Instructions for Submitting Administrative Supplements for Curricular Improvement in MARC U*STAR Institutions

Phase I (NOT-GM-03-104)

Participating Institute: National Institute of General Medical Sciences (http://www.nigms.nih.gov)

LETTER OF INTENT RECEIPT DATE: March 1, 2003

APPLICATION RECEIPT DATE: April 1, 2003

This announcement contains the following information:

PURPOSE OF THIS ANNOUNCEMENT

The purpose of this announcement is to support, at MARC U*STAR institutions, curriculum development, especially in the quantitative sciences, to enhance undergraduate students’ understanding and command of the subject and increase their mathematical and quantitative skills and knowledge in preparation for research experiences in the biomedical/behavioral sciences.

This program will be implemented in two phases. Phase I, the subject of this notice, NOT-GM-03-104, is an institutional 12-month administrative supplement to enable eligible MARC institutions to develop plans for introducing/integrating the quantitative sciences into their biology curricula. This program announcement is a one time solicitation.

Phase II of the program will be a competing supplement to support the implementation phase of the plans developed in Phase I and will provide salary support for involved faculty, materials and resources. Noncompeting continuing MARC U*STAR applications can apply for Phase II support for the duration of the parent grant. In new and competing renewal MARC programs, Phase II implementation plans may be part of the MARC U*STAR application.

A subsequent program announcement for competing supplements to support Phase II of this program is planned. To be eligible to apply for Phase II funding, applicant institutions must have received Phase I funding. However, award of a Phase I supplemental planning grant is not an assurance of a Phase II award.

It is anticipated that by developing intervention strategies for introducing and integrating the quantitative sciences in the biology curriculum at MARC supported institutions, these institutions will be able to:

  • Promote student interest in such scientific areas as biophysics, computational biology, fine structure analysis and genomics.
  • Increase the academic performance of students majoring in the biomedical/behavioral sciences, including mathematics.
  • Increase the retention rate of students in key quantitative gatekeeper courses and, as a result, increase the number of baccalaureate degrees earned in the sciences.
  • Strengthen the biomedical/behavioral sciences research skills and competitiveness of MARC trainees.
  • Increase the number of competitively trained underrepresented minority students who enroll in biomedical research graduate programs leading to the research doctorate degrees.

MECHANISM OF SUPPORT

Support for Phase I will be through administrative supplements to existing MARC U*STAR grants. The responsibility for the planning, direction and execution of this planning grant will be solely that of the applicant institution. The total requested direct cost for Phase I may not exceed $50,000 and the total requested grant period may not exceed 12 months. Indirect costs will be provided at a rate of 8%. The earliest anticipated funding date is July 1, 2003.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Institutions supported by MARC U*STAR grants are eligible to compete for this supplemental support.

WHERE TO SEND INQUIRIES

Written and telephone inquiries are welcomed. Direct your inquiries to:

Shawn Drew Gaillard, Ph.D.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Rm. 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200
Telephone: (301) 594-3900
FAX: (301) 480-2753
E-mail: drews@nigms.nih.gov

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

ALLOWABLE COSTS: Funds may be requested for personnel directly related to the planning process, such as faculty salary and for a Phase I Project Director if different from the MARC U*STAR Program Director, and consultant services, including external advisors. Office supplies and equipment, travel and other expenses should be limited to those necessary for program planning and should be specifically justified. Support for students, pilot research projects and faculty development will not be provided. All items requested must be related to the needs of a 12-month planning activity.

PROGRAM OBJECTIVES: A 1999 National Research Council report, “On Building Consensus Within the Higher Education Community for Improving Undergraduate Science Education,” suggests that institutions of higher education should provide opportunities for all undergraduates, as early in their academic careers as possible, to study science as practiced by scientists. One way to accomplish this is to develop curricula that foster the development of skills needed for lifelong learning and the acquisition of new knowledge. The MARC U*STAR program supports science education training in the form of pre-MARC student development activities to increase the academic preparedness, increase the graduation rate, and stimulate interests in biomedical research of undergraduate minority students.

The choice of specific strategies for curriculum development to prepare students in the quantitative sciences to undertake graduate studies in biomedical science fields will be up to the applicant institution. In this Phase I award, plans should be outlined for curriculum development and/or improved pedagogical activities which may include but are not limited to: 1) updating or changing biomedical course content to include curricula from those disciplines that involve quantitative skills; 2) incorporating novel teaching strategies like inquiry-based learning, student centered learning, object-based learning, and group learning relevant to the quantitative sciences into existing biomedical courses; 3) providing bridge courses in the quantitative sciences that permit underrepresented minority students to fully participate in post-secondary learning; and 4) designing and incorporating new courses or revising established ones that enhance the quantitative content/skills of underrepresented minority students.

PROGRAM CHARACTERISTICS: The major activity under this supplement initiative is to organize, plan and develop institutional strategies that will increase academic preparedness and improve the quantitative skills of under-represented minority students majoring in the biomedical sciences at the applicant institution, and increase the retention and graduation of these students.

The Project Director for the Phase I initiative, who may not be the same as the Program Director of the U*STAR grant, must be willing and able to devote the time and effort necessary for the effective management and direction of the planning process.

Each applicant institution must assess and address its own needs for curricular development. It must also describe and justify how existing and potential resources will be utilized to develop a plan.

APPLICATION PROCEDURES

To apply for this supplement, NIGMS and the MARC Branch office must receive the proposal no later than April 1, 2003. Use the form PHS 398 (rev. 5/01) Face Page (Form Page 1), Form Page 2 (BB) and Form Page 4 (DD), the budget page. Excluding these pages and supporting documents, the proposal should be no longer than 10 pages. Please indicate your U*STAR grant number on the Face Page. In Item 3 of the Face Page, the Principal Investigator should be the same as the Program Director of the parent U*STAR grant rather than the Project Director for this supplement, if they are different individuals. Salary support for employees of the applicant institution must be listed as personnel. Support for all other personnel should be listed under consultants (including fees and travel). No requests for alterations and renovations, major equipment, and communication technology will be considered. The need for each budget item requested and its cost must be justified. Letters of commitment for identified consultants should be included. This administrative supplement request must be co-signed by the appropriate university official.

In applying for this supplemental support, the MARC U*STAR institution, on behalf of the Program Director of the parent grant, must submit the Phase I application directly to NIGMS (see address below). The application is NOT to be submitted to the NIH Center for Scientific Review.

The original and three copies of the proposal must be submitted to:

Grants Administration Branch,
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Rm. 2AN.28, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD 20892-6200

Applicants must submit a letter of intent to apply for this supplemental award to Shawn Drew Gaillard either by FAX at (301) 480-2753 or e-mail, drews@nigms.nih.gov, no later than March 1, 2003. This letter of intent is not binding and does not impact the review. It will, however, allow MARC staff to estimate the review workload.

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS

Institutional Setting

Describe the institution’s current status by providing:

1) An assessment of the institution’s problems, current programs, and long range goals pertaining to the curriculum improvement and the academic preparedness of science students. For example, what are the problems faced by the institution regarding science students’ academic preparedness and academic performance? What are the characteristics that distinguish the students at the institution who persist, progress academically and graduate from those who do not? What program and practices are currently in place to promote curriculum improvement and enhanced student performance? How effective are they?

2) A summary of institutional resources including the number of faculty involved and numbers of students in health related sciences.

3) A summary of the institution’s MARC U*STAR goals and objectives, and how this supplement will aid in achieving them.

Planning Process

Briefly describe the process to be used to select the plan chosen, addressing:

1) Concept development.

2) A description of the institution’s long-range goal for curriculum improvement and enhancing student academic preparedness, retention and graduation rates in the quantitative sciences.

Organizational Structure and Administration

Outline the organizational structure of the institution, showing how the proposed Project Director will interface with the academic structure.

Project Director Qualifications

Describe the qualification of the faculty member selected for this role, including his/her scientific training, academic and teaching experience, and administrative skills.

Institutional Commitment

Provide evidence of the applicant institution’s commitment to curriculum development and enhancement of students’ academic preparedness. Provide an assessment of how current MARC trainees will be involved in the program.

Institutional Plan

Phase I applications should include:

  • An institutional perspective of the need and value of integrating quantitative skills and tools in their undergraduate curriculum and/or development of new courses or revising old courses.
  • The current MARC undergraduate research training curriculum.
  • The plan and estimated time for the development of Phase II objectives.
  • Rationale for the proposed strategies to include the quantitative sciences in the curriculum and how these strategies are appropriate for the current curriculum and available teaching resources.
  • Names, teaching and/or research credentials and roles of the faculty that will participate in the planning process.

REVIEW CONSIDERATIONS

Upon receipt, applications will be reviewed by MORE staff for completeness and responsiveness to this solicitation. Applications that are incomplete, non-responsive or exceed the 12-month or the $50,000 limit of direct costs will be returned to the applicant.

Major factors to be considered in the evaluation of applications include:

  • Appropriateness of the organizational and administrative structure to accomplish the planning objectives.
  • Qualifications, experience and commitment of the Program Director, and his/her ability to provide leadership.
  • Qualifications and experience of other personnel involved in the planning process.
  • Adequacy of the institutional commitment to the introduction and integration of the quantitative sciences in the biology and/or health related sciences curricula.
  • Merit of the institution’s plan for developing intervention strategies for curricular improvement and enhancing the academic preparedness, retention and graduation rates of students majoring in the biomedical sciences.

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of NIGMS/NIH professional staff.

REQUIRED FEDERAL CITATIONS

MONITORING PLAN AND DATA SAFETY AND MONITORING BOARD: (If applicable) Research components involving Phase I and II clinical trials must include provisions for assessment of patient eligibility and status, rigorous data management, quality assurance, and auditing procedures. In addition, it is NIH policy that all clinical trials require data and safety monitoring, with the method and degree of monitoring being commensurate with the risks (NIH Policy for Data Safety and Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts, June 12, 1998, http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not98-084.html).

INCLUSION OF WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: It is the policy of the NIH that women and members of minority groups and their sub-populations must be included in all NIH-supported biomedical and behavioral 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.

HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELLS (hESC): Criteria for federal funding of research on hESCs can be found at http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp and at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-02-005.html. Only research using hESC lines that are registered in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry will be eligible for Federal funding (see http://escr.nih.gov/). It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the official NIH identifier(s)for the hESC line(s)to be used in the proposed research. Applications that do not provide this information will be returned without review.

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/archive/grants/policy/a110/a110_guidance_dec1999.htm.

Applicants may wish to place data collected under this PA 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

AUTHORITY AND REGULATIONS: This program is described in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance No. 93.121, 93.172, 93.173, 93.233, 39.272, 03.278, 93.282, 93.306, 93.361, 93.398, 93.821, 93.837-93.839,93.846-93.849, 93.853-93.856, 93.856, 93.859, 93.862-93.867,93.880, 93.894, and 93.929 and 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.