LIMITED COMPETITION FOR EQUIPMENT SUPPLEMENTS TO MBRS RISE OR IMSD AWARDS

Release Date:  December 3, 2001

RFA:  RFA-GM-02-005

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  January 9, 2002
Application Receipt Date:       February 12, 2002

PURPOSE

Minority Opportunity for Research (MORE) Division, Minority Biomedical 
Research Support (MBRS) Branch of The National Institute of General Medical 
Sciences (NIGMS) announces a limited initiative to solicit competing 
supplemental applications to acquire laboratory equipment. Although equipment 
is an allowable cost in the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement 
(RISE) and Initiative for Minority Student Development (IMSD) grants, these 
supplements should provide the research and training faculty with equipment 
that is either not readily available or is lacking but that is essential to 
conducting their research.  The supplemental funds may be used to purchase new 
equipment or to upgrade existing equipment for use by students and faculty in 
the biological, behavioral or biomedical related sciences in research 
education and training.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion 
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national 
activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for Applications (RFA), 
Limited Competition for Equipment Supplements to MBRS RISE or IMSD Awards, is 
related to one or more of the priority areas.  Potential applicants may obtain 
a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople/.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Eligible institutions are those with current MBRS RISE grants or IMSD grants. 
Institutions must have at least one year of support remaining at the time of 
award and the supplemental award may not extend beyond the parent grant.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support will be offered as a competing supplemental (Type 3) award to an 
existing R25 award.  For equipment, this is a one-time solicitation and awards 
are not renewable.  However, if a technical assistant is requested in a RISE 
application, these costs may be requested for the duration of the grant 
period.  IMSD grantees may not request a technical assistant.

FUNDS AVAILABLE 

NIGMS intends to commit approximately $1-2 million in FY 2002 to fund 
supplemental equipment grants in response to this RFA. Because the nature and 
cost of the equipment may vary, it is anticipated that the size of each award 
will also vary.  Although the financial plans of NIGMS provide support for 
this supplement program, awards pursuant to this RFA are contingent upon the 
availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious 
applications.  At this time, it is not known if this RFA will be reissued.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

In the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NIH was encouraged to increase the 
number of underrepresented minorities participating in biomedical and 
behavioral research.  In response to the Act, the NIGMS established the MBRS 
program which includes the RISE and IMSD initiatives. The purpose of the MBRS 
program is to assist biomedical and behavioral research faculty to develop 
competitive research programs at minority-serving institutions, and to 
increase the number of underrepresented minority scientists professionally 
engaged in biomedical research.  In addition, the MBRS Branch recognizes that 
eligible institutions are diverse in institutional environment and mission.  
Therefore, with respect to evaluation, the RISE and IMSD initiatives require 
that each institution set its own goals and measurable objectives that are 
based on its self assessment and that it identify anticipated milestones for 
achievements.

Types of Equipment Requests

Applicants may request costs for individual pieces of equipment necessary to 
facilitate progress in a particular research training activity. Justification 
for the equipment should be based on its utility to drive the activity forward 
and its present unavailability at that institution.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Although requests for equipment should be justified with regard to enhancing 
the progress of the research, it should not change the scope of the program.

For applications requesting an equipment supplement to RISE grants, support 
for equipment in direct support of research education and training activities 
may be requested.  In addition, when fully justified, support for a technical 
assistant to maintain and teach others in the use of the equipment is allowed.

For applications requesting an equipment supplement to IMSD grants, support 
for equipment in direct support of research education and training activities 
may be requested.

The minimum aggregate cost allowable for either RISE or IMSD applications is 
$50,000 and the maximum is $150,000.

A progress report will be required as a part of a subsequent non-competing 
application (Type 5), competing renewal (Type 2) application, or of the close-
out package if a competing renewal application is not awarded. This progress 
report should describe the benefits derived from institution-wide use of the 
equipment and provide specific information on overall use of the equipment.

Unallowable Costs

Unallowable costs include: 
o  Computers for individual use;
o  Computers and audiovisual equipment for general classroom use; 
o  Supplies and other laboratory items whose cost is less than $5,000.

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 sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported clinical research 
projects unless a clear and compelling justification is provided indicating 
that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or 
the purpose of the research. This policy results from the NIH Revitalization 
Act of 1993 (Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing clinical research should read the AMENDMENT "NIH 
Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical 
Research - Amended, October, 2001," published in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts on October 9, 2001 
(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-001.html); 
a complete copy of the updated Guidelines are available at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/guidelines_amended_10_2001.htm.
The amended policy incorporates: the use of an NIH definition of 
clinical research; updated racial and ethnic categories in compliance with the 
new OMB standards; clarification of language governing NIH-defined Phase III 
clinical trials consistent with the new PHS Form 398; and updated roles and 
responsibilities of NIH staff and the extramural community.  The policy 
continues to require for all NIH-defined Phase III clinical trials that: a) 
all applications or proposals and/or protocols must provide a description of 
plans to conduct analyses, as appropriate, to address differences by 
sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic groups, including subgroups if applicable; and 
b) investigators must report annual accrual and progress in conducting 
analyses, as appropriate, by sex/gender and/or racial/ethnic group 
differences.

INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS

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

REQUIRED EDUCATION ON THE PROTECTION OF HUMAN SUBJECT PARTICIPANTS

NIH policy requires education on the protection of human subject participants 
for all investigators submitting NIH proposals for research involving human 
subjects.  This policy announcement is found in the NIH Guide for Grants and 
Contracts Announcement dated June 5, 2000, at the following website: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-00-039.html.

URLS IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES

All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within 
specified page limitations.  Unless otherwise specified in an NIH 
solicitation, internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide 
information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation 
to view the Internet sites.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to 
provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act 
(FOIA) under some circumstances.  Data that are (1) first produced in a 
project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited 
publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has 
the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA.  
It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this 
amendment.  NIH has provided guidance at:
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this RFA in a public 
archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the 
distribution for an indefinite period of time.  If so, the application should 
include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include 
information about this in the budget justification section of the application. 
In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent 
statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider 
use of data collected under this award.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that contains 
the title and grant number of the parent grant, the name, address, and 
telephone number of the Principal Investigator (Program Director), and the 
number and title of the RFA in response to which the application is being 
submitted.  If possible, provide a description of the equipment that will be 
requested.  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 NIGMS staff to estimate the potential review workload 
and plan the review.

The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. Ernest D. Marquez listed under 
INQUIRIES.  The letter of intent receipt date is listed above in the heading 
of this RFA.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001) at 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html must be used in 
applying for these grants. This version of the PHS 398 is available in an 
interactive, searchable format.  For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, 
Telephone 301/435-0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

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

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

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

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must be 
sent to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 1 AS.13
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200

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

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 already reviewed, but such applications must include 
an Introduction addressing the previous critique.

APPLICATION CONTENT

Under the Experimental Plan, the PI should provide the information requested 
below. This section may not exceed five pages. Equipment quotations, letters 
from collaborators and consultants, and the checklist are excluded from the 
five-page limit.

Section 1: Describe how the requested equipment has (1) relevance to the 
institution's goals and specific objectives, (2) immediate utility to specific 
research education/training activities, and (3) how the investigator will take 
advantage of unique features of the equipment to enhance progress of the 
research education/training activity. Describe how the requested equipment 
will provide an innovative approach to the research education/training 
activities.  Describe how the equipment will significantly enhance the 
scientific environment in which the research /development activities are being 
conducted and how it will contribute to the probability of success.
Section 2: Describe the plan for maintenance of the requested equipment and 
how the institution will assist in support of the equipment requested.
Section 3: Describe your plans to share data generated from the requested 
equipment (if applicable).
Section 4: Complete Section 3 ("Facilities and Administrative Costs") of the 
PHS 398 Form Checklist.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by NIGMS.  Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will 
be returned to the applicant without further consideration.

Applications that are complete and responsive to the RFA will be evaluated for 
scientific and technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by 
NIGMS in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  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, generally the top half of the applications under review, 
will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second level 
review by the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council

Review Criteria

The goals of NIH-supported research are to advance our understanding of 
biological systems, improve the control of disease, and enhance health.  In 
the written comments reviewers will be asked to discuss the following aspects 
of the application in order to judge the likelihood that the requested 
equipment 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.  

Applications submitted in response to this RFA are supplemental to an existing 
award.  The following review criteria will be used to determine the merit of 
the supplemental application for equipment:

Significance:
o  Does the requested equipment have relevance and immediate utility and will 
the investigator take advantage of unique features of the equipment to enhance 
progress of his/her research education/training activity?
Approach:
o  Is there a plan for its maintenance?
o  For RISE applications, is there a plan its maintenance and, if technical 
assistance is requested, does the technician have the appropriate background 
and skills to maintain the equipment and instruct others in its use?
Innovation:
o  Has the investigator shown that the equipment will provide an innovative 
approach to accomplishing the original aims of the research education/training 
activities?
Investigator:
o  Has the investigator been productive in documenting his/her progress of the 
research education/training activities and will this equipment enhance its 
progress?
Environment:
o  Will the equipment significantly enhance the scientific environment in 
which the research education/training is being conducted and contribute to the 
probability of success?
o  Is there evidence of institutional support of the program and of the 
equipment to be acquired?

In addition to the above criteria, in accordance with NIH policy, all 
applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

o  The reasonableness of the proposed budget 
o  The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data, if appropriate

AWARD CRITERIA

Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include:

o  Scientific merit (as determined by peer review)
o  Availability of funds
o  Programmatic priorities.

INQUIRIES

Inquiries concerning this RFA are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any 
issues or answer questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Ernest D. Marquez, Ph.D.
Chief, MBRS Branch 
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room Number 2As.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753
E-mail:  marqueze@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding review issues to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Chief, Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 1 AS.13
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-2881
FAX:  (301) 480-8506
E -mail:  sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Antoinette Holland
Grants Management Officer
Grants Management Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH
Building 45, Room 2AN.50
45 Center Drive, MSC 6200
Bethesda, Maryland  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-5132
FAX:  (301) 480-2554
E-mail:  hollanda@nigms.nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.375.  Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the 
Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and administered 
under NIH grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 
74 and 92.  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 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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