LIMITED COMPETITION FOR EQUIPMENT SUPPLEMENTS TO MBRS SCORE GRANTS RELEASE DATE: October 31, 2002 RFA: GM-03-006 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 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. The purpose of these supplemental grants is to assist Support for Continuous Research Excellence (SCORE) grantee institutions in acquiring and maintaining individual pieces of equipment or establishing an equipment core. Although equipment is an allowable cost in SCORE grants, these supplements should provide the research 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 investigators in the biological, behavioral or biomedical related sciences. PROGRAM 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 SCORE initiative. 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 SCORE program requires 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 Individual Equipment Items: Applicants may request costs for individual pieces of equipment necessary to facilitate progress in a particular research subproject. Justification for the equipment should be based on its utility to drive the research forward and its present unavailability at that institution. Multi-user research core facilities: Costs for multi-user research core facilities are allowable. The core may include substantial equipment and services that will be shared by multiple research subprojects of the program. A plan for access to the facility, its maintenance, management and use must be included. The core may also include a technical assistant to maintain and service the equipment and instruct faculty and students in its use. To aid in the review, it is suggested that a tabular summary show the estimated or actual proportional use of this core component by each project, and other investigators and students. Justify this core component by discussing ways in which these centralized services improve quality, bring about an economy of effort, and/or save overall costs as compared to their inclusion as part of each research subproject. Plans to maintain the core facility beyond the grant period should be discussed. Support for large pieces of equipment, however, may be limited by the MBRS budget. MECHANISMS OF SUPPORT This RFA will use competing supplements (Type 3) to an existing NIH SO6 MBRS award mechanism. As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. For equipment, this is a one-time solicitation and awards are not renewable. Institutions that responded to this solicitation in FY2002 are eligible to reapply. FUNDS AVAILABLE NIGMS intends to commit approximately $3-7 million in FY 2003 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. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS Eligible institutions are those with current MBRS SCORE 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. MBRS SCORE institutions that responded to this RFA in FY2002 are eligible to reapply. INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS The PI for this supplement must be the PI (Program Director) of the parent MBRS SCORE grant. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Although requests for equipment should be justified with regard to enhancing the progress of the research, it must not change the scope of the research project(s). 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 or equipment core. Allowable costs Support for equipment for a subproject and/or equipment for core facilities may be requested. The minimum cost allowable is for a single piece of equipment is $20,000 and the maximum is $750,000. The minimum aggregate cost allowable is $50,000 and the maximum is $1,000,000. Three price quotes are required for all individual equipment costing more than $25,000 and these quotes must be provided with the grant application. Applications without the required price quotations will be considered incomplete and will not be reviewed. In addition, when fully justified, support for a technical assistant to maintain and teach others in the use of the equipment is allowed. Support may be requested during competitive renewal of MBRS SCORE grants (up to $40,000 per year) for continued support of personnel beyond the supplement-funded period. Consultation with the program officer is encouraged if questions arise (see INQUIRIES below). 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 $20,000. WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES We encourage inquiries concerning this RFA and welcome the opportunity to answer questions from potential applicants. Inquiries may fall into three areas: scientific/research, peer review, and financial or grants management issues: o Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to: Chief, MBRS Branch National Institute of General Medical Sciences 45 Center Drive, Room 2As.37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301)594-3900 FAX: (301)480-2753 E-mail: mbrs-more@nigms.nih.gov o Direct inquiries regarding review issues to: Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D. Chief, Office of Scientific Review National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH 45 Center Drive, Room 3AN.12F, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-6200 Telephone: (301)594-2881 FAX: (301)480-8506 E-mail: sunshinh@nigms.nih.gov o 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 45 Center Drive, Room 2AN.50, 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 MBRS current grant program director who must be the PI of the supplemental application, o the names of other 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 by the date listed at the beginning of this document. The letter of intent should be sent to: Derrick C. Tabor, Ph.D. Program Director, MORE Division NIGMS 45 Center Drive, Room 2AS.37, MSC 6200 Bethesda, MD 20892-3900 Telelephone: (301) 594-3900 Fax: (301) 480-2753 E-mail: tabord@nigms.nih.gov SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION Applications must be prepared using the 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, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INSTRUCTIONS: In addition to following the PHS 398 instructions for supplements, for example, all supplements are required to have a one page introduction, the supplementary instructions below should also be followed. RESEARCH PLAN (Not to exceed 25 pages) Under the Research Plan, the PI should provide the information requested below. This section may not exceed 25 pages. Equipment quotations, letters from collaborators and consultants, and the checklist are excluded from the 25 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 project(s), and (3) how the investigator(s) will take advantage of unique features of the equipment to enhance progress of the research project(s). Describe how the requested equipment will provide an innovative approach to the research being conducted. Describe how the equipment will significantly enhance the scientific environment in which the research is being conducted and how it will contribute to the probability of meeting the goals and objectives of the SCORE program. 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. 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. 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. The RFA number must appear on the label. 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, MD20817 (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 the 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 the NIGMS in accordance with the review criteria stated below. As part of the initial merit review, all applications will: o Receive a written critique o Undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed and assigned a priority score o 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 your application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals: o Significance o Approach o Innovation o Investigator o Environment The scientific review group will address and consider each of these criteria in assigning your application's overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Your application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, you may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward. Applications submitted in response to this RFA are supplemental to an existing award. Since these were previously reviewed using the NIH standard review criteria, the following review criteria will be used to determine the merit of the supplemental application for equipment: (1) SIGNIFICANCE: For research subproject equipment: 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 project? For equipment core: Does the proposed equipment core satisfy the needs of specific research and pilot projects and is there a plan for coordinating equipment core use by several faculty members? (2) APPROACH: For subproject equipment: Is there a plan for its maintenance? For equipment core: If technical assistance for core is requested, does the technician have the appropriate background and skills to maintain the equipment and instruct others in its use? If a technical assistant is not requested, is the plan for its maintenance and service adequate? (3) INNOVATION: For all equipment: Has the investigator shown that the equipment will provide an innovative approach to accomplishing the original aims of the research project(s)? (4) INVESTIGATOR: For subproject equipment: Has the investigator been productive in documenting his/her research findings in refereed journals? Will this equipment enhance his/her productivity? (5) ENVIRONMENT: For all equipment: Will the equipment significantly enhance the scientific environment in which the research is being conducted and contribute to the probability of meeting the goals and objectives of the SCORE program? For all equipment: Is there evidence of institutional support? ADDITIONAL REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your application will also be reviewed with respect to the following: PROTECTIONS: The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals, or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project proposed in the application. INCLUSION: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders, all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups), and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. (See Inclusion Criteria included in the section on Federal Citations, below.) DATA SHARING: The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: November 29, 2002 Application Receipt Date: December 30, 2002 Peer Review Date: March 2003 Council Review: May 2003 Earliest Anticipated Award Date: June 1, 2003 AWARD CRITERIA Award criteria that will be used to make award decisions include: o The likelihood that the applicant institution will fulfill the proposed project objectives and further the goals of the MBRS program o Scientific merit (as determined by peer review) o Availability of funds o Programmatic priorities REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS INCLUSION OF CHILDREN AS PARTICIPANTS IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: The NIH maintains a policy 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 is available at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/children/children.htm. 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. Refer to this policy announcement in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts Announcement, dated June 5, 2000, at 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. Furthermore, reviewers are cautioned 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 PA 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/Document/tableofcontents.htm#volume1. AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93- 375. Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act, as amended authorize awards, and these are administered under PHS grants policies and Federal Regulations 42 CFR part 52c, 45 CFR part 74, and 45 CFR part 92. See also Senate Appropriations Committee Report, No. 92-316, July 29, 1971, Executive Order 12900, Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans February 22, 1994, Executive Order 12876, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, November 1, 1993, and Executive Order 13021, October 21, 1996 and Outline of Work Plan, August 18, 1998, White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges and Universities. Applications are not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke- free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


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