Monday, August 4, 2014

Think your multi-PI application may have a better chance at funding? Think again.

Several years ago, NIH began allowing multi-PI applications, which is essentially the same as co-PI applications allowed by other funders, but not actually called co-PIs.  Recently, I worked with a group of researchers who were convinced that a multi-PI application, with one more senior faculty member and one junior faculty member sharing PI responsibilities, would be better received by reviewers.  Given that the responsibilities and proposal plans did not lend themselves well to this arrangement, I encouraged them to pick one PI and not submit the multi-PI application simply in an attempt to game the system.  Based on this recent posting and analysis conducted by NIH, I feel vindicated.  Over a 4-year span, only in one year was there a significantly improved likelihood of funding success for multi-PI applications.  Overall, the chances for a single PI application are pretty much equal.  This is a good thing to keep in mind for those of you who are in the midst of discussing PI and Co-I roles for the fall deadlines.

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