Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Innovation should be a simple section to write

When writing the Research Strategy section of your application, you have three major sections to worry about: Significance, Innovation, and Approach.  The Significance section typically takes up approximately 1 page, although in some cases it is longer.  The Innovation section tends to cause unnecessary trips to CVS to buy ibuprofen in the middle of the night.  I am not sure why, but many people make this section much more difficult than it needs to be.  If your proposal is truly innovative, the overall innovative nature of the proposal can be summed up in 1-2 sentences. This should be followed by several bullets highlighting various innovative aspects of your proposal.  Be cautious about seeming too innovative, especially if you are a new investigator.  Proposing to apply an innovative method to solve a problem is one thing - saying you will cure all breast cancers with a 5-year R01 sounds like an exaggeration.  Remember: For the most part, NIH grants are focused on making incremental progress that will advance the field of knowledge - not giant, high-risk leaps.

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