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March 17, 2010

News Articles

Opportunities and Resources

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

News Articles

Looking to SHIFT Your Career to Business?

Academics benefit from a sustained period of support in a new environment and the opportunity to be a PI on an SBIR grant. 

Whether you're in industry or academia, put the SHIFT SBIR program on your radar.

Companies get research dollars, expertise, and potentially, collaborators and resources. Academics benefit from a sustained period of support in a new environment and the opportunity to be a PI on a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant. 

Higher Funding Levels, More Time

SHIFT SBIR is a win-win. With this brand new initiative, academic investigators move to a company to use their research skills to develop products.

Funding limits are higher and awards are longer than for normal SBIR grants. Applicants may request the following:

  • Phase I—a maximum of $200,000 in annual total costs for up to two years.
  • Phase II—a maximum of $750,000 in annual total costs for up to three years.

Companies apply for the grants, hiring academic investigators to serve as PIs.

As with all SBIRs, companies must be based in the U.S. and meet small-business eligibility requirements. Applications are due on Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications. Read SHIFT Award: Small Businesses Helping Investigators to Fuel the Translation of Scientific Discoveries for details.

Come Together Right Now

If you're an academic investigator at any level—e.g., senior postdoc, research associate, faculty—find a company that is a good match for your skills or start your own company.

Keep in mind that you must be a credible PI with publications (including those in press) or patents in the topic you propose. SBIR awards do not affect your new investigator status. You do not benefit from being new when applying; neither do you lose your status if you get this award.

We make it easy for companies and academics to find each other with a Web site that lets investigators list their proposed research projects and expertise and lets companies post their research interests.

Go to SHIFT Connector: Bringing Business Jobs to Academic Investigators, and follow the instructions on the page. It's open to all, regardless of scientific area or relevant institute.

Besides NIAID, eight other NIH institutes and two centers are participating: NIA, NIAAA, NIAMS, NICHD, NIDDK, NIDA, NIGMS, NHLBI, NCCAM, and NCRR.

For more information about the program, contact the relevant program staff listed in the SHIFT SBIR program announcement. For NIAID, contact Dr. Gregory Milman at 301-496-8666.

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Latest Concepts—Preview Our High-Priority Areas

Even if you plan to submit an investigator-initiated application, see if you can use one of these high-priority topics.

We've just published the concepts approved at the February meeting of our advisory Council. Here's why you should pay attention.

Concepts can help you choose a topic that's high-priority to NIAID, whether you're applying for an investigator-initiated application or an initiative—for example, a program announcement or request for applications.

Even though concepts are not guaranteed to become published initiatives, applying in a high-priority area may give you a leg up on funding.

Two Ways to Use Concepts Advantageously

Concepts: Potential Opportunities is one of the most popular pages on the Research Funding site, and for good reason. Experienced investigators use this early-stage information to guide the direction of their next application and start gathering preliminary data.

You can do this too, by:

  1. Writing an investigator-initiated application based on a concept in your area of expertise.  
    • Even if we never publish an initiative, your application could have a funding edge because of the importance of the topic.
    • If we do publish an initiative later, you will still have submitted a high-priority application.
  2. Getting a heads-up on potential initiatives, so you can prepare early if you plan to respond later to a request for applications or program announcement.

For applications that score beyond the payline, NIAID is more likely to fund high-quality research in priority areas using R56-Bridge or selective pay awards. Even that small possibility of a funding advantage can be critical in this era of tight budgets.

Tune In

Follow the lead of savvy grantees: tune into Concepts: Potential Opportunities after each Council meeting for a scoop on potential initiatives.

After we post new Council-approved concepts, check whether your expertise lends itself to any of the topics. If it does, get more information from the contact person listed in the concept document.

Read more, including caveats for applying for an initiative, in Choose Approach and Find FOAs in Choose the Grant in the Strategy for NIH Funding. Learn about concepts and how they are developed at Concepts May Turn Into Initiatives on our NIAID Funding Opportunity Planning and the Budget Cycle page.

We post concepts a few weeks after each Council meeting—see the schedule under "Learn About Council Meetings" on our Advisory Council site.

Or you can find out as soon as we post new concepts by signing up for an Email Alert. Check the concepts category when you Subscribe to Email Alerts, or add that category to your existing subscription.

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NIAID Scientists Become American Academy of Microbiology Fellows

Of the 78 microbiologists elected as American Academy of Microbiology fellows, 35 are NIAID grantees.

We'd like to congratulate our grantees who were recently named fellows by the American Academy of Microbiology.  NIAID grantees account for 35 of the 78 new fellows.

Also receiving a fellowship is Dr. Byron Caughey, a senior investigator in NIAID's Division of Intramural Research

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Send Us Your Feedback on Draft Food Allergy Guidelines

Before we make the recommendations final, we want your input. Send comments until May 6, 2010.

NIAID recently posted draft Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy to inform healthcare professionals about how to diagnose and manage food allergies and treat acute food allergy reactions.

Before we make the recommendations final, we want your input.

Use our Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergies Comment Submission Form to tell us what you think and what improvements we should make. We accept comments until May 6, 2010.

Read NIAID's March 8, 2010, news release Public Comment Sought on Draft Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy, and learn more at Public Comment: Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy frequently asked questions.

The guidelines are the result of hard work by Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation staff who launched and coordinated this effort with outside clinical, scientific, public health, and policy specialists.

After vetting members of its Clinical Practice Guidelines Coordinating Committee, DAIT organized an Expert Panel to develop and evaluate recommendations based on an independent review of the scientific and clinical food allergy literature. The process took about a year and a half.

Once the guidelines are final, we will release them with a patient-friendly synopsis and state-of-the-science report on food allergies. Expect to see those sometime this fall.

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Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Another HIV/SIV RFA

Please sit tight—announcement RFA-AI-10-004 is coming soon.

If you've read funding opportunity announcement RFA-AI-10-001, Mechanisms and Prevention of Sexual Transmission of HIV/SIV (R01), you may have noticed a reference to another announcement, RFA-AI-10-004.

That RFA has a similar scope but uses program project (P01) grants instead of R01s. Please apply for either the R01 or P01 opportunity, but not both.

The companion announcement is coming soon. Continue to check our Latest Funding Updates page for NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

Opportunities and Resources

NIH and FDA Launch Regulatory and Translational Science Initiative

A new RFA will spend $6.75 million in cooperative agreements over three years.

A new NIH-FDA partnership strives to narrow the gap between scientific discovery and new therapies.

Its centerpiece is a joint NIH Roadmap request for applications slated to spend $6.75 million on cooperative agreements over three years, $6 million of which is from NIH.

Investigators funded through Advancing Regulatory Science Through Novel Research and Science-Based Technologies will:

  • Develop knowledge, technologies, and innovations for the development, clinical investigation, and regulatory review of medical products.
  • Advance product development of safe and effective experimental products and evidence for regulatory decision-making.

Further, a new Joint Leadership Council will ensure that regulatory considerations are an integral part of biomedical research planning and that the latest science is integrated into regulatory reviews.  

In the spring, FDA and NIH will hold a public meeting to solicit input on how the agencies can work together more effectively.

To hear more about the goals of this initiative, you may want to join a pre-application technical assistance teleconference tomorrow, March 18. See the March 11, 2010, Guide notice for details.

For more information, read the February 24, 2010, NIH press release "NIH and FDA Announce Collaborative Initiative to Fast-Track Innovations to the Public."

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NIH's Common Fund and OppNet Cut Across Boundaries

NIH Common Fund supports short-term, high-impact programs whose research topics span many NIH institutes.

Thinking about multidisciplinary research? Keep in mind the following NIH sources of funding: The NIH Common Fund and OppNet.

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins intends to put more money into these programs to support major themes he'd like to develop in the coming years. Learn more in the August 26, 2009, NIAID Funding Newsletterarticle "Dr. Collins Reveals His Plans."

Look to the Common Fund

Congress created the Common Fund to support short-term, high-impact projects whose research topics span multiple NIH institutes and centers. Go to New Funding Opportunities for topics.

Recently the list of Common Fund Programs has expanded to include new scientific initiatives for FY 2010 and beyond. For more on those, see NIH's press release "Emerging Science, Tech Advances Highlight New NIH Common Fund Programs."

Funding is competitive but opportunities abound, so keep yourself patched into what's going on. Subscribe to the NIH Roadmap E-mail list and get the RSS Feed to stay in the loop.

OppNet Supports Social and Behavioral Studies

HIV/AIDS is one of the major focuses of the OppNet program.

Newly-created OppNet offers a chance to incorporate basic behavioral and social sciences research into your work.

The program has received start-up funds from ARRA, but institutes will each contribute some money every year to keep it going.

HIV/AIDS is one of its major focuses; you can see the full list of funding opportunities at Current Funding.

Advice Corner

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.

"How do I negotiate facilities and administrative (indirect) costs?"—Fred Prince, Hepatitis Research Foundation

Contact HHS's Division of Cost Allocation, and learn more at its Program Support Center.

"I can't find the application and forms for a PA (PA-l0-069)—help!"—an anonymous reader

You had trouble finding the funding opportunity announcement because you were searching for the lower case letter "L" instead of the number "1." People often make that mistake.

You can also find FOAs on our NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

"Can we use stipends to pay for tuition, fees, and books?"—Karen Delia Breeden, HHS Health Resources and Services Administration

No. Do not use stipends to pay for these items since NIAID provides separate funds for tuition, fees, and training-related expenses such as books. 

We have more information in our Advice on Research Training and Career Awards, and we published FY 2010 NRSA Stipend Levels on the Research Funding Web site. For more details, read the January 13, 2010, Guide notice.

"Can we request a no-cost extension for our ARRA award?"—Humaira Matin, California Pacific Medical Center, Research Institute

Yes. ARRA grants are eligible for no-cost extensions. See our No-Cost Extension SOP.

If you have any questions about your terms of award, contact your grants management specialist.

New Funding Opportunities

See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated October 06, 2011

Last Reviewed March 17, 2010