NHLBI MINORITY INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM (T32)

Release Date:  June 8, 2000

RFA:  HL-00-018

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov)

Letter of Intent Receipt Date:  July 21, 2000
Application Receipt Date:       September 12, 2000

PURPOSE

The NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program is a National 
Research Service Award (NRSA) Program intended to support training of graduate 
and health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training at 
minority schools having the potential to develop meritorious training programs 
in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep disorders.  Graduate and 
health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training in 
minority schools need further opportunities to develop biomedical and 
behavioral research skills.  The NHLBI Minority Institutional Research 
Training Program is designed to attract students in their developmental 
stages; to increase their awareness of cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, 
and sleep disorders research; and to encourage them to pursue research career 
opportunities in these areas.

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 Request for Applications (RFA), 
NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program, 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/.     

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

A. Minority School	 

The Institution must be a domestic college or university with students from 
minority ethnic groups (including Blacks, Hispanics, American Indians, Alaska 
Natives, and Pacific Islanders) comprising a majority (more than 50%) of the 
school’s enrollment.  It must have the ongoing staff and facilities required 
for the proposed program.  The program director at the minority school will be 
responsible for the selection and appointment of students and the overall 
direction of the program.

B.  Trainees 


Individuals appointed to the training grant must be citizens of the United 
States, non-citizen nationals, or lawfully admitted to the United States for 
permanent residence (i.e. in possession of a currently valid alien 
registration receipt card I-551) at the time of appointment, be enrolled at 
the minority institution. Trainees must be training at the post-baccalaureate 
level (i.e., predoctoral or postdoctoral level) in a relevant biomedical or 
behavioral science and have made a strong commitment to complete a doctoral 
degree or equivalent in a biomedical or behavioral science. The NHLBI Minority 
Institutional Research Training Program may not support studies leading to a 
health professional degree.  Research trainees who have or are pursuing 
clinical degrees are expected to devote not more than 50% of their time to 
research training and to confine clinical duties to those which are a part of 
the research training experience.

Students may not spend more than 50% time at the research training center over 
the course of the year, including a period of intensive research training 
during the summer.  Students are expected to pursue their research training on 
a full-time basis devoting no less than 40 hours per week as specified by the 
sponsoring institution in accordance with its own policies. Students are 
expected to meet the degree requirements at their institution.

C.  Research Center   

The minority institution must identify and collaborate with a research center 
(medical school or comparable institution) that has strong, well-established 
cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders research and 
research training programs.  Cooperation and collaboration between 
institutions is needed to provide each trainee with a mentor who is recognized 
as an accomplished investigator in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic or 
sleep disorders research and who will assist the advisor at the minority 
institution with the trainee's development and research plan.  Plans for 
summer training as well as academic year training should be developed by the 
student and advisor at the trainee's home institution in collaboration with 
the mentor at the research center.  It is expected that both advisor and 
mentor will guide the trainee through the initial training period and continue 
this interaction throughout the award.  The development of strong mentoring 
relationships is essential to the success of the trainees and the program.

The minority institution will identify and complete arrangements with an 
established cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorders 
research center(s) before submitting an application. 

Arrangements between the participating institutions for the recruitment of 
trainees and joint selection of trainers for the provision of training, and 
for ongoing cooperation and collaboration between the institutions in the 
implementation of the program, should be clearly outlined in the application. 
 
MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

This RFA will use the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Institutional 
National Research Service Award (NSRA) mechanism (T32).  Responsibility for 
the planning, direction, and execution of the proposed training program will 
be solely that of the applicant.  The total project period for an application 
submitted in response to this RFA may not exceed five years.  Funds will be 
provided on an annual basis to develop and maintain a stable research training 
experience for qualified students.  Successful applicants may compete for a 
second or subsequent awards of up to five years' duration upon completion of 
the initial grant period.

Funding beyond the first year of the grant is contingent upon satisfactory 
progress during the preceding year and availability of funds.  Facilities and 
Administrative Costs will be awarded based on 8% of total direct costs 
exclusive of equipment, tuition, and fees.  The anticipated award date is 
April 1, 2001.

Because the research training environment provides a powerful context in which 
to promote responsible research practices, all competing applications must 
include a description of formal or informal activities or instruction related 
to the responsible conduct of research that will be incorporated into the 
proposed research training program.


FUNDS AVAILABLE

The estimated funds (total costs) available for the first year of support for 
the entire program is expected to be $250,000 in fiscal year 2001.  The actual 
amount may vary, depending on the response to the RFA and availability of 
funds.  Two new awards are anticipated. 

OBJECTIVES

Background

Many studies have emphasized the need for minority individuals to participate 
in research activities to develop their investigative talents. There are 
existing programs at the National Institutes of Health such as the Minority 
Biomedical Research Support Program, the Minority Access to Research Careers 
Program, and the Research Supplements for Underrepresented Minorities Program 
that are designed to address this need.  Even though these programs are 
successful in meeting their specific objectives and career development goals, 
graduate and health professional students and individuals in postdoctoral 
training in minority schools need further opportunities to develop biomedical 
and behavioral research skills.

The NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program makes research 
training grant awards in cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, and sleep 
disorders research to minority schools to enable qualified graduate and health 
professional students and individuals in postdoctoral training to participate 
in research programs.  It is expected to attract students in their 
developmental stages, increase their awareness of these diseases, and to 
encourage them to pursue career opportunities in research related to the 
mission of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI).

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

Provisions of the Award 

The trainees may be appointed for 9 - 12 months at any time during the course 
of the budget period.  Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis.  A 
strong interest in a cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematologic, or sleep disorder 
research career must be evident.  Short-term training positions for health 
professional students are allowed under this program. 

Predoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive support for up to five 
years. Postdoctoral trainees appointed to the grant may receive support for up 
to three years.  The trainee and his or her faculty advisor at the minority 
institution will jointly select a faculty mentor at the research center.  A 
written commitment to the training plan signed by the intended faculty mentors 
at the research center, the department(s) involved and countersigned by both 
institutional officials, must be part of the application. 

Funds may be requested for:

A. Stipends - The current stipend level for graduate and health professional 
student trainees at all levels of experience is $15,060 per year. Current 
stipend levels for postdoctoral trainees are as follows:

Years of Experience     Per Annum Stipend
 
0                       $26,916
1                       $28,416
2                       $33,516
3                       $35,232
4                       $36,936
5                       $38,628
6                       $40,332
7 or more               $42,300

B. Tuition, Fees, and Health Insurance - The combined cost of tuition, fees, 
and health insurance (either self-only or family as appropriate) will be 
offset at the following rate: 100% of all costs up to  $3,000 and 60% of costs 
above $3,000.  Costs associated with tuition and fees are allowable only if 
they are required for specific courses in support of the research training 
experience supported by the fellowship.  A full description of the tuition 
policy is contained within the NRSA Policy Guidelines on the NIH website at:  
http://grants.nih.gov/training/nrsaguidelines/nrsa_toc.htm 

C. Trainee Travel Costs - The institution may request funds to cover the costs 
of trainees’ travel, including attendance at scientific meetings, that are 
necessary to the individual's training.  The maximum allowable per student per 
year is $800.  Funds for commuting expenses that are clearly in excess of 
those incurred during the usual home to work travel of the trainee may also be 
requested.

D. Training-related Expenses - Institutional costs of $2,000 a year per 
predoctoral trainee and $2,500 a year per postdoctoral trainee may be 
requested to defray the costs of other research training related expenses, 
such as staff salaries, consultant costs, equipment, research supplies, and 
staff travel. If the fellow is not enrolled or engaged in training for more 
than 6 months of the award year, only one-half of that year’s allowance may be 
charged to the grant.  

E.  Facilities and Administrative Costs - The Notice of Grant Award will 
provide facilities and administrative costs based on 8% of total direct costs, 
exclusive of equipment, tuition, and fees.

Procedures for annual evaluation of the program should include plans to 
measure the impact of the program on the individual student and plans to 
measure the trainee’s progress.  The evaluation procedures should also 
describe plans to monitor the future career course of individual trainees, to 
evaluate the effectiveness of the overall program, and assess the impact of 
the training program on the institution.  It should also include plans for 
assessing the effectiveness of the mentoring relationship and the training 
plan.

Payback Agreement - As specified in the NIH Revitalization Act of 1993, NRSA 
recipients incur a service payback obligation only during their first 12 
months of postdoctoral support.  Additionally, the NIH Revitalization Act of 
1993 specifies that the second and subsequent years of postdoctoral NRSA 
training will serve to pay back a postdoctoral service payback obligation.  
Accordingly, the following guidelines apply:

Predoctoral trainees are not required to sign the payback agreement and do 
not incur a service payback obligation.

Postdoctoral trainees in the first 12 months of postdoctoral NRSA support 
must sign the payback agreement form (PHS form 6031) before initiating an 
appointment.  Postdoctoral trainees in their first 12 months of support 
will incur a period of service payback obligation equal to the period of 
support.


Postdoctoral trainees in the 13th and subsequent months of NRSA 
postdoctoral support are not required to sign the payback agreement form 
and will not incur a service payback obligation.

The 13th and subsequent months of postdoctoral NRSA support are considered 
acceptable payback service for prior postdoctoral support. For example, 
postdoctoral trainees who continue under that award for 2 years have 
fulfilled the obligation incurred during the first 12 months of support by 
the end of the second year.   Service payback obligations can also be paid 
back by conducting health-related research or teaching averaging more than 
20 hours per week of a full work year after terminating NRSA support.

Recipients with service obligations must begin to provide service on a 
continuous basis within two years of termination of NRSA support.  The 
period for undertaking payback service may be delayed for such reasons as 
temporary disability, completion of residency requirements, or completion 
of the requirements for a graduate degree.  Requests for an extension must 
be made in writing to the NIH specifying the need for additional time and 
the length of the required extension.

Recipients of NRSA support are responsible for informing the NIH of changes 
in status or address.

For individuals who fail to fulfill their obligation through service, the 
United States is entitled to recover the total amount of NRSA funds paid to 
the individual for the obligated period plus interest at a rate determined 
by the Secretary of the Treasury. Financial payback must be completed 
within 3 years beginning on the date the United States becomes entitled to 
recover such amount.

Under certain conditions, the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and 
Human Services (or those delegated this authority) may extend the period 
for starting service or repayment, permit breaks in service, or in rare 
cases in which service or financial repayment would constitute an extreme 
hardship, may waive or suspend the payback obligation of an individual.

Officials at the awardee institution have the responsibility of explaining 
the terms of the payback requirements to all prospective training 
candidates before appointment to the training grant. Additionally, all 
trainees recruited into the training program must be provided with 
information related to the career options that might be available when they 
complete the program.  The relationship of the positions available and the 
training provided must also be discussed along with the applicability of 
these positions to any outstanding service payback obligation.

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN STUDY POPULATIONS

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 is 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, Vol. 23, No. 11, March 18, 1994, and at the 
following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not94-100.html

NIH POLICY AND GUIDELINES ON THE 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 at the following URL address: 
http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-024.html

Investigators also may obtain copies of these policies from the program staff 
listed under INQUIRIES.  Program staff may also provide additional relevant 
information concerning the policy.

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.  Reviewers are cautioned that their anonymity may 
be compromised when they directly access an Internet site.

LETTER OF INTENT

Prospective applicants are asked to submit, by July 21, 2000, 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 the RFA in response to which the application may be submitted.   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 
NHLBI staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review.

 The letter of intent is to be sent to Dr. C. James Scheirer at the address 
listed under APPLICATION PROCEDURES by the letter of intent receipt date 
listed.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

The PHS grant application Form PHS-398 (Rev. 4/98) and its Additional 
Instructions for Preparing Institutional National Research Service Award 
Applications (Pages V-1 - V-8; Substitution Pages NN - PP) is to be used in 
applying for these grants.  This form is available at most institutional 
offices of sponsored research, and from the: 

Division of Extramural Outreach
and Information Resources
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910
Bethesda, MD 20892-7910
Telephone 301-435-0174
E-mail: grantsinfo@nih.gov 
Internet address: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs398.html


The RFA label found in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form must be 
affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application.  In addition, the 
RFA title (NHLBI MINORITY INSTITUTIONAL RESEARCH TRAINING PROGRAM) and number 
RFA-00-018 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 label is in pdf format.

Submit a signed, typewritten original of the application 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 courier service)

At the time of submission, send two (2) additional copies of the application 
to:

Dr. C. James Scheirer 
Director, Review Branch
Division of Extramural Affairs, NHLBI
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 7216, MSC 7924
Bethesda, MD 20892-7924
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)
Telephone (301) 435-0266		
FAX: (301) 480-3541
Internet Address: js110j@nih.gov

It is important to send these two copies at the same time as the original and 
three copies are sent to the Center for Scientific Review (CSR).  These copies 
are used to identify conflicts and help ensure the appropriate and timely 
review of the application. 

Applications must be received by September 12, 2000.  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.


Applicants who wish to include a request for short-term research training 
positions should identify short-term positions separately within the 
"stipends" and "training related expenses" categories on the budget page.  
Under "stipends," short-term positions should be listed in the "other" 
category.  Tuition, fees, health insurance, and trainee travel, and other 
expenses are to be included in "training related expenses."  The description 
of the short-term research training program should be included in the 
application for the regular research training program, but should be separated 
from the description of the regular program within each section of the 
application.  In addition to the information requested in the "program plan" 
section, the applicant should address the relationship of the proposed short-
term program to the regular research training program and provide assurance 
that the short-term program will not detract from the regular program. 
Applicants must observe the 25-page limit on the narrative section.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed for completeness by the CSR and 
responsiveness by the NHLBI.  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 a Special Emphasis Panel in the Division of 
Extramural Affairs, NHLBI, in accordance with the review criteria stated 
below.  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 the 
applications under review, will be discussed, assigned a priority score, and 
receive a second level review by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory 
Council.

Review Criteria

The following criteria will be considered in the evaluation of the proposed 
NHLBI Minority Institutional Research Training Program:

o Design of the proposed training program;

o Qualifications, dedication, and previous training record of the program 
director and all participating faculty, particularly with regard to prior 
experience with similar programs;

o Adequacy of facilities, environment, and resources for the proposed research 
training, both at the minority institution and the collaborating research 
center;

o Adequacy of the cooperative arrangements between the minority institution 
and the collaborating research center;

o Recruitment and selection plans for trainees, and the availability of high 
quality candidates;

o Methods for retaining promising students in the program and methods for 
tracking students;

o Commitment of the relevant faculty and the two institutions to the goals of 
the training program; and

o Procedures for evaluation of the impact of the program on the trainees 
involved.

AWARD CRITERIA

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

o Scientific, technical, and research training merit of the application as 
determined by peer review,

o Availability of funds, and 

o Program balance among the research areas of the RFA.

INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries concerning this RFA are welcome.  The 
opportunity to clarify any issues or questions from potential applicants prior 
to preparation of an application is strongly encouraged. 

Direct inquiries regarding program guidelines or programmatic issues to:

Robert Musson, Ph.D.
Division of Lung Diseases (responding for all NHLBI programmatic Divisions)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7952
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7952
Telephone (301) 435-0218
FAX: (301) 480-3557
Internet Address: mussonr@nih.gov 

Direct inquiries regarding fiscal matters to:

Rebecca Chamberlin
Grants Management Specialist
Division of Extramural Affairs
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7926
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7926
Telephone:  (301) 435-0166 
FAX: (301) 480-3310
Internet Address: chamberlinr@nih.gov

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS

This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, 
numbers 93.233, 93.837, 93.838, and 93.839.  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 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 a Health Systems Agency Review.

The PHS strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a 
smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products.  In 
addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking 
in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which 
regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early 
childhood development services are provided to children.   This is consistent 
with PHS mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the 
American people.


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