See the Glossary for more terms.
To jump-start the U.S. economy, Congress passed a $787 billion stimulus package that President Barack Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) will create and save jobs, kick-start the economy, and build the foundation for long-term economic growth.
NIH and its extramural research have a major role to play: NIH received an astounding 34 percent increase to its budget in two-year stimulus funds, a striking act of generosity and confidence on the part of our elected leaders. We are truly grateful to President Obama and the Congress for giving us this unprecedented opportunity.
Please be aware that along with this huge influx of money comes a big responsibility. While some procedures will be consistent with normal operations, this is not business as usual.
We cannot emphasize too strongly that investigators who receive stimulus monies will have special rules to follow. NIH is putting in place new grant terms of award that will spell out the requirements, including oversight and reporting, as mandated by law and the administration.
We are asking many unfunded investigators who applied in FY 2008 or FY 2009 to submit their just-in-time information as soon as we request it.
Submit it now for the following grant types (excluding foreign, clinical trials, epidemiology, and others not allowed under ARRA):
Having this information as soon as possible will enable us to gear up quickly for the two-year grants we will be awarding. Read more at Don't Confuse Stimulus Money With Our FY 2009 Budget.
At our new NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act site, learn more about this historic effort and the opportunities and responsibilities it creates for NIAID's extramural scientists:
We will be posting additional information during the next few months. To keep up with news, visit our log of Recent Changes to the NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act site.
For NIH-level information, see NIH and the ARRA, which includes NIH-wide Grant Funding Opportunities Supported by ARRA.
On January 29, 2009, NIAID's leaders held the Winter Program Review, the first of two annual retreats to discuss ways to align resources, money, and initiatives to meet NIAID's mission.
At the meeting, NIAID division directors looked at ways to stabilize the payline and potential research opportunities for the next five years and beyond. This discussion focused on:
Participants also discussed some possible unintended consequences of the new peer review changes. In addition, they looked at ways to permanently increase the numbers of new and early-stage investigators without crowding out the funding of established investigators.
One important goal of the meeting is to set priorities for promising areas of science that may result in future concepts and initiatives. Read more about that in our next article.
For more about the planning process, go to NIAID Funding Opportunity Planning and the Budget Cycle.
Following our usual practice, we've posted the latest Council-approved concepts from the January Council meeting. Concepts—potential future initiatives—are very popular with savvy readers, who know how to use them to gain an edge.
To learn how you can benefit too, read our previous article "Concepts for New Initiatives—Should You Tune In?" Find concepts from the last six Council meetings at Concepts: Potential Opportunities.
We have gotten several questions about what "new investigator" and "early-stage investigator" mean and how to tell if they apply to you.
NIH created two types of status that lead to special consideration in initial peer review and funding. In a nutshell, they are: 1) new to NIH major funding and 2) early in a research career. It's a bit more complicated than that, so here are more complete definitions:
New investigator—a scientist who has never successfully competed as a principal investigator (PI) for many types of NIH grants, including an R01. That means if you are appointed as PI for an existing grant, you still qualify as new. Read more details at Are You "New"?
Early-stage investigator (a subset of new investigator)—a scientist who is within 10 years of either of the following:
For NIAID, both categories should be about equally advantageous for now because we are receiving applications in the same proportions as the NIH target: 60 percent of new investigator awards will go to ESIs in FY 2009.
Some people feel it's better to be an ESI because the targeted percentage for ESIs is rising, for example, to 75 percent in FY 2010.
Qualifying for an ESI can be complex because many scientists have unique circumstances. The good news is that NIH will make exceptions to the 10-year rule.
At this point, applying for an exception is probably a good idea for people who think they have a chance of qualifying because we won't know where the NIH ESI Extensions Committee will draw the lines until they start reviewing cases and making judgments. Learn how to request an exception at How to Extend the Early-Stage Investigator Window.
For questions about ESI eligibility, you may want to check out NIH's Frequently Asked Questions About the NIH ESI Policy such as "I spent several years as a clinical fellow after my MD and my residency before I started my research training. Can I extend my ESI status?"
You now have only two days to get your application through Grants.gov once the submission deadline has passed, as the longer grace period is no longer in effect.
In February, NIH used its error correction window in a new way: to extend your submission time due to Grants.gov problems. In general, the window gives you extra time to fix errors or warnings from the Commons after the submission deadline.
Although the error correction window is returning to the normal two days, NIH will continue to work with applicants when Grants.gov or other systems issues are compromising their submissions.
If you encounter these types of problems, be sure to contact the right party—read more in our February 18 article "Application Correction Windows Get Longer—For Now".
For more information about the reversion to the two day window, see the February 27, 2009, Guide notice.
Rest assured: the era of PureEdge is over. If you try to use PureEdge forms to submit your application, you will get a message that the opportunity has closed. That's not true: what's closed is your opportunity to use PureEdge.
So ditch PureEdge and move on to Adobe—read more in our February 18 article "Getting Used to Adobe Application Forms".
Do you want to learn more about NIH grants? Each year, the NIH Office of Extramural Research sponsors two Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants.
These seminars are for grants administrators, researchers new to NIH, and graduate students. They explain how to write an application, how to manage a grant, and other topics. You can learn about current areas of special interest or concern and meet NIH staff.
The 2009 seminars will take place April 15 to 17 in Atlanta, GA, and June 24 to 26 in Las Vegas, NV, with the first day an optional workshop about the eRA Commons.
For more information, read the January 30, 2009, Guide notice. To register, please go to NIH Regional Seminar, Atlanta or NIH Regional Seminar, Las Vegas.
Check out our new and updated Spanish and French tutorial translations of our All About Grants Tutorials and Strategy for NIH Funding. They take Spanish and French readers through the ins and outs of writing grant applications including those involving human subjects and research animals.
We send our materials for translation every year; it takes several months for the translators to do their work. Keep in mind that we can't update these daily as we do our English All About Grants Tutorials.
As a grantee you should be keeping track of your progress report due dates. The only time you will hear from us about a progress report is after it is already late. By then the timing of your funding for the next year could be in jeopardy. So make sure you are keeping track through the Commons!
To find out the unique date when your progress reports are due, check the eRA Commons.
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.
NIH awards grants, including SBIR and STTR, to the institution. If a PI moves to a new institution and NIH is okay with the transfer, both the original and new institution have to agree.
An SBIR grant may be easier to move because only two institutions are involved, whereas an STTR grant involves a partner institution, so three institutions are involved. Keep in mind that each case is unique.
No. NIH's requirement that you seek permission kicks in only if you request $500,000 or more in direct costs for a single year.
Note to our other readers: Be aware that if you're thinking of requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs for a single year, you must seek NIAID's permission well in advance.
Start early. Before you put the effort into preparing an application that we may reject, we strongly recommend that you do the following:
Yes. You should ask for the resources you need to complete your research project. You are not limited to the amount in the previous application.
For more information, you can read Part 6. If Not Funded in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
You are correct about the first part. Since you have more than five years as a postdoc, you do not qualify for either transition award: the NIAID Research Scholar Development Award (K22) or the NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00).
As for R-series grants, don't rule out the R01. You could strengthen your chances of success by applying as an early-stage investigator. For more information, read Are You "New"? in our New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding. Also read our February 4, 2009, article "Even if You're New, Consider an R01."
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated March 08, 2012
Last Reviewed March 06, 2009