See the Glossary for more terms.
As ARRA funds stream from us to you, the $10 billion shot in the arm for biomedical science is starting to pay off. One PI told us, "It's the first time in years people are talking with hope about science and the projects we can accomplish."
Still, new rules and processes keep cropping up, and much work remains to be done.
On May 5, NIH announced a new business process that applies to all grants, but it is particularly relevant to many people applying for ARRA grants.
If your application changes in scope, you must revise your Specific Aims. (You may also need to revise the abstract and public health relevance.)
Read more in the May 5, 2009, Guide notice and What You Need to Do if You Get Stimulus Funds.
What a response! NIH took in an amazing 21,000 applications for its NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research initiative, which closed on April 27. To put that in perspective, the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) normally receives about 48,000 applications a year.
NIH is scrambling to keep up, as each application must be logged in, assigned to reviewers, peer reviewed, and ultimately given a summary statement.
In the rush, many applicants are seeing their applications assigned to unfamiliar special emphasis panels (SEP) rather than their standing study sections, which are not involved. There's not much you can do about your SEP since CSR will not accept requests to transfer applications. CSR is making sure that all SEP reviewers have broad expertise.
Using SEPs for Challenge Grants is necessary since the regular study sections have their hands full dealing with their normal workload and the changes in peer review scoring (for resources on that topic, see our May 6, 2009, article "Learn More About Peer Review").
Ultimately, NIH's Office of the Director intends to award at least 200 Challenge Grants, and funding by some institutes using their own ARRA dollars is expected to reach that number or more.
NIAID anticipates having between 5 and 10 percent of applications assigned here. We have not yet decided whether to make additional awards beyond those funded by NIH.
With awards due by the end of September, NIH faces a tight timeline, so applications must be reviewed quickly.
To get the job done, CSR has designed a two-phase, editorial board-style process, and NIH has asked the ICs to volunteer staff. NIAID is sending some of its extramural review staff and intramural scientists to be part of this unprecedented event.
For the first review phase, CSR is recruiting more than 15,000 peer reviewers into SEPs for a review of applications by mail.
For the second phase, 30 different SEPs will meet in person to review the results of the first stage, focusing on overall significance and impact. Each SEP will determine the cutoff point for unscored applications based on comments from the preliminary mail reviews.
Applicants can see their scores in the eRA Commons by July 31.
If yours is one of the many applications that does not succeed, you may submit it as a new investigator-initiated application. NIH is now requiring you to have your summary statement first. Your earliest opportunity will likely be the cycle three receipt date—see the Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications table for dates.
To read about the policy, see the May 15, 2009, Guide notice. Read more about resubmitting the same application at May I resubmit as investigator-initiated an application not funded under an RFA?
NIH extended the GO grant deadline to May 29 because, as you may recall, the Commons will be shut down May 22 to 26 for systems upgrades. (Letters of intent were due on April 27.)
We told you about this in our May 6, 2009, article "Commons Goes Offline Memorial Day Weekend." For more details, see the April 30, 2009, Guide notice, and go to the March 20, 2009, Guide notice for the GO grant request for application.
When news of H1N1 swine flu first broke, NIAID's influenza experts collaborated with colleagues at CDC and other agencies to start tackling this formidable foe.
As part of this response, we have worked on:
We have also speeded up our long-term influenza work, which includes:
For more information, read NIAID 2009 H1N1 Influenza Research Program.
Would you believe the Grinch stole your percentile? We didn't think so. Actually, the answer is pretty mundane. For R01 applications reviewed for September Council, early summary statements will lack a percentile because of the debut of the new scoring system.
If your application is eligible for a percentile, check the Commons after June 22, 2009.
NIH can't calculate percentiles until scores are in for a significant fraction of applications. After all, percentiles are calculated against a base, which as yet does not exist.
If your application is eligible for a percentile, check the Commons after June 22, 2009. Don't worry if you don't see it earlier; eventually it will show up.
For background reading, see our December 17, 2008, Funding Newsletter article "Inside the New Peer Review," Enhancing Peer Review at NIH Website, and the December 2, 2008, Guide notices: NOT-OD-09-024 and NOT-OD-09-025.
Here's another chance to be heard: NIH wants input on whether to revise regulations relating to financial conflicts of interest.
These regulations set standards to ensure that an investigator's financial conflicts of interest do not bias PHS-funded research. Send your comments by July 7, 2009. For more information, see the May 8, 2009, Guide notice.
Here's a one stop shop for immunology-related data and data analysis tools. ImmPort—Immunology Database and Analysis Portal—lets you access reference and experimental data from the research community.
It's free, supported by NIAID's Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation. ImmPort added new features on May 4, 2009.
Partial List of New ImmPort Features
For a complete list, check out the Release Notes.
Even in the face of a pandemic, grantees must protect their research animals. All policies that protect animal welfare stay in effect during an emergency unless NIH's Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare announces a waiver. Go to the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare site for guidance during a severe emergency.
To ensure they are prepared, institutions need plans that provide for adequate care and IACUC function in emergency situations. Plans should cover the following:
IACUCs can limit person-to-person contact by using teleconference or video conferencing, holding as few as one meeting every six months, or expanding the use of designated member review.
For help and information, visit these sites:
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.
Contact your scientific review officer. He or she decides whether to accept any additional information.
Check with your program officer to find out whether your application that responded to a request for application (RFA) qualifies for ARRA and, if so, your chances of getting ARRA funding.
Note that the funding ranges on our site apply to investigator-initiated grants. Each RFA is unique in terms of the numbers of applications received and range of resulting scores, so you'll need to ask your program officer about your chances of funding.
For more information on the differences between the types of announcements, go to Choose Approach and Find FOAs in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
You can purchase equipment with money from your parent grant. However, we can't give you a supplement to pay for equipment you have already purchased. In this case, we would reduce your supplement by the amount you spent on the equipment.
Keep in mind that ARRA administrative supplements are very competitive and we have limited funds. If you have an immediate need for this equipment, we suggest you contact your program officer to discuss your situation.
Contact your program officer to find out the status of your request. We're now reviewing our many ARRA supplement applications, which is taking some time. We are making awards as quickly as we can.
Yes. NIH considers that person to be an African American.
NIAID and NIH have several lists you can sign up for. Here are some you might be interested in:
Keep in mind that other NIH pages have listservs and other communication venues.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated October 07, 2011
Last Reviewed May 20, 2009