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Frequently Asked Questions
PAR-10-039: Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R03)

Questions

  1. Are methodological approaches other than randomized trials acceptable (e.g., quasi-experimental, qualitative, case studies)?
  2. I have preliminary data on the efficacy of an intervention that is likely to have a very large public health impact in a high priority area. Is it appropriate at this stage to move to a dissemination trial?
  3. My intervention impacts a relatively small (but high risk) population. Is it appropriate for me to submit an application?
  4. One of the criteria described in the Significance section of the PAR emphasizes the importance of the proposed study having a positive impact on public health and community. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie effective dissemination approaches (basic science). Is it appropriate for me to apply to this PAR?
  5. Does this apply to international populations outside of the U.S., or is this exclusively for study of populations within our borders?
  6. How are peer reviewers selected?
  7. Is one peer review group responsible for reviewing all applications?
  8. Will the peer review group be comprised solely of health scientists, or will other fields be represented (e.g., marketing, anthropology, information science, organizational and management theory)?
  9. Since this is a trans-NIH program announcement, how do I make sure my grant goes to the correct institute?
  10. This PAR encourages collaboration, which could potentially mean several subcontracts and indirect costs. How will the greater cost of collaborative research be weighed in relation to the value of the collaborations themselves?
  11. Are matching funds from partner organizations accepted/appropriate?
  12. Is additional information available about the R03 mechanism?
  13. How do I apply for this grant?
  14. Can I request permission to exceed $500,000 for direct costs in any year?

Answers

Scientific/Research:

  1. Are methodological approaches other than randomized trials acceptable (e.g., quasi-experimental, qualitative, case studies)?
    Yes. Because the design of a dissemination and implementation research project requires equal attention be paid to the external validity and the internal validity of the strategies being tested, this program announcement encourages consideration of a broad range of methodological approaches. The ones selected should be justified as most appropriate for the specific research question(s) being examined or hypotheses being tested.

  2. I have preliminary data on the efficacy of an intervention that is likely to have a very large public health impact in a high priority area. Is it appropriate at this stage to move to a dissemination trial?
    If the preliminary data are so compelling that completion of the efficacy or effectiveness trial is extremely unlikely to change the intervention impact observed, then it may be appropriate to consider submitting. However, this program announcement is designed to expand the knowledge base about how to disseminate and implement interventions that have been rigorously tested and that have been shown to be effective. Thus, the applicant is encouraged to discuss with their NIH institute-specific intervention research project program director the extent to which the preliminary data may justify a dissemination/implementation research project proposal at this time.

  3. My intervention impacts a relatively small (but high risk) population. Is it appropriate for me to submit an application?
    Whether in the public health or clinical practice contexts the population impact of a particular intervention will vary both in terms of the size of the intervention effect and the reach to the population at risk. A small intervention effect applied to a large at risk population may be viewed as similar to a large intervention effect seen for a small but high-risk population. Applications are encouraged that address dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions that impact large underserved populations and/or specific high risk groups.

  4. One of the criteria described in the Significance section of the PAR emphasizes the importance of the proposed study having a positive impact on public health and community. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms that underlie effective dissemination approaches (basic science). Is it appropriate for me to apply to this PAR?
    Yes. This proposal strongly encourages proposals that span the continuum of scientific inquiry from basic dissemination and implementation science (e.g., building and/or testing models) to applied dissemination and implementation trials.

  5. Does this apply to international populations outside of the U.S., or is this exclusively for study of populations within our borders?
    As noted in the section on eligible institutions, foreign institutions may apply. During the peer review of international studies, the relevance of the study of international populations to US populations often emerges and the applicant should address this relevance in the application when appropriate.

Peer Review:

  1. How are peer reviewers selected?
    Because this review will involve a special emphasis panel (SEP), based in part on the letters of intent, the NIH Center for Scientific Review will recruit reviewers who are content experts in the disease control intervention area and/or are experts in dissemination and implementation research. Often, CSR will solicit suggestions for reviewers from Institutes, who will provide lists of potential reviewers. CSR will consider these lists as advisory and has complete authority and total responsibility for empanelling the review committee for each review cycle.

  2. Is one peer review group responsible for reviewing all applications?
    There will be one panel for all R01 and R21 applications, and there may be a separate panel for the R03 applications, depending on the number of applications submitted in each category. CSR will make this determination. While each submission date will involve the formation of a "new" SEP, CSR will make every effort to include members from the prior cycle's SEP, particularly where some continuity for the revise and resubmit applications will prove advantageous to the integrity of the peer review process.

  3. Will the peer review group be comprised solely of health scientists, or will other fields be represented (e.g., marketing, anthropology, information science, organizational and management theory)?
    Dissemination and implementation research is inherently multi-disciplinary, so the panel will be selected to provide the best mix of expertise that matches the foci of the applications submitted.

Financial / Grants Management Issues:

  1. Since this is a trans-NIH program announcement, how do I make sure my grant goes to the correct institute?
    Please indicate to which institute or institutes your grant application is most relevant in your cover letter. Wherever possible, you should contact one of the program officials listed on the PAR to ensure that you are indicating an appropriate host Institute.

  2. This PAR encourages collaboration, which could potentially mean several subcontracts and indirect costs. How will the greater cost of collaborative research be weighed in relation to the value of the collaborations themselves?
    As with all NIH grants, indirect costs from collaborative subcontracts do not count towards direct cost ceilings in terms of peer-review requirements (i.e., $50,000 direct cost ceiling for R03 awards). The scientific value of the collaborations will be evaluated in peer review with respect to the strengths and limitations of the investigational team within the PI's institution and the complementary expertise added by the collaborative arrangements.

  3. Are matching funds from partner organizations accepted/appropriate?
    Yes. Matching funds from partner organizations are acceptable and appropriate although they are not required. It is often to the applicant's advantage to describe matching funds as it may enhance sustainability of a project beyond the life of the research study.

  4. Is additional information available about the R03 mechanism?
    Yes. NIH has a resource webpage devoted to the Small Grant program (R03) that gives more specific information about the mechanism. This page can be found at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r03.htm

  5. How do I apply for this grant?
    As part of the Department of Health and Human Services' implementation of e-Government, the NIH is currently transitioning each research grant mechanism to electronic submission through Grants.gov and the use of the SF 424 Research and Related (R&R) forms. As of February 5, 2007 all R03, R21 and R01 grant submissions must be received in electronic format; applications may not be submitted in paper format. The SF 424 replaces the PHS 398 submission. For more information please visit http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/is/grant_app_process-2.html.

  6. Can I request permission to exceed $500,000 for direct costs in any year?
    Applicants requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for any year (excluding consortium F&A costs) must carry out the following steps:
    1) Contact the IC program staff at least 6 weeks before submitting the application, i.e., as plans are being developed for the study;
    2) Obtain agreement from the IC staff that the IC will accept the application for consideration for award; and,
    3) Include a cover letter with the application that identifies the staff member and IC who agreed to accept assignment of the application.