OSP FO# 11-092

AGENCY: Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)/National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute on Aging (NIA)

PROGRAM: Limited Competition: The Health and Retirement Study (U01)

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this program is to solicit an application for the next six-year cycle of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). The HRS was designed to provide a dataset for the community of scientific and policy researchers who study the health, economics and demography of aging. Over time the HRS has become a multidisciplinary study, collecting data in the domains of income, work, assets, pension plans, health insurance, family structure, disability, physical health and functioning (including biomarkers, DNA, anthropometric and physical performance data), cognitive functioning, psychosocial factors, and health care expenditures.

The goals of this next phase are to continue the steady-state longitudinal design for data collection and content; continue innovative sub-studies such as on consumption and time use; enhance content and methods on health, functioning, cognitive status, wealth, pensions, family structure, and psychosocial factors; continue to develop relevant linkages to administrative data; maintain and enhance data distribution and user support; and extend harmonization efforts with internationally comparable surveys of population aging.

The objectives for the next 6-year cycle of the HRS are listed below. Applicants are not expected to address all the competing scientific goals and research objectives evenly. Applicants are encouraged to balance among these and justify their priorities and focus.

  • Conduct research and developmental activities to determine the most efficient screening methods for a new cohort in 2016 in order to continue the steady-state design of the HRS.
  • Integrate the recently expanded minority sample into the steady-state longitudinal sample design in order to make possible improved research into the sources of disparities in health and economic status.
  • Explore innovative ways to improve the collection of wealth and pension data (both value and contributions) in large, nationally-representative surveys to improve research on longitudinal wealth and on cross-wave patterns of wealth change. Also explore innovative ways to collect this information from respondents with limited financial literacy and/or limited knowledge of their employer pension plans.
  • Enhance the content of health and functioning measures currently collected via in-person interviews, such as additional biomarkers (such as venous blood) and/or performance indicators, to improve nationally-representative research on longitudinal change in these measures, how such changes relate to other life circumstances and health events measured in the HRS, and how socioeconomic variables get under the skin.
  • Enhance the assessment of psychosocial factors, such as well-being, to improve nationally-representative research on the complex interactions between individual psychosocial characteristics and outcomes in mid and later life.
  • Propose innovation in the efficient assessment of cognitive status in large, nationally-representative population surveys.
  • Develop innovative methods to assess and monitor the cognitive health and decision-making capacity of American elders.
  • Propose methods to track dementia prevalence and associated caregiving needs and costs at a population level.
  • Propose maintenance and innovation in data dissemination, user support of both public use files and restricted files linked to administrative records, and encouraging data use broadly by the scientific community.
  • Extend harmonization efforts with internationally comparable surveys of population aging (e.g., English Longitudinal Study of Ageing and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) and offer support to new studies of this type that may develop in the future.

ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION: Only one application per institution is allowed.

Letter of Intent (optional): May 10, 2011
BU Internal Deadline: May 20, 2011
Full proposal: June 10, 2011

FUNDING INFORMATION: This program will use the NIH U01 Cooperative Agreement award mechanism. NIA anticipates providing up to $11.5 million Direct Costs in FY2012 for one award for up to 6 years.

Georgeanne E. Patmios
Division of Behavioral and Social Research
National Institute on Aging
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 533
Bethesda, MD 20892-9205
Telephone: (301) 496-3138
Fax: (301) 402-0051
Email: PatmiosG@mail.nih.gov
Web: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-AG-12-001.html

INTERNAL REVIEW PROCESS: To screen potential proposals for this competition, an internal deadline has been established. Principal Investigators (PIs) interested in submitting a proposal should provide the following proposal information to their Associate Dean by Friday, May 20, 2011 for internal review purposes:

1. Project description (maximum length 4 pages) should include items a–c:
(a)   describe the project, including its significance to its research field and its potential to provide innovative challenges to current research paradigms;
(b)   outline the approach and scope of the project including potential problems, alternative strategies and benchmarks for success;
(c)   provide a plan for the management and evaluation of the program.
2. Budget, and budget justification (2 pages).
3. Biographical sketches: include NIH format biographical sketch for PI and Senior/Key Personnel.
4. Review comments from any previous U01 submission.

Following the Dean’s assessment of the internal application, it will be forwarded to OSP-CRC Director Joan Kirkendall for review and then to the Office of the VP for Research for final selection. PIs will be informed if their proposal is selected for submission in time to complete and process their proposal for final review.

REMARKS: NIH requires that applications to this program be submitted electronically through Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov). After submission via Grants.gov, applications will be retrieved and processed by the NIH Commons system (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/index.jsp). In order to prepare a responsive application, PIs should download both the complete program guidelines (RFA-AG-12-001) and the corresponding application package from Grants.gov as well as the NIH Grants.gov Application Guide (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/424/index.htm). PIs must also be registered Commons users.

For more information about Grants.gov and the NIH Commons, or to register as a Commons user, please contact either India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. In addition, please contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to your school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through the Grants.gov system.

Complete program guidelines and application material may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.