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March 3, 2010

News Articles

Opportunities and Resources

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

News Articles

More News for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

NIH lifted its restriction on submitting additional materials for peer review and put cell lines CHB-1, CHB-2, and CHB-3 on hold.

On February 19, 2010, NIH released two Guide notices for investigators proposing to use human embryonic stem cells (hESC) in NIH funded research.

NOT-OD-10-056 lifts the restriction on submitting additional hESC materials for initial peer review starting with applications going to the May or June 2010 advisory Councils. This policy reverses the previous announcement in the July 15, 2009, Guide notice.

Keep in mind that if your application proposes using an unapproved cell line, you will get a restricted award until the line is approved, and reviewers will not factor the cell line into the score.

In NOT-OD-10-063, NIH requests your comments on a proposed change to the definition of hESC in the NIH Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research.

During the comment period, NIH put cell lines CHB-1, CHB-2, and CHB-3 in the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry on hold; you may not use them for NIH-funded research. If you are using any of these lines, contact Dr. Priti Mehrotra for help.

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Be Intelligent About Intellectual Property

When it comes to intellectual property, we have two words of advice: protect it. If you're not covered by a patent, copyright, trademark, or other formal safeguard, you could find yourself without a leg to stand on.

Here we provide advice for two groups: investigators at academic institutions and those at companies.

Tips When Applying

Unless you have a patent or patent application, don't include confidential information in your application, particularly in the title or abstract.

From the get-go, you'll need to address intellectual property in your application.

If You're at an Academic Institution

Unless you have a patent or patent application covering your inventions, don't include confidential information in your application, particularly in the title or abstract.

The public will have access to these two sections if your grant is funded. If you do include confidential information, be sure to clearly mark it as confidential or proprietary wherever it appears. For more information, read Master the Application and Strategy to Write the Research Plan in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Should you create an invention under your grant, note that only your institution can patent intellectual property, though it may choose not to. 

According to the Bayh-Dole Act, if neither your institution nor NIH chooses to patent an invention, you (the inventor) may be allowed to file the patent application, though it is quite expensive. You can file an inexpensive provisional application, but a full application must be filed within one year. 

If you're using subawards, make sure your consortium agreement addresses intellectual property.

  • Be sure the subaward identifies your confidential and proprietary information, and the subawardee agrees to protect it.
  • Include the same patent rights clause used in the prime award, but keep in mind that:
    • You cannot use a subaward as economic leverage to obtain rights to a subawardee's inventions.
    • But you may wish to negotiate mutually beneficial rights to inventions or data created under the subaward. Make sure you can document a mutual benefit.

Read more about subawards in our Subawards (Consortium Agreements) for Grants SOP.

If You're at a Small Business

Intellectual property, including inventions and proprietary information, is an essential component of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants, so you should pay special attention to protecting your inventions, proprietary data, and associated interests.

SBIR and STTR applicants with partners should have intellectual property agreements before submitting an application.

What we said above holds true here: don't describe your inventions unless you have a patent. At the very least, you should have filed a provisional patent application.

SBIR applicants with partners should also have intellectual property agreements before submitting an application.

The same holds true for STTR applicants, who are required to certify they have an intellectual property agreement with their partner.

In your intellectual property agreement, consider doing the following:

  • Include an exclusive license or option to get one at a reasonable rate for inventions developed by research institution partners through STTR funding.
  • Describe any inventions or proprietary information the company brings to the partnership so future ownership will not be in doubt.

Also, be sure to have an intellectual property agreement with subcontractors that addresses, among other items, what happens to inventions they make. Keep in mind that though NIH requires companies to have such agreements, it does not review or enforce them.

Find further details in these modules of our Applicant Resources for SBIR and STTR:

Once Funded

To retain rights and title to any inventions made during your grant, you must comply with NIH reporting requirements. See Invention Reporting Has Four Parts in the Strategy for Your Grant and read Inventions and Patents the NIH Grants Policy Statement.

Contacts and Resources

For general information about intellectual property, go to NIAID's About Office of Technology Development and NIH's Office of Technology Transfer and Intellectual Property Policy.

For issues concerning small businesses, contact Dr. Gregory Milman, director, NIAID Office for Innovation and Special Programs.

You may also want to read the following:

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Physician-Scientist Pipeline Needs Reviving, New Study Shows

The authors make a case for paying more attention to the physician-scientist pipeline and minimizing the attrition of women.

If past performance foretells future results, the physician-scientist pipeline is in danger, with women hit harder than men.

A paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine shows that M.D.s who received clinical career development (K series) awards several years ago did not fare well when applying for an R01. Is this an ominous sign of things to come?

The paper's authors looked at K08 and K23 awards, which support the development of researchers with clinical doctorates who are expected to achieve independent research careers.

Their analysis showed that from 1999 to 2003, fewer than 25 percent of K award recipients received an R01—a key indicator of an independent career—within five years, and fewer than half within ten years. Women were significantly less likely than men to get an R01 award.

Although not stated in the paper, one reason for the low transition numbers could be NIH's policy on concurrent support. It wasn't until 2003 that NIH allowed mentored K awardees to replace some of their level of effort with work on an NIH research grant or subproject, as long as they stayed in a mentored situation. 

And, as the authors described, receipt of an R01 is not the only measure of success, noting "Some K award recipients may build successful independent research careers with the support of private foundation grants or industry, serve as principal investigators of projects supported by other types of NIH awards, or move rapidly to administrative or other leadership positions in their institutions."

Still, these findings make a case for paying more attention to the physician-scientist pipeline and minimizing the attrition of women doctorates in research.

 For the full article, read "Sex Differences in Attainment of Independent Funding by Career Development Awardees."

Despite what the past may say about your R01 chances, many people do succeed.

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Using Snow as an Excuse for Late Submission? Maybe, Maybe Not

Even though the snowstorms are a valid excuse, NIH doesn't have to accept every application that claims hardship.

If the recent massive snowstorms kept you from submitting your application on time, you may be able to submit late—with a catch.

NIH is accepting late applications from institutions affected by major snowstorms across the country, and you can use the snow as a valid reason for sending in a late application as long as the trouble persists. See the February 9, 2010, Guide notice.

Now for the catch.

Even though the snowstorms are a valid excuse, NIH doesn't have to accept every application that claims hardship. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

Also remember that NIH's late application policy applies to trouble submitting only—not gathering preliminary data, writing your application, or wrapping up work on other projects.

For more information about submitting late with a valid excuse, see our Late Applications SOP.

Opportunities and Resources

Follow Us on Twitter

Here's another way to find out when we publish a new issue of NIAID Funding Newsletter, major policy change, or other site updates: we send a message through NIAID's Twitter feed, @NIAIDNews.

You can watch @NIAIDNews on the Web or subscribe through Twitter at Join the Conversation. Learn more about Twitter in our December 23, 2009, article "Get Quick Info From NIAID's Twitter Feed."

Of course, you can still be notified through email for new issues and other topics. Learn more at Subscribe to Alerts.

Advice Corner

Timing Your Renewal—No Simple Solution

Applicants who need to renew should think about whether to apply early or wait until the last possible receipt date before facing a funding gap.

While we generally advise PIs to apply for a renewal as early as they can, timing across fiscal years can get dicey.

We cannot award your renewal before your current grant expires, and the renewal is funded by the fiscal year payline of the expiring grant. If you apply in the preceding fiscal year, that payline is an unknown.

Here's an example. A PI submitted a renewal application in FY 2009 that we deferred for funding to FY 2010 when the grant expires. Though it had a fundable score in FY 2009, we could not award the renewal until FY 2010 because we were still funding the current grant.

Because the score did not meet the interim FY 2010 payline and the grant was about to end, the PI's only option was a no-cost extension. At this point, the PI is at the mercy of the final FY 2010 payline, which we still do not know.

All applicants who need to submit a renewal should think about whether to apply early or wait until the last possible receipt date before facing a funding gap.

Deciding when to apply is complex and depends on your situation. For example, applying early gives you more time to resubmit if necessary, but you should not apply early unless you have sufficient data to show progress.

To help decide, read Deciding When to Apply for a Renewal in How to Renew Your Application in the Strategy for NIH Funding as well as our December 9, 2009, article "Is There a Best Time to Apply?"

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Reader Questions

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

"What is the penalty for submitting a late eSNAP progress report?"—an anonymous reader

We cannot fund your grant until we receive your progress report. This means if your report is late, we may have to delay your award.

If your report is extremely late, you risk losing funding for the period of time between the end of the budget period and our completing the processing of your eSNAP submission.

You can read more in the eSNAP (Electronic Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process) SOP and at Submit Your SNAP Report Electronically in Strategy for Your Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

"Do subcontractors need to submit a progress report?"-- an anonymous reader

Only grantee institutions send progress reports to NIH.  They are responsible for their subawardees' research, spending, and reporting requirements.

Though subawardees do not submit progress reports, the grantee may ask for information to include in its own report.

For more information, go to our Subawards (Consortium Agreements) for Grants SOP.

"Do biosketches of technicians, students, and collaborators need to have a personal statement?"—an anonymous reader

The personal statement is part of the new biosketch, and most grants require one for all key personnel, which includes consultants and technical staff who play a substantive role in the project.

To be sure about whether or not to include a personal statement, read the instructions in your funding opportunity announcement. One exception given in the SF 424 Application Guide applies to training grants for faculty who participate in the training program but not the research projects.

For more guidance, see Emphasize Expertise in Biosketches in Strategy to Prepare the Forms and Just-In-Time in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

"I am a junior faculty member at a historically black college and am interested in summer research with a PI who has an SC2 grant. Does the grant qualify for a diversity supplement?"—Doreen Cunningham, Ph.D., Saint Augustine's College

According to the January 11, 2010, Guide announcement "NIH Broadens Eligibility for NIH Diversity and Re-Entry Supplements," the Pilot Research Project (SC2) is not among the eligible grant types.

That said, the announcement states that "Eligibility for other grant mechanisms may vary among institutes and centers. Therefore applicants should consult each announcement before applying."

For the diversity supplement, you can find contacts and special interests and instructions at NIH's Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

For NIAID, you can find our information on our Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research; we do not include SC2s among the eligible grant types.

"How can I obtain funding amounts of previously funded intramural NIAID grants?"-- an anonymous reader

Intramural projects are not funded through grants. Our intramural scientists are federal employees and therefore ineligible for almost all federal grants.

You can find funding data for intramural projects, as you would for extramural research, in the NIH RePORTER database. Choose intramural research on the Funding Mechanism part of the search form. Or search by the project number if you know it.

Learn more in our Extramural and Intramural Research questions and answers.

New Funding Opportunities

See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated December 29, 2011

Last Reviewed March 03, 2010