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October 10, 2012

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles.

Sidestep These Application Missteps: Misfiring on Innovation

We moved the content of this article into Sidestep These Application Missteps in our Strategy for NIH Funding.

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

Seeking Your Insights Into HIV Prevention Research

Here’s an opportunity for you to explore HIV transmission and acquisition from the behavioral-biomedical side.

Take note of a request for applications (RFA) to encourage research exploring comprehensive behavioral-biomedical approaches that can lead to new insights into HIV prevention research.

The RFA seeks research on how behavioral studies in HIV-infected populations, biomedical research in reproductive biology, and female hormones affect HIV acquisition and transmission.

Applications are due on November 29, 2012, with optional letters of intent due on October 29, 2012. For complete details, read the September 11, 2012, Guide notice.

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FOA for Tobacco Regulatory Science: NIAID Now on Board

NIAID has joined other institutes participating in the funding opportunity announcement Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science for Research Relevant to the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, a joint NIH-FDA initiative funded wholly by FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products.

This should be welcome news for our researchers interested in helping improve regulation of tobacco products to protect public health.

Note: since we announced our participation just over two weeks ago (see the September 21, 2012, Guide notice), you'll have to act fast if you're interested in applying.

Optional letters of intent are due Monday, October 15, and the application deadline is November 14, 2012.

General Description

The Tobacco Centers of Regulatory Science (TCORS) announcement seeks multidisciplinary research that will further the development and evaluation of tobacco product regulations.

TCORS applications must include the following:

  • At least three synergistic research projects with a central focus.
  • An administrative core and other support cores as needed.
  • Developmental or pilot projects program to explore novel directions.
  • A program for career development and training in the area of tobacco science research.

Investigators should represent a broad range of disciplines working together to increase knowledge across the full spectrum of basic and applied research on tobacco.

For complete details, read the July 10, 2012, Guide notice.

NIAID's Research Areas of Interest

NIAID encourages applications from investigators focused on understanding the impact and health consequences of tobacco* use on 1) immune responses in the respiratory mucosa and systemically, 2) clinical disorders of the upper and lower airways (e.g., sinusitis, rhinitis, asthma), and 3) the ability to respond appropriately to vaccination or an infectious pathogen.

Additionally, we seek research that can lead to identifying biomarkers that predict appropriate immune responses or adverse health consequences in tobacco users.

If you have questions, contact Lynda Chiodetti in our Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation.

*Cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, smokeless tobacco, and other tobacco products.

Additional Resources

Header: Other News. 

Three Words for the Start of FY 2013: Continuing Resolution, Uncertainty

We begin the new fiscal year as we have in the past: awaiting our appropriation from Congress and operating under a continuing resolution. The current CR funds the federal government to a level of 0.6 percent above FY 2012's through March 27.

As is usual for this time of year, there's no way of knowing what our final appropriation will be. Adding to the uncertainty for FY 2013 is the prospect of sequestration, which was written into the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Unclear Budget Picture

If passed as requested in President Obama's budget, NIH's FY 2013 budget would hold steady at last fiscal year's level of $30.86 billion while NIAID's budget would increase $10 million (0.2 percent) to $4.49 billion.

The requested amounts could be drastically different from what's actually received, however, should a sequester take place. If it does, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would have to make across-the-board budget cuts to nearly all of the federal government's discretionary programs, including NIH, starting January 2, 2013.

Those cuts would be sharply felt. According to an OMB report released last month, a sequester would result in an 8.2 percent decrease in the FY 2013 budgets of non-defense agencies. For NIH, that could translate to a loss of approximately $3 billion.

Amidst the Uncertainty, Interim Paylines Are Slowly Coming In

Until we receive our appropriation, we are using interim paylines to fund a limited number of applications. So far, we have provisional paylines for R01s: 6 percentile for non-new investigators, 10 percentile for new ones. We announced these in our September 26 article "Interim R01 Paylines Posted—More Budget News Coming."

As we get more interim paylines, we will publish them in this newsletter and on NIAID Paylines, so stay tuned.

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Stay Tuned for U.S.-Russia Collaboration Opportunity

Be alert: you'll soon have a chance to apply for funding for collaborative research partnerships with Russian investigators.

This new opportunity targets exploratory and developmental HIV/AIDS research that could lead to discoveries to prevent, treat, or ameliorate HIV and HIV-related comorbidities such as malignancies, metabolic complications or opportunistic infections.

We don't know when NIH will release the funding opportunity announcement, but we're telling you now so you can start thinking about topics and partners.

One bit of insider information to help you prepare: clinical trials will not be accepted, though you may propose clinical studies as long as there's no clinical intervention.

For more details about this initiative, read the September 18, 2012, Guide notice.

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News Briefs

NIAID Bows Out of K02, F33. NIAID will stop accepting K02 and F33 applications. See the last due dates for applications at NIAID to Phase Out K02 Participation and NIAID to End Participation in F33 Award on Top Policy Changes.

Coming Soon: Electronic Multiproject Applications. You'll soon be able to apply electronically for multiproject applications. NIH will run a pilot of electronic submission for a few different activity codes before implementing its final policy. Read the September 28, 2012, Guide notice for details.

Header: Advice Corner.

Reminder: Register and Report Results on ClinicalTrials.gov

Are you a principal investigator conducting Phase II, III, or IV clinical trials with interventions involving drugs, biologics, or medical devices? If so, you need to ensure your trial is registered and your study results posted on ClinicalTrials.gov.

Hefty penalty fees may come your way if you don’t comply, as outlined in Public Law 110-85 (Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007), Title VIII-Section 801. NIAID encourages registration and timely posting of results for all clinical research studies so that we maintain transparency and can share advances in knowledge of disease pathogenesis and therapeutics. 

To navigate the ClinicalTrials.gov site, we suggest familiarizing yourself with key terms that map to responsibilities and submissions requirements, including: Applicable Clinical Trials, Responsible Party, Sponsor, ClinicalTrials.gov Registration, Study Start Date, Results Posting, Primary Completion Date, and Study Completion Date. Start with the ClinicalTrials.gov Glossary of Common Site Terms to get a lay of the land.

If you have a question for ClinicalTrials.gov staff, go to the Contact NLM Help Desk. Have related questions for the NIAID division or center that funds your study?  Contact NIAID programmatic staff, such as your program officer, project officer, medical monitor, or project manager.

To learn more about your responsibilities under Section 801 mentioned above, see What NIH Grantees Need to Know About FDAAA.

Let's Get Specific About Video

If you'd like to send video or nontraditional material to supplement your written application, here's what you need to know. NIH's new rules kick in for applications submitted for the January 25, 2013, deadline and later.

What to Do for Video

You must wait until after you apply to send video, but you'll need to prepare before applying.

First, create the video or videos to meet these requirements:

  • You may submit one or more videos, but your video or videos must total no more than two minutes (or five minutes for multiproject applications.)
  • Include only content that NIH deems acceptable for videos. Some examples:
    • Data that have a temporal component.
    • Unusual interventions or surgical procedures.
    • Prototype model use.
    • Visualization of 3-D structures.
    • Software or database demonstrations.
    • Educational materials.
  • Though not required, it's helpful to include captioning for any narration.
  • Use a cross-platform video format such as mp4, mov, avi, flv, or wmv.
  • Embed videos in separate PDF files.
    • Ensure each PDF's file size does not exceed 25 MB due to the size limit for email attachments to NIH.
    • For technical instructions on how to embed video in a PDF, refer to the documentation for your PDF-making program.

Next, as you write your Research Strategy, include key images from the video and a brief description. Since you can't count on all reviewers being able to see or hear the video, make sure your written summary is descriptive enough to make sense without the video.

Then, before you apply, state in your cover letter that you plan to send your video to your scientific review officer (SRO) later.

After you apply, watch the eRA Commons for assignment information about your application, which could take as long as two weeks to appear. Then check with your SRO to find out his or her preference for how you should send the PDF files described above.

Last, make sure we get your files in time: at least one month before the peer review meeting. Your authorized organizational representative (AOR) may send the files. Or, if you send them yourself instead, you must include a letter of concurrence from your AOR. Merely copying him or her on an email cannot substitute for the letter.

New Limits on Nontraditional Application Material

Now that you have a summary of what to do, here's what not to do (unless specifically allowed by the funding opportunity announcement).

You can no longer send other nontraditional material such as medical devices, prototypes, interactive multimedia, or PowerPoint presentations. Previously these could be allowed at the SRO's discretion.

Also, NIH will not accept video sent using a method other than what your SRO specifies.

This new policy overrides exception 4 of the July 23, 2010, Guide notice about post-submission application materials.

If you have questions about post-submission materials or video, contact your SRO for advice. For more details on the changes we described above, read the September 27, 2012, Guide notice.

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 offer an F31 for those who are not members of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group?"—Christopher Gaulke, UC Davis

The only predoctoral fellowship NIAID supports is the NRSA Predoctoral Fellowship to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31).

That said, you might be eligible to apply even if you're not part of an underrepresented racial or ethnic group since this award is also for people with disabilities or from disadvantaged backgrounds. For more details, read Section III. Eligibility Information in the F31 program announcement.

If you still don't qualify, you could check with institutes that support NIH's NRSA for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (F31) to see if maybe your research might fit. For a list of agency contacts, go to NIH's Parent F31 Contacts, Submission Dates and Special Interests/Instructions.

Do you have any advice for writing a progress report?"—anonymous reader

Though we do not have a comprehensive resource for progress reporting, you may find the following links helpful:

You can also follow this newsletter for more news and advice as NIH gets closer to implementating the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). We started covering the topic this year, most recently in our September 26, 2012, article "The Progress of Progress Reports: RPPR."

Header: New Funding Opportunities.

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated December 12, 2014

Last Reviewed October 10, 2012