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World-Wide Occupational Safety and Health Program

Release Date: DATE

RFA: OH-01-002

Application Receipt Date: March 16, 2001


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) a component of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announces the availability of funds for fiscal year (FY) 2001 for a cooperative agreement program to fund the World Health Organization's (WHO's) Program of Action on Workers' Health (PAWH).

The purpose of this award is to establish a Cooperative Agreement with WHO in continuing and expanding the PAWH.

The proposed project has specific relevance to the mission and objectives of the awarding organization and has the potential to advance knowledge that will benefit the U.S. This agreement will continue to assist WHO in developing guidelines which can be used throughout the world in preventing work-related diseases, injuries, and deaths. Through this collaboration, NIOSH gains the insights of occupational health experts from around the world.

The research needs identified in this announcement are consistent with the National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) developed by NIOSH and partners in the public and private sectors to provide a framework to guide occupational safety and health research in the new millennium towards topics which are most pressing and most likely to yield gains to the worker and the nation. The agenda identifies 21 research priorities. NORA priorities with specific relevance to this announcement are: infectious diseases; special populations at risk; control technology and personal protection; and intervention effectiveness research. Information about NORA is available through the NIOSH Home Page.


NIOSH is committed to achieving the health promotion and disease prevention objectives of Healthy People 2010, a national activity to reduce morbidity and mortality and improve the quality of life. This announcement is related to the focus area of Occupational Safety and Health. For information on the conference copy on Healthy People 2010.


Assistance will be provided only to the World Health Organization, which is the only international organization providing programs of primary health care to under-served working people in developing countries of the world. In several countries, the WHO-sponsored health care represents the only means of health protection for the working people. The WHO has unique characteristics and capacities to meet the objectives stated by NIOSH The cooperative agreement with WHO is proposed for the following reasons.

  1. The project presents special opportunities for furthering research programs on occupational health through the use of unusual and unique talents, resources, populations, or environmental conditions that are not readily available in the U.S. WHO provides the U.S. with an entrée into many developing countries, allowing study of specific occupational diseases and injuries. No other organization can offer this assistance so extensively. Solving work-related safety and health problems at the country level requires the effective implementation of inexpensive solutions as many countries do not have the resources available to finance expensive engineering controls. Knowledge of low-cost controls developed by other countries can be potentially adopted by small businesses in the U.S.
  2. WHO has demonstrated unique qualifications to perform this world-wide occupational safety and health program, and no other organization can fulfill the objectives of the project. WHO has provided international occupational safety and health support to its constituency, including two international meetings of the WHO Collaborating Centers in Occupational Health to approve the Declaration on Occupational Health for All and its background document, the Global Strategy on Occupational Health for All, which provide guidance for the development of occupational health at international, national, and local levels (both documents are available from the WHO Office of Occupational Health). Human resources development activities have been initiated to develop national capacity for management of occupational health problems by promoting in selected countries a national framework to ensure systematic, priority-based planning to produce and maintain the human resources needed in the field of occupational safety and health. Links have been established with the WHO Office of Global and Integrated Environmental Health to establish surveillance of occupational health hazards using the same methodologies used in the WHO project HEADLAMP (Health and Environment Analysis for Decision-Making), which in 1994–95 produced methodologies for health risk assessment of environmental health hazards and indicators.


The administrative and funding instrument to be used for this program will be a cooperative agreement (U01), an assistance mechanism, in which substantial NIOSH scientific and/or programmatic involvement with the awardee is anticipated during performance of the activity. Under the cooperative agreement, the NIOSH purpose is to support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with the award recipient in a partner role. Details of the responsibilities, relationships and governance of the study to be funded under cooperative agreement(s) are discussed later in this document under the section Terms and Conditions of Award.

The total project period for an application submitted in response to this present announcement may not exceed three (3) years. The anticipated award date is July 1, 2001. The award and level of support depends on receipt of an application of high scientific merit.


Approximately $200,000 is available in FY 2001 to fund this award.

Continuation awards within an approved project period will be made on the basis of satisfactory progress as evidenced by required reports and the availability of funds.



The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has been the WHO Collaborating Center in Occupational Health for the United States since 1976. Since NIOSH's designation as a WHO Collaborating Center, it has been involved in program planning, collaborative research, training, management, and direct staff interaction with WHO's Program on Workers' Health. WHO gives occupational health a high priority, particularly in the areas of developing occupational health services, global legislation, training of personnel, and improvement of knowledge in the field of global occupational health.

The Eighth General Program of Work of the WHO covering the period 1990-1995, on Workers' Health aims to develop occupational health services and technology throughout the world and has specifically identified two major objectives: 1) to support the continuous evaluation, adaptation, and application of occupational health technologies and sciences; and 2) to support the health systems infrastructure and worker health-care programs in controlling occupational health risks and in protecting and promoting the health of working populations in various parts of the world.

Two of the main strategic elements of WHO's Program of Action on Worker's Health (PAWH) are the development of national workers' health systems and ensuring that workers participate in health-care programs. WHO develops training programs on leadership in workers' health addressed to selected candidates, particularly from countries where workers' health services have not been developed, produces the corresponding guidelines for this training and follow-up action after the return of these candidates to their countries.

One of WHO's goals contained in Health for All by the Year 2000 aims to achieve an economically productive life for people all over the world. Member countries are urged to pay special attention to health-care delivery to working populations, particularly to medically under served workers. Developing countries are supported in ensuring safe working conditions and effective protective measures for workers' health in agriculture, mining, and industrial enterprises, which already exist or which will be set up in the process of industrialization.

The WHO PAWH calls for:

  1. Transfer and use of knowledge now available that can directly be applied in developing countries.
  2. Adaptation of much of the knowledge in industrialized countries for use in other parts of the world, particularly including such areas as neurobehavioral health science, hazard control methods, tobacco dependence, and health-based occupational exposure limits.
  3. Development of knowledge and application of ergonomics for the humanization of work, the identification and control of work-related diseases, control of adverse psychosocial factors at work, and other areas of vital importance.
  4. Exploration of gaps in knowledge in many new areas of occupational health and the development of modern educational materials for different levels of health professionals.

Research Goals

NIOSH has identified three priority areas for this initiative. These priority areas are:

  • To obtain evidence for policy, legislation and support used by decision-makers;
  • To protect and promote workers' health; and
  • To support infrastructure and development at regional and national levels.

Thus the successful applicant should address all three priority areas in the application, but the specific approaches to be used are to be developed by the applicant. The following provide additional information on how these three areas may be addressed but applicants are encouraged to use their own ideas in addressing the three areas:

  • approaches for obtaining evidence for policy, legislation and support for decision-makers. The applicant should describe plans for reports and/or recommendations on the burden of disease resulting from occupational risk factors, and on their economic impacts. Studies on the impact of globalization and trade on occupational health area also of interest.
  • approaches for the protection and promotion of workers health. NIOSH has placed an emphasis on small industries and the informal sector, as well as on problems associated with working children.
  • approaches to strengthen human resources and information exchange. These approaches could include activities such as the support for capacity building and training at the regional and national levels. The applicant could consider approaches for human resources development through the preparation of educational materials mainly targeted at developing countries, as well as the preparation of practical guidance documents. In order to foster the dissemination of the data, the applicant should include strategies for the harmonization of terms and definitions such that the new information can be disseminated easily through national institutions in developing countries.


National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. National Occupational Research Agenda. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No.96-115 (NORA).


The Terms and Conditions of Award, below, will be incorporated in the award issued as a result of this RFA. It is critical that the applicant include specific plans for responding to these terms. These special Terms of Award are in addition to and not in lieu of, otherwise applicable OMB administrative guidelines, HHS Grant Administration Regulations at 45 CFR Parts 74 and 92, and PHS Grant Administration policy statements.

Under the cooperative agreement, the NIOSH purpose is to support and/or stimulate the recipient's activity, by involvement in and otherwise working jointly with, the award recipient in a partner role, but it is not to assume direction, prime responsibility, or a dominant role in the activity. Consistent with this concept, the dominant role and prime responsibility for the activity resides with the awardee(s) for the project as a whole, although specific tasks and activities in carrying out the studies will be shared among the awardees and the NIOSH collaborators where appropriate, including the following.

  1. Recipient Responsibilities

    The recipient will coordinate project activities, scientifically and administratively, at the awardee institution and at the other sites that may be supported by sub-contractors to this award. The applicant will have primary authority and responsibility to define objectives and approaches; to plan, conduct, and analyze data; and to publish results, interpretations, and conclusions of studies conducted under the terms and conditions of the cooperative agreement award. The recipient will

    1. provide program management oversight for the project;
    2. develop and submit annual progress reports;
    3. disseminate the scientific findings and;
    4. convene international workshops on the prevention of work-related diseases and injuries.
  2. NIOSH Responsibilities

    NIOSH anticipates having substantial scientific programmatic involvement during conduct of this activity, through technical assistance, advice, and coordination. NIOSH will:

    1. serve as a scientific liaison between the awardee and other program staff at NIOSH with experience in the occupational health issues,
    2. provide expert consultation in the area of occupational safety and health related to the global work environment, if requested;
    3. provide technical advice on data collection, developing operating guidelines, quality control procedures, and developing policies/protocols for dealing with recurrent situations, if requested;
    4. facilitate collaborative efforts to compile and disseminate program results through presentations and publications;
    5. participate in developing internationally recommended occupational exposure limits, control technology, protective equipment, work practices, hazard-detection devices, and medical surveillance;
    6. assist in training and developing personnel who would be assigned to perform field work in developing countries;
    7. provide expert consultants to various appropriate committees of WHO and;

jointly sponsor with WHO, international workshops on the prevention of work-related diseases and injuries, as appropriate.


If a project involves research on human subjects, assurance (in accordance with Department of Health and Human Services Regulations, 45 CFR Part 46) of the protection of human subjects is required. In addition to other applicable committees, Indian Health Service (IHS) institutional review committees also must review the project if any component of IHS will be involved with or will support the research. If any American Indian community is involved, its tribal government must also approve that portion of the project applicable to it. Unless the grantee holds a Multiple Project Assurance, a Single Project Assurance is required, as well as an assurance for each subcontractor or cooperating institution that has immediate responsibility for human subjects. The Office for Human Research Protections at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) negotiates assurances for all activities involving human subjects that are supported by the HHS.


It is the policy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that individuals of both sexes and the various racial and ethnic groups will be included in CDC-supported research projects involving human subjects, whenever feasible and appropriate. Racial and ethnic groups are those defined in OMB Directive No. 15 and include American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Applicants shall ensure that women, racial and ethnic minority populations are appropriately represented in applications for research involving human subjects. Where clear and compelling rationale exist that inclusion is inappropriate or not feasible, this situation must be explained as part of the application. This policy does not apply to research studies when the investigator cannot control the race, ethnicity, and/or sex of subjects. Further guidance to this policy is contained in the Federal Register, Vol. 60, No. 179, pages 47947-47951, and dated Friday, September 15, 1995.


Applicant must use Form PHS 398 (rev. 4/98). Application kits are available at most institutional offices of sponsored research and may be obtained from the Division of Extramural Outreach and Information Resources, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7910, Bethesda, MD 20892-7910, telephone 301/435-0714, Email: Application kits are also available here.

The RFA label available in the PHS 398 (rev. 4/98) application form must be affixed to the bottom of the face page of the application. Failure to use this label could result in delayed processing of the application such that it may not reach the review committee in time for review. In addition, the RFA title and number must be typed on line 2 of the face page of the application form and the YES box must be marked.

The sample RFA label has been modified to allow for this change.

Submit a signed original of the application, including the Checklist, and three signed photocopies, in one package to:

Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
National Institutes of Health
6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 1040 - MSC 7710
Bethesda, MD 20892-7710
Bethesda, MD 20817 (for express/courier service)

At the time of submission, two additional copies of the application must also be sent to:

Gwen Cattledge, Ph.D.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road, N.E.
Building 1, Room 3056E, MS D-28
Atlanta, GA 30333

An application must be received by March 16, 2001. If an application is received after that date, it will be returned to the applicant without review. CSR and NIOSH will not accept any application in response to this announcement that is essentially the same as one currently pending initial review, unless the applicant withdraws the pending application. CSR and NIOSH will not accept any application that is essentially the same as one already reviewed. This does not preclude the submission of a substantial revision of an application already reviewed, but such an application must follow the guidance in the PHS Form 398 application instructions for the preparation of revised applications, including an introduction addressing the previous critique.


Upon receipt, an application will be reviewed for completeness by CSR and responsiveness by NIOSH. Incomplete and/or non-responsive applications will be returned to the applicant without further consideration. An application that is complete and responsive, will undergo scientific merit review in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific/technical merit by an appropriate peer review group convened by NIOSH.

An application will be judged on the basis of the scientific merit of the proposed project and the documented ability of the investigators to meet the RESEARCH OBJECTIVES of the announcement. Although the technical merit of the proposed protocol is important, it will not be the sole criterion for evaluation of a study. Other considerations, such as the importance and timeliness of the proposed study, access to the study population, and the interdisciplinary nature of the studies, will be part of the evaluation criteria.

Following the scientific review, an application will be reviewed for programmatic importance by a NIOSH Secondary Review Committee.

Peer Review Criteria

Applicants are encouraged to submit and describe their own ideas about how best to meet the goals of this announcement. The review group will assess the scientific merit of the protocols and related factors as follows:

Significance: Does this project address the priority problems in the area of occupational safety and health in the global work environment? If the aims of the applications are achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the global occupational health environment?

Approach: Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well-integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Will the approaches proposed by the investigator provide evidence for decision makers, impact on the protection and/or promotion of worker's health, and impact on the infrastructure and development for human resources and information exchange. Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics? Does the applicant present a clearly described, well developed and achievable time table for the proposed activities?

Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods? Are the aims original and innovative?

Investigators: Are the Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigators and their teams appropriately trained and have adequate experience to carry out this work? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and his/her collaborators?

Environment: Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done significantly contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence of institutional support? Does the proposed project utilize an existing resource or constitute a new one?

In addition to the above criteria, all applications will also be reviewed with respect to the following:

  • The reasonableness of the proposed budget and duration in relation to the proposed research.
  • The adequacy of plans to include both genders, minorities and their subgroups, for the scientific goals of the research.
  • The adequacy of the proposed protection for humans, animals or the environment, to the extent they may be adversely affected by the project proposed in the application.

Programmatic Review Criteria:

  • Likelihood of developing technical knowledge for the prevention of occupational safety and health hazards


Application will be considered for award based upon (a) scientific and technical merit, (b) program importance, (c) availability of funds.


Application Receipt Date: March 16, 2001
Anticipated Award Date: July 1, 2001


Written and telephone inquiries concerning this announcement are encouraged. The opportunity to clarify any issues or questions is welcome.

Direct inquiries regarding programmatic issues to:

Michael J. Galvin, Jr. Ph.D.
Research Grants Program
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Building 1, Room 3053, MS D-30
1600 Clifton Road, N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30333
Telephone: (404) 639-3343
FAX: (404) 639-4616

Direct inquiries regarding grants management to:

Sheryl Heard, Grants Management Specialist
Grants Management Branch, Procurement and Grants Office
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
2920 Brandywine Road, Room 3000
Atlanta, Georgia 30341
Telephone: (770) 488-2723
Email address:


Projects that involve the collection of information from 10 or more individuals and funded by cooperative agreement will be subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act.


The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number is: 93.262 for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). This program is authorized under the Public Health Service Act, as amended, Section 301(a) [42 U.S.C. 241(a)], and the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Section 20(a) [29 U.S.C. 669(a)]. The applicable program regulation is 42 CFR Part 52. This program is not subject to the intergovernmental review requirements of executive order 12372 or Health Systems Agency Review.


There are restrictions on the use of HHS funds for lobbying of Federal or State legislative bodies. Under the provisions of 31 U.S.C. Section 1352, recipients (and their sub-tier contractors) are prohibited from using appropriated Federal funds (other than profits from a Federal contract) for lobbying congress or any Federal agency in connection with the award of a particular contract, grant, cooperative agreement, or loan. This includes grants/cooperative agreements that, in whole or in part, involve conferences for which Federal funds cannot be used directly or indirectly to encourage participants to lobby or to instruct participants on how to lobby.

In addition, no part of CDC appropriated funds shall be used, other than for normal and recognized executive-legislative relationships, for publicity or propaganda purposes, for the preparation, distribution, or use of any kit, pamphlet, booklet, publication, radio, television, or video presentation designed to support or defeat legislation pending before the Congress or any State or local legislature, except in presentation to the Congress or any State or local legislature itself. No part of the appropriated funds shall be used to pay the salary or expenses of any grant or contract recipient, or agent acting for such recipient, related to any activity designed to influence legislation or appropriations pending before the Congress or any State or local legislature.


The CDC strongly encourages all grant and contract recipients to provide a smoke-free workplace and promote the non-use of all tobacco products. In addition, Public Law 103-227, the Pro-Children Act of 1994, prohibits smoking in certain facilities (or in some cases, any portion of a facility) in which regular or routine education, library, day care, health care, or early childhood development services are provided to children. This is consistent with the CDC mission to protect and advance the physical and mental health of the American people.


It is a national policy to place a fair share of purchases with small, minority and women-owned business firms. The Department of Health and Human Services is strongly committed to the objective of this policy and encourages all recipients of its grants and cooperative agreements to take affirmative steps to ensure such fairness. In particular, recipients should:

  1. Place small, minority, women-owned business firms on bidders mailing lists.
  2. Solicit these firms whenever they are potential sources of supplies, equipment, construction, or services.
  3. Where feasible, divide total requirements into smaller needs, and set delivery schedules that will encourage participation by these firms.
  4. Use the assistance of the Minority Business Development Agency of the Department of Commerce, the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, DHHS, and similar state and local offices.


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