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June 12, 2013

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles. 

Unfunded? Repurpose Your Application

In the event your application doesn't fare well, e.g., scores outside the payline, keep this in mind: just because it was not funded doesn't necessarily mean it's not useable.

Before discarding it, consider repurposing it since you can sometimes breathe new life into an unfunded application.

Here we give you some basics on how to do that along with some advice on whether going the repurposing route is right for you.

Note: repurposing is just one of three basic options you have when your application is unfunded. For the other two, see Options if Your Application Isn't Funded, linked below.

Repurpose or Start Fresh?

Before we talk about how to repurpose, let's address whether you should. Sometimes an application may be so flawed or unfixable that repurposing wouldn't be worth it.

To decide whether that's the case, look dispassionately at your summary statement and assess what reviewers thought were defects in your application.

For instance, was it criticized for a lack of significance, critical preliminary data, or expert collaborators? Was it because of a weak central hypothesis? Or perhaps you applied to a request for applications (RFA) or program announcement (PA) and your application was deemed to be nonresponsive.

Talk with your program officer to get the answers and see if he or she has further insights. Together, determine whether the better approach is repurposing or starting from scratch. We advise you not to make this decision on your own.

Weigh Your Repurposing Options

If you opt to repurpose your unfunded application, you have a few ways in which to do that.

1. Submit an investigator-initiated application after responding unsuccessfully to an RFA.

In this case, you may not need to modify your application much other than to address weaknesses that reviewers identified. Also, be sure to remove references to the RFA and comments that changes were made in response to a previous review. Make sure to follow the directions in the investigator-initiated application funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for page limits, etc.

2. Respond to an RFA after unsuccessfully submitting an investigator-initiated application.

You'll likely need to make additional changes to align your application as closely as possible to the science being sought in the RFA. Read the FOA carefully to ensure that your application is responsive to the initiative.

In case you can't find an appropriate RFA, you may want to keep an eye out for contract solicitations, especially broad agency announcements in the area of science covered in your first application.

3. Apply for a different activity code, e.g., repurpose an R01 as an exploratory/developmental research grant (R21).

It goes without saying that not all activity codes are alike. Still, should you choose this route, make sure you check the objectives and characteristics (such as those listed below) of the new activity code you've selected. This way, you'll know how to make your unfunded application fit a different activity code.

If you decide to go from an R01 to an R21, for instance, be aware that the two have significant differences, such as, project period, budget limits, review criteria, and page limits.

To help mold your R01 into an R21, select a Specific Aim from your original application that is the most likely to be doable within the R21's allowed time and budget. Also, we recommend having strong preliminary data to support the R21's research objectives, which tend to be more risky than an R01's.

For more R21 information, see the relevant links below.

Applying: What to Do

When repurposing, create a new application (not a resubmission) as follows:

  • Find a new funding opportunity that fits with the any of the three situations described above.
  • Transfer any information you can retain into the new Grant Application Package—revise only to meet the requirements of the new announcement, e.g., page and funding limits.
  • Submit a new application:
    • Check the "New" box on the face page.
    • Do not:
      • Include a progress report or introduction.
      • Highlight reviewer comments in the Research Plan.
      • Refer to the application as a resubmission anywhere.
  • Use the receipt date for a new application—for an investigator-initiated application, go to NIH's Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications.

If at any point you need help or have questions, contact your program officer.

Related Links

Strategy for NIH Funding

Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants SOP

Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants questions and answers

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

Glycosylation and HIV Vaccine Discovery Come Together in New FOA

NIAID's quest for a safe and effective HIV vaccine continues with a recent funding opportunity announcement (FOA): Functional Glycomics in HIV Vaccine Design (R01).

Consider applying if your research can help 1) investigate structural and conformational features of glycosylation that may lead to novel approaches for HIV vaccine design and 2) elucidate the impact of differential glycosylation on the quality of the immune response to HIV.

To meet these objectives, you'll need to work with others. The FOA encourages cross-disciplinary research and collaborations among HIV vaccinologists, glycobiologists, virologists, carbohydrate chemists, and others with relevant expertise.

For an idea of what might be appropriate for this FOA, here are examples of topic areas:

  • HIV envelope (Env) N- and O-linked glycans in structure.
  • Immunogenicity and immunogen design.
  • Composition and positioning of glycans in circulating HIV virus.
  • Env N-linked glycans and the evolution of antibody responses.

For other areas of interest and full details on the FOA, read the May 9, 2013, Guide notice.

Note: optional letters of intent are due by November 2, 2013. The application deadline is a month after that, on December 2.

Header: Other News. 

NIAID Raises Payline for FY 2013 Career Development Awards

We published a new payline for career development awards (except K99s): 26 overall impact score.

We do not expect this number to change.

For other paylines, go to NIAID Paylines.

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Two Notes About Progress Reporting in the Commons

We're passing along news from eRA about the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR):

  • As part of the July software release, the electronic streamlined noncompeting award process (eSNAP) option in the eRA Commons will be removed.
  • Coming this fall, RPPR will be required for non-SNAP, multiproject, and training awards.

To keep abreast of news from eRA, visit its Latest News and Get Connected.

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Foreign Investigators: A Reminder About Public Access Compliance        

Investigators at foreign institutions, note that for grants with a start date of July 1, 2013 or beyond, when you send in your progress report, you must include a list of peer-reviewed journal articles that resulted from the grant for which you are writing the progress report.

If you fail to do this, you are not in compliance, and NIH will delay processing your award. This is part of NIH’s Public Access Policy, as stated in this February 14, 2013, Guide notice.

For more information, read Part 7. Annual Progress Report in the Grants Policy and Management Training for Foreign Investigators and the Public Access of Publications SOP. 

Check back for further details in an upcoming issue of the NIAID Funding Newsletter.

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We're Moving to a New Publication Schedule

From now on, you'll see the NIAID Funding Newsletter on the first and third Wednesday of each month.

To make the switch, we will publish our next issue on July 3, 2013.

As always, send suggestions or comments to deaweb@niaid.nih.gov.

Header: Advice Corner.

Don't Lose Your Grant Because of Human Subjects or Animal Welfare Concerns

Does your study section have a concern about your treatment of human subjects or animal welfare in your application?

If you're within or anywhere near our payline, resolve those concerns now. Don't wait. Enlist help if you need to.

Your application has a bar to award, and if NIH doesn't approve your paperwork by mid-August, we may have to leave your application unfunded.

At best we may be able to give you a restricted award that prevents you from spending some or all of your money.

Contact your program officer immediately if you're delayed (or anticipate delays) in getting any information to us, and see the following SOPs:

You may also want to read our May 15, 2013, article "Avoid Bars to Award: Check Your Application's Supporting Documentation."

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.

"Can you direct me to the program officer with whom I would need to speak about submitting a big grant?"—anonymous reader

We define “big grants” as those requesting $500,000 or more in direct costs. If your big grant application is in response to an RFA, contact the program officer listed in the funding opportunity announcement. You can find this person listed under Scientific/Research Contacts. If your big grant application is investigator-initiated, e.g., a large R01 or a P01, you will need to find a program officer to consult with. To do this, visit the NIAID Web site and click on the “Organization” link under “About NIAID.” This will direct you to staff contact lists in the three extramural research divisions, based on science area.

For more information, see the Big Grants SOP.

"If a principal investigator (PI) is applying for an investigator-initiated R01 and is eligible for continuous submission, is there an application deadline?"—anonymous reader

No. As long as the PI is eligible for continuous submission, he or she can submit the R01 application any time. 

However, there are deadlines if you want the application to go to a specific Council date. See How do I know which Council my continuous submission application will go to? in our Continuous Submission questions and answers.

Header: New Funding Opportunities. 

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated June 12, 2013

Last Reviewed June 12, 2013