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January 13, 2010

News Articles

Opportunities and Resources

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

News Articles

We Have a New Email Alert System—Sign Up Now

Our Email Alerts just got a new face. To save money and give you more reliable service, we have a new third-party provider, GovDelivery.

If you want to continue receiving alerts, you may need to resubscribe for some items. Here's what to do.

If You Get Alerts

Already subscribed? You've probably received an email about this already.

If you are already signed up, you need to subscribe for funding opportunity announcements again.

We couldn't keep those subscriptions because we needed to create new categories.  If we hadn't, many of you would have received duplicate messages under the new system. For other items, we were able to transfer your choices.

To view and adjust your signups, enter your email address at Quick Subscribe. Find the Research Funding header for items such as funding opportunities, and select your topics of interest. From that page you can also pick NIAID's other offerings. See below for a description of the Research Funding categories.

If You're a New Subscriber

Consider signing up for your areas of interest, such as this newsletter, paylines, or funding opportunities. Since 2005, our Email Alerts service has delivered timely notifications that readers could tailor to their needs.

To view all the categories, enter your email address at NIAID's Quick Subscribe. Below is a description of categories related to the Research Funding site.

Funding-Related Interest Categories

By subscribing to one or more of the following areas, you will receive an Email Alert as follows:

  • Newsletter, NIAID Funding Newsletter—for every newsletter issue or special newsletter notice.
  • Top Policy Changes—when we update the Top Policy Changes page.
  • Fiscal Year Paylines—when we post a new actual payline (we don't send messages for interim paylines).
  • Concepts: Potential Funding Opportunities -- when we post Council-cleared concepts.
  • NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act (ARRA)—when we update the NIAID and the Economic Recovery Act site.
  • Funding Opportunity Announcements—when we publish a new funding opportunity matching your choices:
    • Single project research grants (e.g., R01 and R21)
    • Multiproject research grants (e.g., program projects and cooperative agreements)
    • Small business grants (SBIR and STTR)
    • Training grants (T), career awards (K), and fellowships (F)
    • Contracts (requests for proposals and BAAs)

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What's Happening With Paylines?

Now that President Obama signed the omnibus appropriation bill into law, you may think that final FY 2010 paylines are just around the corner. Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Paylines Are in Flux

Expect a fluid situation. Interim and final paylines may change as we assess the impact of the new scoring system and incoming application numbers.

Here are the reasons you'll have a significant wait—probably until April—for our final paylines.

  • First, staff at several levels of the administration comb through the over 1,000 pages of legislation to define our funding levels.
  • Next, our budget office crunches the numbers, so we can set our interim paylines.
  • This year's uncertainties—the new scoring schema and incoming application numbers—will likely delay final paylines for all grant types.

During this waiting period, we are using interim paylines to temporarily fund high-scoring investigator-initiated applications before we establish our true paylines for the fiscal year. At this point, we have interim paylines for R01s and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) applications.

Expect a fluid situation. As has already happened with the R01 payline, some interim paylines may change as we assess the impact of the new scoring system and incoming application data. It is possible that final paylines may also go up as more information comes in.

To get Email Alerts for final paylines, read the article "We Have a New Email Alert System—Sign Up Now" or go to Subscribe to Alerts to learn how. You can find all our payline information at NIAID Paylines.

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NIH Extends E-Application Correction Window to Five Days

The error correction window will last five business days for applications due between January 25 and May 7, 2010.

To help you with the transition to the new forms and instructions, NIH is temporarily giving you five business days for the error correction window instead of the usual two.

This extension is for applications due from January 25 to May 7, 2010; on May 8, the window reverts to two days.

The error correction window gives you a chance to correct your electronic application after the deadline if it still has errors or warnings. Read more at Next Step: eRA Commons Validation in Strategy for a Successful Submission in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

NIH hopes the extra time will help people who accidentally use the incorrect version of the forms or instructions. It announced the policy change in the January 8, 2010, Guide notice.

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Salary Cap Goes Up

NIH raised the salary cap to $199,700, up from $196,700 last year.

Applicants and NIH-funded investigators may now request a bigger salary.

NIH raised the salary cap to $199,700, up from $196,700 last year. See PI Salary Cap and Stipends.

If you're on an active grant, you may rebudget from existing grant funds to raise your salary up to the level of the new cap. If you're applying for a new grant, you may request salary up to the new maximum.

The cap is based on executive level I of the federal executive pay scale. As always, your institution can pay you beyond the limit—but not with NIH money.

For more information and questions and answers, read the January 6, 2010, Guide notice.

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Award Data Show Diverging Trends

As you well know, it's tougher to get funded with paylines at record-breaking lows. Application success rates have been falling too: when more applications come in, success rates drop as larger numbers of applications compete for funding.

Still, that's not the whole picture.

As you can see in the table below, NIAID has been making a relatively constant number of research project grant (RPG) awards even as paylines and success rates fall. A success rate is roughly the number of applications funded by an institute divided by the number of peer reviewed applications referred to it (excluding resubmissions that occur in the same fiscal year—each application is counted only once).

The table below shows data from the past 10 years: R01 paylines and success rates and awards for new, renewal, and revision RPGs (R01, R03, R15, R21, R29, R34, R37, R56, R00, RC1, P01, U01, and U19).

NIAID Payline and Award Data, FY 1999 to FY 2008

FY 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
R01 Payline 20 20 22 22 22 20 18 14 12 12
R01 Payline—New Investigators NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 16 14 14
RPG Success Rate  33.9% 35.5% 38.3% 36.1% 34.5% 24.1% 25.2% 20.6% 23% 22.8%
RPG Applications 2681 2527 2262 2712 3708 4817 4611 5104 4900 4776
RPG Awards 908 896 866 978 1278 1161 1164 1049 1127 1090

But for some grant types (data not shown), we saw a different trend. From 1999 to 2008, R01 applications rose a modest 27 percent—from 2,034 to 2,580—while R21 applications surged about 375 percent—from 263 to 1,246.

The other factor that hurts grant numbers is the rising cost of biomedical research. As grant budgets grow, we have fewer dollars to make more awards, especially during the era of flat budgets we are experiencing today.

The budget pie is not getting larger, but it is getting sliced differently.

You can find our former paylines at Archive of Final NIAID Paylines by Fiscal Year.

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Report Your Disbursements in a New Form

Say goodbye to the Federal Cash Transaction Report, PSC 272, for reporting disbursements.

Make sure your business office submits cash transaction information within 30 days of the end of the quarter through a form called the Federal Financial Report.

Starting with the quarter ending December 31, 2009, make sure your business office submits cash transaction information within 30 days of the end of each quarter through a form called the Federal Financial Report (FFR).

Your business office may already use this form for grants from other agencies, but NIH only recently made it a requirement along with the new 30-day filing deadline.

Send the FFR form—also known as the SF 425 or SF 425A—through the Payment Management System, which you can access by logging in directly or by going to DPM Secure Systems Login Links.

The FFR has fields for expenditure information that NIH expects you to include instead in your annual Federal Financial Report. For our grants, don't fill in those fields on the FFR—continue to put that information when you use the eFSR system in the Commons.

On January 21, 2010, HHS Division of Payment Management is holding a Webinar for organizations on the FFR. For more information and to sign up, go to Recipient Training.

Get more details in the January 5, 2010, Guide notice and FFR Information for HHS Grantees. Stay tuned for future changes.

Opportunities and Resources

GO Is Gone, Here Comes DO

DO grants support research innovations in applied genomics, translational research, and other topics.

NIH just launched a new ARRA funding opportunity, the Director's Opportunity (DO) Grant, which replaces its Grand Opportunities (GO).

You can apply if you work for a domestic organization and propose a critical research innovation in one or more of the following areas:

  • Applying Genomics and Other High Throughput Technologies
  • Translating Basic Science Discoveries into New and Better Treatments
  • Using Science to Enable Health Care Reform
  • Focusing on Global Health
  • Reinvigorating the Biomedical Research Community

See the December 28, 2009, Guide notice for more information.

NIH also issued several other ARRA opportunities recently. Go to NIAID Participation in NIH ARRA Opportunities to view them. To sign up for ARRA Email Alerts, enter your email address and choose that category at NIAID's Quick Subscribe.

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You Can Apply for an ARRA Supplement

For information on supplements, go to NIAID Supplements Through the Economic Recovery Act.

NIH still has money for one-year ARRA supplements, and we've signed on to some opportunities for FY 2010.  Take a look.

Summer Supplements: From Classroom to Lab

If you liked last year's supplements for summer interns, we have good news: they're back.

See NIH's Administrative Supplements Providing Summer Research Experiences for Students and Science Educators for details and instructions, and contact Raushanah Newman to apply. Deadline for requests is April 16.

Administrative Supplements: Same Rules, Different Year

In addition to summer supplements, we're funding some administrative supplements. 

Rules are still the same—except that this year, supplements are for only one year because ARRA funds last through the end of FY 2011, and you can't carry them over onto a non-ARRA grant.

Money is limited, so we can fund only the very best requests. 

For additional information, go to our updated NIAID Supplements Through the Economic Recovery Act, where you can get Details on NIAID's ARRA Administrative Supplements, and see Supplements—Recovery Act Questions and Answers.

Competing Supplements (Revisions): Look to OppNet

We're also participating in competing supplement (revision) opportunities from NIH's Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network, or OppNet. You can get funding to expand the scope of your work to include social and behavioral research.

Learn more at Details on NIAID's ARRA Competing Supplements.

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Updates to ImmPort—Immunology Data and Tools

ImmPort issued a new release that includes a Web redesign, a batch analysis feature, and enhanced features for flow cytometry data analysis.

Look at the December release from the Immunology Database and Analysis Portal (ImmPort), showcasing a new design and new features. For a complete list of updates, check out the Release Notes.

We told you about ImmPort in the December 9, 2009, article "Get More Free Bioinformatics Resources from NIAID."

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Check Out a Free Minicourse on Filariasis in March

Get an introduction to techniques commonly used in filariasis research. 

If you're interested in filariasis research, you can take a free hands-on filariasis minicourse from March 9 to 12, 2010, at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA. The event is sponsored by the NIAID/NIH Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center.

It features lectures on such topics as vector and nematode biology, experimental models, molecular data analysis and reporting, bioinformatics, and pathogenesis and control. You can also participate in various lab exercises. Go to Annual FR3 Minicourse Details for more information.

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Attend an NIH Regional Grants Seminar

The 2010 seminars will take place April 15 to 16 in Philadelphia, PA and June 24 to 25 in Portland, OR. Optional eRA computer workshops will be held in both locations the day before.

As it does each year, the NIH Office of Extramural Research is sponsoring two Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration.

The 2010 seminars will take place April 15 to 16 in Philadelphia, PA, and June 24 to 25 in Portland, OR. Optional eRA computer workshops will be held in both locations the day before.

NIH experts will explain how to write an application, how to manage a grant, and other topics. By attending, you can gain insights into areas of special interest and meet NIH staff.

For more information, see the December 3, 2009, Guide notice. To register go to NIH Regional Seminar Philadelphia, PA, or NIH Regional Seminar Portland, OR.

Advice Corner

Protect Your Funding—Look Out for Financial Conflicts of Interest

Word to the wise: be meticulous.

The other shoe has dropped.

NIH may hold up awards—even noncompeting ones—for institutions that do not follow financial conflicts of interest rules.

It recently did this for a prominent, noncompliant institution, and told the business office to submit assurances for every investigator, subawardee, contractor, and collaborator working on active or pending grants.

Word to the wise: to avoid this fate, be meticulous.

Take a look at our Financial Conflicts of Interest for Awardees SOP and re-read previous Funding Newsletter articles:

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Give That Application a Second Glance

You've submitted the application, and your work is done. Not so fast. If staff in your business office are assembling part of your application, check it again after they submit it.

Often the business office adds sections, such as the biosketches. For those, make sure your biosketches are in the new format, and you included a personal statement.

It's your application after all. Even though your business office is probably doing a great job, look over the application one last time after it's submitted to make sure it meets all NIH's requirements.

For more information, see Next Step: eRA Commons Validation in the Strategy for NIH Funding and the SF 424 Application Guide.

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Reader Questions

Feel free to send us a question at After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.

"I have two questions: Does every key person listed need to submit a personal statement as part of their biosketch or just the PI? Also what are the page limits for the reference section?"—Rhoel Dinglasan, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

For the first question, yes. Most grants require personal statements for all key personnel—including consultants and technical staff who play a substantive role in the project. The personal statement is part of the new biosketch. The SF 424 Application Guide states an exception that applies to training grants for faculty who participate in the training program but not the research projects.

Please note that some funding opportunity announcements might have special instructions about biosketches. Always check the announcement to be sure.

For your other question, there is no page limit on Bibliography and References Cited section of the application, but we suggest limiting citations to 100. Keep in mind that your funding opportunity announcement may have its own page limit.

We have more information in Connect to Science With Citations in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

"My R01 application, which had a 25-page Research Plan, was not funded. Can my resubmission's Research Plan also have 25 pages?"—Jere R. Behrman, University of Pennsylvania

No. You must reconfigure to the 12-page limit. Read more in Getting the Form Right in our September 23, 2009, article "Get a Handle on the New Application Forms" and the September 16, 2009, Guide notice.

"Does the renewal application cap apply only to R01s, or does it also apply to other mechanisms?"—an anonymous reader

Just R01s—see What is the funding cap for renewals? on our Renewal Application questions and answers.

"Is the information posted on the NIH Grant Cycle available as a PDF or PowerPoint file?"—Nicholas Mantis, Wadsworth Center

We regularly update our Web pages, such as the Strategy for NIH Funding, which would make it difficult to keep the information up-to-date if we created a PDF or PowerPoint of each page.

However, you can print out any of our pages—each one has a print-friendly format.

If you want an electronic copy, you can save any page of our site as an HTML or, if using Internet Explorer, as a Microsoft Word document—then convert it to PDF or other file type.  

Or if you have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, you can convert any page to PDF by dragging the page's icon from your browser's address bar directly into Acrobat.

There are other ways for you to convert our pages into other file types. Run a Google search for your browser of choice and PDF, or contact your local computer support staff.

Please keep in mind that if you keep your own copy, you will have to check our site regularly to make sure you're working with the most recent version.

"I'm an AIDS applicant eligible for continuous submission. Which application forms should I use if I apply on or before February 7, 2010?"—an anonymous reader

Though most applicants will use the Adobe-Forms-B starting January 25, your status gives you an exception. Until the February 7 date passes, you should use the version Adobe-Forms-A and instructions, even if the funding opportunity announcement has been archived.

For investigator-initiated applications, here are the archived Adobe-Forms-A parent announcement links:

After February 7, you'll use Adobe-Forms-B. Find a list of the B version equivalents at Parent Announcements.

NIH explains this unusual situation at When do application changes go into effect?

New Funding Opportunities

See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated November 02, 2011

Last Reviewed January 13, 2010