See the Glossary for more terms.
If disaster strikes before you can apply, NIH may cut you some slack. You may apply late in these circumstances: natural disasters, personal tragedies, service on an initial peer review group (for permanent members), and problems with electronic submission systems—see the next article.
To apply late, submit your application with a cover letter detailing the timing and cause of the delay. NIH staff will determine whether your explanation is satisfactory.
There are more rules and complexities to applying late. Find details in our Late Applications SOP and the January 4, 2008, Guide notice as well as our Prepare to Submit and Rules for Late Applications in the Strategy for NIH Funding, and the Corrected or Late Electronic Applications questions and answers.
After a major event, NIH issues special notices, as it did in the January 28, 2009, Guide notice announcing application delays due to the recent ice storms.
To help investigators and institutions cope with an emergency, NIH may take these measures:
Read more in NIH Extramural Response to Natural Disasters and Other Emergencies.
This information applies to grants only. For contract proposals, contact the contracting officer listed in the solicitation if you have a compelling need for an extension.
Make sure you document the problem in your cover letter.
When systems performance threatens your submission, NIH has promised to not penalize you if you cannot submit on time to Grants.gov or eRA Commons. But to resolve the issue and avoid being late, you must follow a defined procedure.
Before the submission deadline, call the Grants.gov or eRA Commons help desk—whichever is appropriate—for help and to document the situation.
Then follow any special instructions NIH issues, which can vary depending on the nature of the problem. (See how to receive news from NIH directly at Get News From eRA Commons in the next article.)
Grants.gov is having significant problems now. As described in the January 28, 2009, Guide notice, NIH and Grants.gov are taking two special measures for applicants:
Be sure to include an application cover letter describing the problems and actions you took to correct them as proof that you submitted on time, and note the Grants.gov ticket number.
Let's hope this situation improves as Grants.gov increases its capacity—read more in System Build 2008-03 Successfully Completed. To stay informed, you may be interested in seeing the very detailed Daily System Status Blog.
Learn how the error correction window usually works at Next Step: eRA Commons Validation in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
It's not hard to use the Adobe forms, but we'd like to point out a couple of traps to avoid.
If you haven't done so already, convert any draft application you may have started using PureEdge to Adobe. Simply copy and paste all the information over into the new Adobe forms for your funding opportunity.
Try submitting a PureEdge application package, and you'll get an error message stating that the opportunity has closed. That may not be true—the opportunity may still be open—the error message actually means that Grants.gov will not accept your PureEdge forms.
Make sure that you use the right version of the Adobe forms and Reader and that everyone who opens your application package uses a compatible version of Adobe Reader—8.1.3 is the minimum.
Your computer might have more than one version of Adobe Reader or Acrobat. Many people have both the 8.1.3 or later version as well as one too old for the Adobe forms.
You can inadvertently corrupt your application if you—or others who work on your file—open it with the wrong version. Here's what to do.
Sign up for eRA's electronic submission updates at Get Connected so you get this type of news directly from the source. To avoid redundancy, we don't include all news items in Newsletter and Blog.
Starting now, you may request a higher salary for a new or noncompeting application or for a contract or proposal: $196,700, up from $191,300 last year. You can also rebudget from existing grant funds to pay a salary up to the level of the new cap.
This level is in effect as long as we are under a continuing resolution. After we get our appropriation it may change; we'll let you know if it does. We have also clarified our previous February 4 article, "Ceilings for PI Salaries Slated to Rise".
Fellowship applicants awaiting the transition to electronic submission will have to wait a little longer. Due to Grants.gov-related delays, the move won't happen on April 8 as planned.
Until further notice, continue to use the paper PHS 416-1 fellowship application form. NIH announced the postponement in its January 28, 2009, Guide notice.
If you want a part-time appointment, get NIAID's approval.
Thanks to a new NIH policy, investigators with a career development (K) award may reduce their appointment to part-time.
If you need to go this route, have your institutional business official submit a request for NIAID's approval. You must provide several items, including a justification for the change, a revised mentoring plan from your mentor, and a revised statement of institutional commitment.
For more information on this and other adjustments you can request, see the January 21, 2009, Guide notice.
Reminder: No More Paper Applications
While we're talking about Ks, investigators who submitted an application for the February 12 due date were the first to do so electronically. Remember, this is now the way to apply.
We also mentioned in our December 17, 2008, article "New Adobe-Based Forms . . . With an Asterisk" that Ks follow a new approach for budget, reference letters, biosketches, and intramural labs. Keep this in mind if you're planning an application, and read the December 12, 2008, Guide notice for details.
Now that the 111th Congress is in session, you may want to view NIAID's committees of interest and their leaders.
Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Committee on Energy and Commerce
Subcommittee on Health
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education
Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations
Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
Congress authorizes us to pursue our mission and appropriates tax money to fund research. Read more in the Congress Provides Direction and Funding section of NIAID Funding Opportunity Planning and the Budget Cycle.
Congratulations to Susan Plaeger, recently named director of the Basic Sciences Program in the Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. In this role, she will plan and implement an agenda to advance research on HIV pathogenesis, immunology, and epidemiology as well as drug discovery and development.
No stranger to NIAID, Dr. Plaeger was chief of DAIDS' Pathogenesis and Basic Research Branch for almost ten years. Additionally, she has served the Institute in many capacities, including as a member of our Editorial Board.
Before her tenure here, Dr. Plaeger was associate professor in the Division of Immunology of the Department of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine. She earned a Ph.D. in medical microbiology from the Louisiana State University Medical School in New Orleans.
We'd like to welcome four new members of our main advisory body, the National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council.
Allergy and Immunology (DAIT) Subcommittee
Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID) Subcommittee
For bios and pictures, go to Biographical Sketches of NIAID Council Members on our Advisory Council portal.
If you are an international investigator or have a grant with a foreign component, check out our new grants management course. Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators covers the full spectrum of grants information in these sections:
We based the course on grants policy and management training sessions NIAID staff have been conducting around the world since the fall of 2007. To meet the needs of our international partners, these sessions delve deep into the nitty-gritty of managing an NIH grant.
At the same time, they've given us an outstanding opportunity to hear questions from members of our international research community so we can better address their pain points.
Expect more resources in the future. New modules on human subjects and research animals, the application process, quizzes, and translations are in the works. Please send us your feedback on the course at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can continue to improve it to meet your needs.
We plan to integrate appropriate information into other parts of our Web site, but for now, this is a unique resource for detailed grants management information. Note to domestic grantees: some of the text applies to international grants only, so if you troll here for insights, check with your grants management specialist to make sure it applies to you.
Two new opportunities from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities support research capacity and infrastructure at minority-serving institutions:
Be sure to read the Guide announcements for full details, including eligibility, due dates, and application submission.
Find other NIAID Funding Opportunities List on the Research Funding Web site.
Extend your NIH-supported project to work in low and middle income countries.
Looking for funds for global health research? NIH's Fogarty International Center has several programs for both U.S. and international investigators.
For example, the Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards program funds grants at $150,000 over three years for international research partnerships between NIH-supported scientists and their collaborators in countries of the developing world.
All areas of biomedical and behavioral research supported by NIH are eligible except HIV/AIDS and related illnesses. These grants can give you the opportunity to extend your NIH-supported project to include colleagues and to work in low and middle income countries.
For more information, go to Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards. For information on other research and training grants through FIC, please go to Fogarty International Center Programs.
Take a peek at our new strategic plan if you'd like to see where the Institute is headed in the next few years.
In his introductory letter, NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci notes that the new plan "reflects the input of the broad scientific community in concert with the Institute's staff."
As you'd expect, research priorities have evolved since the publication of the last strategic plan in 2000. NIAID: Planning for the 21st Century (2008) updates our plans to reflect shifting public health needs and scientific opportunities.
Feel free to send us a question at email@example.com. After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.
Yes. According to the NIH Grants Policy Statement, no fellow or trainee "may receive more than five years of total Kirschstein-NRSA support at the predoctoral level and three years at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional research training grants and individual fellowships."
Anyone seeking an exception to the eight-year limit must get a waiver from NIAID. Written requests should include a justification for additional support.
We don't archive this information on our Web site. Instead, you can find it using the search function at FedBizOpps. Award announcements include the contract award number, awardee information, date, dollar amount, and more.
Here are our tips for using the Advanced Search function at FedBizOpps:
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated October 27, 2011
Last Reviewed February 18, 2009