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July 6, 2011

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

Other News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles.

News from May Council: New Members, Concepts

Council conducts second-level review, advises the Institute, clears concepts for initiatives, and reviews programs.

With the May advisory Council meeting behind us, it's time to welcome the new members of our main advisory Council:

DAIDS Subcommittee

  • Dázon Dixon Diallo, M.P.H., president and founder of Sisterlove, and an adjunct faculty member in women’s health at the Morehouse School of Medicine’s Master of Public Health Program, Atlanta.
  • Jerome Zack, Ph.D., professor, Department of Medicine and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles.

DAIT Subcommittee

  • Michael Holtzman, M.D., Seldin Professor of Medicine, professor of cell biology, and director of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis. 
  • Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology and Immunology, and Biomedical Engineering at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.
  • Velma Scantlebury, M.D., associate director of the Division of Transplantation at the Christiana Care Transplant Center.

To read more about their backgrounds, go to Biographical Sketches of NIAID Council Members.

Our Council has four main roles: performing second-level review, advising NIAID on policy, reviewing programs, and developing and clearing concepts for funding future science directions. See NIAID's Council—Our Chief Advisory Committee for more information.

Just in: Concepts

If you've visited our Concepts: Potential Initiatives page, you know where to go for the latest Concepts. If not, here are the reasons you may want to check out this valuable information.

By giving you a sneak peak at NIAID's emerging research interests, concepts can spark ideas for an investigator-initiated application in a high-priority area. They also show you potential future initiatives: requests for applications, program announcements, or solicitations.

Find out more about using concepts advantageously by reading "Application Approach: What Are Your Choices?," an article in our New Investigator Series, especially the section Blend the Approaches.

Note that while our advisory Council must approve all concepts, its approval does not guarantee a concept will become a published initiative. For more on the planning process, go to Concepts May Turn Into Initiatives.

Read More

To learn more about the activities of our advisory Council, go to:

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Apply for One of Two Senior-Level Positions With NIAID

NIAID recently announced two high-level vacancies among our Open Scientific Positions. Are you interested?

Run Our Extramural Activities Division

We're looking for an outstanding manager to head the Division of Extramural Activities (DEA). As leader of an NIAID program division that awards $3.7 billion in grants and R&D contracts, you will supervise NIAID's extramural research policy and oversee our scientific review, grants, contracts, research training, and international programs.

You'll operate at the highest levels of NIH, reporting directly to NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., and working with NIAID executives and heads of other institutes to set strategic direction, plan major initiatives, and solve complicated operational challenges.

Read more about the position and learn how to apply in the Director, Division of Extramural Activities, NIAID, NIH, HHS announcement.

Head Up Our AIDS Vaccine Research Program

Do you have a hankering to lead NIAID's effort to discover, develop, and test candidate vaccines for the prevention of HIV infection? See if you have what it takes to run NIAID's Vaccine Research Program, a global program of grants, contracts, and partnerships at the vanguard of HIV vaccine research.

If selected for the position, you'll plan and manage NIAID's overall HIV/AIDS vaccine research and development program, including the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN) and Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI). As part of your responsibilities, you'll also represent NIAID at major functions and foster relationships with top-level scientists, research institutions, and scientific organizations across the globe.

Get the full scoop and application instructions in the Director, Vaccine Research Program announcement.

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

FYI: New RFP From the Immune Tolerance Network

ITN seeks novel clinical trials designed to induce immune tolerance in combined solid organ plus hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Clinical researchers may be interested in a new opportunity from the Immune Tolerance Network.

The request for proposals—Clinical Trials of Allogeneic Solid Organ Transplantation Plus Therapeutic Cell Transfer—seeks novel clinical trials designed to induce immune tolerance in combined solid organ plus hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.

Ideal proposals should have strong preclinical data with a fully described, testable mechanism of tolerance induction and a strategy for mechanistic assays investigating this mechanism. Note that ITN is particularly interested in proposals for phase II trials with about five to thirty patients.

You have until August 31, 2011, to send in your proposal, which should describe your clinical trial in no more than two pages. Use the New Proposal Submission Form at Submit a Proposal.

If you have questions or want more information about the RFP, contact Dr. Philip Bernstein, executive director of Scientific Review, at 240-235-6132 or pbernstein@immunetolerance.org.

Cosponsored by NIAID's Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, ITN is a consortium of more than 80 investigators committed to finding new tolerance induction strategies for patients with allergies, organ transplants, or autoimmune diseases.

For more information on ITN and its resources, go to the Welcome page.

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Pay Attention to Loan Repayment Programs

NIH's LRP could repay up to $35,000 of your educational debt each year.

You'd probably agree that paying off student loans is like digging out of a hole. If you need help tunneling your way to freedom, we have three words for you: Loan Repayment Programs.

NIH's LRP could repay up to $35,000 of your educational debt each year if you're an eligible doctoral-level clinician or researcher who's committed to conducting qualified research for at least two years.

Bottom line aside, LRP could have a positive effect on your career as well. The NIH LRP Evaluation shows that the programs have effectively kept early-career scientists in the biomedical research workforce.

What's more, LRP participants stay in research careers longer, apply for and receive more grants, and become independent investigators more frequently than their peers who go without LRP funding.

If you want to mull over whether to apply, you have time. The next application cycle starts September 1 and ends November 15. NIH has several repayment programs, but NIAID supports only the Clinical Research LRP and Pediatric Research LRP.

Should you opt to jump on board, get tips and guidance on writing a successful application by watching a Webinar presented by Dr. Milton Hernandez, director of the NIH Division of Loan Repayment.

Learn more about LRP at NIAID's Loan Repayment Programs and NIH's Loan Repayment Programs Extramural Programs.

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Consider NIAID's Services for Your Biomarker Research

This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting resources for researchers from NIAID's Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID).

Do you need to identify protein biomarkers—host or pathogen—in your well-defined clinical samples?

Look into services from NIAID’s Clinical Proteomics Centers for Infectious Diseases and Biodefense. If you're working on samples collected for Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases or NIAID Category A, B, and C Priority Pathogens, you may get support for the following activities:

  • Candidate protein biomarker discovery.
  • Assays to quantify candidate biomarkers.
  • Qualification and subsequent verification of candidate biomarkers.

You just supply clinical samples and related information. The centers will provide advanced proteomics and bioinformatics analyses for approved projects, and they'll publish results on their public Web sites.

NIAID approves projects based on merit, priority, and availability of funding. Go to Clinical Proteomics Centers for Infectious Diseases and Biodefense for information on eligibility, assurances to users, the application and approval process, data release guidelines, and more.

Contact Dr. Maureen Beanan about rules and regs, and talk to center staff about study design, study goals, and sample availability.

Also consider other NIAID-sponsored data and analytic tools that can give your "omics" research some extra oomph—see Omics Research Tools and Technologies and contact Dr. Malu Polanski to discuss tapping the potential of any of these resources.

Header: Other News.

Unresolved Bars May Leave You Seeing Stars

Contact your program officer pronto to discuss any impediments to submitting your documentation.

Every fiscal year at about this time, NIAID tells you the same thing: if you have a bar to award, send in the paperwork necessary to lift it without delay.

Contact your program officer pronto to discuss any impediments to submitting your documentation.

July marks the last chance to resolve study section concerns or administrative requirements without seriously jeopardizing your funding. NIH can take months to review and approve requests to lift bars, and NIAID does not have the authority to intervene or expedite.

Unless NIH clears you by September 27, we may have to leave your application unfunded or give you a restricted award that prevents you from spending some or all your money until you can resolve study section concerns.

That probably doesn't sound appealing to you—and it certainly isn't something we want to do—but NIH rules give us no other choice.

Learn more on the following pages:

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News Briefs

Here are some items you might be interested in.

NIAID Ups the T32 Payline. We're now funding T32 grants up to a 22 overall impact score in FY 2011.

Advise NIH on Federal Regulations for Educational Institutions. Comment on Circular A-21, the U.S. government's cost principles for educational institutions. NIH is giving you an opportunity to talk about A-21's impact, evaluate eight of its provisions, and suggest new language to improve the regulation. Read details in the June 28, 2011, Guide notice and use NIH's Comments Form to send feedback by July 28, 2011.

Header: Advice Corner.

Did You Get Prior Approval?

The answer should be "yes" for making certain changes to your grant. You must get NIAID's permission before modifying its scope, changing key personnel or institution, adding a foreign site, or doing any of the actions listed in our Prior Approvals for Post-Award Grant Actions SOP.

Otherwise, you risk losing your funding.

You don't need our go-ahead for other changes, which are described in Grantees Can Take Many Actions Independently in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

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Foreign Applicants: Your Ticket to Accessing Web Sites

It has nothing to do with passports or visas, but some international organizations have trouble accessing Web sites for registering with the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) or getting a NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code. If yours is one of them, you can get help from the Federal Service Desk, which now has questions and answers to address the problems.

In a nutshell, here's what to do:

For answers to other questions, see NIH's Frequently Asked Questions for Foreign Organizations and our International Awards questions and answers.

Header: 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.

"Do you have any sample letters of intent for R01s that you can share?"—Angela Broad, UC San Francisco

We do not have sample letters of intent to share. 

They are not required for investigator-initiated R01 applications. Some RFAs may request that you send one, in which case you should expect to see instructions in the funding opportunity announcement describing what you need to include. 

Requirements vary by initiative so we cannot provide a generic sample.

"Why do I get an email requesting I send a final progress report for an R01 grant that I submitted a renewal application for?"—Bruce Walcheck, University of Minnesota

This was likely an error. Because your renewal application includes your progress report, that submission satisfies the requirement for a final progress report on an R01.

Contact your program officer and grants management specialist to confirm that you do not need to send a final progress report.

Header: New Funding Opportunities.

See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated October 05, 2011

Last Reviewed July 06, 2011