Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Starting with the basics

For those new to NIH grant proposal writing, NIH provides a fantastic overview of the grant submission and review process.  The schematic (located here) links to detailed introductory information and instructions.

Accompanying the schematic is a video that provides further details on the grants process.

Read the content, watch the video, and you will have a basic foundation that will help you to understand the ins and outs of the NIH grants process.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy 4th of July!

I hope you had a safe and fun holiday.  Enjoy these fireworks under a microscope!

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sample R03 proposal

The June 5th R01 deadline is technically extended to tomorrow because it falls on the weekend.  For those of you preparing for other upcoming June NIH grant proposal deadlines, this sample R03 application may be useful.  Or, you may want to review several examples of successful R21 proposals located here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Forms-D Applications are now required

As of tomorrow, all grant proposals will be transitioning to the new NIH Forms-D package.  Learn all you need to know about the updated forms here.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Writing an NIH proposal? Time can be your best friend or worst enemy.

Perhaps nobody provides better advice than NIH on how to plan for the writing of a grant application.  In the "Plan Your Application" section of the recently updated NIH website, "Organize Your Time to Complete the Application" stresses the importance of submitting your application days, not hours, before the deadline.  Considering the large number of proposals I have seen submitted minutes before the deadline, under great stress from the PIs and everyone around them, I highly recommend taking NIH's advice on this.

Who do I talk to?

Often, individuals refer to the "NIH Program Officer" when speaking of NIH staff members who provide feedback and guidance on planned proposal submissions.  Most RFAs list several points of contact, all with different titles.  How do you know who to contact when you have a question?  Who can review your specific aims to help determine if your project is a good fit for a particular institute or funding opportunity?  A breakdown of the roles of various types of NIH program staff is provided here.  Of particular note, the Program Official "is responsible for the programmatic, scientific, and/or technical aspects of assigned applications and grants".

Saturday, May 14, 2016

NIH Focused on Maximizing Return on Investments

A recent blog post provides an overview of the methodology currently in use by NIH to look at its return on research grant investments.  Citations per dollar are being examined for R01s as a way to measure impact.  The main take-home from this study is that more funding = greater impact.  Personally, I like that NIH has found a way to use statistical analysis to show the impact of grant funding on research advances.  Perhaps this will help to show our elected officials the importance of the NIH funding portfolio when they make decisions that affect budget allocations and government spending.  Whether we are going to see a President Trump, Sanders, or Clinton, nobody can argue with the numbers.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

You can now use special characters in your titles and file names for NIH applications

Yes, that's right.  Use all the betas and sigmas you wish, because NIH has updated the grant systems to allow for the use of special characters in titles and file names.  See the details here.