COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE (CAM) EDUCATION PROJECT GRANT

Release Date:  December 13, 1999

PA NUMBER:  PAR-00-027

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Cancer Institute

PURPOSE

The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) wishes 
to establish a new Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Education 
Project Grant (R25). Many of the Nation's conventional medical, dental, and 
nursing schools have begun to incorporate information about CAM practices and 
training in alternative modes of healing into their curriculum. The NCCAM 
intends to play a proactive role in accelerating this process by supporting 
the development, refinement and expansion of innovative new educational 
approaches to incorporate CAM information into the medical, dental, nursing, 
and allied health professional school curriculum, into residency training 
programs, and into Continuing Education (CE) courses. 

In establishing the NCCAM, Public Law 105-277 mandated the Director to "study 
the integration of alternative treatment, diagnostic and prevention systems, 
modalities, and disciplines with the practice of conventional medicine as a 
complement to such medicine and into health care delivery systems in the 
United States". The NCCAM Education Project Grant is designed to enhance the 
integration of CAM and conventional medicine.   

A significant percentage of patients being treated by conventional medical 
practitioners are also employing CAM practices; yet communication between CAM 
and conventional practitioners is low. Without appropriate integration of 
treatments and attitudes between the two healing systems, there exists the 
possibility of suboptimal, contraindicated or even deleterious treatment. 
Unless the conventional medical, dental, nursing, and allied health 
professional practitioners have received an appropriate level of education 
and training about CAM, communication with and care of patients may be 
compromised.
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 Program Announcement 
(PA), Complementary and Alternative Medicine Education Project Grant, is 
related to one or more of the priority areas. Potential applicants may obtain 
a copy of "Healthy People 2000" at 
<http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/hp2000>.
ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS
Applications may be submitted by domestic and foreign, for-profit and non-
profit organizations, public and private, such as universities, colleges, 
hospitals, laboratories, units of State and local governments, and eligible 
agencies of the Federal government. Racial/ethnic minority individuals, 
women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply as principal 
investigators.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This PA will use the National Center for Complementary and Alternative 
Medicine Education Project Grant (R25) award mechanism. Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed project will be solely 
that of the applicant. The annual requested direct cost is limited to 
$300,000.  The total project period for an application submitted in response 
to this PA may not exceed five years.  Grants awarded in response to this 
program announcement will be administered in accordance with the NIH Grants 
Policy Statement (October 1, 1998).

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

A.  Background: The objective of this Program Announcement (PA) is to improve 
the level of awareness about CAM practices by the allopathic and osteopathic 
medical communities. The intent of this initiative is to help support the 
incorporation and integration of CAM information into the educational 
curriculum to which conventional medical, dental, nursing, and allied health 
professional students are exposed and into the CE for conventional 
practitioners. The applicants are expected to propose unique, innovative 
curriculum-driven education programs that focus on the inclusion of CAM 
information. Evaluation of the programs must be integral to their design. It 
is anticipated that the inclusion of CAM faculty in the educational program 
will be necessary in order to provide the highest quality of information and 
to introduce CAM role models and future colleagues into the educational 
experiences.

B.  Program: The award provides support to institutions for up to 5 years for 
the Principal Investigator (PI) to manage, coordinate, and evaluate the CAM 
education program; for faculty to design, develop, implement, and continually 
refine the program curriculum; and for other program-related costs. The 
program should provide a multi-disciplinary AND interdisciplinary didactic 
CAM education program.

C.  Environment: The participating institution(s) must have well-established 
educational programs and faculty qualified in curriculum development, 
implementation and program evaluation to serve as faculty for the program. 
The educational environment should be team-oriented and highly collaborative 
with a strong potential for a dynamic two-way exchange of information and 
ideas within and across the diverse and disparate disciplines represented by 
CAM and conventional medicine. Finally, the institution must demonstrate a 
commitment to provide sustained leadership and dedicated faculty time to the 
development and implementation of the CAM education program.   

D.  Allowable costs: 

1.  Salary: The PI will be provided salary support for leadership, 
management, coordination and evaluation of the program, in accordance with 
the percent effort commitment to the program. Faculty critical to the design, 
development and implementation and refinement of the specialized curriculum 
essential to the didactic needs of the program will be provided salary 
support in accordance with the percent effort commitment to the program.

2.  Other Expenses: Up to $30,000 in direct costs per year can be provided 
for administrative and clerical costs associated with the education program. 
These expenses are appropriate only when specifically justified as reflecting 
significantly greater effort than the level of such services routinely 
provided by academic departments. Requests for consultant costs, equipment, 
supplies, necessary travel (including foreign travel for uniquely qualified 
foreign faculty), and other education project-related expenses must be 
justified as specifically required by the program proposed and not duplicate 
items generally available at the institution for educational programs. The PI 
should request travel funds for two people to attend an annual meeting of the 
CAM Education Project Grant awardees with NIH program staff.

3.  Facilities and Administrative Costs: These costs, which were formerly 
called indirect costs, will be reimbursed at 8 percent of modified total 
direct costs.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

1.  A specialized CAM education curriculum, not otherwise available at the 
institution, or a significant expansion of a preexisting CAM education 
program, must be developed;

2.  The PI must assemble and chair a multidisciplinary Advisory Committee 
(AC) representing all of the disciplines, departments, schools, institutions 
etc. involved in the CAM education program. The AC would be responsible for 
the recruitment and selection of faculty for the program; the establishment 
and review of the effectiveness of specialized curriculum; and monitoring and 
evaluation of the overall effectiveness of the program;

3.  A significant portion of the program faculty must be CAM educators or 
researchers, and CAM practitioners must be included;

4.  A plan must be provided for process and outcome evaluation of the CAM 
education program. Benchmarks should be specified, and specific plans and 
procedures to capture, analyze, and report outcome measures must be 
described.

5.  The PI and one other member of the program faculty are expected to attend 
an annual meeting of the CAM Education Grant awardees.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

Applications are to be submitted on the grant application form PHS 398 (rev. 
4/98) and will be accepted at the standard application deadlines as indicated 
in the application kit. Application kits are available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research 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, email: GrantsInfo@nih.gov.

The title and number of the program announcement must be typed on line 2 of 
the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application, including the 
Checklist, and five 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)

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Applications that are complete will be evaluated for scientific and technical 
merit by an NCCAM scientific review group convened in accordance with the 
standard NIH peer review procedures. As part of the initial merit review, all 
applications will receive a written critique and undergo a process in which 
only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific merit, 
generally the top half of applications under review, will be discussed, 
assigned a priority score, and receive a second level review by the NCCAM 
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 the application in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed 
research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each 
of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall 
score, weighting them as appropriate for each application.

(1) Significance: Does this program address an important problem? If the aims 
of the application are achieved, how will the integration of CAM information 
into the conventional medical, dental, nursing, or allied health professional 
education curriculum be advanced? What will be the effect of this program 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 CAM 
education project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and 
consider alternative tactics?  

(3) Innovation: Does the CAM education project employ novel concepts, 
approaches or method? Are the aims original and innovative? Does the project 
challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies or technologies?  

(4) Investigator: Is the PI appropriately trained and well suited to carry 
out this work? Is the CAM education project proposed appropriate to the 
experience level of the PI and other project faculty?  

(5) Environment: Does the educational environment in which the work will be 
done contribute to the probability of success? Does the proposed CAM 
education project take advantage of unique features of the educational 
environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of 
institutional support?  

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

o Adequacy of the program evaluation plans;

o Adequacy of the plans to include as students and faculty both genders, and 
minorities and their subgroups as appropriate for the educational goals of 
the program;

o Adequacy of the program in providing detailed plans for integrating CAM 
into the proposed curriculum; 

o Adequacy of the proposed curriculum faculty, including incorporation of CAM 
educators, researchers, and CAM practitioners; 

o The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the 
proposed program; 

o Appropriateness and adequacy of the proposed core curriculum for the 
educational objectives of the proposed CAM education program; 

o Adequacy of the program's administrative and management plans; 

o Adequacy of the percent commitment of the PI and faculty.
AWARD CRITERIA

Applications will compete for available funds with all other approved 
applications. The following will be considered in making funding decisions: 
Quality of the proposed project as determined by peer review, availability of 
funds, and program priority.
INQUIRIES
Inquiries are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions 
from potential applicants is welcome.
Direct inquiries regarding NCCAM programmatic issues to:

Neal B. West, Ph.D.
Program Officer
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Building 31/ Room 5B58
Bethesda, MD 20892-2182 
Telephone: (301) 402-5867
FAX: (301) 402-4741
Email: westn@od.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding National Cancer Institute programmatic issues to:

Lisa Begg, R.N., Dr. P.H.
Chief, Cancer Training Branch
National Cancer Institute
Executive Plaza North, Room 520
Bethesda, MD 20892-7383
Telephone: (301) 496-8580
FAX: (301) 402-4472
Email:  beggl@mail.nih.gov

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Ms. Suzanne White*
Grants Operations
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7150
Bethesda, MD 20892-7926
Telephone: (301) 435-0170
FAX: (301) 480-3301
Email: whitesa@qwgate.nhlbi.nih.gov

*Note: NHLBI is the Grants Management Service Center for the NCCAM

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is interested in supporting 
the development of knowledge about complementary and alternative therapies, 
and their effectiveness for specific diseases and conditions.  NINR is 
interested in supporting research project grant applications on such 
complementary and alternative therapies as mind-body methods for patients 
with chronic illnesses and at the end of life, and culturally-sensitive 
and/or community based interventions for health promotion in patients with 
specific chronic diseases.

For inquiries regarding NINR programmatic issues, contact:

Dr. Carole Hudgings
Office of Extramural Research
National Institute of Nursing Research
Building 45, Rm. 3AN-12
Center Drive  MSC 6300
Bethesda, MD  20892-6300
Telephone:  (301) 594-5976
FAX:  (301) 480-8260
Email:  carole_Hudgings@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 
93.213.  Awards are made 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 NIH grants policies and Federal 
Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. This program is not subject 
to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or 
Health Systems Agency review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant 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, and 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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