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Notice

Joint Program Announcement on Climate Variability and Human Health for FY 2003; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in Collaboration With; National Science Foundation (NSF), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPRI (formerly the Electric Power Research Institute)

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AGENCY:

Office of Global Programs, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Commerce.

SUMMARY:

Due to an unavoidable administrative error, the wrong version of this notice was published on November 14, 2002, at 67 FR 69110. With the intent of stimulating integrated multidisciplinary studies and enhancing institutional collaboration, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), announce our interest in receiving research proposals to improve our understanding of the human health consequences related to climate variability and enhance the integration of useful climate information into public health policy and decision-making. This joint announcement is intended to support the formation of multidisciplinary teams working in close collaboration on integrated projects to illuminate the human, biological, and physical pathways by which climate may affect human health, Start Printed Page 70410and which explore the potential for applying climate and environmental information toward the goal of improved public health. We are also interested in understanding how the human health impacts and responses related to climate variability affect our knowledge of potential consequences of, and adaptation and vulnerability to, longer term changes in the climate system.

Investigators should also plan to participate in an annual meeting of researchers funded under this announcement. This meeting will be organized by the funding partners and is intended to facilitate midpoint discussions of research and methodology as well as presentations of final research results. The participation of other team members, particularly new researchers at the graduate and postdoctoral level, is highly encouraged.

DATES:

Unless otherwise noted, strict deadlines by which NOAA OGP must receive proposals for submission to the FY 2003 process are: Pre-proposals must be received by OGP no later than December 16, 2002, and full proposals must be received no later than February 18, 2003; Applicants who have not received a response to their pre-proposal within four weeks should contact the program manager: Juli Trtanj (301) 427-2089, ext. 134 or Internet: juli.trtanj@noaa.gov. The time from target date to grant award varies. We anticipate that review of full proposals will occur in April 2003, for most approved projects. August 1, 2003, may be used as the earliest proposed start date on the proposal, unless otherwise directed by the Program Manager. Applicants should be notified of their status within six months of full proposal submission. All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements listed below. Failure to heed the requirements may result in proposals being returned without review.

ADDRESSES:

All submissions should be directed to: Office of Global Programs (OGP); National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1225, Silver Spring, MD 20910-5603.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Irma duPree at the above address or phone (301) 427-2089, ext. 107, fax: (301) 427-2222, Internet: irma.duPree@noaa.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

1. Funding Availability

NOAA, NSF, EPA, and EPRI believe that research on the relationship between climate variability and human health will benefit significantly from a strong partnership with outside investigators. An estimated $1.3 Million may be available for FY03. Current plans assume that over 50% of the total resources provided through this announcement will support extramural efforts, particularly those involving the broad academic community. Funding may be provided by NOAA, NSF, EPA, or EPRI. Projects may be conducted for up to a three year period.

2. Eligibility

Participation in this competition is open to all institutions eligible to receive support for NOAA, NSF, EPA, and EPRI. For awards to be issued by NOAA, eligible applicants are institutions of higher education, hospitals, other nonprofits, commercial organizations, foreign governments, organizations under the jurisdiction of foreign governments, international organizations, state, local and Indian tribal governments and Federal agencies. Applications from non-Federal and Federal applicants will be competed against each other. Proposals selected for funding from non-Federal applicants will be funded through a project grant or cooperative agreement under the terms of this notice. Proposals selected for funding from NOAA employees shall be effected by an intragency funds transfer. Proposals selected for funding from a non-NOAA Federal Agency will be funded through an interagency transfer. Before non-NOAA Federal applicants may be funded, they must demonstrate that they have legal authority to receive funds from another federal agency in excess of their appropriation. Because this announcement is not proposing to procure goods or services from applicants, the Economy Act (31 U.S.C. 1535) is not an appropriate legal basis.

3. Program Authority

NOAA Authority: U.S.C. 2931 et seq.; (CFDA No. 11.431)—Climate and Atmospheric Research.

NSF Authority: 42 U.S.C. 1861-75; (CFDA No. 47.050)—Geosciences.

EPA Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7403(a); 42 U.S.C. 7403(b); 42 U.S.C.; 7403(g); 15 U.S.C. 2907(a); (CFDA No. 66.500)—Office of Research and Development.

4. Relevance of This Joint Announcement

Published in 2001, the U.S. National Research Council (NRC) report “Under the Weather: Climate, Ecosystems and Infectious Disease” highlights the need for strengthening research on the linkages between climate and infectious disease and recommends highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving modelers, meteorologists, climatologists, ecologists, social scientists, and a wide array of medical and public health professionals. The report recognizes that the effectiveness of disease early warning systems will depend upon the context in which they are used, and recommends that the development of such systems should involve the active participation of the system's end users. Also, the U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change, Health Sector Report, published in 2000, calls for a greater scientific understanding of the causal relationships between climate and human health, and the need to take an interdisciplinary approach that actively involves decision-makers and practitioners.

Several multi-agency sponsored workshops such as the American Academy of Microbiology Colloquium on Climate Variability and Human Health: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, and the workshop on Climate Change and Vector-borne and other Infectious Disease: A Research Agenda, called for cross-agency collaboration in supporting integrated research in this emerging discipline. The 1999 NRC report, Global Environmental Change: Research Pathways for the Next Decade, recognizes that climate may have important impacts on human health but that further study is necessary, and that such studies must also address issues of social vulnerability and adaptability.

It is well recognized that although early research has demonstrated a connection between climate and health in some cases, more rigorous and interdisciplinary research is required. This, coupled with an evolving capacity to understand and predict natural changes in the climate system, and a desire to develop and provide climate and environmental information for social benefit, particularly in the public health sector, has driven demand for improved understanding of the relationship between climate variability and human health. Both the scientific research results and recommendations stemming from various reports and meetings highlight the complexity of the research questions and the need for a coordinated multi-agency and interdisciplinary approach. The very nature of the research required cuts across disciplinary boundaries, and spans a range of agency missions and mandates and private sector interests. The NOAA Office of Global Programs is interested in the effective use of climate information in climate-sensitive sectors. The NSF focuses on broadly based Start Printed Page 70411fundamental research to improve understanding of the Earth system. EPA is concerned with the impacts of climate change and variability on human health, and EPRI addresses key research gaps in climate change and human health. This announcement is offered as an experimental mechanism to fill critical gaps in climate variability and human health research and to coordinate funding of overlapping agency and institutional interests in such research. Other private sector organizations interested in jointly funding research through this announcement process should contact the NOAA Program Manager, Juli Trtanj (301) 427-2089, ext. 134, or Internet: juli.trtanj@noaa.gov. Research projects will be funded for a one, two or three year period.

5. Program Objectives

The over-arching goal of this announcement is to develop and demonstrate the feasibility of new approaches or field studies that investigate or validate well-formed hypotheses or models of climate variability and health interactions. This announcement is offered as part of an interagency effort to build an integrated climate and health community. Proposed research submitted under this announcment is encouraged to build on existing research activities, programs, research sites and facilities, or data sets.

6. Proposal Requirements and General Guidance

Research teams should include, at a minimum, one investigator each from the public health or medical response, ecology, and climate communities working in close collaboration on an integrated project. Research proposals submitted under this announcement are strongly encouraged to include components addressing either the adaptation or vulnerability of human and public health systems to climate variability, or an economic analysis of using climate information, or both. (See Criteria for Evaluation b). The funding partners will look favorably on research activities that involve end-users from the public health arena (i.e., local public health officials, regional or international health organizations, other public health or disaster management agencies and institutions) and which address the means by which public health policy and decision-makers can use their research results. (See Criteria for Evaluation d). Investigators are encouraged to demonstrate that they will disseminate research results through formal presentation during at least one professional meeting and publication in a peer-reviewed journal.

This Program Announcement is for projects to be conducted by investigators both inside and outside of NOAA, NSF, EPA, and EPRI. The funding instrument for extramural awards will be a grant unless it is anticipated that any of the funding entities will be substantially involved in the implementation of the project, in which case the funding instrument should be a cooperative agreement. Examples of substantial involvement may include but are not limited to proposals for collaboration between a funding entity or funding entity scientist, and a recipient scientist or technician and/or contemplation by NOAA, NSF, or EPA of detailing Federal personnel to work on proposed projects. NOAA, NSF, and EPA will make decisions regarding the use of a cooperative agreement on a case-by-case basis. This program does not require matching share.

Guidelines for Submission

1. Pre-Proposals

(a) Pre-proposals should include the names and institutions of all investigators, a statement of the problem, description of data and methodology including names of data sets and types of models or analysis, a general budget for the project, a description of intended use of results for public health policy and decision making, and brief biographical sketches for each investigator. Pre-proposals can be submitted electronically to Irma duPree at irma.dupree@noaa.gov, unless other arrangements have been made with the Program Manager. Pre-proposals must be no longer than eight pages in length and must be prepared using an 11 point font or larger, with one-inch margins. Pre-proposals longer than eight pages, with smaller fonts, or with attachments will not be accepted.

(b) The Program Officers will evaluate the pre-proposals.

(c) Submission of pre-proposals is not a requirement, but it is in the best interest of the applicants and their institutions.

(d) Email submissions are acceptable for pre-proposals only.

(e) Projects deemed unsuitable during pre-proposals review will not be encouraged to submit full proposals.

(f) Investigators who are not encouraged to submit full proposals will not be precluded from submitting full proposals.

2. Criteria for Evaluation

Below are the criteria for evaluation that will be used for making award decisions. Pre-proposals will be evaluated using these criteria.

(a) Scientific Merit—60% (to include: Methodology, proof of data quality and availability, experience of team and team members, and relevant peer-reviewed publications).

(b) Responsiveness to announcement—20%.

(c) Explicit multidisciplinary participation and collaboration—10%.

(d) Potential for use by climate, ecology and health community or public/environmental health community—10%.

3. Selection Procedures and Review Process

Applications will be screened to determine if applicants are eligible and proposals are complete. The proposals will undergo independent peer panel review and may receive independent peer mail review. The independent peer mail reviewers rate each proposal according to the above Criteria for Evaluation. Each independent peer panel review member will rate the proposals using the above-mentioned criteria and taking the mail reviews into consideration. No consensus advice will be given. Both agency and non-agency experts in the field may be used in this process. Program Officers, comprised of representatives both Federal and non-Federal funding institutions, will evaluate the proposal. None of the Program Officers are voting members of an independent peer panel. The non-Federal Program Officers will provide their recommendations to the Federal Program Officers. The Federal Agency Program Officers will then make funding selections taking into account these recommendations, the independent peer panel review and evaluations, and program policy factors listed below.

Proposals are usually awarded in the numerical order in which they are ranked. However, the Program Officers may consider the following program policy factors: (a) Whether proposals do not substantially duplicate other projects that are currently funded by NOAA, NSF, EPA, other Federal agencies or other funding sources; (b) whether proposals do not substantially duplicate other proposals submitted in response to this announcement; (c) whether proposals funded maximize use of available funds; (d) whether proposals provide programmatic balance and (e) whether proposal cost falls within remaining funds available. As a result of this review, either the non-Federal or Federal Program Officers may decide to select an award out of order. The Federal Program Officers will Start Printed Page 70412also determine the total duration and amount of funding for each selected proposal. Unsatisfactory performance by a recipient under prior Federal awards may result in an application not being considered for funding. Federal agency employees are subject to statutes pertaining to non-disclosure and confidentiality requirements protecting proprietary information that may be contained in applications submitted for potential funding. Non-Federal evaluators have agreed in writing to similar non-disclosure and confidentiality provisions. Please note, however, that should EPRI or another participating private organization which jointly funds research under this notice select an application for funding, none of the participating Federal agencies is responsible for any unauthorized disclosure of information that may occur or any dispute that may arise.

4. Proposal Submission

The following forms are required in each application, with original signatures on each federal form. Failure to comply with these provisions will result in proposals being returned without review.

(a) Full Proposals: (1) Proposals submitted to the NOAA Climate and Global Change Program must include the original and two unbound copies of the proposal. (2) Investigators are required to submit 3 copies of the proposal; however, the normal review process requires 20 copies. Investigators are encouraged to submit sufficient proposal copies for the full review process if they wish all reviewers to receive color, unusually sized (not 8.5 x 11″), or otherwise unusual materials submitted as part of the proposal. Only three copies of the Federally required forms are needed. (3) Proposals must be limited to 40 pages (numbered), 11 point font or larger and 1 inch margins, including abstract, results of prior research, statement of work, budget justification, budget, investigators' vitae, and all appendices. Appended information may not be used to circumvent the page length limit. Federally mandated forms are not included within the page count. (4) Proposals should be sent to the NOAA Office of Global Programs at the above address. (5) Facsimile transmissions and electronic mail submission of full proposals will not be accepted.

(b) Required Elements: All proposals must include the following elements:

(1) Signed title page: The title page must be signed by the Principal Investigator (PI) and the institutional representative. If more than one investigator is listed on the title page, please identify the lead investigator. The PI and institutional representative should be identified by full name, title, organization, telephone number and address. The amount of Federal funds being requested should be listed for each budget period and for the total project.

(2) Abstract: An abstract must be included and should contain an introduction of the problem, rationale and a brief summary of work to be completed. The abstract should appear on a separate page, headed with the proposal title, institution(s), investigator(s), total proposed cost and budget period.

(3) Results from prior research: The results of related research activities should be described, including their relation to the currently proposed work. Reference to each prior research award should include the title, agency or institution, award number, PIs, period of award and total award. The section should be a brief summary and should not exceed two pages total.

(4) Statement of work: The proposed project must be completely described, including identification of the problem, scientific objectives, proposed methodology, and relevance to the announcement. Benefits of the proposed project to the general public and the scientific community should also be discussed. A summary of proposed work must be included clearly indicating that the proposed work is achievable. The statement of work, including references but excluding figures and other visual materials must not exceed 15 pages to text.

(5) Budget Justification: A brief description of the expenses listed on the budget and how they address the proposed work. Itemized justification must include salaries, equipment, publications, supplies, tuition, travel, etc.

(6) Budget: the proposal must include total and annual budget corresponding with the descriptions provided in the statement of work. A sample budget sheet can be found in the statement of work. A sample budget sheet can be found in the standard NOAA application kit-Federal Applicants must submit a Standard Form 424 (4-92) “Application for Federal Assistance”, including a detailed budget using the Standard Form 424a (4-92). “Budget Information—Non-Construction Program”. The form is included in the standard NOAA application Kit. Additional text to justify expenses should be included as necessary. Federal researchers should contact Irma duPree at (301) 427-2089 ext. 107, for guidance regarding the types of forms required for submission. Additionally, Federal researchers should provide, with their application, the appropriate statutory authority that allows their agency to receive funds from another Federal agency to complete the work outlined in their proposal.

(7) Vitae: Abbreviated curriculum vitae are sought with each proposal. Reference lists should be limited to 10-15 of the most recent and relevant publications with up to five other relevant papers.

(8) Current and pending support: for each investigator, submit a list that includes project title, supporting agency with grant number, investigator months, dollar value and duration. Requested values should be listed for pending support.

(9) List of suggested reviewers: The cover letter may include a list of individuals qualified and suggested to review the proposal. It also may include a list of individuals that applicants would prefer to not review the proposals. Such lists may be considered at the discretion of the Program Officers.

Other Requirements

The Department of Commerce Pre-Award Notification Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreement contained in the Federal Register notice of October 1, 2001 (66 FR 49917), as amended by the Federal Register Notice published on October 30, 2002 (67 FR 66109), are applicable to this solicitation.

Classification

It has been determined that this notice is not significant for purposes of E.O. 12866.

It has been determined that this notice does not contain policies with Federalism implications as that term is defined in E.O. 13132.

Notice and comment are not required under 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2), or any other law, for notices relating to public property, loans, grants, benefits or contracts. Because notice and comment are not required, a Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., is not required and has not been prepared for this notice.

This document contains collection-of-information requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA).

The use of Standard Forms 424, 424A, 424B, and SF-LLL have been approved by OMB under the respective control numbers 0348-0043, 0348-0044, 0348-0040, and 0348-0046.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no person is required to respond to, nor shall any person be subject to a penalty for failure to comply with a Start Printed Page 70413collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act unless that collection displays a currently valid OMB Control Number.

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Louisa Koch,

Acting Assistant Administrator, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research.

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[FR Doc. 02-29765 Filed 11-21-02; 8:45 am]

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