Monday, April 30, 2012

Hello, are you new here?

Are you a new or early stage NIH investigator?  If you have never been PI of an R01 and are within 10 years of completing your terminal degree (MD, PhD, etc.), you may qualify as a new or early stage investigator and receive certain priorities in reviewing.

In recent years, NIH has moved away from self-identification of "new" status.  Rather than ask new investigators to check a box, NIH now uses data from the era commons to identify new and early stage investigators.  Thus, to have a chance at being classified in this category, it is imperative that you UPDATE YOUR ERA COMMONS PROFILE.  Without current and correct data, the system is unable to put your application into the proper category. 

As a new or early stage reviewer, you will be given some special considerations in review.  For starters, you will not be expected to have as many publications under your belt as more seasoned researchers.  Reviewers will look more at your potential for contribution to the field, rather than what you have already done.  With this special consideration comes some additional responsibility on your part.  Demonstrating the resources and mentoring available to you at your institution is much more important for a new investigator.  Reviewers want to see that you not only have potential, but that you also will have advice and assistance available from qualified individuals to make your project successful.  In the Resources and Environment section, new and early stage investigators are expected to include extra information on how their institutional environment will help to contribute to the overall success of the project.  Don't overlook this requirement! 

The most important benefit of new and early stage investigator status, of course, is the higher payline.  These rules are designed to help give an extra advantage to junior faculty and new researchers, to help bring more great minds into their fields.  Having a greater chance of funding, no matter how slight, is worth any amount of extra work that NIH could possibly require! 

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