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January 9, 2013

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles. 

A Call for Volunteers to Participate in a Newsletter Focus Group

Would you like to give us a piece of your mind?

Take the opportunity to participate in a focus group we're putting together to determine how—and if—we should change the way we present, distribute, and select topics for this newsletter.

Read more in our November 28, 2012, article "Put Our Newsletter in Focus—Join Our Focus Group."

Header: Opportunities and Resources. 

No Small Matter: New Opportunity for Human Microbiome Project

Investigators studying the human microbiome may want to consider a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA), published in a November 30, 2012, Guide notice. If interested, note that the application deadline is just about a month away on February 8, 2013.

The FOA—Evaluation of Multi-‘omic Data in Understanding the Human Microbiome’s Role in Health and Disease—seeks projects to 1) generate microbiome taxonomic, metagenomic, and functional data from clinical biospecimens obtained from a cohort of well-phenotyped donors and 2) combine the microbiome and host data to produce a community resource.

Applicants must meet requirements that call for collaborations with groups that have bioinformatics expertise, clinical biospecimens, analytical facilities, and other capabilities. Partners should be able to gather samples and data as well as integrate and deposit data within the three-year project period.

This FOA is the second phase of the Human Microbiome Project, an NIH Common Fund program which aims to characterize microbial communities found on the human body.

Read the November Guide notice for full details on the funding opportunity, and check the December 20, 2012, Guide notice for additional resources, e.g., frequently asked questions, that may help you with your application.

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Funding Opportunity Opens Clinical Center Resources to Extramural Investigators

 A first-of-its-kind opportunity has hit the streets: Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center (U01).

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA) gives you a chance to request funding for collaborative research projects with NIH’s intramural investigators, using the Clinical Center’s unique resources.

What’s So Unique About It? 

The Center’s special environment includes:

  • A good manufacturing practices (GMP) facility for new biological or clinical products, specialized clinical phenotyping facilities (including metabolic and other units), the manufacturing and use of newly designed PET ligands for imaging studies, and the availability of blood products for special research studies.
  • Collaborative opportunities with investigators who are known experts on clinical protocols involving unique pharmaceutical agents and other modes of therapy or extraordinarily rare diseases.
  • A robust training curriculum in clinical research.
  • The ability to support longitudinal clinical studies at minimal cost to patients and their families.
  • On-campus amenities (e.g., Family Lodge and Children’s Inn) to support patients and their families in home-like environments while they are away from their own homes to participate in clinical research.

About the Opportunity

This opportunity is part of a larger NIH commitment to promote translational research by encouraging collaborations between extramural and intramural investigators on projects that align with NIH's mission.

Teams supported by the program must have a collaborating principal investigator (PI) in the intramural program and describe how they will use the Clinical Center's special resources. Applicants may request up to $500,000 in direct costs each year for up to three years to cover their own direct costs and those of the Clinical Center and intramural partner—exclusive of salaries for intramural staff.

The application due date is March 20, 2013.

How to Prepare Your Application

Extramural PIs are responsible for putting together the application, though research to be conducted at the Clinical Center will have to conform to intramural requirements.

Before you can submit your application, you must receive letters of support from both an NIH institute representative and the director of the Clinical Center, Dr. John Gallin. For collaborations with NIAID intramural investigators, the Institute representative is Dr. Cliff Lane, the NIAID deputy director for clinical research.

To better your chances of getting these letters of support, we first and foremost encourage you to talk as early as possible to Dr. Lane, who is also the NIAID contact for this FOA. We suggest doing this even if you are planning on submitting a Letter of Intent, which is optional and due 30 days before the application deadline.

Talking to Dr. Lane early will help NIAID know more about your proposed project and help us address any questions or concerns we or you may have. NIAID will consider the "fit" of your proposal with the Institute's mission, as well as the feasibility of your project, given available Clinical Center and intramural resources. 

Also, to create a well thought-out application, we highly recommend you review the following resources:

Webinar to Help You

To learn how to prepare this type of application, mark your calendar for Friday, January 11, 2 to 4 p.m., for a pre-application webinar.

It will give you an overview of the initiative and address application-related questions. For more details on the call-in number and Web meeting link, read the December 14, 2012, Guide notice.

Header: Other News. 

At Our WITS End: WITS Specimens No Longer Available Beginning February 2013

Beginning February 2013, we will no longer provide archived specimens of the Women and Infants Transmission Study (WITS).

The most sought after specimens have now been depleted, and data from the study is publicly available through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).

From 1990 to 2007, WITS followed over 2,000 HIV-infected pregnant women and their infants, children, and adolescents living in the U.S. The study 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.

Since the WITS repository has been open for general use, we've shipped over 200,000 specimens to investigators who've used the samples 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.

If you have questions about WITS or WITS specimens, contact niaidwitsaccess@niaid.nih.gov.

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News Briefs

Expiration Date Extended for PAR-11-056, Resource-Related Research Projects. We moved the expiration date for the NIAID Resource Related Research Projects for AIDS, Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation (R24) funding opportunity announcement to May 28, 2013. If you have questions, contact Ken Santora.

Assistance for Hurricane Sandy Victims.  NIH is offering supplemental funding, conditional exemptions from budget rules and terms of award, and extensions of reporting and application deadlines for the many institutions whose research suffered as a result of Hurricane Sandy. For details, read the December 4, 2012, Guide notice and contact your program officer.

Revised Policy for Managing Conflict of Interest in Initial Peer Review. Effective with applications submitted for January 25, 2013, due dates and after, NIH will implement new policies regarding conflicts of interest in peer review. Read the November 30, 2012, Guide notice for more information. We will update our site soon.

Header: Advice Corner. 

Extend Your Grant With a No-Cost Extension

Are you struggling to finish your research by the end of your grant period?

Unless your terms of award prohibit it, feel free to take a no-cost extension so you can wrap up your work, close out your grant properly, or give yourself a little extra time to apply for a renewal. With a no-cost extension, you can continue conducting research for up to one year with no additional funds.

As long as your certifications and assurances are up to date and you're staying within your project’s approved scope, getting an extension is a do-it-yourself job through the eRA Commons. Enter your request, with your business office’s approval, before the end of your grant project period.

Don't miss that deadline because once your grant ends, you'll need our express permission to take an extension.

What happens if you need more than one no-cost extension?

You may be able to extend your grant beyond 12 months, if the reason is well justified. However, you’ll need to request prior approval at least 30 days before the end of your initial extension. Our program and grants management staff will evaluate your justification.

For more details, read the No-Cost Extension SOP. 

If you have questions about whether you qualify for a no-cost extension, contact your program officer.

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.

"What should I do if I think a researcher is supposed to share his or her reagents, model organisms, or data, but isn’t?"—anonymous reader

In general, NIH policy requires that results and accomplishments be shared as a term of award.

However, sharing is not required for every award or every resource. If a grant has a data sharing or model organism sharing plan, the PI should follow the NIH-approved sharing plan. That plan may or may not require sharing, or may only require sharing in certain ways, for example, providing the reagent or resource to a repository.

Be sure to check our repositories for the resources you seek at NIAID Resources for Researchers. These repositories are public, though most have requirements you’ll have to meet before you can request materials.

You can also read What can I do if I believe an investigator is refusing my request for strains or other resources? on NIH's Frequently Asked Questions.

"NIH lists annual caps of $75,000 salary and $25,000 research support for K08 and K23 awards, yet NIAID's site indicates caps of $90,000 salary and $50,000 research support. Which limits are correct?"—Ken Packman, Emory University

Our site is correct for NIAID career development awards, but other institutes may have different caps. We announced our K08 and K23 levels in the September 12, 2012, Guide notice.

Get details on our awards at Quick Facts on Research Training and Career Development Awards, and use NIH's K Kiosk for information for NIH and other institutes.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Feel free to continue pointing out differences between what you see on our site and other sources of information. Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov.

Header: New Funding Opportunities. 

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated January 09, 2013

Last Reviewed January 09, 2013