See the Glossary for more terms.
Now you can get access to over 900,000 archived specimens and data from the completed Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS).
WITS initially explored the natural history of HIV-1 infection, but with the advent of potent HIV therapy, was expanded to include the safety and efficacy of antiretroviral therapy. From 1990 to 2007, the prospective study followed over 2,000 HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants, children, and adolescents living in the U.S.
WITS specimens can be linked to the study’s clinical data and include:
If you would like access, please read the WITS SOP (PDF) and email email@example.com for more information.
Previously the samples have been used to examine the clinical and immunologic characteristics of HIV disease, impact of maternal plasma HIV-1 RNA levels on perinatal HIV transmission, HIV-1 genotypic zidovudine resistance, risk of maternal-to-infant transmission, and role of viral coinfections on mother-to-child HIV transmission.
WITS was primarily funded by NIAID with cofunding from National Institute on Child Health and Human Development and National Institute on Drug Abuse.
We are posting this on behalf of Joel Baseman, Ph.D., who emailed us the following:
“I would appreciate clarification of the logic of the new policy negating the submission of limited supplemental materials that include “late breaking research findings” related to the specific aims of non-RFA applications. I think that 1-2 pages of highly relevant grant-related data would be “Enhancing Peer Review” (NOT-OD-10-115), not diminishing it and certainly not adding substantial burden to the reviewers, review process and SRO. To the contrary, these late breaking research findings, provided voluntarily at least one month prior to the peer review meeting, should be extremely helpful to reviewers.”
For investigators focused on identifying genes involved in autoimmune diseases, we have a resource right up your alley: the Multiple Autoimmune Disease Genetics Consortium, sponsored by NIAID.
Though MADGC (pronounced “magic”) is not new, it may be new to you — and we don’t want you to miss out.
The repository has specimens as well as genetic and clinical data from families with two or more people affected by different autoimmune diseases. These materials can help researchers understand the genes that autoimmune diseases have in common.
Many scientists have taken advantage of MADGC — see Recent Publications. If you’d like to as well, contact Peter K. Gregersen, M.D., at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During our break from publishing the newsletter, we’ve been busily working with funded investigators to give you new examples of outstanding applications with a 12-page Research Strategy.
Now that we are funding these shorter applications, we can finally deliver this widely anticipated resource. Four investigators who wrote exceptional applications have graciously agreed to let us post them online.
Please join us in thanking the following investigators for their generosity to the research community.
We scanned more than 30 applications that scored in the exceptional range to find ones we felt were sound examples and then lightly annotated them to highlight essential grantsmanship principles.
At last we are able to give you evidence-based advice for writing the key science sections of the application. Look for that topic in the next articles of our New Investigator Series in January.
Go to Sample R01 Applications and Summary Statements for links to the full applications, summary statements, and Research Plans only.
This is the twelfth article in our New Investigator Series. Also on NIAID Funding Blog—go to "Start Writing Your Application."
Before in this series, we looked into qualifying for independent support, picking a project, and planning your application. In this article, we explore how to get started writing the first part of your Research Plan, the Specific Aims.
To get the most out of our advice, you should be familiar with the planning steps we described earlier—see Related Articles below. Our advice is geared mainly to the R01, NIH's standard research grant.
In this article we give you an approach to getting your writing off the ground, and then we delve into creating the Specific Aims section of the Research Plan.
At this point, we assume you have defined your hypothesis, decided on Specific Aims, and determined which experiments you will conduct to support those aims. To learn about those steps, read "Laying the Groundwork for Your Research Plan" in our October 27 issue.
Now that we have posted the Sample R01 Applications and Summary Statements, you can get a glimpse of writing strategies for successful applications. There are many ways to create a great application, so explore your options.
Writing in a logical sequence will save you time.
Information you put in the Research Plan affects just about every other application part. You'll need to keep everything in sync as your plans evolve during the writing phase.
Writing in a logical sequence will save you time. We suggest proceeding in the following order:
To avoid overloading you with information, we are presenting the advice in this article as a guide to use as you work on your draft.
For each part, we start with basic concepts and a rationale that you can use to prepare an initial draft. After you've done that, go over each point under our Checkpoint headers to critique your draft and improve it.
Check the list, review your work, revise your text. Repeat until perfect.
Within the character limit, include as much information as you can about the research area, your project's goals, and the research problem.
It may seem like an odd place to start, but giving your project a title at the outset can help you stay focused and avoid a meandering Research Plan.
So you may want to launch your writing by creating a short well-defined title—NIH gives you only 81 characters—to help keep yourself on track as you work.
Your title (together with your Abstract) will become public if NIH funds your application. So write it in simple language that anyone can understand—to the extent that this is possible.
Within the character limit, include as much information as you can about the research area, your project's goals, the problem your project addresses, and possibly your approach to studying it. Make your title specific: saying you are studying lymphocyte trafficking is not that informative.
Here is an example of a strong title: "Structural controls of functional receptor and antibody binding to viral capsids" from Colin Parrish, who submitted one of our sample applications.
Checkpoint. After you write a preliminary title, check that:
Review what you've written and revise as necessary.
Later you may find that you need to change your initial title. That's fine—at this point, the title is just an aid to keep your plans focused.
Explain Your Aims
Since all your reviewers read your Specific Aims, you want to excite them about your project.
If testing your hypothesis is the destination for your research, your Research Plan is the map that takes you there.
You'll start by writing the smaller part, the Specific Aims. (We will discuss the main part, the Research Strategy, in our next article.)
Think of the one-page Specific Aims as a capsule of your Research Plan. Since all your reviewers read your Specific Aims, you want to excite them about your project.
Write a narrative. Use at least half the page to present and provide the context for your planned research. A good way to start is with a sentence that states your project's goals. For the rest of the narrative, you will:
In the narrative part of the Specific Aims of outstanding applications we reviewed, people also used their aims to:
Depending on your situation, decide which items are important for you. For example, it's a good idea for a new investigator to highlight preliminary data or qualifications.
Many people use bold or italics to emphasize items they want to bring to the reviewers' attention, such as the hypothesis or rationale.
List your aims. After the narrative, enter your aims as bold bullets, or stand-alone or run-on headers (as in List your aims. at left).
How focused should your aims be? Get an idea from Dr. Parrish's application cited above:
Checkpoint. After finishing the draft Specific Aims, check that:
For each element listed above, analyze your text and revise it until your Specific Aims hit all the key points you'd like to make.
After the list of aims, some people add a closing paragraph, emphasizing the significance of the work, their collaborators, or whatever else they want to focus reviewers' attention on.
Note: You don't need the application forms at this point—write the text in your word processor and upload it into the application form when it's final.
See the full list of articles in the New Investigator Series on the Early-Stage and New Investigators portal.
We've changed the scoring of cores of multiproject applications submitted to NIAID, starting with investigator-initiated program project applications submitted for the January 25, 2011, receipt date, and other applications submitted for FY 2012 funding (September 2011 Council).
Cores to Get Scores
In the past, cores in multiproject applications were evaluated as either “acceptable” or “unacceptable.”
Now, to give reviewers a range of possible scores, we will be scoring cores as follows:
How We Score Multiproject Applications
Here's what you can expect when you submit your application to NIAID.
For more on review of multiproject applications and our advice on how to proceed, take a look at our recently updated Guidance for Preparing a Multiproject Research Application.
You've probably heard the expression "when it rains it pours."
If that's true, you may want to have your umbrella handy when the January 25, 2011 receipt date comes around.
Several policy changes go into effect, among them:
For reminders of some other policies NIH announced over the past year, read the November 24, 2010, Guide notice. Also use our Top Policy Changes for just the main points on the most important changes.
Meet scientists from the medical, microbial, and computational fields, and learn about cutting-edge microbiome research from global leaders.
If you're into human microbiome research, check out the International Human Microbiome Congress, being held from March 9 to 11 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Meet scientists from the medical, microbial, and computational fields, and learn about cutting-edge microbiome research from global leaders. Topics include the following:
Sign up by January 21 to qualify for a discount. And students and postdocs can apply for a travel stipend of up to $500 until January 14. To register and learn more, go to International Human Microbiome Congress.
The Congress is hosted by the International Human Microbiome Consortium, of which NIH is a leading member.
Under Congress's most recent continuing resolution, NIAID's operations are funded through March 4, 2011. We still do not have a budget and have not added anything to our Financial Management Plan.
Four more stem cell lines are eligible for NIH funding—identified as SA001, SA002, BJNhem19, BJNhem20. Go to NIH's Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry for a full list of approved lines.
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.
"Do all ICs have the same new investigator policy?” – an anonymous reader
No. NIH set a goal of parity with non-new PI success rates, but allows each institute or center to decide how to get there. For example, NIAID sets a higher payline for new investigators to help them secure their first award.
To learn more, check out the following pages:
Also see NIH's New and Early Stage Investigator Policies.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated December 21, 2012
Last Reviewed January 05, 2011