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May 23, 2012

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles.

Why You May Want to Consider a Contract

We moved the contents of this article to Why You May Want to Consider a Contract. As part of the Strategy for NIH Funding, the new page explains what contracts are, how they differ from grants, and how to analyze whether a solicitation is right for you.

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

Focusing on HIV/AIDS in Aging Populations

HIV/AIDS in older people poses unique challenges, some of which are the focus of three recent funding opportunities on multidisciplinary studies of HIV/AIDS and aging. Though the trio have the same topic, they use different activity codes: R01, R03, and R21.

Your research could fit the bill if you propose studying HIV infection or treatment, HIV-associated conditions, or biobehavioral or social factors associated with HIV/AIDS in older adults.

To be competitive, your project should cover several bases, such as having a clinical orientation, including geriatric outcomes, and involving people who span age 50 and above.

As for topics, here are a few examples of suitable research areas:

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of HIV in aging
  • HIV-associated non-AIDS (HANA) conditions and comorbidities
  • Biomarkers or clinical indices of HIV-associated pathology

Note: NIAID will not accept applications proposing clinical trials. It's best to discuss your idea with an NIAID program officer before you apply.

The opportunities have multiple due dates through April 2015, the first being August 7, 2012.

For complete details on the opportunities, read the R01, R03, and R21 program announcements. And to learn more about R03 and R21 grants, see our Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants SOP.

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Get Answers to Questions About the U.S.-China Collaborative Research RFA

Did our April 25, 2012, article "Get On Board with U.S.-China Collaborative Research" whet your appetite for collaborating with Chinese investigators?

You might want to check out answers to some common questions our staff have received in response to the related funding opportunity announcement.

Go to Questions for Individual Opportunities in our Peer Review at NIAID questions and answers. If that doesn't cover what you need, email one of NIAID's agency contacts listed in the April 4, 2012, Guide notice.

Header: Other News. 

A Toast to NIAID Grantees, Now NAS Members

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently announced their latest inductees—eleven of whom are NIAID grantees.

Congratulations to:

  • Andrew G. Clark—professor, department of molecular biology and genetics, Cornell University
  • Joseph M. DeSimone—Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry, department of chemistry, University of North Carolina, and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University
  • Paul T. Englund—professor of biological chemistry, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • Jorge E. Galán—Lucille P. Markey Professor of Microbiology, department of microbiology, Yale University School of Medicine
  • K. Christopher Garcia—investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor, departments of molecular and cellular physiology and of structural biology, Stanford University
  • Beatrice Hahn—professor, departments of medicine and microbiology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Bruce R. Levin—Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor, department of biology, Emory University
  • Yasuko Rikihisa—professor, department of veterinary biosciences, The Ohio State University
  • Alexander Rudensky—investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and professor, immunology program, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
  • Robert J. Tibshirani—professor of health research and statistics, Stanford University
  • Eckard A. F. Wimmer—Distinguished Professor, department of molecular genetics and microbiology, Stony Brook University
  • Richard A. Young—professor of biology, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

For a full list of new NAS members, check out News from the National Academy of Sciences.

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Number of Approved Stem Cell Lines Continues to Grow

So far this year, the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry has added almost a dozen new cell lines investigators can use for NIH-funded research. This takes the total number on the list to more than 150.

Recent additions include UM11-1PGD that carries a mutation for Charcot Marie Tooth disease Type IA and HUES PGD 16, which was derived from an embryo affected with genetic mutations that cause Huntington's Disease.

As an NIAID researcher, you may want to check out not-so-recently approved lines like Endeavour-2 (for projects on treating diabetes) and HUES 9 (for research that will lead to creating pancreatic islets that contain ß cells for transplanting into diabetics).

If you have a cell line you want NIH to approve, read How to Get a Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Approved. To see which lines are awaiting the green light, go to Submitted hESC Lines Pending Review on NIH's Stem Cell Information site.

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Stimulating the Economy Through BioSciences

In a show of faith to promote economic growth, the Obama administration recently released the National Bioeconomy Blueprint.

The Blueprint outlines steps agencies will take to stimulate the economy through bioeconomics, i.e., research and innovation in the biosciences.

The initiative will address challenges in health, food, energy, and the environment by “strengthening bioscience research as a major driver of American innovation and economic growth.”

In addition to guiding federal agencies, the Blueprint promotes partnerships with private-sector entities and provides innovative incentives, such as prizes, to support high-risk research.

For more details, read the National Bioeconomy Blueprint and National Bioeconomy Blueprint Released.

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News Briefs

Here's news from around NIH.

We Posted Our T32 Payline. For FY 2012, we're now funding T32 grants up to an overall impact score of 16. See NIAID Paylines.

Two New IACUC Workshops in June. NIH announced more workshops on institutional animal care and use committees (IACUC) from June 13 to 14, 2012, in Virginia Beach, Virginia. One session provides basic IACUC training, while the other explores more advanced topics. Read the May 4, 2012, Guide notice for details.

Sign Up for June's NIH Regional Seminar. Registration is still open for the NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration, held in Washington, D.C. from June 20 to 22. This is the last seminar of 2012. For more information, read the May 15, 2012, Guide notice.

Header: Advice Corner.

Participating in the AIDS 2012 Conference? Let Us Know

We want to throw out two familiar words related to the AIDS 2012 conference from July 22-27 in Washington, D.C.: "show" and "tell."

Show us you're there by visiting the NIH exhibit, with seven kiosks and a crew of NIH staff ready to answer your questions.

And, if you're one of our grantees, tell your program officer ASAP about any accepted session abstracts, posters, or newsworthy items related to the conference.

We'll consider publicizing your work, e.g., by highlighting your research results in one of the daily press conferences or promoting your work to conference attendees. Don't miss this chance to get some extra publicity!

Header: 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.

"Under what circumstances can I start spending money on my grant before I get my Notice of Award?"—anonymous reader

For most grants, your institution can allow you to start spending money up to 90 days before your grant's official start date for research within your approved aims.

However, it does so at its own risk because NIAID has not yet made your award and does not increase your budget if the award can't cover the money you've already spent.

That said, with your institution’s permission, you can use its money to cover costs of personnel, supplies, or equipment on your grant. Contact your institutional business office to find out if this is possible.

Note that the grant does not start early for NIAID, and the renewal date stays the same.

"Is merit the primary criterion for awarding contracts?"—anonymous reader

That depends on the solicitation. Potential offerors should check Section M of the solicitation for the evaluation factors and their relative importance.

For R&D contracts, technical merit is usually the most important evaluation factor.

Most NIAID solicitations also include evaluation factors for best value. These include cost, past performance, and small disadvantaged business participation.

As noted in the above article "Why You May Want to Consider a Contract" review criteria are solicitation-specific.

Header: New Funding Opportunities.

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated May 23, 2012

Last Reviewed May 23, 2012