EXCELLENCE IN PARTNERSHIPS FOR COMMUNITY OUTREACH, RESEARCH ON HEALTH 
DISPARITIES AND TRAINING (CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE)

Release Date:  February 7, 2002
 
RFA:  RFA-MD-02-001

PARTICIPATING INSTITUTES AND CENTERS (ICs):

National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD)
 (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov/)

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE:  April 24, 2002
APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE:       May 24, 2002

THIS RFA CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION

o Purpose of this RFA
o Research 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 National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NCMHD) 
announces the availability of support for a new program: Excellence in 
Partnerships for Community Outreach, Research on Disparities in Health 
and Training or Project EXPORT.  This activity (RFA: MD-02-001) is a 
component of the centers of excellence program that was authorized by 
the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 
2000.  This activity is intended to promote minority health research as 
well as support the Department of Health and Human Services initiative 
to address and ultimately eliminate health disparities.  Two other 
announcements inviting applications for Project EXPORT using the 
Exploratory Centers Grant (P20) RFA-MD-02-002) and the P60 Center Grant 
mechanism (RFA-MD-02-003) will soon be available.  

This developmental research infrastructure activity is expected to 
support the objectives of Project EXPORT which include but are not 
limited to: 1) promotion of the conduct of minority health and/or other 
health disparity research, 2) building research capacity for health 
disparities research in minority serving and other designated 
institutions, and 3) promotion of the participation of health disparity 
groups in biomedical and behavioral research and prevention and 
intervention activities.  Accordingly, resource related research grants 
are also intended to provide a mechanism for early review of the 
rationale and general design of the potential minority health and health 
disparities research and provide successful applicants resources to 
assist in the development of detailed study plans and collaborations.  
In addition, the research resource grants are intended to help 
facilitate single or multi-site research projects in areas of research 
relevant to specific populations of interest.  Research that explores a 
broad array of determinants of disparities in minority health and health 
disparities or that addresses a full range of health promotion 
approaches with the prevention or reduction of health disparities is 
encouraged.  The range of activities that may be supported by this 
Project EXPORT activity includes the acquisition of data and analyses 
necessary to clarify/refine research questions, the identification and 
development of collaborative resources, recruiting research expertise; 
development of testable hypotheses and theories, and/or the framework to 
which the research will contribute.

A successful effort should result in the establishment of an innovative 
partnership that will provide opportunities for community outreach, 
mentoring, and the conduct of minority health and other health 
disparities research.  It is also expected that the completion of the 
developmental activities will enable grant awardees to submit 
competitive applications for support for a Project EXPORT Center or for 
the support of programs of excellence in community outreach, minority 
health and health disparities research and training.

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE WORKSHOPS

The NCMHD will conduct four regional technical assistance and 
information-sharing workshops, one each in Dallas, Texas (February 11-
12); Morgantown, West Virginia (February 19-20); Birmingham, Alabama 
(February 26-27); and Seattle, Washington (March 5-6).  Potential 
applicants are strongly encouraged to attend.  For more details see the 
NCMHD website (http://www.ncmhd.nih.gov).

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

Background

Although the diversity of the population in contemporary America is one 
of its greatest assets, the richness of this feature is overshadowed by 
the reality of the disproportionate burden of disease and illness that 
is borne by racial and ethnic minority populations and the rural and 
urban poor.  Compelling evidence of the disparate health status of 
America's racial and ethnic minority populations and the economically 
disadvantaged is documented in the form of shorter life expectancies and 
higher rates of cancer, birth defects, infant mortality, asthma, 
diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.  Other areas in which racial and 
ethnic minorities and the medically underserved suffer a 
disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality include: HIV 
Infection/AIDS, autoimmune diseases such as lupus and scleroderma, oral 
health, sexually transmitted diseases, disease burden associated with 
mental disorders, drug use associated mortality, and viral borne 
diseases such as hepatitis C.  While studies cannot delineate with 
certainty why health disparities exist, data suggests that differential 
incidences of disease and health outcomes result from the interaction of 
a plethora of factors in complex and unsuspecting ways.  

Observations and anecdotes provide clues about the etiology of the 
disproportionate burden of disease and illness, but it has only been 
through rigorous population and epidemiologic research that the medical 
community has been able to reasonably discern the extent of the 
healthcare crisis.  We are now poised to more completely define the 
scope of the problem and begin the process of identifying and evaluating 
new approaches to mitigating disparities in health.  Clearly, the 
soundest investment that can be made for the present and immediate 
future is a strengthened commitment to research, research training, and 
enhanced community involvement aimed at elucidating the etiology of 
health disparities, developing new diagnostics and treatment and 
prevention strategies, and the full implementation of such.

Project EXPORT is central to NCMHD's investment strategy for promoting 
minority health and addressing disparities in health status.  Consistent 
with the goals of the trans-NIH Strategic Plan, EXPORT Centers will 
focus on research aimed at reducing and eliminating health disparities, 
improving research capacity, and providing outreach and education. 

Research Topics for Consideration

In developing the research question(s) to be considered possible topics 
responsive to this RFA include, but are not limited to:

o Interdisciplinary minority health and other health disparities 
research, including basic, clinical, behavioral and social sciences 
research to advance understanding of disease/disability development and 
progression. 

o Research that improves approaches for diagnosis, prevention, and treatment.  

o Potential pathways to disparities in health outcomes B environmental 
exposures, genetic variations and/or other underlying biological 
factors, ethnic and familial factors.

o Developmental influences across the life span, specific health 
behaviors, and discrimination in health processes, psychosocial and 
socio-cultural influences, and socioeconomic (SES) related factors such 
as differential access to health care.  Health processes include the 
technical and interpersonal activities pertaining to disease prevention, 
diagnosis, and treatment that go on between patient and practitioner.

The research topics listed above are neither comprehensive, restrictive, 
nor in priority order.

Project EXPORT Developmental Core Activities

Project EXPORT developmental activities should be organized into 
discrete components that would comprise a proposed overall program.  For 
example, a program may include an administrative core, a pilot research 
component, a mentoring component and a community outreach component.  It 
may also include a shared scientific resource core and an education 
component.  Each of such components must have a separate detailed budget 
included in the application.  Included below is a description of the 
proposed Project EXPORT developmental components.

o Administrative Core  (Mandatory)(15-page maximum recommended)

The administrative core component plays a key role in the coordination 
and operation of this developmental Project EXPORT activity. Through 
this core, the program director provides substantive leadership as well 
as manages the administration of the budget.  This core should be 
described in sufficient detail to assure that all proposed components 
and related activities would function optimally and in an interactive, 
synergistic manner. 

o Shared Resource Core  (Optional)(15-page maximum recommended)

Shared resource cores are intended to enhance opportunities for 
investigators within the program to take advantage of new technologies 
that could enhance and broaden their research initiatives.  While, 
research per se is not conducted as part of the shared resource core, 
quality assurance activities that evaluate the operation, resources, 
quality and utilization of the core and that are directed at problem 
identification and improvement of core functioning are appropriate. Some 
examples of support that shared resource cores typically provide are: a) 
technology that implements automation of large batch preparations; b) 
tissue and/or cell culture facilities; c) complex instrumentation, e.g., 
electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, electrophysiology; d) animal 
care and preparation; e) service and training; f) patient coordination; 
and g) information processing and data management and statistical 
services, etc. 

A shared core resource director should be an established scientist in 
his/her field with experience and expertise in the area of the proposed 
resource core. The description of the organization and mode of operation 
of the shared resource core should include discussion of quality control 
for the service or resource, and the procedures for evaluating and 
selecting projects eligible for use of the core facility.  Training in 
complex techniques and methods should be described if they are functions 
in proposed cores.  

A shared scientific resource component should be clearly described in 
terms of the services/resources to be provided to investigators.  The 
description should include a discussion of the core's contributions to 
the research objectives of the proposed Center.  Relevant aspects of 
cost effectiveness, timesaving, and increased efficiency attributable to 
the existence of the cores should also be addressed.  A core component 
should support the proposed Project EXPORT pilot component(s). 

In collaborative partnerships and/or consortia arrangements, priority 
must be given to locating newly developed shared resource core activity 
at predominantly minority serving institutions. 

o Research Questions/Feasibility Studies/Pilot Research Component  
(Mandatory)(15-page maximum recommended)

The research questions/feasibility studies/pilot research component may 
include several investigators under the direction of a component 
director. And overall, the projects within the component must be 
interrelated so that it collectively contributes to the goals of Project 
Export to a greater extent than if the research undertaken was 
pursued separately. The component may be so designed such that it serves as the developmental basis for one or more research program components within a future Exploratory Center (P20) or P60 EXPORT Center application. Research program components in Project EXPORT Program activities should be thematic, highly focused, interrelated areas of investigation. And while the management of pilot project funds and the mechanism for operating the program are left to the discretion of the applicant, the application must provide sufficient information about the pilot projects to enable adequate scientific evaluation by a peer review committee. The descriptions of all proposed feasibility studies/pilot projects must be limited to 5 pages each. This is in addition to the recommended 15- page maximum). o Community Outreach and Information Dissemination (Mandatory) (15-page maximum recommended) The mission of the Community Outreach and Information Dissemination Component is to integrate the Project EXPORT programs and future Centers into the local communities as a disease prevention and health and science education resource. Accordingly, there is a three-fold focus: 1) development and dissemination of culturally sensitive health information – directly related to the research of the program or general health information presented in a culturally sensitive manner; 2) encouraging and equipping the community for potential participating in clinical studies and for partnering in the conduct of evidence based disease prevention and intervention activities; and 3) sponsorship of science education outreach activities (e.g., K-12 science programs with area middle schools and/or high schools). DEVELOPMENTAL GRANT APPLICANTS MUST FOCUS ON A MINIMUM OF ONE OF THE AREAS DESCRIBED ABOVE. Project EXPORT developmental grant applicants may create programs for disseminating evidence based minority health and health disparities research information as well as sponsor activities that encourage community participation in research either as study participants or equipping community based organizations for partnering in and/or conducting disease prevention and/or intervention activities. In particular for information dissemination purposes, the audiences should include health care students and professionals, community based organizations and researchers at the host institution as well as investigators at other institutions. Information transfer activities may include, but are not limited to activities such as training programs, short courses, telemedicine, presentations at professional meetings and publications. Information transfer refers specifically to activities that involve interactive exchanges between Project EXPORT staff and the community. With respect to equipping health disparity communities to develop and manage culturally sensitive programs for educating their populations and/or participating in prevention and intervention activities, the focus could be on addressing risk factors for disease, chronic disease management, screening, prevention, and decision making with respect to available therapeutics. Such activities may require a substantial portion of the first year for planning and development with actual implementation beginning near the second year and continuing in subsequent years. The application should provide a clear description of the major goals and objectives and the methodology for accomplishing community outreach and information dissemination activities, which include health information dissemination and prevention and intervention activities. Issues of cultural sensitivity with regard to the intended audience should be addressed. The items below reiterate and/or expand the issues that must be addressed in the community outreach/information dissemination component. a. The design, plans and procedures for developing the component, including time lines and a description of strategies proposed to accomplish specific aims of the project(s) should be described. Innovative aspects of the approach to be used should be highlighted. b. The resources, facilities, agencies, and/or institutions with which the Center would work to plan, implement and conduct the proposed activities should be fully addressed. Particular attention must be devoted to a description of necessary resources, including specialized expertise, and the target audience, or participants who will derive benefit from the activity. If core facilities or services are utilized, information on their use should be provided. c. Plans to evaluate the success and/or effectiveness of the proposed community outreach/information dissemination activity should be described, with emphasis on the impact of the proposed activities on knowledge, attitudes, and/or behaviors. o Mentoring (Mandatory) (15-page maximum recommended) Project EXPORT developmental activities are expected to provide mentoring for junior investigators by experienced researchers. New and established mentoring and training initiatives should represent true collaborations that function across institutional boundaries. o Minority Health and Health Disparity Education (Optional) (15-page maximum recommended) An educational component could focus on efforts to augment existing or create new curricula among partner institutions that would apprize and culturally sensitize undergraduates and post baccalaureate trainees in research, medicine, or public health of the need to reduce and eliminate disparities in health status among the nation's ethnic and racial minority groups and the medically underserved. It is anticipated, however, that such efforts will later lead to institutional commitments to make these curricular an inherent component of their educational systems. The educational component must identify a proposed director and describe all planned educational and/or developmental minority health and health disparity related curriculum activities. The description should include strategies and timelines, and innovative aspects of the approach to be used should be highlighted. The direct cost of the educational activity must be well justified. A description of the strategies to evaluate the planned curriculum development activities should be provided with emphasis on its anticipated impact on knowledge and attitudes. MECHANISM OF SUPPORT This RFA will use NIH Resource-Related Research project (R24) award mechanism. As an applicant you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project. This RFA is a one-time solicitation. Future unsolicited, competing-continuation applications based on this project will compete with all investigator-initiated applications and will be review according to the customary peer review procedures. The anticipated award date is September 28, 2002. FUNDS AVAILABLE The NCMHD intends to commit approximately $4 million in FY2002 to fund 10 to 12 new grants in response to this RFA. An applicant may request a project period of up to three years and a budget for total costs of up to $350,000 per year. Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size and duration of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of NCMHD 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 meritorious applications. At this time, it is not known if this RFA will be reissued. ELIGIBLE INSTITUTIONS You may submit (an) application(s) if your institution has any of the following characteristics: o Public or private institutions, such as universities, colleges, hospitals, and laboratories o For-profit or non-profit organizations o Units of state and local governments o Faith-based organizations For-profit or non-profit, state and local governments and faith-based organizations must partner with eligible institutions in order to participate in this RFA. Additional requirements pursuant to the statute that authorized this program can be found in the section "SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS." INDIVIDUALS ELIGIBLE TO BECOME PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATORS Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research is invited to work with their institution 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 programs. SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS Definitions The definitions below are intended to clarify concepts that are expressed in this RFA. o Applicant Institution: The applicant institution is the entity at which the EXPORT Center will be physically and/or integrated into its administrative structure. The Director must have his/her primary appointment at the applicant institution. o Collaborating Institution: The collaborating institution is the institution with which the applicant institution has partnered. o Complementary Budget: The individual budgets of the applicant and collaborating institution are called complementary budgets. The total cost for the complementary budgets must equal the cap designated either in RFA MD-02-001 or RFA MD-02-002 or RFA MD-02-003, depending on the RFA selected. For members of consortia the applicant institution and a designated member of the remaining consortium may submit complementary budgets. Remaining members of the consortium would have subcontracts with the applicant institution. o Complementary Applications: In the case of two-member partnerships, both the applicant and collaborating institution may submit individual applications. Generally the narratives of the two applications will be similar; however the Center component budgets for the applicant and collaborating institutions should reflect only the specific activities that will be performed at the respective institutions. o Predominately Minority Serving Institution: A "predominantly minority serving institution" is an academic, health care or research institution with an enrollment and/or faculty that consists predominantly of racial and ethnic minorities. o Designated Institution: Pursuant to Public Law 106-525, a designated institution is an intuition of higher learning that has a history of enrolling and graduating racial and ethnic minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged students from their degree programs. The recruitment of racial and ethnic minority faculty and staff is also priority at such institutions. Operationally, a designated institution is one that has: o Been effective in assisting racial and ethnic minority and students from other health disparity groups to complete a program of study or training and receive the advanced degree involved. o Made significant efforts to recruit minority students to enroll in and graduate from the institution, which may include providing means-tested scholarships and other financial assistance as appropriate. AND o Made significant recruitment efforts to increase the number of minority or other members of health disparity populations serving in faculty or administrative positions at the institutions. o Non-designated Institution: A non-designated institution is considered as any institution of higher learning that does not have a record of recruiting racial and ethnic minority students nor graduating such students from their degree programs. o Partnerships and Consortium Arrangements: When a grant application includes research activities that involve more than one institution it is considered a partnership or consortium effort, depending on the number of institutions involved. Such activities are encouraged in Project Export, but it is imperative that such applications be prepared so that the programmatic, fiscal and administrative considerations are explained fully. In addition, the Project EXPORT thematic science focus must be evident in the application. Applicants should exercise care in preserving the interactions of the participants and the integration of the partnership or consortium project(s) with those of the primary applicant institution, because synergism and cohesiveness can be diminished when projects are located outside of the group where the administration of Project EXPORT is carried out. Applicants are encouraged to review the NIH policy and procedures applicable to consortium agreements, which are published as part of the NIH Grants Policy Statement, Part III, available on the NIH homepage at http://grants.nih.gov/archive/grants/policy/nihgps_2001/index.htm. o Health Disparity Populations: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders) and the medically underserved which includes socioeconomically disadvantaged individuals in rural and urban areas. P.L. 106-525) Demographic Goals Project EXPORT has a "grass-roots" strategy with a focus on matching the needs of the community with the strengths of local institutions. Therefore, establishing EXPORT Centers and related programs within geographic areas with specific demographic characteristics is an important emphasis. Accordingly, an applicant institution and/or its collaborating partner must also have at least ONE of the following demographic characteristics: o Be located within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) where the density of racial and ethnic minorities within the general population is equal to or exceeds: 19 percent for Hispanic Americans or African Americans respectively, 10 percent for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, or 2 percent for Native Americans and Alaskan Natives. In addition, the overall poverty rate within the geographic region to be served by the center must equal or exceed the national average of 11.3 percent. (Overview of Race and Hispanic Origin, Census 2000 Brief, Elizabeth Grieco and Rachel Cassidy, http://www.census.gov/hhes/poverty/poverty00/tabled.pdf. OR o Be located within or near a Health Professional Shortage Area (HSPA) or within an officially designated area of underservice. For the purposes of this announcement a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated HSPA is a geographical area having fewer than the generally accepted minimum number of clinicians (physicians, dentists and mental health workers) per thousand. A listing of the USDA fully medically served and underserved HSPAs can be found at (http://www.hrsa.gov/grants/). An underserved area is a geographical region with a calculated score of 62 or less on the IMU (index of medical underservice) scale. The IMU index is a weighted score derived from four criteria: ration of primary medical care physicians per 1,000 population, infant mortality rate, percentage of population below the federal poverty level, and percentage of the population 65 years and older (http://www.hrsa.gov/grants/). OR o Be located within a Department of Health and Human Service Region where the density of Native Americans and Alaskan Natives in the general population equals to or exceed 200,000. There are ten DHHS regions (http://www.hhs.gov/about/regions). Native Americans and Alaska Natives generally reside in the greatest numbers in DHHS regions IV, VI, VIII, IX and X with the overall highest density in regions VI (Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas) and IX (Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Basin, and Guam). (http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/BasicFactsServlet) Any institution that meets the above criteria may form a consortium with Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), tribal health programs or with non-designated institutions. Non-designated institutions are institutions of higher learning that do not meet the criteria outlined above but which have substantial federal research support and/or research infrastructure as reflected in the report on research institutions: http://thecenter.ufl.edu/research_data.html. For a listing of HBCUs and HSIs see the following website address: http://www.sciencewise.com/. A listing of TCUs may be found at http://www.humboldt.edu/~hsuitepp/college.html. Note that while partnerships among "designated" institutions are strongly encouraged, involvement in a partnership is not an absolute requirement for participation in Project EXPORT. Examples of Allowable Costs for Developmental Activities o Planning, evaluation, and community analysis activities o Costs for travel for key personnel, start-up packages for newly recruited investigators in areas for development and stabilization as well as costs to merge existing programs to identify new areas of opportunity. o Emerging partnerships, which includes support for workshops, seminars, retreats and other forums to strengthen, stabilize and consolidate interactions and cooperation between partnering institutions for the purpose of identifying new areas of opportunity and high priorities as the partnership evolves. o Feasibility studies, development of research questions, pilot research projects. Other Special Requirements Each Project EXPORT developmental activity application must include the following: o Letters of commitment from the leadership of each partnering institution. The letters should indicate full support for this activity and specify what efforts will be made to ensure the success of these planning activities. Such efforts might include protected faculty time, provision to recruit new faculty, space and facilities for the proposed new projects/programs, capital improvements, etc. o Budget for an annual meeting in Bethesda, Maryland with NCMHD staff o Complementary Applications and Budgets. For two member partnerships, collaborative activities must be submitted as TWO grant applications, one each from the partnering institutions. Also, the principal investigator of one partner institution must appear as the co- investigator on the complementary application and vice versa. The overall specific aims of the two applications must be the same, but the actual activities and budgets of the two applications should reflect how each respective partner both compliments and differ from the other in achieving their common objectives. For members of consortia the lead institution and one other member of a consortium must submit complementary applications. Remaining members of the consortium would have subcontracts with the lead institution. The total costs of the two complementary applications together cannot exceed $350,000/year. If there is a third party subcontract, only the direct costs of the subcontract will count against this cap. o Organization/Administration and Administrative Core. An Project EXPORT developmental activity must be an identifiable organizational unit with an administrative structure and clear lines of authority that will facilitate coordination among Center personnel to assure maximum accountability and efficiency in Center operations. o The minimum acceptable combined number of components is four --an administrative core, mentoring component, community outreach component and a research emphasis/pilot research component. The maximum combined number of Center components, including a research emphasis/pilot project component is five. An education component does not count toward this total. More than five components are not acceptable. o Program Advisory Committee, comprised of at least three to five scientists, with national scientific reputations in their field; their expertise must be directly relevant to the scientific theme of the Project EXPORT activity. The advisory committee responsibilities include concept development, program planning, encouraging faculty development and mentoring, identifying resources, and evaluating progress toward stated goals. The committee will also review and approve candidates for replacement/substitute projects and investigators as required, before such requests are forwarded to NCMHD. The committee must meet at least twice per year and minutes are to be recorded and made available for review by NCMHD program staff responsible for Project EXPORT. If a committee other than the Program Advisory Committee such as a proposed Program Executive Committee is included specific plans regarding committee selection and function should be provided in the application. An Executive Committee usually consists of the heads of all cores, representatives from the partnering institution (if applicable), and appropriate business officials. The function of such a committee would be to assist the Director and Co-director with decisions with respect to the allocation of funds, the identification and selection of key personnel, and the planning and execution of the center activities o Planning/Evaluation. There must be a common planning and evaluation core shared between the partnering institutions. This core will be responsible for planning and implementing internal processes (e.g., workshops and other forums to identify areas of new opportunity as well as for strengthening, establishing and merging existing projects/programs). Internal processes must also have an evaluation and prioritization process in place for reviewing internal proposals for Pilot and full projects/programs, recruitment of research associates, new investigators and establishment of resources and infrastructure on the basis of their merit and potential to contribute effectively to achieving high priority goals and objectives. In cases where a single institution is the applicant, such a planning mechanism is also required. RESTRICTIONS FOR RESOURCE RELATED RESEARCH GRANTS UNDER PROJECT EXPORT o Endowment Funds: Developmental grant awardees are not eligible for endowment funds under the conditions authorized in Pubic Law 106-525. Such funds can only be provided to awardees of the P20 and P60 awardees under the conditions described in RFA MD-02-002 and RFA MD-02-003. o Renovation/Construction: Developmental grant awardees are not eligible for construction funds under the conditions authorized in Public Law 106-525. However, planning grant funds may be used to renovate laboratory space. Up to $50,000 annually may be allocated for renovations. For planning purposes, however, applicants are asked to identify major renovation and construction projects would be essential to an EXPORT Center's operation. Note, however, that priority for construction funds will be given to institutions of emerging excellence that receive less than $60 million annually in federal research support AND/OR have a student enrollment and faculty composed of 50 percent or more racial and ethnic minorities. o Competitive Administrative Supplements: Resource related research grant awardees are not eligible for competitive supplements for program expansion. Such funds can only be provided to awardees of the P20 and P60 awardees under the conditions described in RFA-MD-02-002 and RFA-MD-02-003. 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: Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton Deputy Director, NCMHD 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 5465 Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5465 Telephone: (301) 402-1366 Fax: (301) 480-4049 Email: Flaggnej@od.nih.gov o Direct your questions about financial or grants management matters to: Ms. Usha Ganti Acting Grants Management Officer, NCMHD 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 5465 Bethesda, MD 20892-5465 Telephone: (301) 402-1366 Fax: (301) 480-4049 Email: GantiU@od.nih.gov LETTER OF INTENT Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information: o Descriptive title of the proposed research o Name, address, and telephone number of the Principal Investigator o Names of other key personnel o Participating institutions o 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 IC 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: Project EXPORT Attn. Dr. Jean L. Flagg-Newton, Deputy Director, NCMHD 6707 Democracy Blvd, Suite 800, MSC 5465 Bethesda, Maryland 20892-5465 Telephone: (301) 402-1366 FAX: (301) 480-4049 Email: flaggnej@od.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 are to be used in applying for these grants. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone 301.435.0714, Email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov. 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. 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 sample RFA label available at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/label-bk.pdf has been modified to allow for this change. Please note this is in PDF format. SENDING AN APPLICATION TO THE NIH: 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 and five copies of any appendix material must be sent to: Dr. Jean Flagg-Newton Deputy Director, National Center on Minority Health And Health Disparities 6707 Democracy Blvd., Suite 800, MSC 5465 Bethesda, MD 20892-5465 Telephone: (301) 402-1366 FAX: (301) 480-4049 Email: Flaggnej@ncmhd.nih.gov 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 NCMHD. 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 NCMHD 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 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 and assigned a priority score o Receive a second level review by the NCMHD Advisory 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. (1) SIGNIFICANCE: Does your study address an important problem? If the aims of your application are achieved, how do they advance scientific knowledge? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field? (2) APPROACH: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Do you acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? (3) INNOVATION: Does your project employ novel concepts, approaches or methods? Are the aims original and innovative? Does your project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies? (4) INVESTIGATOR: Are you appropriately trained and well-suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to your experience level as the principal investigator and to that of other researchers (if any)? (5) ENVIRONMENT: Does the scientific environment in which your work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? 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: o 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. o 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) o DATA SHARING: The adequacy of the proposed plan to share data. o BUDGET: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. o OTHER REVIEW CRITERIA: In addition to the above criteria, your application will also be reviewed with respect to the following: Strength of the evidence that the researchers and faculty of the partnering institutions worked closely together in the preparation of the application. The degree to which the letters of support from senior faculty and/or institutional leaders were supportive of the planning activities. As applicable, the adequacy of provisions made for day-to-day oversight, coordination, support and logistical services needed to make the collaboration successful. Planning -- The adequacy of the different planning methods proposed by the institutions to fully explore areas of opportunity and to ensure highly interactive and integrated efforts between individual scientists (e.g., research project) and/or between faculty and scientists (e.g., training program, education program). The appropriateness and adequacy of the specific faculty and scientists identified to contribute effectively to each aspect of this planning effort. Other Considerations Administrative Core o Adequacy of the administrative core to manage the overall planning activities. o Appropriate justification for the core, including the duplication of existing resources or services and anticipated future use of the core. o Qualifications of the Director of the Administrative core (if applicable), including the ability of the center director to provide the scientific an administrative leadership for the planning activities, strategies to promote scientific planning, interaction, implementation, and evaluation; and arrangement for the fiscal management of the grant. o Proposed composition and function of the Executive Committee to support the proposed activities. o The proposed composition and function of the external Advisory committee to support a proposed EXPORT Center. Research Questions/Feasibility Studies/Pilot Projects o The scientific merit of the concepts for the proposed research and the importance of the information sought to the mission of the NCMHD. o The process for selecting the pilot/feasibility studies to be included in the planning activities. o How well the proposed research areas address a minority health or health disparities topic. o The innovativeness and promise of the proposed methods to be used in the conduct of research. o The novelty or originality of the proposed research concepts. o The appropriateness and justification of the requested budget for the proposed planning activities. o The qualifications of the investigator that will lead the initiative to develop the research questions and/or plan feasibility studies. If required, areas in which investigators will be recruited. o Adequacy of plans to identify and address ethical concerns related to conducting health disparities research. Shared Resource Core o Need/justification for the core service/resource. o Scientific and ethnical merit of the service/resource provided. o Plans for resource allocation. o Quality control procedures. o Qualifications, experience, and commitment of the component director. o Adequacy of component director's time and effort. o Adequacy of the resources and environment. Mentoring Component o Evidence of a strong commitment to and plans to help foster and facilitate the research career development of junior faculty. o The plans to facilitate and monitor the research career trajectory and productivity of participants at both members of the partner institution and where applicable at all members of a consortia. o Qualifications of the investigator that will lead the planning activities for research mentoring component. Community Outreach/Information Dissemination (Mandatory) o Adequacy of plans for establishing, sustaining, and evaluating research-based prevention and intervention studies with targeted communities, if applicable. o Adequacy of plans for K-12 science education outreach, if applicable. o A plan for disseminating health disparities research findings to participants, community groups, and lay and professional audiences, if applicable. o The qualifications of the leadership of the planning activities for research outreach and dissemination. Overall Research Resource Related Developmental Activity o Evidence of collaborative and/or interdisciplinary research, and interdisciplinary approach of the Project EXPORT activity. o Adequacy of the available resources and the quality of the research or training environment. o The institutional commitment to the Project EXPORT planning activity in terms of space, resources, administrative authority, and other necessary support, e.g., donated faculty time, and the extent to which a proposed EXPORT Center would be recognized as a major element within the organizational structure of the institution. o The plans for developmental activities, including recruitment and expansion, insofar as the proposed research and/or training program justifies these. o The plans for the provision of protection of human subjects and the humane care of animals. o Appropriateness of the requested budget for the work proposed. o The adequacy of plans to include both genders, and if applicable, other health disparity groups, and children as appropriate for the scientific goals of the proposed research. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated. RECEIPT AND REVIEW SCHEDULE Letter of Intent Receipt Date: April 24, 2002 Application Receipt Date: May 24, 2002 Peer Review Date: July-August 2002 Council Review: September 2002 Earliest Anticipated Start Date: September 28, 2002 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. REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN CLINICAL RESEARCH: 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: 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. You will find 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. 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. 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: The authority for the centers of excellence program was provided in the statute that established the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. Pursuant to Section 485F of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research and Education Act of 2000, ?The Director of the Center shall make awards of grants or contracts to designated biomedical and behavioral research institutions…for the purpose of assisting the institutions in supporting programs of excellence in biomedical and behavioral research training for individuals who are members of minority health disparity populations or other health disparity populations.? It 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) and administered under NIH grants policies described at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/policy.htm 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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