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Strategy for NIH Funding
Strategy for Resubmitting · Part 7. Funding
Pages of Part 6. If Not Funded.
Resubmissions have several unique rules, for example, you must address all of your reviewers' points and highlight their comments in the introduction and usually in the Research Plan (unless too much has changed).
Though you may be able to start revising before you get your summary statement, you'll need the summary statement for your discussion with your program officer and to address the reviewers' feedback in the application.
Know the steps to take and read our tips for an effective resubmission.
(This section has factual information only; for advice on this topic, go to Our Advice below.)
Discuss the reviewers' points one by one.
Enhance your application in any way you can—even in areas your reviewers did not question, for example, by adding new data.
Before deciding to resubmit, you may want to assess your options—read What to Do if You Get Bad News and Options if Your Application Isn't Funded in this Part.
When you resubmit, you're playing by new rules.
Rule 1: You have just one opportunity to resubmit.
Rule 2: You must apply within 37 months of the original application's receipt date.
Rule 3: You must create a one-page introduction and a cover letter. See Create a Cover Letter in Part 4.
Rule 4: In your introduction, you must address all your reviewers' issues that are stated in your summary statement. Reviewers will look for their comments and check that you revised accordingly.
You may also enhance the rest of your application by adding any new information and data you wish.
Here's how to proceed:
Even if you take all these steps, you have no guarantee of success for several reasons:
That said, many people get funded after revising, and usually a resubmission can't hurt you.
Many resubmissions score better than the initial application, though, of course, there's no guarantee. For example, our data show that in FY 2012, R01 resubmissions were 2.5 times more likely to get a better score than a worse one.
Even if your resubmission scores slightly worse, that probably won't affect the funding chances of an earlier application. If you've submitted two applications, NIAID can still fund the earlier one.
eRA Commons will keep both versions of your application active. You'll see the "MAA" (Multiple Active Application) flag in the Commons. When one application is funded, NIH automatically withdraws the other.
(This section has advice only; you should also read the factual information above at Just the Facts.)
You only have one opportunity to resubmit, so make it your best shot.
Make it very clear where you addressed each point the reviewers made, and add any other enhancements you can make to strengthen the application. For details on how to proceed, read the bullets under the Just the Facts section and in Resubmission Tips below.
You may be able to start revising right away, but take the time to do the best job you can.
Do not resubmit until you can send in the strongest possible application that effectively addresses all the reviewers' comments. Get advice from your program officer and experts in your institution before proceeding and again after you prepare your resubmission.
Some people begin revising even before getting the summary statement because waiting may cause them to miss the next receipt date. (Note that new investigators get summary statements at least a month before their next receipt date, though as of 2010, less than 13 percent were able to apply for that date.) Read more at Initial Peer Review and Your Next Steps in Part 5.
You could start revising before you get your summary statement if you have promising new data or other improvements you want to include.
Then after you get your summary statement, add to the revisions you've already made to address peer reviewer concerns.
We strongly recommend that even if your application scored just above the payline or is on a list for possible selective pay or end-of-year funding, don't wait to see what will happen. Start revising as soon as you can and resubmit when ready, keeping in mind the caveats noted above and in the next section below.
Read more about timing in Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award and R01 Planning to Award Timeline by Review Cycle.
Sometimes waiting has little impact on the timing of an award.
Don't rush. It's better to wait for the next receipt date than send an application prematurely. And if you need additional preliminary data or new data is imminent, wait until you have it before resubmitting.
Here are some tips to help you succeed.
Capitalize on your strengths and throw out or revise the parts reviewers felt were weak. Check again that your Specific Aims line up with your hypothesis.
Respond point by point to the reviewers' comments and suggestions even if you disagree. Be respectful.
Identify all changes (usually). Use arrows, brackets, indents, or a new font. You can use Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, Georgia, or a combination. All fonts used should be black, 11 points or larger.
Add new findings and your own improvements. You aren't limited to revising only items mentioned in the summary statement.
For an example of a resubmission application that scored well, see our Sample Grant Application from Adam Ratner, M.D., M.P.H., of Columbia University.
Strategy for NIH Funding
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Last Updated May 20, 2014
Last Reviewed September 30, 2011