See the Glossary for more terms.
Events are unfolding quickly as NIH prepares to implement its part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Even as you read this article, NIAID is gearing up to make awards using Recovery Act monies, injecting much needed capital into the research community.
We have $1.12 billion in ARRA money to spend on ready-to-go projects and resources that will stimulate research and create jobs.
In this article, we tell you how you may be able to take advantage of this new infusion of funds. Also check NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act and Recent Changes to the NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act Site for new requests for applications and other information on this rapidly evolving topic.
Funding for NIAID's Investigators
The Recovery Act opens new funding opportunities to investigators. See the New Research Opportunities header below, and read more details at How NIAID Will Use the Stimulus Money and Opportunities for NIAID Applicants.
Please note the following:
Below we outline funding opportunities for NIAID-supported investigators. If you think any of these circumstances apply to you, get more information from your program officer.
Grants for applications in the pipeline. Awarding two-year investigator-initiated research grants is the main thrust of NIAID's spending plan. If you are a new investigator, see New and early-stage investigators below.
During the next few weeks, we will begin making these awards. If our grants management staff request your just-in-time information, send it immediately since time is of the essence.
We are requesting just-in-time information for unfunded R01 applications submitted for funding in FY 2008 and FY 2009 that ranked up to the 25 percentile and R21s or R03s that had an overall impact score of 179 or lower.
R56-Bridge awards. Editor's note March 27: This information has changed. The April 1 issue will report new information.
New and early-stage investigators. For NIAID, you typically will not be affected by the two-year R01s awarded with stimulus money. Fundable applications will get a four- or five-year award from our regularly appropriated FY 2009 funds—see NIAID Paylines.
New investigators should keep these facts in mind:
Learn more about how the Recovery Act affects you at New Investigators in Opportunities for NIAID Applicants.
Fellowships and career awards. We will award or extend some fellowships and career development awards.
Supplements to existing grants. We expect to award a very small number of administrative supplements for various needs. Talk to your program officer for guidance. For equipment costing more than $100,000, see the entry for equipment and infrastructure below.
New Research Opportunities
In addition to the types of support mentioned above, NIH is issuing new initiatives you can apply for. Find details at Opportunities for NIAID Applicants.
Did you submit an investigator-initiated application that did not succeed and are now considering one of the requests for applications listed below?
You may submit the exact same application in response to any RFA. Do not do this if you want to be considered for a two-year R01 from NIAID—talk to your program officer for guidance.
This policy, as well as the converse, is standard NIH practice. See May I resubmit as investigator-initiated an application not funded under an RFA? and May I respond to an RFA if my investigator-initiated application was not funded?
Equipment and infrastructure—the National Center for Research Resources has $1.3 billion of funds to spend on grants for infrastructure and equipment costing more than $100,000. Read more in in Opportunities for NIAID Applicants.
Challenge grants—NIH will spend at least $200 million in FY 2009 and FY 2010 to fund 200 or more grants at $500,000 a year in total costs for two years.
Here are NIAID's highest priorities.—find details at Challenge Topics for NIAID:
Go to the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research site and the RFA Recovery Act Limited Competition: NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research. Deadlines are coming quickly, so act fast.
Roadmap grants— NIH Director's Pioneer Award Program will have new programs using stimulus money. No details yet.
Comparative effectiveness research—$400 million in grant funding will pass through to NIH. We don't have much information about this program as yet, but we will let you know as soon as we do.
Know Your New Responsibilities
While ARRA creates significant opportunities for investigators, it requires a new mindset for speed and reporting. Be in the know by visiting Don't Confuse Stimulus Money With Our FY 2009 Budget.
Because this is not business as usual, you will need to know the requirements you and your institution will have after ARRA funding.
NIH published a Standard Terms and Conditions for ARRA Awards, and more information is coming. Read more about what to do after you get ARRA funding at What You Need to Do if You Get Stimulus Funds.
During the next month or two, NIAID will use over $1 billion of Recovery Act money to fund new grants with new terms and conditions.
This new money means a lot of heavy lifting, and the brunt of the burden falls on our grants management staff, who have to review, process, and award two years' worth of competing awards in only six months—in addition to their regular workload.
So they can tackle this critical assignment without delay, we are prioritizing grant actions—for example, delaying the award of noncompeting grants until we finish ARRA funding—and hiring temporary staff to help.
Our grants staff expect to have a backlog for the rest of the fiscal year, but we're confident that with your patience, we will meet all deadlines to get or keep you funded. If you have or expect a grant, we'll take care of you, but expect delays.
You can help us by responding to all our requests within three business days, even if they don't seem critical to you. Designate somebody to answer our phone calls or forward our emails to you whenever you're out of touch for an extended period of time.
Keep in mind that, if you're in line for ARRA funding, we may skip you if you don't respond in time.
We appreciate your understanding. Once we get through this challenging period, we'll go back to business as usual.
On March 11, President Obama signed the federal government's FY 2009 spending bill into law. This fiscal year's level lifts the NIH budget to $30.4 billion, a 3.2 percent increase, while NIAID got a 2.6 percent budget boost.
As a result of the news, we have modified parts of our financial operating plan as follows:
Visit our Budget and Funding portal for updates and detailed NIAID information on payline and the financial management plan.
Be sure to Subscribe to Email Alerts or edit your existing profile to include payline and budget information to receive automatic email updates.
Government watchdogs on the new Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board will help citizens track spending of Recovery Act funds and will run the new Recovery.gov Web site.
Members are Inspectors General from about ten major cabinet agencies such as the Departments of Justice, Treasury, and Commerce.
The White House issued a February 23, 2009, press release detailing Vice President Joe Biden's leadership role and announcing the appointment of Earl Devaney as chair of the Board.
Before the Board's first meeting, submit comments and questions using Recovery.gov's Contact Us form.
President Obama chose Jeffrey S. Crowley to be the new director of the Office of National AIDS Policy, advising the administration on HIV/AIDS issues and overseeing federal policies.
Mr. Crowley is a senior research scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute, a senior scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and a leading expert in public health policy.
For the last 14 years, he has been working to improve access to health and social services for people living with HIV/AIDS, people with physical and mental disabilities, and low-income and other vulnerable populations.
Climates may be changing but NIH's policy is not: when severe weather strikes, applicants get a break.
If this month's winter storm took its toll, you can submit your application late, following NIH's usual guidelines. Make sure your delay does not exceed the time your institution was closed. No need to ask our permission—just state the reason for being late in your cover letter.
See the March 2, 2009, Guide notice for the official word.
You spoke, we listened. Based on feedback from the scientific community, NIAID is planning to publish a new program announcement on Basic Research on HIV-1 Persistence (R01) soon. Please be aware that there is an upcoming standard HIV/AIDS receipt date on May 7, so you may want to start preparing your application now.
The PA emphasizes new ideas and approaches in HIV-1 persistence, including:
Results from these studies may inform future investigations on the design of therapeutic strategies to achieve long-term remission without treatment, eradication of residual virus, and even a cure for HIV infection and AIDS.
NIAID anticipates that this will be the first in a series of funding opportunity announcements aimed at understanding the basic mechanisms of HIV persistence and using this information to develop ways to control and eliminate the virus-carrying cells.
Applications that score beyond the R01 payline may be considered for funding through the Recovery Act.
If you have questions about the PA, contact DAIDS's Janet Young at firstname.lastname@example.org. To receive notification of the PA's publication by email, Subscribe to Email Alerts.
Are you looking for additional funding? Check out two FDA-related and two manufacturing-related Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer Research (STTR) funding opportunity announcements (FOAs).
Applicants must propose research and development of a clearly identified product that requires FDA approval for one of the following:
One example of a clearly identified product is research focused on a lead compound for an AIDS drug. Conversely, research to develop an assay to identify lead compounds does not have a clearly identified product and would not be appropriate.
When responding to these FOAs, submit only applications meeting the advanced technology definition. These announcements are identical to the older PA-06-134 and PA-06-135 but have new review criteria.
Two other recently reissued SBIR and STTR FOAs, which also have new review criteria, may interest you:
We encourage U.S. small businesses to submit phase I and phase II SBIR and STTR applications. Although you may submit fast-track applications, for NIAID, they have rarely received fundable scores. Remember, your application will be assigned to NIAID only if it fits within the Institute's mission.
See all NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
Don't put your institution at risk. Be sure to properly report recombinant DNA incidents such as accidental release, occupational exposure, theft, or unauthorized access. Here's how:
These rules hold even if you've already reported the incident to another federal agency.
To learn more about your responsibilities, start reading from the first question in the Incident Reports to the NIH Office of Biotechnology Activities (OBA) section of OBA's Frequently Asked Questions Concerning IBCs.
For general information, see OBA's Recombinant DNA.
Did you know that in some cases, the automated system NIH uses to determine whether you are a new or early-stage investigator can result in an error?
Though the system uses information you entered in your Commons profile, it has its limitations.
For example, it will not detect that you replaced a PI for a major grant. It simply sees that you are the PI and therefore not qualified to be a new investigator, which may not be the case (if you meet the other criteria, you would qualify because you did not apply for that grant).
That's just one example. There may be other reasons why your information may not be correct.
It is very important to check your Commons profile to make sure your new or early-stage investigator status is in order. If it isn't, contact the Commons Help Desk and ask that they change it. In your email, include your name and the application number.
Similarly, early-stage investigator status is system-determined by information you entered on your terminal degree or discipline-specific training.
In either case, be sure to enter your data correctly—it can't hurt to double check.
We last wrote about this topic in our January 21, 2009, article "All New Investigators—Not Just ESIs—Must Update Commons Profiles."
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.
"How confidential is my grant application?"—an anonymous reader
NIH has strict rules to protect confidentiality.
Unfunded applications are confidential. If your application is funded, NIH makes the title and abstract public through CRISP.
Generally, NIH will release funded applications in response to a FOIA request after working with applicants to make sure no portion could violate personal privacy or reveal confidential commercial or financial information.
Please see Privacy, Conduct, Conflict of Interest, and Clinical Research Ethics for more information.
"What are the guidelines for a trainee or postdoctoral fellow on a T32 training grant to take parental leave?"—Susan Lau, University of California, San Francisco
Trainees may receive stipends for up to 60 calendar days of parental leave a year for the adoption or birth of a child as long as the use of parental leave is approved by the training grant PI, and those in comparable training positions at the grantee institution have the same benefit.
NIH does not permit terminal leave or payment from training funds for leave not taken. See the section on Leave Policies in the T32 program announcement Revised NIH Parental Leave Policy for the Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Awards or the original section it references Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants (T32).
"After four years of biochemistry, I want to learn more applied research approaches. With the new stimulus package, what are the chances that I would be awarded another fellowship, or should I try for a career development award?"—Janet Lindow, University of Vermont
Your chances of getting a second postdoc fellowship are very remote. You could try for a Research Scholar Development Award (K22), but getting an award may be difficult if you're in a new field and don't have publications or much experience.
"Can you tell me what training grants are available to non-US citizens, specifically post-doctoral fellows?"—Laura Middleton, University of California, San Francisco
The Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) is the only training grant or career award for which non-U.S. citizens may apply. Be aware that we make very few K99/R00 awards. For more information, read our Pathway to Independence Awards (K99/R00) SOP.
Applicants with U.S. citizenship or permanent residency status (Alien Registration Receipt Card, Form I-551) have other training grant or career award options. To learn what they are, read the Advice on Research Training and Career Awards.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated July 08, 2011
Last Reviewed March 27, 2009