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FY 2008 RFA Grant Application Information (RFA)

Application Information Center for Mental Health Services (CMHS)

Request for Applications (RFA)

Minority Fellowship Program
(Short Title: MFP)

(Initial Announcement)


Request for Applications (RFA) No. SM-08-006
Posting on January 18, 2008
Receipt date: March 19, 2008
Announcement Type: Initial

Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) No
.: 93.243

Key Dates:

Application Deadline

Applications are due by March 19, 2008

Intergovernmental Review
(E.O. 12372)

Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their State(s) participates.  Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS)/Single State Agency Coordination

Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate State and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2008 for Minority Fellowship Program (MFP) grants.  The purpose of this three-year grant program is to provide stipends to doctoral level students in the fields represented by the eligible applicants to increase the number of culturally competent behavioral health professionals who teach, administer, conduct services research and provide direct mental health/substance use services to underserved populations, especially within the public and private non-profit sectors.

The mental health and substance use needs of racial and ethnic minority communities within the United States have been historically underserved by trained practitioners sensitive to the cultural issues or equipped with the language skills that impact effective services delivery.  In 1974, the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) established the MFP to enhance services to minority communities through specialized training of mental health professionals in psychiatry, nursing, social work and psychology.  In 1992, SAMHSA was established and the MFP was transferred from NIMH to CMHS in SAMHSA.  Eligibility for this grant was expanded by Congress in FY 2006 to include a fifth professional association, the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. 

In 2003, the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health released its report, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America.  In its recommendations, the report highlighted the need for eliminating disparities in mental health services, including the provision of culturally competent, recovery-based care and the need to address workforce shortages.  In particular, the Commission noted that: “… many providers are inadequately prepared to serve culturally diverse populations and investigators are not trained in research on minority populations.” 

In FY 2008, based on the availability of funds, CMHS plans on sponsoring the development of a MFP Coordination Center (MFP CC) through funds allocated to the MFP program.  The purpose of the Center will be to enhance the effectiveness of the MFP program by:  

  1. analyzing grantee reporting methods and systems and how they may be strengthened;

  2. developing and coordinating a multi-discipline (social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, marriage and family therapy) workgroup to address findings of the MFP longitudinal evaluation findings;

  3. fostering multi-disciplined approaches to recruitment and retention of program participants, participant tracking and mental health curriculum development; and

  4. addressing multi-disciplined approaches to improving the placement of MFP participants in mental health and substance use underserved areas and increasing program participant familiarity with National Outcome Measures for mental health.

Grantees will be expected to work with the Coordination Center in these efforts by providing information on their processes and procedures regarding the MFP Program and to participate in meetings, conference calls and other forums for discussion to develop these identified areas of focus.

Minority Fellowship Program grants are authorized under 520A of the Public Health Service Act, as amended.  This announcement addresses Healthy People 2010 focus areas 18 (Mental Health and Mental Disorders) and 26 (Substance Abuse).


Eligibility is limited to the American Nurses Association (ANA), American Psychiatric Association (ApA), American Psychological Association (APA), Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) and American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).  These professional organizations have unique access to students entering their respective professions.  The fields of psychiatric nursing, psychiatry, psychology and social work have been recognized nationally for decades as the four core behavioral health disciplines, providing part of an essential core of services for individuals with serious mental illness and also less severe mental disorders.  The ANA, ApA and APA are the largest national professional organizations in the country for nursing, psychiatry and psychology, respectively.  The ANA, ApA and APA and their affiliates have activities in all major areas of national policies affecting nursing, psychiatry and psychology as professions, including education and training.  In the field of social work, the CSWE is the leading national organization that focuses solely on the education and training of social workers and it maintains a close working relationship with the National Association of Social Workers, the largest professional social work organization in the country.

All four organizations, the ANA, ApA, APA and CSWE, along with their affiliates, have direct involvement in curriculum development, school accreditation and pre-/post-doctoral training.  All four have experience in working directly with university training programs from which the pools of participants are selected.  These are the only organizations that have the infrastructure and expertise in place to administer this program.  They already have mechanisms and databases in place to identify students serving underserved populations.  All four organizations have developed relationships with appropriate minority professional organizations that may serve as useful liaisons; for instance, APA has developed relationships with the Association of Black Psychologists, Native American Psychological Association, Hispanic Psychological Association and Asian American Psychological Association.  Each organization assists APA in identifying pools of qualified applicants.

Because of their unique characteristics and long history, these four organizations - the ANA, ApA, APA and CSWE - were chosen more than 30 years ago as the exclusive representatives for education/training in their respective fields.  During that time, they have administered their MFP programs exceptionally well.  They have recruited excellent students, assured that all program requirements were satisfied and effectively monitored the progress of Fellows during and after the fellowship period.  Their MFP Fellows have been successful in addressing the MFP goals of providing leadership in the delivery of mental health/substance use services to ethnic underserved communities.  These MFP grantees continue to operate in their unique position of representing this core of mental health and substance use disciplines exceptionally well. 

In addition to the four professional associations that have been eligible for MFP grants in the past, Congress expanded eligibility in Fiscal Year 2007 to the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). The addition of AAMFT has provided an opportunity to expand the pool of doctoral level students who are trained to teach, administer, conduct services research and provide direct mental health/substance use services to underserved populations in the public sector, consistent with Congressional intent. 

Therefore, eligibility has been restricted to only these five organizations.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism:


Anticipated Total Available Funding: $3.837 million
Anticipated Number of Awards: 5
Anticipated Award Amount:

From $300,000 to $900,000

Length of Project Period: Three years

The five awards may range from $300,000 to $900,000 in total costs (direct and indirect) for the three-year project period.  Funding determinations will be made based on the results of an independent peer grant review process, demonstrated track record in running an MFP program, perceived program needs and the availability of funds.  Applicants may apply for a grant award based upon funding amounts in prior years or funds necessary for new recruitment, selection, monitoring and fellowships.

Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions.  Applicants should be aware that Congress funded this program in the FY 2008 appropriation for SAMHSA even though funding for the program was not requested in the FY 2008 President’s budget. Funding beyond FY 2008 is not guaranteed.  SAMHSA is allowing applicants to submit proposals for two additional budget years for planning purposes and for technical assistance in sustainability activities. 

Contact Information

For questions on program issues, contact:

Antoine Smith, MPH
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 2-1124
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-2006

For questions on grants management issues, contact:

Gwendolyn Simpson
Office of Program Services, Division of Grants Management     
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road
Room 7-1085
Rockville, Maryland 20857
(240) 276-1408

Documents needed to complete a grant application:

Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

Download the complete Announcement No. SM-08-006

MS Word Format Download RFA in MS Word format
PDF Format Download RFA in Adobe PDF format

You must respond to the requirements in the RFA in preparing your application.

PHS 5161-1 (revised July 2000): Includes the face page, budget forms and checklist. Applications that are not submitted on the required application form will be screened out and will not be reviewed.

Additional Materials

For further information on the forms and the application process, see Useful Information for Applicants

Additional materials available on this website include:

Last updated: 12/12/2008