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August 21, 2013

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles. 

Changing Institutions? Make for a Smooth Transition

Read below for some pointers when you attempt to transfer your grant to a new institution.

Remember, a grant is made to your institution, and so the institution must agree to relinquish it when you move to another.

(This article covers only administrative items related to your transfer request. Check with your current and new institutions about legal implications, professional responsibilities, and changes in budget, salary, and support.)

Institutions New and Old—Who Does What?

Your new institution requests your transfer by following instructions in the Change of Grantee Organization (Type 7 Parent) announcement.

Your old institution submits a relinquishing statement through the eRA Commons.

IACUC, IRB, Etc...

Confirm that your new institution has all certifications and assurances necessary for your work.

We can't approve your transfer until you have your new documentation in place.

Take a Moment for DUNS, SAM, Grants.gov, and eRA Commons Registrations

Also make sure your new institution has registered with DUNS, SAM, Grants.gov, and eRA Commons before sending in a request.

It may take up to six weeks to complete the registration process. If your new institution is outside the U.S., this process can take even longer.

Spend Wisely

Take extreme caution when spending funds during your transition from one institution to another.

We cannot automatically fund you for the period between when you leave your old institution and when we issue your new Notice of Award—no matter how long you're at your new institution before your approval goes through.

Once you're approved, we will prorate your new budget based on the start date listed in the new Notice of Award.

Your new institution may pay your grant-related expenses within 90 days before your new grant start date, then charge those to your new award.

However, it does so at its own risk because we don't cover those costs if:

  • We reject your transfer request.
  • You exceed the amount approved in your Notice of Award.
  • Your charges are not allowed on your grant.

Approval Is Not Guaranteed

In some cases, we may not allow you to transfer your grant. There are many reasons and here are some examples (except in rare circumstances):

  • Your old institution doesn't relinquish your grant.
  • You're in a no-cost extension.
  • Your grant is in its final year and you have spent most or all of your money.
  • Your grant supports a clinical trial.
  • You hold a program project (P01) or center (P30, P50) grant.
  • Your new institution lacks the resources or facilities to support your grant.

Get a Grip on Timing

To ensure no disruption to your funding, make sure we receive a transfer application and relinquishing statement at least two months before you switch institutions.

Once we receive the relinquishing statement, transfer request, and any further documentation we might need, we'll issue your new Notice of Award within 30 days, usually much sooner.

We'll start your new award on the first day of whatever month we have all your paperwork. In other words, if we receive all your documentation on August 28, we'll issue your new award with an August 1 start date (even if we don't give you your actual notice until September).

End dates for your budget period and grant project period will remain the same.

Touch Base as Needed

It's always a good idea to contact your program officer and grants management specialist once you decide you want to move.

You'll definitely want to be lock-step with business officials at your old and new institutions because they'll send us whatever we need to process your transfer request.

And, if you're heading to a foreign institution, contact us immediately to discuss timing for your move. Your request will need approval from our advisory Council, which could take several extra months depending on when you submit your paperwork and when Council meets.

Related Links

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

Big Data: Web Site, Workshop, Funding Opportunity

If you're familiar with the term "big data," read on for news that can help you stay informed about NIH's steps to move big data to knowledge.

Visit BD2K for Big Data Plans

When we say "big data to knowledge," we're talking about BD2K—shorthand for NIH's effort to develop new approaches, standards, methods, tools, software, and competencies to improve your use of data sets and databases that are too large or complex for conventional biomedical research approaches.

That effort touches on topics that cut across all NIH institutes and centers, so NIH created a new site to make it easier to find information on funding opportunities, Guide notices, workshops, and news.

Go to NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) and join the NIH Listserv for BD2K updates.

Watch the BD2K Workshop

Along with the new Web site mentioned above, check out videocasts of last month's BD2K two-day workshop:

Early-stage investigators, you may find this workshop particularly interesting because much of the discussion focused on developing the next generation of computational biomedical researchers.

Become a Center of Excellence for Big Data Computing

Also, consider a funding opportunity that isn't looking for data sets or databases but Centers of Excellence that pave new and novel paths for investigators using big data for biomedical research.

Your project should improve the release, acquisition, storage, distribution, and management of big data, for example, by doing any of the following:

  • Curating, integrating, and analyzing diverse data types in the context of a specific disease to help predict disease risk and the effects of interventions such as vaccinations, medications, and antimicrobial treatment (e.g., phenotype, clinical, diet, exercise, environmental, behavioral, lifestyle, and -omics data.)
  • Studying epidemics or disease surveillance by using big data from new technologies such as geographic information systems, GPS-enabled devices, citizen-supported data collection, and mobile health.
  • Using cloud computing and application programming interfaces (APIs) to solve specific biomedical big data challenges.

Centers will be funded using the U54 cooperative agreement mechanism.

Read the July 22, 2013, Guide notice for details, instructions, and examples of other projects that may meet the goals of this funding opportunity. Applications are due November 20, 2013.

To speak to an NIAID program officer about your project or this initiative, contact Valentina Di Francesco.

We'll continue to tell you about funding opportunities related to big data and pass along other useful notes that relate to NIAID's extramural research community.

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Register Now for NIAID SBIR Workshop!

Sharpen the tools needed to get your product to market by attending NIAID’s upcoming small business workshop: Resources to Accelerate Commercialization, held on September 27, 2013, in Washington, DC.

We are bringing together NIAID-funded small businesses to inform you about federal and nonfederal resources available—resources that may help grease the wheels for the commercialization and development of your infectious disease technologies.

Specifically, we’ll:

  • Give you the knowledge and tools necessary to fully comply with the Small Business Administration and NIH small business innovation research (SBIR)/small business technology transfer (STTR) policies and regulations, so you can write successful proposals relevant to commercialization.
  • Discuss the experiences of NIAID-funded small businesses.
  • Share the NIAID mission and an overview of NIAID’s SBIR/STTR program.
  • Discuss eSubmission of NIH grant applications and the eRA Commons.
  • Give an overview of our outreach to economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses.

Our program officers will be on hand to hold plenty of one-on-one discussions, and you’ll be given ample time to network with other attendees.

To register, go to NIAID, NIH SBIR Workshop on Resources to Accelerate Commercialization.

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Funding for Resource-Related Projects on Animal Models

A recent funding opportunity announcement (FOA) may be of interest if you have a desire to improve upon existing animal models and/or create new ones for stem cell-based regenerative medicine.

This opportunity focuses on the following:

  • Comparative analysis of animal and human stem cells to provide information for selecting the most predictive and informative model systems
  • Developing new technologies for stem cell characterization and transplantation
  • Improving animal disease models for stem-cell-based therapeutic applications

Read the July 3, 2013, Guide notice for more information on projects of interest to NIAID and application details.

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Opportunity for Exploratory Epigenetics Research

Do you have a novel idea for research on the impact of social and behavioral influences on the epigenome? Take a look at the recent funding opportunity announcement (FOA) from NIH’s Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet, RFA-TW-13-002).

Responsive applications will use existing bio-psycho-social and environmental data from human cohorts or animal studies that have existing biospecimens available for epigenetic profiling.

This is an exploratory/developmental award (R21) that will provide funding support for one year.

Letters of intent are due October 13, 2013, and applications are due a month later. For more details, including specific areas of research interest, read the May 17, 2013, Guide notice.

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USAID RFA on Interdisciplinary Research Related to Care-Seeking

USAID’s Translating Research into Action (TRAction) Project has requested applications for projects to document efforts to improve the recognition of perceived maternal or newborn complications and appropriate care-seeking behaviors.

Applications are due September 27, 2013. See the August 1, 2013, RFA posting on the USAID Web site for more details.

Header: Other News. 

Diversity Supplement Success Stories

If you have a chance to be hired under a diversity supplement, you may want to jump at it.

We could give you several reasons why, but it's perhaps better to read the success stories of minority scientists who benefited from such a supplement.

Kareem Graham, Ph.D.—Reaching Independence

Dr. Kareem Graham is now an assistant professor in the Department of Physiology at Emory University School of Medicine, heading up a lab that aims to explore novel pathogenic mechanisms in multiple sclerosis and other inflammatory diseases of the central nervous system.

Four years ago, along the way to attaining his faculty position, Dr. Graham was hired under a diversity supplement, which was essential for him:

"It provided me with critical salary support while I completed my postdoctoral training and transitioned to an independent faculty position."

During his training years, Dr. Graham coauthored publications in Journal of ImmunologyJournal of Clinical InvestigationJournal of Experimental Medicine, and other journals.

He received his Ph.D. in immunology from Stanford University. After completing a fellowship in Stanford's Department of Pathology, he joined the faculty at Emory in 2011.

Tonya Webb, Ph.D.—Realizing a Dream

For our next success story, we go to the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where Dr. Tonya Webb is an assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Her lab investigates the role of natural killer T (NKT) cells in cancer immunotherapy.

As a graduate student, she benefited in various ways from being supported by her principal investigator's (PI's) diversity supplement. She tells us:

"The supplement made me feel that my dream to become an independent investigator was possible. It also gave me the support needed for so many different opportunities, such as attending Keystone meetings, as well as helped with purchasing supplies and reagents."

Dr. Webb is the author and coauthor of more than 20 original research publications and numerous reviews and chapters.

She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, under the direction of Randy Brutkiewicz, Ph.D., a leader in the field of NKT cell biology. She became a faculty member at the University of Maryland in 2009.

Taking Advantage of Research Supplements

If you're a PI, think about hiring someone under a supplement to expand your workforce.

If you're a member of an underrepresented group, ask a PI supported by NIAID to apply to hire you under a diversity supplement. You may be able to tap into salary, fringe benefits, and research support through a supplement to an existing grant. Read details at Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

NIAID also offers research supplements to help promising researchers return to a science career. To find out more, go to Research Supplements.

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Submit Program Project (P01) Applications Electronically

Remember to use NIH's ASSIST portal if you plan to submit NIAID Investigator-Initiated Program Project Applications (P01) for the September 25 deadline. That goes for AIDS-related applications due September 7, 2013, too.

P01s are among the first types of multiproject funding opportunities to move from paper forms to electronic submission. Other multiproject opportunities will transition on the following receipt dates:

  • September 25, 2013: U19 and P50 applications (and, of course, the aforementioned P01s).
  • January 25, 2014: P30 applications.
  • May 25, 2014: all other multiproject applications.

For our advice and a list of NIAID multiproject opportunities that require electronic submission, go to Prepare for Electronic Submission in our Guidance for Preparing a Multiproject Research Application.

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A Reminder for Just-in-Time Other Support Requests

Don’t forget! When we request Just-in-Time (JIT) information,  include the effort, budget, and scientific overlap for that application in the Other Support information.

For key and senior personnel, provide specific details on how you would adjust any budgetary, scientific, or effort overlap if the application is funded. For example, “The level of effort for R01-AI-9999999 will be reduced to 1.2 calendar months if R01-AI-9999991 is funded.” 

Otherwise, we’ll have to request updated information and delay your award. See Prepare Your Just-in-Time Information in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

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News Briefs

Obtaining DUNS Number for Federal Work Is Free. Note that if your small business is doing work as a contractor or grantee with the federal government, your DUNS number is free and does not require your purchasing any services from Dunn & Bradstreet.

NIH Has Modified the Planned and Cumulative Enrollment Forms. These forms will be phased in starting with competing applications submitted electronically following NIH's timeline for using the updated electronic application (Forms C). For key changes and more details, read the July 26, 2013, Guide notice.

OLAW to Confirm Adoption of Guiding Principles for Animal Research. Implementation of the revised International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals is expected after October 1, 2013. The Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) will ask institutions renewing a foreign assurance to confirm they’re adopting or already following the Guiding Principles document. If you have any concerns about the revised guidelines, you may submit them by September 30, 2013. See the August 2, 2013, Guide notice.

Header: Advice Corner.

Looking for Research Trends, Topics, and Teammates? NIH's RePORTER Helps You Find Them

When you're trying to find out what other researchers are doing, don't forget to check RePORTER, NIH's free database of NIH-funded projects, investigators, publications, and patents.

RePORTER can help you find potential collaborators and competitors, identify emerging scientific research trends, identify research areas that are highly competitive versus potential areas that are underrepresented in our portfolio, and survey the spectrum of research projects that NIH is funding in your area of expertise.

You can also use RePORTER to access publication results from PubMed Central and patent information from iEdison.

Start with the NIH RePORTER query page and register for My RePORTER to save your queries and develop new ones.

Learn more at About RePORT.

If you want raw data, use ExPORTER to download data files in XML or CSV. Though ExPORTER is still in development, it's fully functional and open for business—access it by visiting Welcome to ExPORTER.

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.

"If you will have one year of support on an NRSA Institutional Research Training Grant (T32) by the time an NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship (F32) is funded, does that mean that in the F32 application, you should propose only two years of work?"—Lindsey Bomar, The Forsythe Institute

Yes. People may receive up to three years of aggregate Kirschstein-NRSA support at the postdoctoral level, including any combination of support from institutional training grants (e.g., T32) and an individual fellowship award. For more information, see our Fellowships questions and answers.

"Does NIH have a salary range for research associates who are employed by organizations receiving NIH grant funds? If so, do you have a job description for a research associate?"—anonymous reader

NIH does not have a salary range for research associates; however, it does establish stipend levels for undergraduate, predoctoral, and postdoctoral trainees. Applicants often use these stipend ranges as a guide for corresponding salary ranges for research associates, based on years of training. See this May 8, 2013, Guide notice for details on NIH’s Fiscal Policy for Grant Awards for Fiscal Year 2013.

Each grantee organization has its own institutional definitions and position descriptions for job categories and should follow these unless a funding opportunity announcement gives specific instructions otherwise.

Header: New Funding Opportunities. 

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

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Last Updated August 21, 2013

Last Reviewed August 21, 2013