POPULATION RESEARCH CENTERS

Release Date:  September 8, 1999

RFA:  HD-99-011

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 5, 1999 
Application Receipt Date:  November 16, 1999 

PURPOSE

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), through
the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch (DBSB), Center for Population
Research (CPR), invites applications for Population Research Center Core
Grants (P30) in support of a large number of active research projects that are
funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or a variety of outside
sources, or Specialized Research Center Grants (P50) in support of an 
integrated group of research projects.

HEALTHY PEOPLE 2000

The Public Health Service (PHS) is committed to achieving the health promotion
and disease prevention objectives of "Healthy People 2000," a PHS-led national
activity for setting priority areas.  This Request for Applications (RFA) is
related to several research areas.  Potential applicants may obtain "Healthy
People 2000" at http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Applications may be submitted by domestic for-profit and non-profit
organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, hospitals,
laboratories, units of State or local governments, and eligible agencies of
the Federal government.  Foreign institutions are not eligible to apply for 
these grants.  Racial/ethnic minority individuals, women, and persons with
disabilities are encouraged to apply as Principal Investigators.


MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the NIH Center Core Grant (P30) and the Specialized Research
Center Grant (P50) award mechanism.  Responsibility for the planning,
direction, and execution of the proposed projects will be solely that of the
applicant.  The anticipated award date is July 1, 2000.

Applications should be consistent with the NICHD guidelines governing these
two mechanisms, which are available from program staff listed under INQUIRIES,
below.

FUNDS AVAILABLE

The NICHD intends to commit approximately $1.9 million in total costs (direct
plus Facilities and Administrative) in FY 2000 to fund two new and/or
competing continuation grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant may
request a project period of no less than three and no more than five years. 

The total direct costs requested for the first year should not exceed $500,000
for a new Center Core Grant (P30).  The total direct costs requested for the
first year should not exceed $600,000 for a new Specialized Research Core
Grant (P50).  Competing continuation applications may request initial year
direct costs of up to 120 percent of the Council-recommended level of direct 
costs for the final year of the preceding project period, or 120 percent of
the average yearly Council-recommended direct costs for the preceding project
period, or $500,000 direct costs, whichever is greater.  Applications with
budget requests exceeding these guidelines will be administratively withdrawn
by NICHD and returned to the applicant without review.

Because the nature and scope of the research proposed may vary, it is
anticipated that the size of awards also will vary.  Although the financial
plans of the NICHD provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this
RFA are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a
sufficient number of applications of outstanding scientific and technical
merit. 

Competing continuation applications must be solicited through an RFA that also
offers interested institutions an opportunity to compete with incumbent(s) for
the award.  At this time, it is not known if this RFA will be reissued.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

The primary purpose of these Population Research Centers is to improve the
understanding of the antecedents and consequences of population structure and
change, including fertility, mortality, and migration, in an effort to develop
knowledge that may produce knowledge useful for population policies.  The
center grant is to provide a research environment that facilitates 
interdisciplinary collaboration among investigators conducting population
related research.  Such research can cover a broad spectrum of scientific
approaches in the clinical, behavioral, and social sciences.  An additional
goal is to build a national network of Population Research Centers 
that will encourage interaction among scientists in locations throughout the
United States to contribute to the integration and coordination of population
research. 

Research Scope

This RFA is specifically designed to stimulate the research community to
organize or to maintain population research centers of high quality that will
serve as a national research network that fosters communication, innovation,
and high quality research.  Projects and themes must be relevant to the DBSB
funding mission, and any projects proposed for core access that are deemed 
non-relevant will be administratively withdrawn prior to review.  Therefore,
advance consultation with staff is strongly advised prior to the submission of
an application.  Examples of relevant population research topics are listed
below and centers may concentrate on any combination of relevant topics. 
These examples are to be considered illustrative and applicants 
are not restricted to these topics:

1.  Antecedents and consequences of changes in population size, structure, and
composition, including the relationship of economic development to population
growth and decline; population modeling and the projection and/or prediction
of human population change; and the interrelationship between population and
the physical environment.

2.  Family and household dynamics, including issues related to
intergenerational relationships.

3.  Fertility and family planning, including issues related to union formation
and dissolution; births and birth spacing; family size; gender in relation to
fertility; social acceptability of measures for the biological regulation of
human fertility.

4.  Causes and consequences of migration of human population groups, including
issues related to international migration; and internal spatial distribution.

5.  Demographic aspects of health, morbidity, disability, and mortality,
including issues related to the influence of early life on later life
development and outcomes; status of children; and the interrelationship
between health and socioeconomic status.

6. Social, demographic, and behavioral studies of sexual behavior, sexually
transmitted diseases, AIDS, and contraception.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Applicants for a Population Research Center grant must propose a program with
a theme relevant to the mission of the DBSB as outlined above.  

The Principal Investigator should be a scientist or science administrator who
can provide effective administrative and scientific leadership.  The Principal
Investigator will be responsible for the organization and operation of the
Population Research Center and for communication with the NICHD on scientific
and operational matters.  Scientific personnel and institutional resources
capable of providing a strong research base in the areas specified must be
available.  In addition, the institution and pertinent departments must show a
strong commitment to the Center's support.  Such commitment may be provided as
dedicated space, salary support for investigators or core staff, dedicated
equipment, or other financial support for the proposed Center.

Center Core Grant (P30) Requirements A center core grant (P30) must be
predicated on the existence of a substantial number of research grants that
will be active on July 1, 2000.  The program should consist of at least 10
externally funded research projects grouped according to relevant topics. 
These projects must be of high quality, providing a multidisciplinary approach
to the problem(s) being investigated.  A minimum of three cores is required
for each year of a funded P30 grant.  Each core unit proposed for funding must
provide essential facilities and services for at least three federally funded 
research projects at all times, at least one of which is funded by NIH.  These
grants must be active users of the core facilities and services proposed in
the center grant application.  Subprojects within a program project (P01) will
be considered as individual projects comparable to an R01. A subcontract for
collaborative research done with researchers in other institutions will be
construed as equivalent to a research grant.

P30 applications should be prepared in accordance with the guidelines
contained in the NICHD P30 CENTER CORE GRANT GUIDELINES, available from the
program contact listed under INQUIRIES, below.  As noted in the Guidelines,
descriptions of projects proposed for core support that are not funded by NIH
or NSF must provide sufficient detail in the body of the application to permit
review of the proposed project's program relevance, scientific merit, and 
use of core services.   Information provided should address the scientific
aims of the project, significance, the populations under study, the research
design and methods, and anticipated uses of core services.  Advance
consultation with program staff about individual projects proposed for 
core access is strongly advised.

P30 applications based on cooperation between independent institutions are
allowed in some circumstances.  In these instances, core facilities may be
located in both institutions as long as they are cost effective and promote
the overall goals of the center program.  Please consult the DBSB STATEMENT OF
CLARIFICATION about center program principles, which is available from program
staff listed under INQUIRIES, below.

Promoting interdisciplinary collaboration among scientists working within a
Center, and attracting outstanding scientists in other relevant fields to
population research, are major goals of the DBSB Population Research Center
program.  Therefore, where appropriate, P30 applicant may request ?New Program
Development? funds for direct research support of up to three projects, not to
exceed a total of $50,000 per year or 10 percent of total direct cost,
whichever is less.  Such funds might serve to heighten interdisciplinary
collaboration by incorporating a demographic dimension to funded projects
otherwise outside DBSB program areas, to attract new investigators to the
Center, to develop a new area or program of research, or to facilitate the 
development of newly trained investigators? research programs.  New Program
Development projects should be comparable to R01 research applications in
their detail and development, and would have access to core services.  Each
such project can provide support for only two years for any one investigator. 
New Program Development is not available for P50 Centers.

Specialized Research Center (P50) Requirements

A specialized research center (P50) must have three or more related,
integrated, and high quality research projects that provide a
multidisciplinary, yet thematically related, approach to the problems to be
investigated.  These research projects may be accompanied by an appropriate 
number and type of core facilities providing cost-effective technical support. 
The projects and theme of the center must be relevant to the DBSB funding
mission.  The applications should be prepared in accordance with the
guidelines contained in the NICHD P50 SPECIALIZED RESEARCH CENTER GRANT
GUIDELINES, available from the program contact listed under INQUIRIES, below.

A detailed description of each core unit proposed as part of the center must
be provided with a detailed budget and budget justification.  The description
of the core units proposed should include a rationale to show how they will
support the research effort in a cost-effective manner.  Facilities must be
available for the primary needs of the Population Research Center and require 
no more than modest alteration and/or renovation.  Funds for new construction
will not be provided.  An applicant institution with other institutional
support from government or private sources must clearly summarize any
potential overlap in terms of the science (projects), core services, budget,
or an individual's committed effort.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN 
SUBJECTS

It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and
their subpopulations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and
behavioral research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and
compelling rationale and justification are provided that inclusion is
inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the
research.  This policy results from the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993
(Section 492B of Public Law 103-43).

All investigators proposing research involving human subjects should read the
"NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical
Research," which was published in the Federal Register of March 28, 1994 (FR
59 14508-14513), and in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, Volume 23,
Number 11, March 18, 1994, available on the Internet at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html.  

Because P30 funds in general do not support research projects directly, the
issue of minority/gender representation must be addressed at the individual
project level (e.g., R01 level).  However, the application must address these
issues for any New Program Development projects or core units that focus on
subject recruitment.

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 on the Internet at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html.

Because P30 funds in general do not support research projects directly, the
issue of inclusion of children must be addressed at the individual project
level (e.g., R01 level).  However, the application must address these issues
for any New Program Development projects or core units that focus on subject
recruitment.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes a
descriptive title of the proposed research, the name, address, and telephone 
number of the Principal Investigator, the identities of other key personnel
and participating institutions, and the number and title of this 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 NICHD staff to estimate the potential review workload and
avoid conflicts of interest in the review. 

The letter of intent should be sent to V. Jeffery Evans Ph.D., J.D., at the
address listed under INQUIRIES, by October 5, 1999.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The research grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) is to be used in
applying for these grants.  These forms are available at most institutional
offices of sponsored research and on the Internet at
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html, and may be obtained from
the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National
Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910,
telephone 301/435-0714, E-mail:  grantsinfo@nih.gov. 

Applications for P30 centers should be prepared in accordance with the NICHD
P30 Center Core Grant Guidelines.  Applications for P50 centers should follow
the NICHD Guidelines for P50 Centers.  Guidelines are available from the
program contact listed under INQUIRIES below.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form must be
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application and must display the
number of this RFA, HD-99-011.  A sample modified RFA label is available at: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf.  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 and the YES box must
be marked.

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 should be
sent to: 

Director
Division of Scientific Review
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 5E-03, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Rockville, MD 20852 (for express/courier service)

Applications must be received by November 16, 1999.  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.
  
REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and
responsiveness by NICHD staff.  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 NICHD in accordance with the review criteria stated below.  As part of the
initial merit review, a process may be used by the scientific review group in
which applications receive a written critique and undergo a process in which
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit will be
discussed, assigned a priority score, and receive a second-level review by the
National Advisory Child Health and Human Development (NACHHD) Council at its
June 2000 meeting. 

Review Criteria

Applications received in response to this RFA will be evaluated according to
the review criteria presented in the NICHD P30 Center Core Grant Guidelines or
the NICHD P50 Specialized Research Center Grant Guidelines, available from the
program contact listed under INQUIRIES below.

SCHEDULE

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  October 5, 1999
Application Receipt Date:  November 16, 1999 
Peer Review Date:  March 2000 
Council Review:  June 2000 
Earliest Anticipated Start Date:  July 1, 2000

AWARD CRITERIA

Funding decisions will be based on scientific and technical merit as
determined by peer review, NACHHD Council recommendations, program relevance,
and the availability of funds.  

INQUIRIES

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

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

V. Jeffery Evans Ph.D., J.D.
Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch 
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8B07, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510
Telephone:  (301) 496-1176  
FAX:  (301) 496-0962
E-mail:  Jeff_Evans@nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Melinda Nelson
Grants Management Branch
National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 8A17, MSC 7510
Bethesda, MD 20892-7510 
Telephone:  (301) 496-5482  
FAX:  (301) 402-0915
E-Mail:  mn23z@nih.gov 

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No.
93.864 (Population Research).  Awards made are under authorization of the
Public Health Service Act, Title IV, Part A (Public Law 78-410, as amended by
Public Law 99-158, 42 USC 241 and 285) and administered under PHS grant
policies and Federal Regulations, 42 CFR Part 52 and 45 CFR Part 74.  This
program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of
Executive Order 12372, or to Health Systems Agency Review.

The Public Health Service (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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