See the Glossary for more terms.
While some Recovery Act opportunities are over, new ones are coming out—see a full list of NIH initiatives from the NIAID perspective at NIAID Participation in NIH ARRA Opportunities.
Two new ARRA initiatives target companies engaged in research and development (R&D). Designed for all businesses, the first is like a phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) but with fewer restrictions and no requirement for previous phase 1. The second solicits phase 1 SBIR grants.
Closing the Gap With BRDG-SPAN
For the BRDG-SPAN initiative, venture capital-owned companies are eligible to apply.
NIH wants to bridge the chasm between promising R&D and its transition to market through Recovery Act Limited Competition: Biomedical Research, Development, and Growth to Spur the Acceleration of New Technologies (BRDG-SPAN) Pilot Program.
For this unique opportunity, venture capital-owned companies are eligible to apply, as are all U.S.-owned, for-profit organizations doing most of their business in the U.S.
Applications may get funding priority if they are from organizations that have any of these attributes: are small (500 or fewer employees), have limited resources (e.g., an early-stage company), or are positioned to receive funding or in-kind support from a third-party.
Read the announcement for details, but here are the main particulars:
SBIR Funds Early-Stage Research
Just for small businesses, Recovery Act Limited Competition: Small Business Catalyst Awards for Accelerating Innovative Research aims to spark innovation through high-risk, high-reward R&D with a strong potential for commercial development.
NIH is targeting small businesses that do not have a history of NIH SBIR or Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) support. Investigators should propose early-stage ideas that could to lead to major leaps forward rather than incremental improvements of existing technologies.
Before you take the plunge, we advise you to consider carefully whether to apply for this initiative or a regular SBIR opportunity. The table below compares some of the salient features.
Budget can be up to $200,000 in total costs
NIH is committing at least $5 million
6 pages or less
Up to $300,000 a year in total costs
For comparison: NIAID spent about $30 million for competing phase 1 SBIR grants in FY 2008
Up to 2 years
September 7-- AIDS
15 pages or less
For both initiatives, applications are due September 1, 2009, for funding in April 2010. Both are subject to ARRA requirements.
For more information about small business awards, contact Dr. Gregory Milman, director, Office for Innovation and Special Programs, preferably by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call him at 301-496-8666. Before applying, be sure to watch his narrated Advice on NIH SBIR and STTR Applications.
A new funding opportunity will support Human Immunology Research Centers to develop safe and effective vaccines. Funded through Recovery Act Limited Competition: Protection of Human Health by Immunology and Vaccines, investigators participating in the consortium will characterize the human immune system at rest and following infection, vaccination, or treatment with adjuvants.
NIAID expects to spend $20 million in FY 2010 for the request for applications, using Recovery Act funds for the first year of the grants and monies from our regular appropriation for subsequent years.
For the U01s, you may ask for up to $1.5 million in total costs in year one and $1.3 million annual total costs in years two through five. For the U19s, those figures are $4.5 million and $4.0 million respectively. Applications are due by October 15, 2009.
As with all Recovery Act grants, investigators must be ready to start work as soon as they get their awards.
If you have any questions, email Dr. Matthew Fenton at email@example.com or call him at 301-496-8973, or email Dr. Helen Quill at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 301-435-4416.
Was your application to hire summer research interns approved for funding through NIH's Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators?
If so, check out a new NIH site that helps you ramp up quickly. Register at Administrative Supplements for Summer Laboratory Personnel to list your lab's positions and areas of science so you can find the right people.
After you learn that we will fund your application, do the following:
For NIAID, the due date to apply for a summer supplement this year was April 17. But other institutes may still have open dates, and we may offer them again next year.
How much of an impact can a diversity supplement have on an investigator's career? Let us count the ways.
Last year we brought you the story of Dr. Olivia Martinez in our August 20 article "Diversity Supplements Jump-Starts Successful Career." Now we're pleased to feature the rise of one of our very own "in house" PIs: Dr. Jesus G. Valenzuela.
Dr. Valenzuela grew up in Sonora, Mexico, then moved to Arizona and attended graduate school at the University of Arizona. In 1994, his mentor, Dr. Jose Ribeiro, hired him under a Research Supplement for Underrepresented Minorities, now called Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.
Fifteen years later, Dr. Valenzuela is a tenured investigator in NIAID's Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, serving as chief of the Vector Molecular Biology Section.
A diversity supplement did more than help Dr. Valenzuela finish his research towards his Ph.D. He says, "It opened my eyes to the opportunities NIH has for biomedical careers and gave me the chance to attend NIAID's Bridging the Gap Symposia where I learned all that the Institute offers investigators."
He continues, "I also had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Milton Hernandez, director of NIAID's Office of Special Populations and Research Training, who encouraged me to pursue postdoctoral training at NIAID."
After receiving his Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Arizona, Dr. Valenzuela came to NIAID in 1996 as a postdoc in the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases. He became a research fellow in 1999 and a tenure-track investigator in the Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research in 2002.
If you're a PI, think about hiring someone under a supplement to expand your workforce.
If you're a member of an underrepresented group, ask a PI supported by NIAID to apply to hire you under a diversity supplement. You may be able to tap into salary, fringe benefits, and research support through a supplement to an existing grant. Read details at Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.
NIAID also offers research supplements to help promising researchers return to a science career. To find out more, go to Research Supplements.
As our fourth example of a successful R01 application, we have posted a resubmission from a new investigator, the first to fall in both those categories.
Many thanks to Dr. Christopher D. Huston from the University of Vermont's Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics for allowing us to post his outstanding application, Molecular Mechanism of Entamoeba histolytica Phagocytosis.
Find all the samples at Sample R01 Applications and Summary Statements.
In April, the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice made recommendations on addressing conflict of interest, some of which involve NIH and its research community.
You can find a brief of the report at Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice. Read the full text online free or order it at The National Academies Press.
Whether in the best of times or the worst of times, paylines and percentiles are at the heart of the funding story. Understanding these concepts requires a bit of homework: you won't find "payline" in the dictionary, and percentiling at NIH differs from standard mathematical processes.
Conceptually paylines are easy to grasp: a payline is a funding cut off point below which we fund applications and above which we do not.
Operationally though, paylines are confusing because their nature and values change throughout the year. Depending on the status of our budget, we may have either no paylines, one or more interim paylines, or one or more actual paylines.
What's an interim payline? Interim paylines are an administrative measure we use to fund high-scoring applications before we have a budget. Because they are not true paylines—based on calculations by our budget office—we do not announce them through NIAID Funding Newsletter and Email Alerts Subscription Center.
Why do we have interim paylines? Interim paylines are important because they let us start making awards early in the fiscal year before we have a budget.
To use this year as an example, President Obama signed the federal government's FY 2009 spending bill into law on March 11, six months into the fiscal year, which starts October 1. But using interim paylines, we were able to start awarding grants in the fall.
Here was the sequence this fiscal year: we posted an interim R01 payline in October, other interim paylines in December, actual R01 paylines in March, and other actual paylines in May. While each fiscal year is different, this scenario is fairly typical.
Hopefully this discussion clarifies why you received an alert showing new fiscal year paylines this spring with the same numbers as the interim paylines we had posted on Paylines and Funding months before. Sometimes the numbers change, and sometimes they do not.
There's one more twist: actual paylines can change until we pull them off the Web toward the end of the fiscal year, with one exception: NIAID commits to its R01 paylines for the entire fiscal year.
Here are two ways to keep up with payline information:
For more information on the budget process, see Appropriations Set the Dollars and When We Don't Get a Budget.
Learn more about how and why paylines evolve during the year at Paylines and Budget Pages Change Throughout the Year; read more about paylines at Paylines Are a Conservative Funding Cutoff Point in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
After peer review of an R01, NIH calculates its percentile rank based on the overall impact score assigned by its study section.
Why bother with this step? Percentiling counters priority score creep: over time, many study sections give applications increasingly better scores, compressing them into a narrow range. To counter the effects of score compression, percentiling spreads out overall impact scores across the spectrum of about 99 possible rankings.
Your application is percentiled with others reviewed by your study section only. Normally, NIH matches its overall impact score against a table of relative rankings containing all scores of applications assigned to that study section during the three last review cycles.
But this approach will not be possible during the first year of the new peer review processes while NIH creates a new base of applications scored under the new scheme.
So for the next year, NIH will calculate the percentile base as follows:
NIH determines the relative rank by listing all applications by overall impact score from the three reviews. Then, NIH calculates the percentiles using the following formula (the 0.5 percent is a standard mathematical procedure used for rounding):
These numbers are then rounded up, e.g., 12.1 becomes 13, to create a whole number percentile ranging from 1 to 99.
Keep in mind that applications with the same score can receive different percentiles if reviewed at different meetings of the same study section. Since percentiles are based on the three rounds of reviews, one-third of the base turns over for each study section meeting.
For more information on this topic, see How Percentiles Are Determined which is part of Understand Paylines and Percentiles in the Strategy for NIH Funding.
This year we are especially busy dealing with large numbers of ARRA awards in addition to our regular grants. So we are offering you a tip to help boost our efficiency and, as a result, our service to you.
Be sure that your institution's business office copies your program officer when it sends information to your grants management specialist. That simple step to keep all parties informed can help speed things up on our end.
It may not be foremost in your mind, but NIH's public access policy is the law. We are concerned that many people are still not complying: NIH is monitoring compliance, and there will be repercussions for lapses.
Public access has two parts: submitting and citing. The policy applies to peer-reviewed papers published in journals, not book chapters, editorials, or reviews.
To comply with the submission requirement, all final peer-reviewed manuscripts reporting research funded by NIH, even partially, must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC). This is true even if the full text is on a public Web site and whether or not the PI is an author.
One erroneous assumption we are seeing is that the journal is doing everything. Instead, make sure that one of these four submission methods is in motion:
If you are unsure what to do, ask the journal which method to use.
Another mistake is confusing the up to 12-month embargo period with the timing of the author's submission. Many authors are submitting publications long after publication, which does not comply with the policy.
If you are submitting yourself (method 3), do the following:
Don't forget to cite papers properly. Check with the corresponding author if you are not an author and do not have the information. If a publication appears to us to be noncompliant, you and your business office will receive an email from your program officer.
To cite properly, take one of these steps:
Read more in our Public Access of Publications SOP, and see NIH's Public Access site including Public Access Frequently Asked Questions.
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.
No. Your being an investigator (listed as key personnel) on another person's grant would not jeopardize your status as a new or early stage investigator. That status counts only for the PI, not key personnel.
At present, the answer is no. NIH is looking into this so it may change, but for now you may not transfer the grant.
Generally, we fund R56-Bridge awards at study section-recommended dollars. We cover this in our NIAID R56-Bridge Award SOP.
For a new application, we fund direct costs for the first year at the study section-recommended level, and direct costs for the second year at the same amount.
For competing renewals, we fund direct costs for the first year at 20 percent more than direct costs (less equipment) of the last year of the noncompeting grant. If you are requesting less than a 20 percent increase in direct costs, we fund you at the study section-recommended level.
Direct costs for the second year of a competing renewal will be the same level as the first year.
No. We cannot change an ARRA award to a regular one—see If I accept a two-year ARRA R01 and then learn that my resubmission scored below the 12 percentile and is eligible for a regular R01, can I terminate the ARRA award and accept the traditional R01? (Editor's note: outdated link removed.)
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated January 12, 2012
Last Reviewed June 03, 2009