

Any disagreements that may arise in scientific or programmatic matters (within the scope of the award) between award recipients and the NIH may be brought to Dispute Resolution. A Dispute Resolution Panel composed of three members will be convened. It will have three members: a designee of the Steering Committee chosen without NIH staff voting, one NIH designee, and a third designee with expertise in the relevant area who is chosen by the other two; in the case of individual disagreement, the first member may be chosen by the individual awardee. This special dispute resolution procedure does not alter the awardee's right to appeal an adverse action that is otherwise appealable in accordance with PHS regulation 42 CFR Part 50, Subpart D and DHHS regulation 45 CFR Part 16.

3. Reporting

When multiple years are involved, awardees will be required to submit the annual Non-Competing Progress Report (PHS 2590 or RPPR) and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

A final progress report, invention statement, and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout of an award, as described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act), includes a requirement for awardees of Federal grants to report information about first-tier subawards and executive compensation under Federal assistance awards issued in FY2011 or later.  All awardees of applicable NIH grants and cooperative agreements are required to report to the Federal Subaward Reporting System (FSRS) available at www.fsrs.gov on all subawards over $25,000.  See the NIH Grants Policy Statement for additional information on this reporting requirement. 

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants.

Application Submission Contacts

eRA Commons Help Desk (Questions regarding eRA Commons registration, submitting and tracking an application, documenting system problems that threaten submission by the due date, post submission issues)
Telephone: 301-402-7469 or 866-504-9552 (Toll Free)
Finding Help Online: http://grants.nih.gov/support/index.html
Email: commons@od.nih.gov

Grants.gov Customer Support (Questions regarding Grants.gov registration and submission, downloading forms and application packages)
Contact CenterTelephone: 800-518-4726
Web ticketing system: https://grants-portal.psc.gov/ContactUs.aspx
Email: support@grants.gov

GrantsInfo (Questions regarding application instructions and process, finding NIH grant resources)
Telephone: 301-435-0714
Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Joseph Hughes
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0217
Email: hughes3@niehs.nih.gov

Sharon Beard
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-1863
Email: beard1@niehs.nih.gov

Jim Remington
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-0035
Email: remingtonj@niehs.nih.gov

Kathy Ahlmark
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-7825
Email: ahlmark@niehs.nih.gov

Peer Review Contact(s)

Sally E. Tilotta, PhD
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-1446
Email: sally.tilotta@nih.gov

Financial/Grants Management Contact(s)

Pamela Clark
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
Telephone: 919-541-7629
Email: evans3@niehs.nih.gov

Section VIII. Other Information

Recently issued trans-NIH policy notices may affect your application submission. A full list of policy notices published by NIH is provided in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Authority and Regulations

Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR Part 52 and 65, and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92 in addition to the Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act of 1986 (SARA), Section 126(g) and the National Defense Authorization Act (42 USC 7274(d) Section 3131(a)(1)(A)-(B).

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