See the Glossary for more terms.
If filariasis is part of your research or on the radar, think about signing up for a free one-week filariasis minicourse March 14 to 18, 2011, at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA.
The seminar introduces students, postdocs, PIs, university professors, and industry representatives to whole organism and molecular techniques commonly used in the field.
Sponsored by the NIAID/NIH Filariasis Research Reagent Resource Center, a.k.a., FR3, the minicourse features daily lectures on topics such as:
Plus, daily lab exercises give you hands-on experience with important techniques including:
Taught by FR3 personnel and filariasis researchers, the course gives you a great opportunity to learn, ask questions, and network with leading investigators in the field. You can even request a stipend to attend.
For more information, go to Annual FR3 Minicourse Details; contact Shelly Michalski at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional help.
Those whose interest was piqued by December’s Guide notice on the Lasker Clinical Research Scholars program will be glad to hear this: the request for applications is now out. See the February 2, 2011, Guide notice.
This unique opportunity offers early-career clinical researchers a chance to obtain an independent research position either in NIH’s Intramural Research Program (IRP) or at an extramural research institution. The program has two phases:
To be eligible, you must be a physician or dentist who is within six years of completing core residency training.
As for research areas, NIH will give highest priority to projects in fields listed in the funding opportunity announcement. For NIAID, that means research in infectious diseases including TB, neglected tropical diseases, malaria, and hepatitis.
For complete details, read the Guide notice and go to Lasker Clinical Research Scholars Web site.
In “Changing the Culture of Science Education at Research Universities,” a recent article in Science (requires subscription), the authors state the following:
“The reward systems at research universities heavily weight efforts of many professors toward research at the expense of teaching, particularly in disciplines supported extensively by extramural funding…Departmental and university cultures often do not adequately value, support, and reward effective pedagogy.”
The Chronicle of Higher Education published a related piece, “Scientists Fault Universities as Favoring Research Over Teaching.”
What do you think? Leave us your comments.
A while back we informed you about bookmarking Careers and Training at NIAID, your first source of information about working for us.
If you haven’t been checking regularly, you haven’t seen a new layout and some other changes that can help you get what you need.
Some recent enhancements:
You can also send a personalized e-Card to invite friends, family, colleagues, and coworkers to visit the redesigned site.
Favorite standards are still there — read our April 14, 2010, Funding Newsletter article “Check Out Our One-Stop Shop for NIAID Career Opportunities” for a rundown, or head straight to Careers and Training at NIAID.
Don’t rely solely on the Web site to get your career news — get it from Twitter, too. Follow @NIAIDCareers.
A presidential report proposes steps the U.S. government should take to help researchers navigate the risks and rewards of synthetic biology.
Issued by the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues, the report makes 18 recommendations, including the following actions:
These suggestions are based on five ethical principles:
The panel’s recommendations are just that — no new laws have been created or existing regulations changed as yet.
Read its report, New Directions: The Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies and Frequently Asked Questions at Bioethics.gov.
To give you access to more free resources, NIAID’s Immunology Database and Analysis Portal – ImmPort — launched a suite of new tools to support HLA typing data analysis. For example, a tool to reduce genotypic and allelic ambiguity, based on known population allele frequencies, helps you deal with the uncertainty associated with certain typing methods.
Genotyping human HLA has become an essential part of immunogenetic studies because polymorphisms are associated with increased risk of autoimmune diseases and differential sensitivity to infectious diseases.
If you are new to ImmPort, you can access the HLA analysis tools after registering as a Life Science Researcher at Register User: Notice. For existing users, log in to your account and click on “MHC Analysis” in the Tools menu.
Go to ImmPort for advanced information technology support in the visualization, query analysis, archive, and exchange of data for life science researchers, including both mechanistic and clinical research data and analysis tools. Find more ImmPort enhancements at Release Notes.
This is the fifteenth article in our New Investigator Series.
Previously in this series, we wrote about what it takes to get independent support and how to plan and develop your application. In this article, we give you advice on preparing key parts of the application other than the Research Plan.
This information is geared to the R01, NIH's standard research grant. To get the most out of our advice, first complete the planning steps described in the articles listed under Related Links below. At this point you should have written your Research Plan (Specific Aims and Research Strategy).
Below we give you advice on these parts of your application:
Some information—such as key personnel, resources, and consortium (subaward)—appears on more than one form of the Grant Application Package. Make sure that any information you add is in sync with other forms and with your Research Plan.
Visit your business office. Visit your institution's business office early to learn its procedures and timelines. Your institution not only may need your application weeks or even months before the receipt date, but may offer help that you may not be aware of.
Talk to business office staff as soon as you start to think about applying, and ask what services they provide. They may take care of much of the nitty-gritty detail work, hold your hand through the budgeting process, or even edit the text, but only if you work with them to meet their deadlines.
After you finish your Research Plan, you are ready to write your abstract (called Project Summary/Abstract) and Project Narrative.
These sections may be small, but they're important because:
Think brief and simple.
Abstract. Write a succinct summary of your project that both a scientist and a lay person can understand (to the extent that you can).
Narrative. In your Project Narrative, you have only a few sentences to drive home your project's potential to improve public health.
Be sure to omit confidential or proprietary information in these sections! When your application is funded, NIH enters your title and abstract in the public RePORTER database.
Include appropriate keywords, e.g., immunotherapy, genetic risk factors. The keywords will help NIH staff assign your application, enable NIH computer systems to retrieve your grant properly, and let the public find your project.
Spot the Sample
Check out these effective abstracts and narratives from our sample applications on New Sample R01 Applications and Summary Statements:
Your Project Summary/Abstract and Project Narrative are attachments to the Other Project Information form.
How's that title? If you created a provisional title already, this is a good time to check that it's still apropos. In any case, you may want to go over the pointers we gave you under the header First Step: Give It a Title in our January 5, 2011, article "Start Writing Your Application."
Checkpoint. After finishing the draft, check that:
As you likely know by now, proposing elegant science is not enough. Reviewers will scrutinize your application to make sure you have the resources to get the job done.
As an early-stage investigator, you'll also need to show how your institution is invested in your success, including startup funds, lab space, and mentoring.
Look at the Facilities and Other Resources and the Equipment attachments of the same applications:
You'll find these attachments on the Other Project Information form of the Grant Application Package.
Checkpoint. After finishing the draft, check that:
Reviewers look carefully to see whether the PI and others have enough experience with the techniques to execute the Research Plan.
All people who play a substantive role need a biosketch, even if they are not paid a salary from the grant, including consultants and technical staff. Attach the biosketches to the Senior/Key Person Profile form.
Make your personal statement shine. Don't skimp on this key section of the biosketch. Your personal statement can be a big factor in how you the PI rate on the Investigator review criterion.
All key personnel's biosketches have a personal statement too, which must explicitly state how their experience qualifies them for their role on your project, including their relevant education, expertise, and accomplishments.
For strong examples that show all of the above as well as the leadership of the PI, look at these sample applications:
Carefully choose publications and research support. Highlight your team's expertise by listing no more than 15 publications or manuscripts in press for each person. In your Appendix, you may also include three manuscripts that are not public if they have been accepted for publication.
In the biosketches, also list any research support for each key person. Reviewers also look here to check qualifications, so briefly describe all supported research most relevant to your project.
For a well-thought-out description of research support for the PI and her collaborators, go to the biosketches in Dr. Wählby's application at Wählby Full Application.
Did you prepare your application and then find out that a key person is leaving?
Even if he or she will be gone by the time the application is funded, you can keep that person on the personnel list. Reviewers understand that people move and assume you will find a replacement with similar skills. Do not use "to be named."
If you have a replacement, submit the biosketch and letter of support or collaboration to the scientific review officer at least 30 calendar days before the review meeting.
One more note on the Senior/Key Person Profile form: do not attach Current and Pending Support, a.k.a., other support, unless (very rarely) you are applying through a request for applications or program announcement that instructs you to do so.
We will ask for your other support information later if we plan to fund your application.
Your first budget principle to follow as a new investigator: in general, you will keep within the $250,000 of a modular budget. In FY 2009, about 80 percent of new investigators went the modular route.
The second budget principle is to stay within NIH's rules: you may use grant monies only for costs that are allowed, reasonable, and necessary. An NIAID grants management specialist can help if you have questions.
As you designed your experiments, you may have kept track of the resources you will need to conduct the research—if you did not, you need to go back and figure this out.
Then determine which resources your organization (or that of your collaborators) will provide and which to add as budget items in your application.
Here are some guidelines for requesting those funds:
In addition to NIH's rules, your reviewers will weigh in too. If you request funds for equipment or resources you listed as available, reviewers will delete the funds, and your credibility will suffer. Expect your reviewers to:
If your budget is ballooning out of scale, consider cutting back experiments or Specific Aims. Redraw your research until it fits within the target range for your budget.
Checkpoint. After mapping out an initial plan, check that:
If you've never prepared a budget before, get help from somebody who has. Reviewers will view the correlation of your funding request with the project's scope as a gauge of your competence.
Prepare a modular budget that requests funding in $25,000 increments if your budget is less than $250,000 and you are working at a domestic institution (unless stated otherwise in a request for applications or program announcement).
Fill in the PHS 398 Modular Budget form with your budget request for each year and the total.
Because modular budgets have no increases for inflation for future years, you'll have to plan the entire budget—everything you'll need—at the outset.
Also keep in mind that you have considerable flexibility to rebudget funds after you get the award, though the total dollars will not change.
By citing wisely in your Research Plan, you put your research in its scientific context for your reviewers and convince them that you know your field.
Then in your Bibliography and References Cited Attachment, list all the publications you have cited. We suggest that you limit your citations to fewer than 100, but don't omit essentials or items that highlight the breadth of your knowledge.
The advice we give you here is just that—you still need to read the SF 424 Application Guide for detailed instructions on completing the forms. The sections described above appear on these application forms and attachments:
Talk to staff in your business office about what budget and cover page information they will give you or prepare, for example, your institution's facilities and administrative cost rate.
They will also review and sign your application before you submit it. As PI, you do not sign it, but give your institution a signature assurance to keep on file before each submission.
Hopefully, you've already visited people in your business office early enough to learn what information and how much time they'll need from you. Depending on the institution, the amount of time can vary from weeks to months.
In our January 19, 2011, article "News Flash: NIAID Town Hall Meeting on March 7—Save the Date!," we invited you to join in our continuing discussion about the future of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Diseases Clinical Trials Networks, with "other important information" to follow.
We now have that other important information, namely, registration form and contacts, with a draft agenda coming soon. Go to NIAID Leadership Group for a Clinical Research Network on Infectious Diseases Other than HIV and visit the Registration page to sign up for this free meeting.
In related news, don't miss your chance to give input directly to NIAID on what research areas or studies the new networks should focus on. We'll take your comments until April 4, 2011. Read the February 8, 2011, Guide notice for details and instructions on how to send remarks.
If you haven't signed up for email bulletins from the Commons, you may be missing important news on system updates, user tools, and administrative tips.
Subscribe to eRA Commons listservs to get information on technical matters and tidbits to help you navigate the system, e.g., tips on improving your interactions with the Commons help desk and details of security improvements.
Sign up at Get Connected.
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.
"I switched institutions without transferring my grant. Can I apply for a renewal from my new institution?"—anonymous reader
No. You cannot apply for renewal of a grant awarded to another institution.
However, you can ask your former institution to relinquish its rights to the grant and transfer legal responsibility to your new institution. If your previous institution has closed out the grant, you can't restart the work but you would be able to submit a renewal application to continue your research.
NIAID has to approve this change in advance but does not play any role in the exchange. See the Prior Approvals for Post Award Grant Actions SOP for details.
See these and older announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated February 03, 2012
Last Reviewed February 15, 2011