Part I Overview Information

Department of Health and Human Services

Participating Organizations
National Institutes of Health (NIA) (

Components of Participating Organizations
National Institute on Aging (NIA) (

Title:  Resource Centers and Coordinating Center for Minority Aging Research (RCMAR)[P30]

Announcement Type
This is a reissue of RFA-AG-02-004 which was previously released December 17, 2001 

Request For Applications (RFA) Number: RFA-AG-07-005

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number

Key Dates
Release Date: October 27, 2006
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): December 12, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): January 8, 2007  
Peer Review Date(s): May 2007  
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2007
Additional Information To Be Available Date (Url Activation Date): Not Applicable
Expiration Date: January 9, 2007 

Due Dates for E.O. 12372
Not Applicable

Additional Overview Content

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

Part I Overview Information

Part II Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
  1. Research Objectives

Section II. Award Information
  1. Mechanism of Support
  2. Funds Available

Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
    A. Eligible Institutions
    B. Eligible Individuals
  2.Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - Special Eligibility Criteria

Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Information
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
    A. Receipt and Review and Anticipated Start Dates
      1. Letter of Intent
    B. Sending an Application to the NIH
    C. Application Processing
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements

Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
    A. Additional Review Criteria
    B. Additional Review Considerations
    C. Sharing Research Data
    D. Sharing Research Resources
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting

Section VII. Agency Contacts
  1. Scientific/Research Contact
  2. Peer Review Contact
  3. Financial/ Grants Management Contact

Section VIII. Other Information - Required Federal Citations

Part II - Full Text of Announcement

Section I. Funding Opportunity Description

1. Research Objectives


The National Institute on Aging (NIA) invites applications from qualified institutions for the creation or continuation of Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research (RCMARs).  The RCMAR infrastructure building mission is to improve the health and well being of older minority populations by identifying mechanisms for reducing health disparities.  RCMARs focus research upon specific social, cultural, and behavioral mechanisms to improve health and physical and cognitive function by emphasizing research designed to:  (1) develop culturally-informed disease and disability prevention and health promotion strategies, (2) improve community, group, or individual based interventions that will result in optimal health outcomes, and (3) improve the measurement of social, psychological, economic, demographic, and other constructs germane to the health of older minority populations.  More basic or clinical research areas will be considered if they are relevant to the three emphases listed immediately above.  These emphases are congruent with the objectives of NIA's Strategic Plan to Address Disparities in Aging

(National Institute on Aging, 2000,

To meet the long-range goals, RCMARs will create research infrastructure for the following objectives:  (1) establish a mechanism for mentoring research careers focused on the health of minority elders, (2) enhance cultural diversity of the professional workforce conducting research on the health of older persons, (3) conduct research on and deploy strategies for recruiting and retaining minority group members in social, behavioral, economic, epidemiological, and/or demographic research dealing with the health of the elderly, (4) facilitate innovative strategies to support enduring research careers in minority health, and/or encourage the recruitment of established researchers to undertake research on minority aging health, (5) improve the research methods and tools necessary to conduct rigorous and comparable research on diverse populations, (6) advance scientific knowledge leading to a decrease in health disparities, and (7) disseminate research results to scientific and non-scientific communities addressing the resolution of health disparities through the improvement of minority health.  Many health disparities are well documented and do not require further elaboration.  RCMAR funding is intended to create an infrastructure that will, in the long run, serve to close the health disparities gap by improving minority health outcomes.

Centers are encouraged to design a research and mentoring program focusing upon a site’s scientific strengths.  This focus can be defined in several ways including, for example:  (1) a specific health goal, (2) a series of related disease or wellness problems or goals, (3) the development of racially/ethnically sensitive measurement, (4) research on the recruitment and retention of minority subjects, (5) the development of unique strategies for mentoring and retaining minority investigators.  Other examples of focus areas include: (6) the advancement and application of research methods such as intervention research on exercise, diet, preventive health strategies, savings, and the role of socioeconomic determinants of health disparities, (7) health disparities within specific minority populations, (8) risk factor identification, reduction, or elaboration, (9) health problems particularly prevalent in specific minority groups, or (10) research on health disparities hypotheses such as the role of cumulative stress and inequality, geographic segregation, or variations in education, income, and wealth. 

Applicants are encouraged to characterize their proposed Center’s focus using multiple levels of analyses, multiple disciplines, and an interdisciplinary approach.  Because problems related to minority health are embedded in multiple systems, interaction among cultural, social, behavioral, psychophysiological, and clinical sciences is anticipated and encouraged in order to satisfy the site-specific research problem focus.

Research Objectives

The RCMAR program is intended as a research-based and mentoring investment in the process of closing the health disparities gap between minority and non-minority elderly populations.  While the health of minority populations in general is improving, the gap between minority and non-minority populations remains.

One of the RCMAR hallmarks is the inclusion of minority researchers in the professional scientific workforce.  This professional workforce is intended to conduct independent social and behavioral research on the health of older populations.  The mentoring and involvement of diverse researchers in independently funded health related research is a pressing need.  RCMARs are intended to enhance the capacity of minority and non-minority social and behavioral scientists to conduct research among and within diverse populations.  

In addition to mentoring researchers, another infrastructure need is the involvement and maintenance of older minority populations as research subjects in both social and biomedical research.  Knowledge of techniques to recruit and retain these populations in research lags behind science’s need to study health problems encountered by the targeted groups.  Therefore, the development and dissemination of scientifically verifiable techniques for the recruitment and retention of minority participants in social, behavioral, and clinical research is an objective in this FOA. 

The Centers are also designed to contribute to the development and dissemination of valid, reliable, and generalizable research methods and measurement tools across targeted populations.  It is impossible to determine the precise magnitude or precursors of the disadvantaged status of minority populations without valid social, behavioral, or clinically relevant measures that are comparable across populations. 

The RCMAR solicitation is intended to meet its objectives by requiring that the selected RCMARs embrace several, but not necessarily all of the following general requirements:

o focus mentoring and research using multiple disciplines and multiple levels of analyses (i.e., social, behavioral, or clinical) on a defined health, wellness, or research problem area;

o foster mentoring relationships between experienced researchers and those not previously funded or those recruited from other areas to examine minority health in older populations;

o increase the diversity presence of scientists conducting research on aging;

o enhance the research skills and scientific visibility of junior faculty relative to research on the health of older minority populations;

o support and mentor pilot research projects focusing on a site’s scientific forte that are designed to: (a) improve the health of diverse populations, (b) lead to intervention strategies at multiple levels of analysis, (c) address unique health problems of specific minority/ethnic groups, and (d) result in subsequent independent investigator awards for health related research on behavioral and social factors in older diverse populations;

o support mentoring relationships that will establish enduring research careers in minority aging and/or careers of minority researchers conducting aging research;

 o increase cultural awareness and improve community liaison of those majority and minority researchers with limited research familiarity of diverse populations, especially as it pertains to conducting behavioral, social, and clinical research in such populations,

o create and test models that improve enduring access to older minority individuals for participation in social, behavioral, and biomedical research; and

o support research that develops valid, reliable, and generalizable measurement tools and research strategies across and within disparate racial/ethnic groups of older persons.


RCMAR applicants are encouraged to focus on one or more specific problem area(s) as outlined in the Research Objectives section of this FOA.  These problem areas must be relevant to the RCMAR mission of creating an infrastructure that facilitates research and information dissemination to reduce health disparities.  In pursuit of a Center’s focus, applicants are strongly encouraged to collaborate with at least one other NIA research center (i.e., Roybal Centers, Demography Centers, Pepper Centers, Alzheimer’s disease Centers, Shock Centers, or the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging).  The application should demonstrate how the collaboration would mutually benefit the scientific goals of collaborating centers. 

Institutions involved in the RCMAR should demonstrate a history of minority aging research addressing health disparities that are relevant to the particular Center’s focus.  Further, the application should document a continuing commitment to mentoring scientists from diverse backgrounds. 

Each selected RCMAR will be required to work with a Coordinating Center (CC) in completing a program-wide, semi-annual Program Emphasis and Outcomes Report.  Each site will also be required to send three participants (one of whom is the PI) to an Annual Investigators’ Meeting to be held either in the Washington, DC area or at a RCMAR site, mutually agreeable to RCMARs and NIA program staff.  The application should budget for attendance at this yearly meeting.  Finally, all funded RCMARs should plan to implement a reporting and tracking system for any pilot investigator funded by the specific Center.  Tracking specifications will be supervised by the CC but implemented at each site.  Tracking should continue beyond the duration of the award and until the pilot investigator receives independent funding. 

The RCMAR should be organized around a series of Core activities related to the defined research focus.  A minimum of three Cores are required.  The Administrative Core and the Investigator Development Core are required at each site.  The third Core can be either a Community Liaison Core and/or a Measurement Core.  All Core activities are detailed below.  The application should provide a plan for the integration of activities across the RCMAR site’s Cores.  The function of each Core is outlined below.  The specific organization of the RCMAR and the interaction among Cores should be described and justified in the application.  The application should present a separate budget for each Core and a description of each Core’s role in RCMAR activities.  Key investigators in each Core should be recognized experts in the content area of that Core.

Special Requirements:  Administrative Core (Required Core)

RCMARs should have strong and experienced central leadership with an Administrative Core (AC) directed by the PI.  This Core will coordinate proposed activities and maintain an internal information flow. The AC is responsible for the RCMAR’s Program Emphases and Outcomes Report contribution.  This semi-annual Report, collated by the Coordinating Center (CC), is a mechanism for synthesizing research findings, mentoring activities, and any progress toward meeting RCMAR specific goals.  The Report will be disseminated to scientific, host community, and policy audiences, as well as NIH program officials.  Critical elements of the Administrative Core follow. 

o The PI should be experienced in conducting research with diverse older populations and in mentoring diverse investigators. 

o The application must specify how the Administrative Core will create mechanisms and procedures to ensure that RCMAR Cores interact to maximum benefit. The objectives of that interaction must be specified.  

o The application’s Administrative Core component should specify the mechanisms for ensuring that RCMAR researchers and pilot investigators will interact with colleagues at the parent institution and at affiliated institutions.  In addition, any proposed interaction between the RCMAR and other NIA Center programs should be specified.  While this role can be delegated to other Cores, delegation should be specified in the AC presentation.  These mechanisms are needed to ensure: (1) the practicability of developing connections with diverse communities, (2) recruitment and retention of diverse investigators and study participants, (3) the viability of mentoring and training relationships among affiliated institutions, when appropriate, and (4) the enhancement of research.

o The Administrative Core should specify its role in overseeing the selection of pilot studies for funding.  The selection must ensure that the Center’s problem-oriented research focus is maintained.  Additionally, the AC, or the Investigator Development Core (see below) should propose and maintain a system for tracking its pilot study investigators to the completion of an independent research award beyond the duration of the RCMAR award.

o The Administrative Core will select a minimum of two senior RCMAR participants who, with the PI, will attend an Annual Investigator’s Meeting lasting a day and a half.  The meeting, organized by the Coordinating Center with input from each AC will discuss scientific advances, progress, and problems common in the conduct of the Centers.  Travel to these meetings should be budgeted as part of the AC. 

Special Requirements:  Investigator Development Core (Required Core)

The goal of the Investigator Development Core (IDC) is to provide a mechanism for mentoring that leads to enduring careers in diversity aging research. Mentoring relationships may include early-career researchers and/or fostering the recruitment of mid-career scientists into research on minority aging.  It is the responsibility of the IDC to assure successful mentoring of, and collaboration with, diverse researchers. This function has two components: Pilot Studies for RCMAR Scholars and a Continuing Mentoring Activity.

The IDC must specify a mechanism for assuring the effective mentoring of diverse researchers.  The RCMAR application should contain a plan for and an evaluation strategy of the mentoring process for enhancing diversity in the professional research workforce dealing with the health of the elderly.  Further, the IDC will work closely with the Coordinating Center in developing a strategy to assess the collective progress of all RCMARs toward meeting the mentoring goal.

Investigator Development Core:  Pilot Studies (Required Core Activity)

Each RCMAR must propose three pilot studies, with named investigators for the first year and should anticipate funding a minimum of three pilot studies during each subsequent year.  Support for each pilot study is expected to last a minimum of one year.  These pilot studies are intended to be the focus of the RCMAR’s mentoring activity.  The outcome should be professionally published research and/or the collection and analysis of data preliminary to preparing an application for funding to NIA.  

The pilot studies, conducted by RCMAR Scholars, can be used for research on a wide range of research topics.  The following ideas, not intended to be inclusive or restrictive, are highly relevant to the interests of the Behavioral and Social Research Program (BSR) at NIA. 

o  Research is needed that examines the impact on health of disparities using a life course perspective and integrating the effects of socioeconomic status, behavioral risk factors, and prejudice and discrimination, both objective (e.g., education, socioeconomic status, wealth) and perceived. Research is also needed which examines these effects across cohorts of older persons.

o  Interventions designed to impact social and behavioral factors that might reduce health differences across racial and ethnic groups are needed.  Interventions should be considered at all levels of analysis, from the individual to the community or society.

o  Research is needed to systematically decompose racial and ethnic differences among older people to determine the relative contribution of behavioral and social risk factors to diseases and access to health care

o  Research is needed on the cognitive and/or physiological factors involved in differential decision making among group of diverse older adults.

o  Research is needed exploring the neurobiological underpinnings of social behaviors, emotional function, and economic behaviors in diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations.

o  Research is needed on racial and ethnic disparities in end of life care, focusing on (1) decision making and communication about end of life options and (2) access to and utilization of end of life health care services.

o  Research is needed that identifies the biological, behavioral and psychosocial factors that contribute to resilience, disease resistance and well-being, especially against a background of social and economic disadvantage.

o  Research is needed that clarifies whether race, culture, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic class are associated with fundamental psychological processes in the areas of (1) socioemotional influences on decision making, (2) motivation and behavioral change, (3) influence of social engagement on cognition, and (4) the effects of stereotypes on self and others.

o  Research to examine illness and mortality differentials within racial/ethnic subgroup or by nativity status is needed. This would include research on the mortality cross-over, the healthy migrant effect, and within group differences of the Hispanic Paradox.  Projects examining the health of Hispanic and Asian subgroups and projects which can shed light on the health of American Indians and Alaska Natives are needed.

o  Research is needed on cognitive and functional outcomes for diseases with high prevalence in diverse populations. 

o  Research is needed to characterize the distribution of social, psychological, and economic resources in different racially and ethnically defined older populations to determine their relative impact upon health.

o  Cognitive interventions are needed on improved or maintenance of decision making in older adults of various racial and ethnic backgrounds such as social cognition, health literacy, and economic decisions.

o  Research on geographic disparities in diverse groups is needed. Research shows geographic differences in morbidity and mortality, and healthcare access and receipt by geography differences. Research is needed to investigate the role of geographic context as a mechanism for understanding and ameliorating health disparities.

o  Interventions are needed that support the processing and use of decisional information focusing on topics such as the use of time, medication management, choice and/or management of financial investments and insurance, social engagement, consumption, leisure activities, exercise, diet, susceptibility to exploitation, and disease management choices.    

o  Research is needed on the interactions of geographic disparities in outcomes with racial, ethnic, and other disparities.  The causes of geographic disparities, including residential segregation and neighborhood effects, and possible interventions to reduce disparities should also be addressed.

o  Multilevel research is warranted incorporating neighborhood characteristics, healthcare availability, and quality into a model to understand the role of these factors both separately and in concert upon health in diverse populations.  

o  Research is needed to identify differences in health between diverse groups focusing upon the contributions of provider behavior, institutional characteristics, stereotyping, and patient adherence to care recommendations.

o  Research is needed on the role of acculturation as it impacts health literacy and both the adequacy of health care access and specific health outcomes.

o  Research on the retirement experience of diverse and often disadvantaged groups is needed. How do socioeconomicaly disadvantaged groups fare in retirement; to what extent do family and social programs substitute for economic resources; what is the impact on health, cognitive, and physical functioning?  

o  Research is needed examining familial differences among racial and ethnic groups. Since prior research is inconclusive about differences in social network size amongst African Americans, research is needed to examine family and friend networks by racial and ethnic group and whether these differentials impact health and well-being. In particular, work is needed examining family caregiving in minority groups.  Does family care serve as a buffer against institutionalization or are acceptable institutional resources less available to some groups of seniors?

o  Research is needed that explores how interactions between specific genetic and social risk factors contribute to health disparities in age of onset, severity or prevalence of particular diseases. Genetic factors could include, for example, candidate genes in pathways known to affect the health outcome (e.g. immune or stress-mediated pathways) or other DNA-related functions such as maintenance and repair.

o  Research is needed that explores the role of social, cultural, demographic and evolutionary factors in explaining how population differences in genetic variation and genomic structure affect disease risk.  

o  Research is needed that explores the role of social, cultural, evolutionary and background genetic factors in explaining differential health trajectories between groups that is associated with genes known to either confer risk or protect against disease.     

o  Research is needed on how sociodemographic characteristics may affect respondent’s willingness to participate in interventions and surveys as well as on perceptions of privacy and confidentiality.  Evidence is needed on how privacy concerns and/or perceived disclosure risk differs by racial and ethnic group.  Are there identifiable characteristics that differentially affect participation and attrition from longitudinal studies?  The inclusion of biological and genetic data may raise distinct privacy and ethical concerns for minority groups.  Is this concern a significant factor in differential research participation?

o  Research is needed on diverse groups, such as Appalachian whites, regarding the consequences of their isolation upon their health. 

o  Projects using national data to examine health disparities, especially in a longitudinal context, are encouraged using longitudinal data sets such as the Health and Retirement Study, the National Long Term Care Survey,  and the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (a full list of NIA-sponsored datasets in the social and behavioral sciences can be found at:

For a more complete elaboration of some of these ideas see: 

o  National Research Council. (2004). Understanding Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life:  A Research Agenda.  Panel on Race, Ethnicity, and Health in Later Life.  Roldolfo A. Bulatao and Norman B. Anderson, editors.  Washington, DC:  The National Academies Press (

o  National Research Council. (2004). Critical Perspectives on Racial and Ethnic Differences in Health in Late Life.  N.B. Anderson, R.A Bulatao, and B. Cohen, Editors.  Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. (

o  National Research Council (2006). Hispanics and the Future of America.  Marta Tienda and Faith Mitchell, eds.  Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. (

The RCMAR application should include a three page summary (maximum) of each of the three selected pilot studies proposed for the first year of funding.  Each summary should contain a statement of the problem, methods to be used, anticipated results, and subsequent planned efforts leading to an independent investigator award.  Additional pages containing the standard PHS Biographical Sketch for the RCMAR Scholar should be included.  The IDC portion of the RCMAR proposal should include selection criteria for the submitted pilot studies and propose a plan for reviewing subsequent pilot applications.    (The latter plan should be done jointly with the Administrative Core, see above.)  Each RCMAR application should provide evidence that the host institution(s) will be able to sustain a mentoring program of three pilot projects per year.  Funding for each pilot study should be budgeted by the IDC.  In years 02 through 05, each RCMAR will be responsible for:  (1) selecting and funding a minimum of three new pilot investigators in each year; (2) demonstrating that prior years’ pilot studies lead to success in obtaining independent investigator awards (see "Continuing Mentoring Activity," below); and (3) tracking the successes of its pilot investigators through the award of an independent grant.

Investigator Development Core:  Continuing Mentoring Activity (Required Core Activity)

Each RCMAR should specify strategies for mentoring RCMAR Scholars to the point of preparing and submitting applications for independent investigator research awards.  It is strongly urged that these submissions address NIA Behavioral and Social Research Program (BSR) research areas of interest.  Therefore, topics chosen by RCMAR Scholars should also be germane to BSR’s research areas.  The RCMAR application should specify how the continuing mentoring of RCMAR Scholars to the point of a successful research grant is to be accomplished.  Each RCMAR should specify how it will facilitate and track the evolution of mentees from pilot to independent investigator.  Each RCMAR, in conjunction with the Coordinating Center, will participate in a semi-annual reporting procedure to track the success of its pilot investigators. 

An optional function of the Investigator Development Core is to entice more established researchers into the field of minority aging research.  The pilot research mechanism can be used for this purpose.  Tracking outcomes of this cadre will be reported to the Coordinating Center.

Special Requirements:  Community Liaison Core (Optional Core)

NOTE:  Either a Community Liaison Core and/or a Measurement Core must be included in the application but both are not required. 

The Community Liaison Core (CLC) can serve several functions: (1) to increase the scientific knowledge of techniques for recruiting and retaining minority research participants, (2) to work with the host community in providing research participants for research projects funded by the Center, (3) to enhance recruitment and retention of older diverse research participants, and (4) to provide feedback to the host community on research advances impacting its members.  This research translation function is essential to successful community-based research.  The CLC is not intended to be a service function of the RCMARs for the targeted study communities.  It is a science-generating Core. 

Growing evidence indicates that intensive effort, specialized skill, and creativity are needed to recruit and retain older minority participants. (See, for example:  Curry L, Jackson J. eds. 2003. The Science of Inclusion.  Washington, DC:  The Gerontological Society of America.)  To these ends, it is the responsibility of the CLC to develop and maintain relationships with diverse community-based organizations and to begin the process of developing a subject pool for research involvement among RCMAR and other research projects at the home institution(s).  This objective can be met in tandem with other NIA Centers, at the discretion of both the RCMAR and the other Centers.

The CLC should create and disseminate scientific information regarding techniques for recruiting and retaining minority research participants.  RCMARs, through their CLCs are expected to become leaders in the science of recruitment and retention of diverse group members for scientific research.  Each CLC is expected to contribute to that collective expertise.  A plan for enhancing knowledge of recruitment and retention methods should be included in the application.  The plan may include publications and presentations of information, conferences and symposia, and outreach activities to other institutions conducting social, behavioral, and/or clinical research on aging.  Applications should specify how its Community Liaison Core will collaborate with Investigator Development Core and with cooperating research centers (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers), if identified. 

Special Requirements:  Measurement Core (Optional Core)

NOTE:  Either a Measurement Core and/or a Community Liaison Core must be included in the application but both are not required. 

The Measurement Core (MC) is responsible for identifying, cataloging, distributing and/or creating culturally informed and scientifically valid epidemiological, behavioral, or social measurement tools. Measurement Core participants should have expertise in research methodology and measurement developed for diverse populations or the specific cultural group in which the RCMAR concentrates its efforts. 

Centers should develop and test strategies for enhancing culturally informed practices for collecting behavioral, social, and clinical data (e.g., assessing socioeconomic status; conducting qualitative research), attitudes toward the collection of relevant data (e.g., bio-markers; providing relevant but potentially sensitive information; linkages to administrative records), or strategies for collecting epidemiological data (e.g., measures of neighborhood cohesion, systemic properties of communities and their impact on health, economic resources).  It is the responsibility of the Measurement Core, in conjunction with the Coordinating Center (see below), to create, identify, catalogue, and disseminate information in its domain.  The RCMAR application should specify plans for these activities.  Applications should specify how the Measurement Core will collaborate with its Investigator Development Core and with cooperating research centers (e.g., Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers), if identified. 

Special Requirements:  Coordinating Center (Optional Core)

One Coordinating Center (CC) will be established to facilitate and coordinate RCMAR activities.  The CC will also provide information to the scientific community generated by RCMAR scientists; this function is intended to enhance the professional publication responsibility of individual participating RCMAR scientists.  The CC will work closely with the NIA program administrator and, in coordination with the selected RCMARs and RCMAR personnel, be responsive to requests generated by NIA or NIH.   

Each applicant RCMAR is invited, if the applicant so desires, to submit as part of its response to the RCMAR FOA, a section proposing a CC as an additional Core.  The first year budget for the CC should not exceed $150,000 (direct costs).  Selection of the CC will be made by the NIA Director based on recommendations of the Initial Review Group and the Program Administrator. The CC will fulfill the following functions. 

Coordinating Center:  Logistic Support

The CC will provide logistic support to the RCMARs and the NIA program administrator.  It will make arrangements for a yearly RCMAR meeting and in coordination with other RCMAR PIs and NIA program staff, create the agenda and chair that meeting.  The CC will set aside a portion of its funds for support of the Annual Investigators’ meeting.  (As described elsewhere in this FOA, funds to support attendees are the responsibility of the Administrative Core of each RCMAR.)  The CC will also have the responsibility of collecting information from participating RCMARs and for preparing the semi-annual Program Emphases and Outcomes Reports.  This report will be cumulative and highlight significant developments by the RCMARs and the CC, individually and collectively, based upon the creation and dissemination of new knowledge and program progress.  Additionally the CC will foster communication and cooperative arrangements between RCMARs and other NIA research Centers.  The CC will arrange and host monthly PI conference calls and arrange for similar calls for the various Cores, as needed.

The CC will create a mechanism for maintaining active involvement in all aspects of the program.  Such involvement should serve to:  (1) link and foster joint research between various RCMAR sites; (2) answer queries from the scientific and lay communities; (3) link other NIA supported research activities with unique expertise among the RCMARs; (4) serve a "translation" role for a broad audience of science, policy makers, and public; (5) demonstrate to a broad and diverse audience, the RCMARs’ impact on the health of minority elders in the United States; and (6) coordinate and facilitate communication and activity links among the Centers.

The CC will maintain an active RCMAR website with links to each RCMAR site.  The website will serve as the source of information dissemination to scientific and lay audiences and will be accessible and readily identifiable to both audiences.  (See

Coordinating Center:  Data Collection and Dissemination Support

The CC will facilitate sharing scientific information, subject recruitment and retention techniques, and measurement tools among the Centers, with other Center programs, and with the broader scientific community.  It will also be responsible for enhancing the RCMARs’ visibility among relevant scientists, such as at the Gerontological Society of America meetings.  The CC will collect and disseminate relevant scientific information and encourage shared activities among the Centers including, but not limited to:  (1) training seminars and mentoring techniques developed by the various Investigator Development Cores; (2) dissemination strategies and resources developed by the various Community Liaison Cores; (3) works-in-progress and techniques for recruitment and retention of aging minority population members; and (4) culturally neutral measurement tools developed by the various Measurement Cores.  The creation of and ready availability of an "Item Bank," in conjunction with the Measurement Cores, is encouraged.  Should the RCMAR sites participate in a joint data collection effort, the CC will centrally manage this effort.  

The CC will establish a mechanism to inform interested researchers, policy-makers, and others interested in minority health of the methodological and scientific advances of the RCMARs.  The CC will be proactive in this effort.

See Section VIII, Other Information - Required Federal Citations, for policies related to this announcement.

Section II. Award Information

1. Mechanism of Support

This funding opportunity will use the P30 award mechanism.

As an applicant, you will be solely responsible for planning, directing, and executing the proposed project.

This funding opportunity uses the just-in-time budget concepts. It also uses the non-modular budget format described in the PHS 398 application instructions (see A detailed categorical budget for the "Initial Budget Period" and the "Entire Proposed Period of Support" is to be submitted with the application.

2. Funds Available

The National Institute on Aging intends to commit approximately $2,740,000 in FY2007 to fund 3-5
new and/or competing continuation grants in response to this RFA.  An applicant may request a project period of up to five years and a budget for direct costs up to $500,000 per year. In addition, the National Institute on Aging intends to commit approximately $150,000 in direct costs to support one Coordinating Center at one of the selected RCMAR sites. 

Because the nature and scope of the proposed research will vary from application to application, it is anticipated that the size of each award will also vary. Although the financial plans of the National Institute on Aging provide support for this program, awards pursuant to this funding opportunity are contingent upon the availability of funds and the receipt of a sufficient number of meritorious applications.

Facilities and administrative costs requested by consortium participants are not included in the direct cost limitation, see NOT-OD-05-004.

Section III. Eligibility Information

1. Eligible Applicants

1.A. Eligible Institutions

You may submit (an) application(s) if your organization has any of the following characteristics:

1.B. Eligible Individuals

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 support.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

Not applicable  

3. Other-Special Eligibility Criteria

Only one application may be submitted per institution.

Section IV. Application and Submission Information

1. Address to Request Application Information

The PHS 398 application instructions are available at in an interactive format. Applicants must use the currently approved version of the PHS 398. For further assistance contact GrantsInfo, Telephone (301) 435-0714, Email:

Telecommunications for the hearing impaired: TTY 301-451-0088.

2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Applications must be prepared using the most current PHS 398 research grant application instructions and forms. Applications must have a D&B Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number as the universal identifier when applying for Federal grants or cooperative agreements. The D&B number can be obtained by calling (866) 705-5711 or through the web site at The D&B number should be entered on line 11 of the face page of the PHS 398 form.

The title and number of this funding opportunity must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be checked.

3. Submission Dates and Times

Applications must be received on or before the receipt date described below (Section IV.3.A). Submission times N/A.

3.A. Receipt, Review and Anticipated Start Dates
Letters of Intent Receipt Date(s): December 12, 2006
Application Receipt Date(s): January 8, 2007
Peer Review Date(s): May 2007
Council Review Date(s): August 2007
Earliest Anticipated Start Date(s): September 2007  

3.A.1. Letter of Intent

Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent that includes the following information:

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:

Sidney M. Stahl, Ph.D.
Chief, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #533
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 402-4156
FAX:  (301) 402-0051

3.B. Sending an Application to the NIH

Applications must be prepared using the research grant applications found in the PHS 398 instructions for preparing a research grant application. 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 (U.S. Postal Service Express or regular mail)
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service; non-USPS service)

Personal deliveries of applications are no longer permitted (see

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application and all copies of the appendix material must be sent to:

Dr. Mary Nekola
Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging 
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 402-7702
FAX: (301) 402-0066

Using the RFA Label: The RFA label available in the PHS 398 application instructions 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 RFA label is also available at:

3.C. Application Processing

Applications must be received on or before the application receipt date(s) described above (Section IV.3.A.). If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. Upon receipt, applications will be evaluated for completeness by the CSR and responsiveness by the National Institute on Aging. Incomplete and non-responsive applications will not be reviewed.

The NIH will not accept any application in response to this funding opportunity that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. However, when a previously unfunded application, originally submitted as an investigator-initiated application, is to be submitted in response to a funding opportunity, it is to be prepared as a NEW application. That is, the application for the funding opportunity must not include an Introduction describing the changes and improvements made, and the text must not be marked to indicate the changes from the previous unfunded version of the application.

Information on the status of an application should be checked by the Principal Investigator in the eRA Commons at:

4. Intergovernmental Review

This initiative is not subject to intergovernmental review.

5. Funding Restrictions

All NIH awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The Grants Policy Statement can be found at

Pre-Award Costs are allowable. A grantee may, at its own risk and without NIH prior approval, incur obligations and expenditures to cover costs up to 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award if such costs: are necessary to conduct the project, and would be allowable under the grant, if awarded, without NIH prior approval. If specific expenditures would otherwise require prior approval, the grantee must obtain NIH approval before incurring the cost. NIH prior approval is required for any costs to be incurred more than 90 days before the beginning date of the initial budget period of a new or competing continuation award.

The incurrence of pre-award costs in anticipation of a competing or non-competing award imposes no obligation on NIH either to make the award or to increase the amount of the approved budget if an award is made for less than the amount anticipated and is inadequate to cover the pre-award costs incurred. NIH expects the grantee to be fully aware that pre-award costs result in borrowing against future support and that such borrowing must not impair the grantee's ability to accomplish the project objectives in the approved time frame or in any way adversely affect the conduct of the project. See NIH Grants Policy Statement

6. Other Submission Requirements

o   Applicants should budget to send a minimum of two key investigators and the PI to an Annual Investigators’ meeting in the DC area or at one of the sites.

Applicants should agree to track all RCMAR scholars at a minimum until the time of their first independent research award.

Applicants should agree to work with the Coordinating Center on shared tasks of reporting and presentation.   

o Applicants submitting Competing Continuation applications must include a Progress Report as part of the application.  The Progress Report should present evidence of accomplishments in each of the Core areas for its funding period.

Specific Instructions for Modular Grant applications.

Not applicable

Plan for Sharing Research Data

Not applicable.

Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable.  

Section V. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

2. Review and Selection Process

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 National Institute on Aging in accordance with the review criteria stated below.

As part of the initial merit review, all applications will:

The goals of NIH supported research are to advance our understanding of biological systems, to improve the control of disease, and to enhance health. In their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria 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. Note that an 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, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

Review Criteria for the Overall P30 Center

Significance: Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  

Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or technologies for this area? 

Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and other researchers? Does the investigative team bring complementary and integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?

For Key personnel:

Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, or subject populations, or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? 

Administration of the proposed RCMAR Criteria

Investigator Development Core (IDC) Criteria

Community Liaison Core (CLC) Criteria

Measurement Core (MC) Criteria

Coordinating Center Core (CC) Criteria

2.A. Additional Review Criteria:

In addition to the above criteria, the following items will continue to be considered in the determination of scientific merit and the priority score:

Protection of Human Subjects from Research Risk: The involvement of human subjects and protections from research risk relating to their participation in the proposed research will be assessed (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

Inclusion of Women and Minorities in Research: The adequacy of plans to include subjects from both genders and all racial and ethnic groups (and subgroups) as appropriate for the scientific goals of the research will be assessed. Plans for the recruitment and retention of subjects will also be evaluated (see the Research Plan, Section E on Human Subjects in the PHS Form 398).

2.B. Additional Review Considerations

Budget: The reasonableness of the proposed budget and the requested period of support in relation to the proposed research. The priority score should not be affected by the evaluation of the budget.

2.C. Sharing Research Data

Not applicable  

2.D. Sharing Research Resources

Not applicable

3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

Not applicable

Section VI. Award Administration Information

1. Award Notices

After the peer review of the application is completed, the PD/PI will be able to access his or her Summary Statement (written critique) via the eRA Commons.

If the application is under consideration for funding, NIH will request "just-in-time" information from the applicant. For details, applicants may refer to the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General (

A formal notification in the form of a Notice of Award (NoA) will be provided to the applicant organization. The NoA signed by the grants management officer is the authorizing document. Once all administrative and programmatic issues have been resolved, the NoA will be generated via email notification from the awarding component to the grantee business official (designated in item 12 on the Application Face Page). If a grantee is not email enabled, a hard copy of the NoA will be mailed to the business official.

Selection of an application for award is not an authorization to begin performance. Any costs incurred before receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk. These costs may be reimbursed only to the extent considered allowable pre-award costs. See Also Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

All NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards include the NIH Grants Policy Statement as part of the NoA. For these terms of award, see the NIH Grants Policy Statement Part II: Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart A: General ( and Part II Terms and Conditions of NIH Grant Awards, Subpart B: Terms and Conditions for Specific Types of Grants, Grantees, and Activities (

The following Terms and Conditions will be incorporated into the award statement and will be provided to the Principal Investigator as well as to the appropriate institutional official, at the time of award.

3. Reporting

Awardees will be required to submit the PHS Non-Competing Grant Progress Report, Form 2590 annually ( and financial statements as required in the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Section VII. Agency Contacts

We encourage your inquiries concerning this funding opportunity 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:

1. Scientific/Research Contact:

Sidney M. Stahl, Ph.D.
Chief, Individual Behavioral Processes Branch
Behavioral and Social Research Program
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave., #533
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 402-4156
FAX: (301)402-0051

2. Peer Review Contact:

Mary Nekola, Ph.D.
Chief, Scientific Review Office
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 402-7702
FAX:  (301) 402-0066   

3. Financial or Grants Management Contact:

John Bladen  
Grants and Contracts Management Office
National Institute on Aging  
7201 Wisconsin Ave.
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 402-7730 

Section VIII. Other Information

Required Federal Citations

Human Subjects Protection:
Federal regulations (45CFR46) require that applications and proposals involving human subjects must be evaluated with reference to the risks to the subjects, the adequacy of protection against these risks, the potential benefits of the research to the subjects and others, and the importance of the knowledge gained or to be gained (

Data and Safety Monitoring Plan:
Data and safety monitoring is required for all types of clinical trials, including physiologic toxicity and dose-finding studies (phase I); efficacy studies (Phase II); efficacy, effectiveness and comparative trials (Phase III). Monitoring should be commensurate with risk. The establishment of data and safety monitoring boards (DSMBs) is required for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risks to the participants (NIH Policy for Data and Safety Monitoring, NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts,

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 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 Applicants may wish to place data collected under this funding opportunity 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.

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 "NIH Guidelines for Inclusion of Women and Minorities as Subjects in Clinical Research (; a complete copy of the updated Guidelines is available at 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.

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 applications for research involving human subjects and individuals designated as key personnel. The policy is available at

NIH Public Access Policy:
NIH-funded investigators are requested to submit to the NIH manuscript submission (NIHMS) system ( at PubMed Central (PMC) an electronic version of the author's final manuscript upon acceptance for publication, resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH. The author's final manuscript is defined as the final version accepted for journal publication, and includes all modifications from the publishing peer review process.

NIH is requesting that authors submit manuscripts resulting from 1) currently funded NIH research projects or 2) previously supported NIH research projects if they are accepted for publication on or after May 2, 2005. The NIH Public Access Policy applies to all research grant and career development award mechanisms, cooperative agreements, contracts, Institutional and Individual Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards, as well as NIH intramural research studies. The Policy applies to peer-reviewed, original research publications that have been supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH, but it does not apply to book chapters, editorials, reviews, or conference proceedings. Publications resulting from non-NIH-supported research projects should not be submitted.

For more information about the Policy or the submission process please visit the NIH Public Access Policy Web site at and view the Policy or other Resources and Tools including the Authors' Manual (

Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information:
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued final modification to the "Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information", the "Privacy Rule", on August 14, 2002 . The Privacy Rule is a federal regulation under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 that governs the protection of individually identifiable health information, and is administered and enforced by the DHHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR).

Decisions about applicability and implementation of the Privacy Rule reside with the researcher and his/her institution. The OCR website ( provides information on the Privacy Rule, including a complete Regulation Text and a set of decision tools on "Am I a covered entity?" Information on the impact of the HIPAA Privacy Rule on NIH processes involving the review, funding, and progress monitoring of grants, cooperative agreements, and research contracts can be found at

URLs in NIH Grant Applications or Appendices:
All applications and proposals for NIH funding must be self-contained within specified page limitations. For publications listed in the appendix and/or Progress report, internet addresses (URLs) must be used for publicly accessible on-line journal articles.  Unless otherwise specified in this solicitation, Internet addresses (URLs) should not be used to provide any other information necessary for 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 PA 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 at and is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of Executive Order 12372 or Health Systems Agency review. Awards are made under the authorization of Sections 301 and 405 of the Public Health Service Act as amended (42 USC 241 and 284) and under Federal Regulations 42 CFR 52 and 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92. All awards are subject to the terms and conditions, cost principles, and other considerations described in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. The NIH Grants Policy Statement can be found at

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.

Loan Repayment Programs:
NIH encourages applications for educational loan repayment from qualified health professionals who have made a commitment to pursue a research career involving clinical, pediatric, contraception, infertility, and health disparities related areas. The LRP is an important component of NIH's efforts to recruit and retain the next generation of researchers by providing the means for developing a research career unfettered by the burden of student loan debt. Note that an NIH grant is not required for eligibility and concurrent career award and LRP applications are encouraged. The periods of career award and LRP award may overlap providing the LRP recipient with the required commitment of time and effort, as LRP awardees must commit at least 50% of their time (at least 20 hours per week based on a 40 hour week) for two years to the research. For further information, please see:

Weekly TOC for this Announcement
NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices

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