Frequently Asked Questions for RFA HL-13-013, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction in Undeserved Rural Communities

Q1. Definition of rural: The RFA provides one definition of "rural" but there are many definitions of "rural." Should the applicant select from the definitions provided in the article……. or is the definition in the RFA the only one to be used by the applicant?

A: Yes, applicants are encouraged to select the definition that best describes their population using one or more of the definitions in the article by Coburn AF, MacKinney AC, McBride TD, Mueller KJ, Slifkin RT, Wakefield MK. Choosing Rural Definitions: Implications for Health Policy. Rural Policy Research Institute Health Panel.2007(Issue Brief #2). Other definitions may be used if justified.

Q2. How does the RFA define "Underserved?"

A: Underserved communities are those with inadequate health services, infrastructure, and/or minimal access to basic resources.

Q3. How does the RFA define "Community?"

A: For the purposes of this RFA, "community" is defined as a group of individuals sharing one or more characteristics such as geographic location (e.g., neighborhood), culture, age, race/ethnicity, or a particular risk factor.

Q4. Will there be technical assistance provided before the application receipt deadline of 05/14/13?

A: Yes, applicants are encouraged to contact any of the scientific contacts and/or the financial/grants management contacts listed on the RFA. There are plans to hold webinars in July, September, and November. Watch for the exact date and times on the NHLBI Website.

Q5. Will a research that addresses both rural and urban communities be responsive to the RFA?

A: Yes. The applicant may compare interventions in both communities but strong justifications must be provided.

Q6. Will this RFA support epidemiologic studies?

A: No. Applications that focus only on epidemiologic studies will not be responsive. The RFA focuses on intervention studies, but preliminary planning activities could include observational/epidemiologic studies.

Q7. Are Data and Safety Monitoring (DSM) Plans required for this RFA?

A: Yes, DSM plans are required.

Q8. Can co-investigators on an application be located at different institutions?

A: Yes, applicants can be from different institutions. However, collaborations and synergy among investigators must be discussed. Applicants must provide evidence of having collaborated with the local institution or agency in the rural area.

Q9. What will be the expectation for involving early-stage investigators?

A: Early stage investigators (ESI) are encouraged to apply for this RFA and the expectations will be similar to what is expected in a regular R01. Applicants must indicate on the application form that they are ESIs.

Q10. Can the study population be only children or is the FOA focusing on adults only?

A: The study population may be children, families, or adults. It is important to justify the selection of your study population.

Q11: What does it mean by "Non-domestic (non-U.S.) components of U.S. Organizations are eligible to apply?"

A:Non–domestic (non-US) components are foreign components of U.S. organizations. This would be organizations in a foreign country (e.g., universities) that are components of U.S. organizations. For example, if your university has a university in China, faculty in your university may work with university faculty in China, and data may be collected in China. Strong justifications for conducting the study and collecting data in a foreign country must be provided. Additional information on "Foreign Component" can be found in the RFA, Foreign components, and in the NIH Grants Policy Statement

Q12: What is the total number of years and stages/phases required for this grant?

A:The total is 4 years. But there are 2 stages: Phase 1 is 18 months and Phase 2 is 18 months. You can request fewer timelines if justified.

Q13: How many grants are expected to be awarded?

A: Four Awards at $800,000 (total) for FY 2013; NHLBI intends to commit (for 4 awards) FY 2014, $2.4M, FY 2015, $2.4M, FY 2016, $800,000 Future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations.

Q14: Who is Eligible to apply for this FOA?

A:Eligible institutions are listed in the FOA- Please see Section III of the FOA.

Q15: What other Information on Eligibility should I know?

A:Applicant organizations can submit more than one application, provided that each application is scientifically distinct.

Q16: Can Early Stage Investigators apply as PI?

A:Yes. But they must demonstrate that they have a strong team to be able to accomplish the aims of the study proposed and of the RFA.

Q17: What will be the expectation for early-stage investigators?

A:The expectations would be the same as for any other investigator. Early stage investigators (ESI) are encouraged to apply for this RFA. Do note that RFAs are not percentiled and there will be no specific advantages afforded. Applicants may indicate on the application form if they are ESIs.

Q18: Where can I go to find the application and information on application procedures?

A:Requesting an Application Package: Applicants must download the SF424 (R&R) application using the “Apply for Grant Electronically” button in this FOA; Content and Form Application Submission. Applicants must follow the instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.

Q19: What other additional materials is needed for submission?

A:Collaborative letters of support from rural community agencies are encouraged. Applicants must demonstrate long-standing relationships with the rural community(ies) or agency(ies). 

Q20: Where should we put letters of support?

A:Include letters of support as an attachment in the “other research plan” section and not in the appendix. This is not part of the 12 page limit for the research strategy It is important not to include letters of support in the Appendix but rather in the main body of the application.

Q21: Are there page limits and if so, how long?

A:Maximum of 12 pages is allocated for the research strategy segment only.

Q22: What other administrative components should be addressed?

A:Two-day biannual meetings with the project office is required for scientific assistance.  Yearly program progress reports and a final progress report and the expenditure data portion of the Federal Financial Report are required for closeout upon completion of the award.

Q23: Are there essential personnel who need to be represented in the multi-disciplinary team?

A:Needed personnel should be determined by your research question, design and expertise needed to carry out your proposed research.

Q24: How do you suggest addressing specific aims when specific objectives have been already outlined?

A:Your specific aims must address the research objectives you want to achieve.

Q25: re applications proposing to use mobile technologies in the approach considered responsive?

A:Proposals using mobile technology could be considered responsive, but must be well justified in terms of appropriateness for use in the research being proposed and in the community of interest. It would be helpful to document from the literature similar other projects that have used this technology and justify the innovation in your application.

Q26: Given that there are two stages – should there be equal importance/grant pages allocated for both stages or is the focus more on one of the stages?

A:You will need to determine the relative importance of each stage in your application. The page limit is set (12) for this FOA. Please review the FOA and use the guidance in it to write your application. Going over the page limits will be automatic cause for rejection of the application by the eRA system.

Q27: How do you suggest we approach the description of phase 2 given that phase 1 is partly to plan phase 2 so we may not know what the final intervention would look like.

A:You are required to indicate your research approach in phase 2. You may note that the strategy could be influenced by phase 1.

Q28: Can you give some examples of how much detail you have to have for stage 2 part of the application?

A:As detailed as possible.  You may use the review criteria as guidelines.

Q29: If you already have a Community Based Participatory partnership well developed, would it be justified to propose a shorter stage 1 and longer time for stage 2?

A:Yes, you must justify the short time frame.

Q30: Could we focus our intervention on women only?

A:If justified, yes.

Q31: Where may I get the slides for all three webinars?

You may send an email to

RFA Inquiries

Please direct all inquiries to:

Charlotte Pratt, PhD
6701 Rockledge Drive - Suite 10018 - MS 7936
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7936
Tel: 301-435-0382

Last Updated December 2012

Skip footer links and go to content
Twitter iconTwitterExternal link Disclaimer         Facebook iconFacebookimage of external link icon         YouTube iconYouTubeimage of external link icon         Google+ iconGoogle+image of external link icon