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Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

Content provided by the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
93.307 Minority Health and Health Disparities Research

FEDERAL AGENCY:

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

AUTHORIZATION:

Public Health Service Act; Title IV, Part E, Subpart 6, Section 485G, as amended; Public Law 106-525; 42 U.S.C. 287-33(e).
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The purpose of the Loan Repayment Program for Health Disparities Research is to encourage the recruitment and retention of qualified health professionals to conduct minority health or other health disparities research that consists of either basic, clinical, and behavioral research on minority health or other health disparity conditions, including research to prevent, diagnose, and treat such conditions as diseases, disorders, and other conditions including mental health and substance abuse that are unique to, more serious, or more prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities or sub-populations that are economically disadvantaged and medically underserved, OR for which the medical risk factors or types of medical interventions may be different, OR research involving such populations as subjects or data on such individuals is insufficient.

TYPES OF ASSISTANCE:

Project Grants.
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USES AND USE RESTRICTIONS:

To provide repayment of existing educational loan debt incurred by health professionals engaged in basic, clinical, and behavioral research on minority health or other health disparity conditions. Recipients must execute a written contract agreeing to engage in such research for a minimum of two years. The Director, NCMHD, may grant extension contracts for one-year periods after the completion of the initial two-year contract, provided that the participant applies for an extension, continues to engage in qualified research, and there is sufficient repayable debt remaining.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS:

Applicant Eligibility:   An eligible applicant must: (1) be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States; (2) have a Ph.D., M.D., D.O., D.D.S., D.M.D., Psy.D., Pharm.D., N.D., Sc.D., or other equivalent doctorate degree; (3) have qualifying outstanding educational loan debt equal to or in excess of a certain percentage of the applicant?s annual salary, stipend, and compensation at the time an application is submitted; (4) not be an employee of NIH; (5) have research sponsors or mentors with experience in the area of proposed research and may be enrolled in a training program or appointed under a temporary or permanent employment mechanism for at least two years; (6) have institutional assurance of employment or affiliation with an institution or program for a minimum of two years; (7) agree to conduct qualified minority health or other health disparities research for a minimum of two years; (8) not be under any existing service obligations to Federal, State, or other entities, unless and until the existing service obligation is discharged or deferred during the period of program service; and (9) not have Federal judgment liens against their property arising from a Federal debt from receiving Federal funds until all judgments have been paid in full or otherwise satisfied.

Beneficiary Eligibility:   Qualified health professionals who conduct minority health or other health disparities research and who possess substantial unpaid educational debt relative to income will benefit from this program.

Credentials/Documentation:   An applicant must submit the following documentation: (1) all required forms, completed, signed and dated; (2) proposed research and training plan; (3) the credentials or curriculum vitae of the applicant and all mentors/advisors; (4) a description of the research/training environment; (5) institutional assurance; (6) loan verification forms for each educational loan being submitted for repayment along with corresponding promissory notes, loan applications and school budgets; (7) recommendations; (8) contract; and (9) other documentation as may be required by law, regulation, or guidelines.

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APPLICATION AND AWARD PROCESS:
Pre-application Coordination:   Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Application Procedure:   An application for participation in the program can be obtained from www.lrp.nih.gov and should be submitted to the NIH office, which is responsible for the receipt of applications, in such form and manner as the Director may prescribe.

Award Procedure:   All eligible and completed applications will be forwarded to the NCMHD Loan Repayment Review Panel (Panel), chaired by the Deputy Director, NCMHD, for review. Awards will be made to those applications approved by the Panel, subject to the receipt of an appropriation and/or allocation of funds from the United States Congress, the NIH and/or NCMHD. All selections are subject to final approval by the Director, NCMHD. As specified by statute, the Director, NCMHD, must ensure that at least 50 percent of the awards are made to qualified health professionals who are members of health disparities populations.

Deadlines:   Contact the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities listed below for application deadlines.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time:   The approximate time for approval/disapproval is 5-6 months.

Appeals:   Applicants may question the substantive or procedural aspects of the review of their application by communicating with NCMHD staff. A description of the NIH Peer Review Appeal procedures is available on the NIH home page http://grants2.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/not97-232.html.

Renewals:   After the completion of the initial two-year contract, participants may apply for a one-year extension contract provided the participant continues to engage in qualified research and has outstanding repayable debt remaining. Applications submitted for an extension are reviewed and selected for funding on a competitive basis.

ASSISTANCE CONSIDERATIONS:

Formula and Matching Requirements:   This program has no statutory formula or matching requirements.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance:   An initial contract provides assistance for a two-year period, and an extension contract provides for assistance for a one-year period. Program payments will be made directly to lenders, following each quarter of the participant's satisfactory service, unless otherwise agreed upon by the participant and Director, NCMHD.

POST ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS:

Reports:   Participants must be periodically certified to have satisfactorily performed the duties of their positions.

Audits:   Not applicable. This program has no statutory audit requirements.

Records:   The NCMHD will retain applicant records for three years after rejection and participant records for six years after completion of final service obligation.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION:

Account Identification:   75-0897-0-1-552.

Obligations:   (Grants) FY 01 $1,828,665; FY 02 est $2,036,000; and FY 03 est $2,900,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance:   The dollar assistance range for the two-year contract period was from $14,128 to $70,000 in loan repayments, and from $5,510 up to $27,300 in tax reimbursements in FY 01. The average dollar assistance of awards made for FY 01 were $46,985 in loan repayments and $18,324 in tax reimbursements.

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PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHMENTS:
For fiscal year 2001, the first year in which funding was available, the NCMHD received 78 applications and made 28 awards. It is anticipated that the NCMHD will make 30 awards for fiscal year 2002 and 35 awards for fiscal year 2003.

REGULATIONS, GUIDELINES, AND LITERATURE:

Pertinent information is contained in Public Law 106-525, Section 103; Section 485G of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 287c-33(e)).

INFORMATION CONTACTS:

Regional or Local Office:   None.

Headquarters Office:  
Joan E. Wasserman 6707 Democracy Blvd. Suite 800, Bethesda, Maryland 20817 Email: joan.wasserman@nih.gov Phone: 3015941788

Web Site Address:  
http://www.nimhd.nih.gov

EXAMPLES OF FUNDED PROJECTS:

Racial/ethnic differences in the use of hospice amongst cancer patients; Effect of socioeconomics on health status; Socioeconomic and racial/ethic disparities in maternal and infant health; Social and cultural differences in preventive cardiology care; Colorectal care variation in vulnerable elderly and colorectal cancer care variation supplement; Breast cancer risk reduction in African-American women; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE); Quality of mental healthcare for American Indian adolescents; Economic access to antiretroviral prescription drugs; Pathophysiology of spontaneous pre-term labor and adverse neonatal outcomes; and Disproportionate impact of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) on minority populations.

CRITERIA FOR SELECTING PROPOSALS:

The major elements in evaluating applications/proposals include the assessment of the following: (1) personal statement; (2) proposed research project and its scientific merit (priority will be given to biomedical and behavioral researchers); (3) training plan and environment (which includes the research program, the facilities/environment, the mentor/advisor's training, the applicant's training); (4) loan debt ratio and any associated impediments that may affect the applicant's decision to pursue a research career; and (5) references.

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