See the Glossary for more terms.
If you're applying January 25 or later, download ADOBE-FORMS-B for an electronic application.
For a paper application, use the PHS 398 dated June 2009.
Restructured and shorter grant applications, revamped forms, and even new announcement numbers—we're gearing up for the last big shift from enhanced peer review.
The latest push starts on January 25 with cycle I receipt dates—check Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications to see when the change affects your application.
For example, most new R01s move to the new forms on the February 5 receipt date, but AIDS applications don't change over until May 7. Both paper and electronic applications are making the switch.
To learn more, read our advice and information below, and find the official announcement in the September 16, 2009, Guide notice.
Getting the Form Right
In some cases you'll see two forms in the funding opportunity announcement (FOA). Make sure you know which one to use.
Neither Grants.gov nor NIH will accept old forms after the change.
About the New Forms
In last month's article, "Prime Yourself for New Applications, Peer Review," we mentioned the new application forms.
You can get all the details, including new instructions, in NIH's Details of Application Changes. Here are the basics.
Research Strategy Will Replace Much of the Research Plan
Revised on January 20, 2010, due to new incoming information: Applicants can either include preliminary studies or progress report information as a subsection of Approach or integrate it into all three main parts of the Research Strategy.
Much of the old Research Plan become the new Research Strategy. To align with review criteria, Research Strategy has these parts:
Note that NIH kept a one-page Specific Aims section, but it is not part of the Research Strategy.
For more information on the initial peer review criteria—the basis for assessing the merit of your application—read our Review Criteria SOP and How NIH Review Criteria Affect Your Score in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
Biosketches and Resources
For your Biographical Sketch, you'll get personal and winnow your publications. You'll have to include a personal statement that describes why your experience and qualifications make you well-suited for the project.
Though your publications may reflect your expertise, NIH strongly recommends that you to limit them to your best, most recent, and most relevant to your application—15 in all.
For the new resources section, you'll describe unique features and how the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of your success. Early-stage investigators: discuss your institution's investment in you, including resources and training.
Know Your Page Limits
With the introduction of the Research Strategy come new page limits. Bottom line: you'll have to squeeze a lot into not a lot of space.
NIH will allow higher page limits under special circumstances for some FOAs that now exceed the standard page limit. When writing your application, always check your FOA's Guide notice to be sure.
You can find additional detail on page limits by application section and grant type at NIH's Table of Page Limits.
What's Coming When
In November and December, you will see new instructions and forms.
Parent program announcements will have new numbers.
In the next few months, a complex process will take place to make the transition to the new forms. Here's what to expect.
Where to Find Information
Use these resources to find what you need:
Have Your Say
NIH's enhancing peer review initiative has led to a host of policy and process shifts that have deeply affected the extramural research community.
We'd like to know what you think about these changes. Send us your comments and suggestions at email@example.com.
The Institute is seeking broad input on how to create a cross-divisional resource.
On September 14, Council members heard about a recently convened meeting referred to as the "NIAID Consultation on Developing Clinical Research Infrastructure for Infectious Diseases: 2010 to 2020."
It was presented by Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., NIAID's principal deputy director and H. Clifford Lane, M.D., our deputy director for clinical research and special projects.
This Consultation brought together NIAID staff with extramural investigators who have expertise in infectious disease clinical research to figure out the most effective infrastructure for conducting NIAID-supported clinical research.
At the Pacific Health Summit last June, NIAID Director Dr. Anthony S. Fauci signaled a possible shift for the HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks, including using them to study other infectious diseases. Since then, the Institute has determined that, in the future, the HIV clinical trials infrastructure will be used for research on tuberculosis, hepatitis, influenza, and perhaps other diseases.
The Institute is seeking broad input on how to create a cross-divisional clinical research infrastructure that would be flexible enough to undertake research on important scientific and public health questions relating to a wider range of infectious diseases.
We will not maintain the status quo by simply recompeting the existing HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks. Eight internal NIAID working groups are exploring what the infrastructure for new networks might look like and what funding models would be best.
Implementing changes in our clinical research infrastructure will be a lengthy process, and we will update you as we have more information to share.
Don't be surprised if the Recovery Act's reporting guidelines become de rigueur.
Don't be surprised if the Recovery Act's reporting guidelines become de rigueur. They very well may if Vice President Joe Biden has his way.
During a September 3 briefing on ARRA's progress 200 days after its enactment, Mr. Biden encouraged federal agencies to adopt long-term the business practices they're using to meet the Act's transparency, efficiency, and accountability requirements.
As he stated, "We've never followed the dollars the way we are now and this should be the start of a new way of doing business rather than the implementation of a single program."
Find additional details at Biden Wants Recovery Act Business Practices to Become Routine on GovCentral's Stimulus Jobs & Updates page.
And to learn more about what you need to report, go to Special Reporting Requirements in NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act.
On average, NIH funds nearly 40 percent of new LRP applications.
Would you jump at the chance to shave off some of your student loan debt? Jump away—NIH's Loan Repayment Programs (LRP) could repay up to $35,000 of your educational debt each year if you're an eligible doctoral-level clinician or researcher.
LRP is now accepting applications for FY 2010. Even though you have until December 1 to get yours in, you may want to get an early start on writing it. The deadline will be here before you know it.
If you're wondering whether it's even worth submitting, take heart. On average NIH funds nearly 40 percent of new LRP applications. What's more, LRP participants stay in research careers longer, apply for and receive more grants, and become independent investigators more frequently than their peers who go without LRP funding.
Learn more about LRP at NIAID's Loan Repayment Programs and NIH's Loan Repayment Programs Extramural Programs.
Shortly after the new application cycle opened, NIH's Division of Loan Repayment—which oversees extramural LRP activities—ushered in a new director: Milton Hernandez, Ph.D.
You may recognize his name since he was the director of our Office of Special Populations and Research Training, where he planned, developed, and implemented programs and projects related to training and career development.
No stranger to LRP, Dr. Hernandez was a longtime liaison to the program and chair of the LRP Policy Advisory Committee before becoming LRP's director.
We realize that for many of you, Dr. Hernandez wasn't just an LRP contact. He was also your go-to for training- and career-related questions and issues.
Until a new director comes on board, we have a new contact email for your inquiries. Use AITrainingHelpDesk@niaid.nih.gov. An NIAID staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.
So far this fiscal year, the success rate for our new investigators is 19.3 percent compared to 19.2 percent for experienced PIs.
New investigator success for R01 applications has varied greatly among the institutes, but so far, NIAID's new PIs have done well.
This fiscal year, the success rate for our new investigators is 19.3 percent compared to 19.2 percent for experienced PIs.
During that time, we made 250 non-ARRA R01-equivalent awards to experienced investigators and 149 to new ones. Note: R01 equivalents are R01, R23, R29, and MERIT awards.
If you remember, one of the goals of NIH's new investigator policies was for new and experienced investigator success rates to reach parity. We were given targets to achieve, and our performance was tracked. New NIH data now show that NIAID hit its mark.
A success rate is determined by the number of awards divided by the number of applications, so parity in success rates does not mean parity in award numbers.
The data noted above are for FY 2009 as of August 25; the fiscal year is not over until the end of this month.
Check out the AIDS Research and Reagent Repository's hydroxyethyl cellulose -- a.k.a. universal—placebo.
Looking for a placebo for basic and preclinical testing of topical microbicide candidates, but want it in a handy form? The AIDS Research and Reagent Repository's hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) placebo -- also called universal placebo—fills this important gap.
Packaged in vaginal applicators, the well-characterized reagent has minimal impact on the cervicovaginal environment and little to no intrinsic anti-HIV activity. The convenient dosage format can be used for in vitro assays or explant tissue studies, and can be used to study efficacy and safety in animals.
The universal placebo has substantial in vitro and in vivo data to support its use. The volume of placebo in the applicators is used routinely in monkeys, and the vaginal applicator may allow a more uniform dosing and handling for both vaginal and rectal microbicide studies.
Please note that you may not use the universal placebo clinically.
NIH AIDS Research and Reference Reagent Program has two high-quality lots either in pre-filled applicators (3.6 g gel) or in bulk—see Reagent Data Sheet—Catalog # 11691. To make a request, follow the Repository's standard request procedure at Register and Order Reagents.
Get a chance to network with fellow investigators and NIH program staff.
Set your GPS for Bethesda on Thursday, October 8. NIH will showcase the work and progress of investigators supported through the Interdisciplinary Research program of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research.
The one-day meeting, "Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research: Methodological and Technological Innovation in the Behavioral and Social Sciences" will feature plenary talks and a poster session highlighting grantee projects.
Participants will have a chance to network with fellow investigators and NIH program staff. To see the scheduled events and speakers, go to the agenda.
If you plan to attend this free meeting, you must sign up at Roadmap 2009 Registration.
NIAID will look at your information to make sure you're on track to use all your ARRA money.
PIs have a major stake in ARRA reporting even if their institutions are taking care of it for them. Expect repercussions if it is not done on time, possibly including the suspension of your grant.
Plus, NIAID will look at your information to make sure you're on track to use all your ARRA funds. Remember, ARRA grants are supposed to stimulate the economy now, and we expect you to spend your money as soon as possible. See Change Your Mindset for Spending on What You Need to Do if You Get Stimulus Funds.
While the ARRA quarterly reporting requirement is stringent, new, and different, you can find good resources online to help.
Don't miss ARRA Grantees—Know Your Reporting Requirements in our August 26, 2009, issue for important caveats and tips.
Sending us your ARRA success story just got easier with our new online form. Go to How Have ARRA Funds Helped You? to fill in some basic identifying information and a few words about how ARRA funding has helped you, your lab, and your research.
You can read what your colleagues have written at ARRA Success Stories. We will post yours there too, usually within a day.
We've streamlined our ARRA pages a bit to make things easier to find and put a special yellow box on the right side of the front page NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act for the stories.
OCGR can help with your press releases.
Are you about to publish a discovery? Contact our Office of Communications and Government Relations (OCGR).
OCGR staff can get coverage from major news outlets and national publications by preparing news releases and coordinating media inquiries.
We are always looking for newsworthy findings, so call as soon as your article is accepted for publication. We will determine how to best highlight your research and field questions from the press.
Read more in our Requesting NIAID's Help on Publicizing Research Advances SOP.
Feel free to send us a question at firstname.lastname@example.org. After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.
No. Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators provide research experiences and jobs for students solely during their summer break from school.
However, you may use unspent funds in the summer of 2010 or the summer of 2011 under certain circumstances. See Is an administrative supplement received for a 2009 summer research experience eligible for a 12-month no-cost extension if the position was not able to be filled? on NIH's Recovery Act Frequently Asked Questions.
Note: NIAID's application deadline for summer intern supplements has expired. We may have another submission date for next year.
Normally, your early-stage investigator status would begin in 2001. However, you may request an exception from NIH and provide an explanation or evidence to show why you were unable to apply for an R01 equivalent grant during your postdoctoral years.
For more information, see Are You "New"? and How to Extend the Early-Stage Investigator Window in our New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding tutorial.
The Office of Rare Diseases Research (ORDR) is not an institute and does not administer grants. As we say in our question and answer Does NIH have special offices that coordinate policy and research for special areas?, it is one of the NIH offices that coordinates some of the cross-cutting research supported by the institutes and centers.
You can reach ORDR directly at Contact Us.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated January 12, 2012
Last Reviewed January 20, 2010