Monday, December 15, 2014

No more Palatino Linotype or italicized text on your resubmission

In a recent notice, NIH  has changed the policy regarding marking new or significantly changed text in revision (a..k.a. resubmission) applications.  You will no longer need to identify changes in text using brackets or other types of text. Instead, all substantial changes, edits, deletions, and responses to reviewer comments must be summarized in the Introduction to the Application. Also, as a reminder, you should address all weaknesses outlined by reviewers - not just the ones you agree with. This change will minimize the headaches involved with submission of revised applications.
Oh, happy day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

They were just kidding!

Although NIH recently released a notice requiring the use of the new, more intensive biosketch format, given the backlash from the research community, they quickly changed course.  Yes, you can stop panicking.  The new biosketches will now be phased in beginning with the May 25 deadline.  For details, read the full NIH announcement here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

An important message in time for the upcoming flu season

This campaign, sponsored by the North Carolina Quality Center, features young children conveying an important message.  It amazes me how many educated people still try to talk their way into receiving antibiotics for something as simple as a runny nose.  Perhaps other states should follow North Carolina's lead and pursue aggressive campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of overprescription of antibiotics.  As a researcher interested in public health, I applaud this type of outreach.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The NEW new biosketch format is here - pay attention!

Beginning with January 25, 2015 due dates, NIH will require the use of the new NIH biographical sketch format, called Version C.  If you want to get a head start, you can start using the new format now.  Both the new and old formats will be accepted through January 25th.  The new biosketch provides a 5 page limit, instead of the previous 4 page limit.  Rather than simply requesting 15 publications, the new format allows you to describe your major contributions to science.  To view the new format page, click here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

NIH-Funded SIDS Research News

A recent publication by a group of NIH-funded researchers found that approximately 40% of infants who died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) had a similar brain abnormality.  Given the controversy surrounding many SIDS cases, this is an important new finding.  Of course, this does not explain the large number of deaths classified as SIDS-related that were later attributed to parental causes, but it does provide evidence to support classifying SIDS as a true medical problem.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Medical Futility Blog: "Lethal Malformations" and Language of "Futility"

Medical Futility Blog: "Lethal Malformations" and Language of "Futility": In the October 2014 Seminars in Neonatal and Fetal Medicine , Dominic Wilkinson and colleagues discuss the use of language surrounding severe congenital malformations.  This seminar brings up a very important issue that is important for everyone engaged in clinical research.  The terms that are used to describe various abnormalities may inadvertently confer some type of clinical judgement.  For example, calling a condition such as anencephaly "incompatible with life" infers that a baby with the condition will not survive, even though babies with the condition can survive for a period of time.  I highly recommend listening to this seminar and giving thought to how it may apply to your line of research. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Top 10 Things Reviewers Should NOT Say in a Review

This list from the Center for Scientific Review made me chuckle.  The list provides advice to reviewers that includes 10 things they should not say when reviewing grants.  Unfortunately, I have seen several of these comments on summary statements.  The one I have seen the most is the "fishing expedition" comment.  Sometimes, though, reviewers have to call a spade a spade.  Some proposals (my own included) really do qualify to be called fishing expeditions.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Center for Scientific Review webinars

The Center for Scientific Review presented a series of webinars this month for potential applicants.  The webinars each include presentations by experts from NIH, as well as question and answer periods at the end.  If you missed your chance to view the webinars, don't worry.  They will all be posted at this link very soon.  I highly recommend the R01 webinar for those who are new to the application process or who have not successfully competed for an R01 grant in the past. 

OppNet helps behavioral and social sciences researchers find funding opportunities

If your research is applicable to the areas of behavioral or social sciences, you should familiarize yourself with OppNet.  Presented by NIH, OppNet's mission is "to pursue opportunities for strengthening basic behavioral and social science research (b-BSSR) at the NIH while innovating beyond existing investments".  OppNet is collectively managed and funded by all NIH institutes and centers.  Find out more about OppNet's current funding here.  There is also a regularly updated page of current NIH funding opportunities related to behavioral and social science research here.