LIMITED COMPETITION FOR COMPETING SUPPLEMENTAL APPLICATIONS FOR COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY INFRASTRUCTURE AT MINORITY ACCESS TO RESEARCH CAREERS (MARC) AND MINORITY BIOMEDICAL RESEARCH SUPPORT (MBRS) GRANTEE INSTITUTIONS RELEASE DATE: October 31, 2002 RFA: GM-03-005 National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) (http://www.nigms.nih.gov) Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 29, 2002 Application Receipt Date: December 30, 2002 THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION o Purpose of this RFA o Program Objectives o Mechanism(s) of Support o Funds Available o Eligible Institutions o Individuals Eligible to Become Principal Investigators o Special Requirements o Where to Send Inquiries o Letter of Intent o Submitting an Application o Peer Review Process o Review Criteria o Receipt and Review Schedule o Award Criteria o Required Federal Citations PURPOSE The purpose of this initiative is to provide an opportunity to develop or upgrade an institution-wide communications infrastructure that includes a LAN (Local Area Network), an Intranet, and access to the Internet. Access to the latter provides faculty, students, and administrators a means of accessing remote databases, libraries, researching/sharing scientific information, transferring files and images, interacting with the NIH and communicating with colleagues throughout the world. The Intranet allows an efficient exchange and use of information within an institution or a campus. Additionally, both the Internet and the Intranet can be used for computer-based research education/training allowing students to become active learners. This Request for Applications (RFA) provides the information needed to prepare applications for grants to support the purchase and installation of equipment for an institutional Local Area Network and/or the hiring of technical personnel for institutional network development/improvement. PROGRAM OBJECTIVES The MARC U-STAR and RISE/SCORE Programs of the Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Division of the NIGMS provide funds to support initiatives to increase the number of minority scientists in biomedical sciences, including mathematics relevant to biomedical sciences. As part of its ongoing commitment to the strengthening of minority institutions' research infrastructure, the MARC and MBRS branches would like to facilitate Internet and Intranet access at these institutions. Because of their heterogeneity, MARC- and MBRS-supported institutions vary in their needs. Some might need complete systems, i.e., there may be no direct Internet access on campus. Others might require less, such as wiring from central servers to faculty labs and offices, major and minor pieces of equipment such as servers and network software, or the assistance of technical personnel for upgrading their Intranets and for user support. Thus NIGMS encourages the institutions to set their goals and objectives for the communications supplemental grant depending upon their specific situations. Electronic communication is an efficient way for transmitting or accessing information to or from NIH, individual departments, laboratories (download data), libraries (literature searches of scientific and biomedical databases, on line journals, or library holdings) or interpersonal communication via e-mail. Further, having Internet and Intranet links on campus will afford MBRS- and MARC- supported institutions the ability/possibility to have an impact on MARC and other student research teaching/training activities. Faculty and students at the institutions will also have the opportunity to communicate broadly with NIH, each other, and scientists at other institutions. Wiring and linking of different campus sites with cable/wireless linkages, computer hardware, and software can maximize limited resources at an institution so that faculty and students can obtain the latest scientific information and be more efficient in working with each other and collaborators. In addition, full electronic communication is expected to affect the way the extramural community does business with NIH. For example, by the middle of this decade, organizations that wish to submit grant applications to NIH may well be required to do so electronically. MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT This RFA is a one-time solicitation and awards are not renewable. Support will be offered for a maximum of two years through competing supplements to existing MARC U-STAR (T34), MBRS SCORE (S06) or MBRS RISE (R25) grants. Requests should not exceed $250,000 total direct costs for the entire two years of support. Additional negotiated facilities and administration costs will be provided at the current level approved by the Department of Health and Human Services for the S06 grantee institutions, and at 8% for the MARC U-STAR and RISE grantee institutions, minus appropriate exclusions. FUNDS AVAILABLE The amount available to support this RFA is anticipated to be $3 million. The number of awards made will depend on institutional need, the number of highly meritorious applications received, and the size of individual awards. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS Only institutions with active Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC) U-STAR grants, MBRS Support of Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE), or Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) grants having at least two years of support remaining at the time of the award are eligible to compete under this RFA. The supplement request may not extend beyond the time period of the parent grant. Restrictions on submitting supplemental applications found in the MARC U-STAR and MBRS Program Guidelines do not apply. Institutions having both MARC and MBRS program grants may apply for only one supplement. While institutions that have received communications technology supplements previously may apply, applications from institutions that have not received these supplements will be given higher priority. Definitions The following defined items are examples for applicants to use in their response to this RFA. 1. Local Area Network (LAN): A LAN is a network of interconnected workstations sharing the resources of a single processor or server within a relatively small geographic area. The main LAN technologies are Ethernet, token ring, ARCNET, and Fiber Distributed Data Interface. 2. Wireless LAN: A wireless LAN replaces cable connection by spectrum, microwave, and infrared light. The latter is a relatively low-cost "wiring" of facilities where existing systems are not already in place. 3. Intranet: Electronic communication between personal computers (PC) on campus via a LAN that is generally protected from outside unauthorized access. 4. Wiring: Use of cables or wires to make electrical connections between individual computers, hubs, and the LAN server. The installation of wiring for a multiple user computer system and that for hubs with network connectors and routers are included under wiring. 5. Wireless Connections: Any communications between access points that act like local "cells" for attaching to the LAN. This may be within or between buildings. Generally, PCs equipped with special network cards that transmit via specific radio frequencies, microwave radio signals, or radio spectrum (at varying frequencies and costs) are included under wireless connections. These are allowable costs. 6. Alterations and Renovations: Alterations and renovations (A&R) are defined as work required to change the interior arrangements or other physical characteristics of an existing facility or installed equipment so that it may be more effectively utilized for its currently designated purpose or adapted to an alternative use to meet a programmatic requirement. A&R costs that do not constitute construction are allowable charges to PHS grant-supported projects and activities. 7. Construction: This involves any modification of existing structures that results in an exit to the exterior of a building. This would include passage of wire/cable to another distant structure or building. This is an unallowable cost. INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Since this grant will be awarded as a supplement to an existing MARC or MBRS grant only Program Directors of an active MARC or MBRS award are eligible to be Principal Investigators of a proposal submitted in response to this RFA. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS A progress report will be required as a part of subsequent applications for non-competing continuation of the grant (Type 5) or of the closeout package if a competing application is not funded. This progress report should describe the steps that have been implemented explain the overall benefits derived from institution-wide Internet connectivity and provide specific information on overall user utilization. Allowable costs Allowable costs are the overall cost of a connection to the Internet which could include but is not limited to gateway and router equipment, associated communication hardware (CDU/DSU), the leased line (e.g., ISDN), and Internet service provider fees. The costs of materials and/or equipment (servers, for example) are allowed for Intranet development, if strongly justified. Three price quotes of the requested equipment for a LAN system or individual pieces of equipment or upgrades that cost over $10,000 each must be provided with the grant application. Applications without the required price quotations will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. Technical personnel to set up and maintain facilities, equipment and/or for the development of MARC and/or MBRS Institutional Program websites are allowed on a phase-in basis with the institution assuming support for personnel at the end of the supplemental grant period. Support may be requested during competing renewal of MARC U-STAR, MBRS RISE or SCORE grants (up to $40,000 per year) for continued support of information technology personnel beyond the supplement-funded period. Where the time remaining is less than needed to set up a LAN or ancillary systems, the phase-in can be extended into the next award period through an approved carryover of funds. Justifiable alterations and renovations for up to $150,000 of the $250,000 maximum total direct costs are allowed if they comply with NIH alterations and renovations policy (PHS Grants Policy Statement) and if they are necessary for setting up a LAN. Consultation with the program officer is encouraged if questions arise (see INQUIRIES below). Unallowable costs Alterations or renovations in excess of $150,000 or construction or exterior drilling and wiring of buildings or between buildings are not allowed, regardless of cost. Although costs for cable connections between buildings are not allowed, wireless technologies such as laser beams, microwave radio, and radio spectrum are allowable. If the proposal requires construction of wiring between buildings, the application should indicate the source of funds for this purpose. Funds for the purchase of laptops and PCs for individual use are not allowed, nor are funds for individual Internet accounts for single offices/laboratories/rooms and/or for home use. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES The MORE Division encourages inquiries concerning this RFA and welcomes the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial and grant management issues: o Direct your questions about scientific/research issues to: Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D. Program Director Minority Access to Research Careers Branch National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-3900 E-mail: zlotnikh@nigms.nih.gov o Direct your questions about peer review issues to: Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D. Chief, Office of Scientific Review National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12F, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Tel: (301) 594-2881 Fax: (301) 480-8506 Email: sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to: Ms. Antoinette Holland Grants Management Officer National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50B, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301) 594-5132 FAX: (301) 480-2554 E-mail: hollanda@nigms.nih.gov LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit no later than November 29, 2002 a letter of intent to apply for these supplements. In this letter of intent, include: o a descriptive title of the proposed project, o the name, address, and telephone number of the MARC U-STAR or MBRS current grant program director who must be the PI of the supplemental application, o the identities of key personnel, and o the number and title of the RFA. Although a letter of intent is not required, is not binding, and does not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows NIGMS staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. The letter of intent is to be sent to: Hinda Zlotnik, Ph.D. Program Director, MORE Division NIGMS 45 Center Drive, Room 2AS-37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-3900 Telephone: (301) 594-3900 Fax: (301) 480-2753 E-mail: hindaz@nigms.nih.gov SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms (rev. 5/2001). The PHS 398 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html in an interactive format. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, E-mail: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONS I. FACE PAGE Item 1. The title should reflect the supplemental nature of the prospective funding. Item 2. Response to Specific Request for Application or Program Announcement. Check the box marked "YES"; beside 'NUMBER' type GM-03- 005; beside the 'TITLE,' type in "MARC/MBRS communications supplement application (specify the MARC/MBRS grant number)". Items 3-5. Follow instructions as for PHS form 398. The PI must be PI of parent grant. Item 6. Dates of the entire Proposed Project Period: The period of support is for up to two years or until the end of the parent grant, whichever is shorter. Item 7-16. Follow instructions as for PHS form 398. II. DESCRIPTION AND KEY PERSONNEL Provide a brief description of current Internet capabilities, state the goals and specific measurable objectives of this supplement, briefly state how these will be accomplished implemented, and how they will contribute to furthering the programmatic outcomes and goals of the MARC and/or MBRS Programs. List all key professional personnel who will work on the supplemental project. III. TABLE OF CONTENTS This supplemental application should be structured using the Table of Contents on Page 3 of PHS form 398. IV. DETAILED BUDGET FOR INITIAL BUDGET PERIOD (PHS Form 398-Page DD) and BUDGET FOR ENTIRE PROPOSED PERIOD OF SUPPORT (PHS Form 398-Page EE) Allowable costs have been specified above. Salary support for employees of the applicant institution must be listed under personnel costs. Support for all other personnel should be listed under consultants costs. The need for each budget item requested and its cost must be documented. For equipment over $10,000, three price quotations must be provided. Support is for a maximum of two years. Plans to phase in personnel supported by the award and required beyond the end of the supplemental period of support have to be provided under budget justification. V. BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Provide a biographical sketch for each of the principal project participants, including consultants. Include degrees, qualifications, positions held, and publications. VI. RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT Describe the computer, communications, and networking facilities and/or resources currently available at the applicant institution. VII. RESEARCH PLAN (Not to exceed 10 pages) A. Introduction: Provide a brief introduction as required by PHS 398. This introduction should contain a brief description of the institution, the MARC and/or MBRS Program and an overview of the institution's plans for strengthening the institution's research training, research education and/or research capabilities. Explain what will be accomplished through support from this RFA and how it fits within the institutional plan to improve research training and education opportunities for minorities. If the institution had received a communications supplement grant earlier, justify the need for additional funds. B. Specific Aims: State concisely the specific objectives that could be accomplished with the proposed supplemental funding. C. Background and Significance: Provide the relevant background information on the communications technology available to the departments participating in the institutional MARC U-STAR and/or MBRS grants or on the campus as a whole. Specifically describe the present state of the communications network and whether previously awarded MARC and/or MBRS supplemental funds have been used to develop the system. Describe how this technology assisted in research and research education activities and identify the targeted populations. Explain how the new additions to the communications infrastructure will improve the institution's research and research education activities. D. Project Plan. Describe how the current local network (if applicable) will be improved or how a new network will be developed to provide Internet access to faculty, researchers, students, and administrators. Provide plans for the acquisition and installation of necessary equipment and the hiring of technical personnel for the provision of institution-wide access, user training and user support. The training plans should include topics to be covered and the personnel who will provide training and follow-up. If technical personnel are to be hired, describe the institutional plan for their phasing-in into regular institutional appointments at the end of the funding period. In addition, describe the institutional plans for budgeting ongoing costs for Internet access maintenance and technical user support once this grant's funding ends. E. Implementation Plan: Provide in a separate section a detailed implementation plan for the proposed project. This should include a timetable for the completion of each of the proposed objectives. Modular and Just-in-Time procedures do not apply to MARC and MBRS communications supplement grants. USING THE RFA LABEL: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 5/2001) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application and the RFA number must be given in 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. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: Submit a signed typewritten original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed photocopies of the application in one package by December 30, 2002 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 to CSR, two additional copies of the application must be sent to: Office of Scientific Review National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 APPLICATION PROCESSING: 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. PEER REVIEW PROCESS Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by NIGMS. Incomplete and/or nonresponsive 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: o Receive a written critique, and o Receive a second level review by the NIGMS National Advisory Council. REVIEW CRITERIA Major factors to be considered in the evaluation of applications include: 1. The feasibility and appropriateness of the project plan as related to institutional need. 2. For institutions that have received prior support for communications technology supplements, the likelihood that the new proposed improvements will substantially enhance the infrastructure already in place and the teaching and research capabilities of the participating departments in the parent grant. 3. Suitability of the proposed equipment, communication connections and technical support to accomplish the proposed activities. 4. Quality of user support services and proposed research/computer training. 5. Evidence of institutional commitment for maintenance and future user support of the Internet backbone and/or of the Intranet. 6. Appropriateness of the applicant's implementation plan and the likelihood of a timely completion of the project. 7. Potential impact of the project on institutional enhancement of research education and research activities. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 29, 2002 Application Receipt Date: December 30, 2002 Peer Review Date: March-April, 2003 Council Review: May 2003 Earliest Anticipated Award Date: June 1, 2003 AWARD CRITERIA Award decisions will be based on: o The technical merit of the application, o The likelihood that the applicant institution will fulfill the proposed project objectives and further the goals of the MARC/MBRS program, o The number of meritorious applications, o The availability of funds, and o Geographical distribution and prior communications technology support. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS PUBLIC ACCESS TO RESEARCH DATA THROUGH THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT: The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-110 has been revised to provide public access to research data through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) under some circumstances. Data that are (1) first produced in a project that is supported in whole or in part with Federal funds and (2) cited publicly and officially by a Federal agency in support of an action that has the force and effect of law (i.e., a regulation) may be accessed through FOIA. It is important for applicants to understand the basic scope of this amendment. NIH has provided guidance at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm. Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA in a public archive, which can provide protections for the data and manage the distribution for an indefinite period of time. If so, the application should include a description of the archiving plan in the study design and include information about this in the budget justification section of the application. In addition, applicants should think about how to structure informed consent statements and other human subjects procedures given the potential for wider use of data collected under this award. URLs IN NIH GRANT APPLICATIONS OR APPENDICES: All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. Unless otherwise specified in an NIH solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide information necessary to the review because reviewers are under no obligation to view the Internet sites. Furthermore, we caution reviewers that their anonymity may be compromised when they directly access an Internet site. HEALTHY PEOPLE 2010: The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2010," a PHS-led national activity for setting priority areas. This RFA is related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain a copy of "Healthy People 2010" at http://www.health.gov/healthypeople. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.121, 93.172, 93.173, 93.233, 39.272,03.278.93.282, 93.306, 93.361, 93.398, 93.821, 93.837-93.839, 93.846-93.849, 93.853-93.856, 93.859, 93.862-93.867, 93.880, 93.894, and 93.929, and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284). NRSA awards are made under the authority of Section 487 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 288) and Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 66. Awards must be administered under NIH grants policies described at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm, NRSA Guidelines for Institutional Awards, and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. The PHS strongly encourages all grant recipients to provide a smoke- free workplace and discourage the use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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