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Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding. Link to Part 1. Qualify for NIH Funding.Link to Part 2. Pick and Design a Project.Link to Part 3. Write Your Application.Link to Part 4. Submit Your Application.Link to Part 5. Assignment and Review.Link to Part 6. If Not Funded.Link to Part 7. Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Advice for Managing Your Grant   ·   Approaches for Staying FundedNext page in Strategy.

Strategy for Staying Funded

Note: This page does not reflect NIH's revised policy for application submission. See the April 17, 2014, Guide notice.

We will update this page soon.

 

On this page, you'll find our strategy for maintaining funding for your career. Get tips on planning new projects, and consider a small award or other ways to generate preliminary data.

We also give you ideas about and links to other funding sources besides NIH.

See our strategy to renew your grant, a common failure point for many investigators, and learn how to prepare your renewal.

Long-Term Strategy for Staying Funded

Stagger multiple applications.

Action Summary Learn More

Have several applications in the works to boost your chances that one will succeed.

Start planning new applications early, after the first year of your grant or even while you're waiting to hear about funding, by considering:

  • Are there offshoots of your research that could be the basis of another project?
  • Have you uncovered a new line of promising research that you could execute?
  • Do you have new collaborators who will enable you to go in a promising new direction?

To maximize your chances of success, submit new and renewal applications at different times.

Our Advice

Pick and Design a Project in Part 2

Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

When planning another application, make sure of the following.

The topic is clearly distinct from your funded work.

You do not dilute your best ideas with too many applications too close in topic.

You can juggle all the work. Your level of effort must not exceed 100 percent for all your work.

Even though you're busy, keep publishing.

Our Advice

Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

Take different routes such as R21 or R03; look into joining a multiproject grant.

Action Summary Learn More

Go for a smaller activity code; become part of a multiproject grant.

To explore a new avenue of research, consider applying for a smaller activity code:

  • Exploratory/developmental grant (R21)
  • Small grant (R03)

NIAID accepts investigator-initiated applications for R21s and R03s in response to:

  • NIH parent program announcements
  • NIAID requests for applications (RFA) and program announcements (PA)

Find our RFAs and PAs on our NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

Find other NIH opportunities in the NIH Guide.

As another funding option, consider getting your research included as part of a multiproject grant, e.g., a program project or other team science effort that could benefit from your work.

Just the Facts

NIH's Parent Program Announcements

NIH's R03 and R21

Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants SOP

Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants questions and answers

Definitions

Our Advice

Choose the Grant in Part 2

Should You Apply for an R21?

Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

See if you can reuse an unfunded application.

Action Summary Learn More

Can you reuse an unfunded application?

If your application does not succeed, you can apply for funding for the same research if you:

  • Submit an investigator-initiated application after responding unsuccessfully to an RFA.
  • Respond to an RFA after unsuccessfully submitting an investigator-initiated application.
  • Apply for a different activity code, e.g., after unsuccessfully applying for an R01, you apply for an R21.

Just the Facts

You May Reuse Some Types of Applications in Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

NIH's Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications

Definition: activity code

Our Advice

Reuse an Unfunded Application in Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

Look into other funding sources.

Action Summary Learn More

Consider R&D contract funding at NIH.

Watch for solicitations that may match your capabilities.

Just the Facts

Why You May Want to Consider a Contract

About NIAID R&D Contracts

Extramural R&D Solicitations

Our Advice

How to Decide if a Solicitation Is for You on Why You May Want to Consider a Contract

Look into funding sources outside NIH.

Consider these funding sources: other government agencies, foundations, companies you could collaborate with and earn income.

If your NIH application does not succeed, you can apply for funding for the same research from a non-PHS agency or other organization outside the federal government. You may only accept one award.

Our Advice

Broaden Your Horizons in Approaches for Staying Funded in Part 7

If you are a new investigator, take this advice.

Action Summary Learn More

Don't wait until you begin an academic appointment to write your first application.

Toward the end of your postdoc, tap the knowledge of people who are familiar with your work and in the best position to give you feedback.

Writing any grant application increases your chances of success for future applications.

Our Advice

Hatch a Plan for Your Career in Pick a Research Project in Part 2

 

How to Renew

Have a strategy.

Action Summary Learn More

With plenty of time before your funding ends, answer these questions.

Do I want to continue the current project at roughly the same level of resources?

When should I apply?

How will I maintain funding if I don't succeed on the first try?

Our Advice

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Submit a renewal or a new application.

Action Summary Learn More

Decide whether to submit a renewal or a new application.

You can choose to renew your grant by submitting a renewal, or you can apply with a new application.

Your situation and the science dictate which route is most advantageous.

Find more information and advice in the links at right.

Just the Facts

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

NIH's Evaluation of Unallowable Resubmission and Overlapping Application

Our Advice

Option 2: Create a New Application in Choose Your Option in Part 6

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Decide when to apply.

Action Summary Learn More

Avoid a gap in funding.

Give yourself enough time to get an award before your grant ends.

Weigh the pros and cons of applying early in your grant rather than waiting until the last possible receipt date before you would incur a funding gap.

  • Pros:
    • If you apply early, you could get earlier feedback on your application.
    • You gain time to revise and resubmit.
  • Cons:
    • If you apply before your research yields significant results, you could squander the initial goodwill of the reviewers.
    • Your application will likely be affected by the unknowable payline for the next fiscal year. We cannot fund a new grant until just before the old one ends.

Ask your program officer for advice.

Our Advice

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Don't wait too long to submit a renewal after your grant ends.

NIH does not set a time limit, but reviewers will probably be concerned by major gaps between projects because the science has likely changed.

Prepare a new application if the research is dated.

Our Advice

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Tie the renewal to the previous grant.

Action Summary Learn More

Link your plans to your previous grant's aims, do not duplicate its aims, and show progress.

Assess what the outside world (including reviewers) thinks of your research when planning your next project.

Revisit the science in light of trends in the field.

Know that you don't have to complete everything you agreed to when you got the grant, but you do need to show that you made progress.

Publish before you apply.

Reassess your grant's Research Plan, especially the Significance section.

Our Advice

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Know how to fill out the forms.

Action Summary Learn More

Follow the same format and page limits as a new application with a few exceptions.

PHS 398 Research Plan

  • Include a Progress Report instead of Preliminary Studies.
  • Attach a Progress Report Publication List.
  • If you are conducting clinical research, fill out the Targeted/Planned Enrollment Table.

Senior/Key Person Profile

  • Highlight your inventions and patents in your biosketch.

SF 424 (Cover Page)—several items unique to renewals; follow the SF 424 Application Guide.

Just the Facts

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

SF 424 Application Guide

If you change the title, let NIH know you're submitting a renewal.

While it is often best to keep the same title, use a different title if it's a better fit.

If you change the title, check the box on the checklist (the last page) of the grant application indicating that your application is a renewal.

Our Advice

How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Plan your budget.

Action Summary Learn More

Request the amount of money you need to perform the research.

Check our financial plan page to see if we are using a budget cap on the amount of money you can request for a renewal R01 at 20 percent above the previous award.

Learn how to cope with the budget cap.

Live within your means.

Talk to your program officer for advice.

Just the Facts

Financial Management Plan

Renewal Funding SOP

Renewal Application questions and answers

Our Advice

Strategies for Dealing With a Budget Cap in How to Renew Your Application in Part 7

Know what to do if your renewal does not succeed.

Action Summary Learn More

If your renewal does not succeed, revise.

Keep in mind the length of time it may take to get an award.

Plan to avoid a break in funding. See "Avoid a gap in funding" under Decide when to apply above.

You may still need to wait until the end of the fiscal year to get funded even if your application is approved for selective pay.

  • Revise even if nominated for selective pay.
  • If you resubmit and get a worse score, we can usually fund the previous application.

Get advice on resubmissions in Part 6. If Not Funded.

Just the Facts

Selective Pay SOP

R56-Bridge Awards and Selective Pay questions and answers 

Strategy Timelines

Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award

Our Advice

Revise, Don't Wait for Later Funding in Timing Factors That Affect Your Application and Award

Strategy for NIH Funding
Navigation for the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Previous page in Strategy.Advice for Managing Your Grant   ·   Approaches for Staying FundedNext page in Strategy.

See the other sections of
Part 7. Funding

Table of Contents for the Strategy

We welcome your comments, questions, or suggestions. Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov.

Last Updated April 17, 2014

Last Reviewed January 03, 2012