EGRP News Flash - November 8, 2010

New NIH Request for Applications for Deepwater Horizon Disaster Research Consortia: Health Impacts and Community Resiliency (U19)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released a new Request for Applications (RFA) in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts to solicit applications to 1) examine the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on health, illness, and quality of life for the general population residing in the Gulf Coast region; and 2) increase the scientific evidence base needed to strengthen the resiliency of vulnerable populations along the Gulf coast to prepare for and recover from the effects of the Deepwater Horizon and similar disasters. In addition to the potential for exposure to oil, dispersants, and other chemical mixtures, residents in the Gulf region are experiencing economic hardship, job loss, resettlements, and other forms of psychological distress which may all adversely impact health and quality of life.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) is interested in identifying the consequences of toxic exposures related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster on the sequence of events leading to cancer. It is likely that a long follow-up period and very large numbers of study participants would be needed to meaningfully assess cancer risks from DWH disaster exposures. However, setting up the research studies now will build capacity and provide an opportunity for research on DWH disaster related exposures and determinants of the sequence of events, from biomarkers of exposure through early damage that might influence cancer risk, and genomic factors, such as genetic susceptibility, that may modify those biomarkers along the continuum to cancer.

The intent of this RFA is to create one or more community-based participatory research (CBPR) consortia of university-community partnerships. Hence, the principles of CBPR, where substantial community input in the development of research objectives, should be utilized to develop the overall goals of the consortium. By developing multi-project programs of basic and applied research that may include population and associated laboratory-based research projects, it is anticipated that the impact of multiple stressors on human health and well-being and potential underlying mechanisms will be better understood. Results from this RFA will provide the necessary evidence base to promote the protection of populations living along the Gulf Coast who are at greatest risk for adverse physical, psychological, and behavioral health consequences resulting from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Ultimately, research findings from the Gulf Coast should contribute to the evidence base needed to improve preparedness and response aimed at minimizing health effects in future disaster contexts.

In order to be considered responsive, each application must successfully meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Three approved individual research projects:
    • At least one of which must address a health outcome(s) of concern to the community as a consequence of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and
    • At least one of which must address community vulnerability and resilience to disasters along the Gulf Coast.
  • An approved administrative core.
  • An approved community outreach and dissemination core.

The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) is conducting a separate cohort study focused on the potential health effects in clean-up and recovery workers. Therefore, proposals focusing on health consequences of clean-up or recovery workers will be considered outside the scope of this RFA and will be considered nonresponsive and will not be reviewed.

Applications are due January 21, 2011. Prospective applicants are asked to submit a letter of intent (LOI) by December 21, 2010. NIH intends to commit an estimated total of $5.3 million for 3-4 awards from appropriated funds and unrestricted gift funds provided by BP America, Inc. An applicant may request a budget for direct costs of up to $1.2 million for each budget year requested. The maximum project period is five years.

For questions about cancer epidemiology, contact Gary L. Ellison, Ph.D., M.P.H., Program Director, Modifiable Risk Factors Branch, Epidemiology and Genetics Research Program. For questions about cancer-related behavioral research, contact Paige Green McDonald, Ph.D., M.P.H., Chief, Basic and Biobehavioral Research Branch, Behavioral Research Program.

  • Access the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts for details: RFA-ES-11-006External Web Site Policy (U19)

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