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Last August, we wrote that noncompliance with public access reporting in progress reports delayed funding for about 20 percent of noncompeting awards. A six-month review of our progress reveals that compliance is improving but still needs work since a large number of awards are on hold.
Remedies for What Ails You
To help everyone meet their compliance requirements easily and avoid delays in funding, here are remedies for "ailments" we've seen recently.
Ailment 1: Not submitting to NIHMS when manuscripts are accepted
Authors using Method C or Method D to submit through the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS) are waiting until the paper is published rather than depositing the final peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication.
If you suffer from this ailment, you'll experience the repercussion of not getting your noncompeting continuation award on time. If we do issue an award, we will restrict almost all of the research work and funding.
Remedy: Submit manuscripts to NIHMS when accepted by the journal
We strongly recommend you submit immediately upon acceptance. Do not wait until the paper is published. We repeat: Submit to NIHMS upon acceptance. Do not wait until the paper is published.
By placing a peer-reviewed manuscript in NIHMS upon acceptance instead of waiting, you'll likely complete the PMCID issuance process for that paper before submitting your progress report.
Keep in mind that it's not the publisher's responsibility to ensure you are compliant with NIH's public access policy. Most have agreed to post your papers they intend to publish in PubMed Central for NIH, but compliance is the total responsibility of grantee institutions and PIs when covered publications fall under the public access policy.
Note: If your paper has not yet been published or will be published within 90 days of the date you submit your progress report, NIHMS will provide the acceptable provisional compliance status or "In-Process" for those citations in your progress report.
Ailment 2: Not checking publications affiliated with the grant
We're finding that some publications should not have been affiliated with the grant. In other cases, PIs aren't checking the compliance status for papers that cite their grants unless they are the first or last author. If the papers are noncompliant, you'll experience the repercussion listed above under Ailment 1.
Remedy A: Pay attention
As PI, be more aware of the publications attributed to your grant, especially if you're using authorized delegates. You should regularly check My Bibliography to see what's in there and make corrections if necessary.
Also note that once you submit your progress report, that citation will be "locked." If the paper should not be affiliated with your grant, contact your program officer, who will then be in touch with the NIH public access help desk to verify that the affiliation should be removed. This is a manual process and can take some time.
To save yourself from such a scenario, it's much easier to check My Bibliography and make corrections before the progress report is submitted.
Remedy B: Be vigilant—check compliance status before submitting progress report
If the work in a paper received direct support from your grant, you are responsible for ensuring compliance with the public access policy. This applies whether or not you are an author.
What's more, you and your institution are responsible for getting public access compliance from authors who cited your grant.
Check that colleagues who publish as a direct result of your grant initiate and complete the NIHMS submission process.
You can use My Bibliography to determine the compliance status for a paper. While you should check this regularly, make sure to do so before submitting your progress report.
There's no need to go it alone when it comes to public access compliance.
If you have questions, consult online resources, including Managing Compliance to the NIH Public Access Policy on NIH's Public Access Web site and NIAID's Public Access of Publications SOP and Copyright and Publication for Grantees questions and answers.
For previous Funding Newsletter articles on the compliance topic, go to:
Researchers at–or affiliated with–small businesses should check out several new small business 2014 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs):
New Omnibus FOAs
NIH recently reissued the SBIR and STTR Omnibus FOAs.
Your allowable budget requests in the Omnibus are $150,000 in total support for a Phase I (R41/R43) and $1,000,000 in total support for Phase II (R42/R44). Note that total support includes the direct and indirect costs and fees for the entire length of the project.
If you have appropriate justification, you may be allowed to exceed these amounts by up to 50 percent ($225,000 for Phase I and $1,500,000 for Phase II).
NIH has received a waiver from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to exceed the 50 percent rule for specific topics. For NIAID, see the list of approved topics in Appendix A at the end of PHS 2014-2 SBIR/STTR Program Descriptions and Research Topics for NIH, CDC, FDA and ACF.
If you have an application topic that’s being considered for an award that’s over the cap and is not on this current SBA-approved waiver list, NIH must submit a specific waiver request to SBA. Such a waiver request can cause delays, and if the waiver is not approved, you will need to comply with the budget caps.
For these FOAs, as well as all other active SBIR and STTR FOAs, think carefully about your budget and budget justification: you will want to submit a budget that is reasonable and appropriate for completing your research project. Always talk to your program officer before submitting any budget that is in excess of the guidelines.
The next standard application due date is April 5, 2014, for non-AIDS applications and May 7, 2014, for AIDS applications.
New Pilot: Direct-to-Phase II SBIR FOA
NIAID is participating in NIH’s pilot Direct-to-Phase II SBIR FOA as well.
What does Direct-to-Phase II mean? It means applicants can propose an SBIR Phase II project without having first completed a Phase I SBIR project.
The goal of the pilot is to enable a small business that has already accomplished the objectives of a Phase I SBIR grant through non-SBIR funds to initiate the Phase II SBIR stage of development, without needing to have received a previous SBIR Phase I award to perform early stage, Phase I SBIR-type research.
We will be accepting applications that cover any area of science that fits the NIAID mission.
Note that by statute this will be a time-limited pilot, good for awards issued through FY 2017. For more details about this opportunity, read the February 5, 2014,Guide notice.
Currently, there is no Direct-to-Phase II program for STTR FOAs.
In case you missed it: NIH published three funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) for the new U.S.-South Africa Program for Collaborative Biomedical Research, a joint effort between NIH and the South African Medical Research Council (MRC).
Two FOAs—one an R01 and the other an exploratory/developmental grant (R21)—are for extramural and South African investigators, while the third is a cooperative agreement (U01) for collaborations between NIH intramural and South African scientists.
They all seek basic, translational, behavioral, clinical, preventive, or epidemiological research focused on tuberculosis (TB), HIV/AIDS (including biomedical and behavioral science), and HIV-related malignancies.
Here are a few highlights that apply to the three FOAs:
Carefully read the following Guide notices for complete information:
If you apply to the R21 FOA, keep in mind that exploratory/developmental grants support novel scientific ideas or new model systems, tools, or technologies that have the potential for significant impact on biomedical or biobehavioral research. To learn more, read our Small and Exploratory/Developmental Research Grants SOP.
Have questions about the FOAs? Check out the R01, R21, and U01 questions and answers or touch base with the Scientific/Research Contacts listed in the Guide notices.
Investigators who thought their projects didn't fit the funding opportunity announcement (FOA) Targeting Persistent HIV Reservoirs (TaPHIR) should take another look. NIAID recently broadened the scientific scope as well as the types of studies and approaches that would be considered appropriate for this FOA.
TaPHIR program priorities:
For specific changes to the FOA, read the January 15, 2014, Guide notice.
We made these changes in response to NIH's expanding support for research aimed at finding a cure for HIV (see the December 2, 2013, News Release). As a result of that, we are also increasing the number of awards under this initiative.
Note that all other aspects of the FOA stay the same, including the application due date of April 25, 2014.
Your chance to be part of a Center For AIDS Research (CFAR) is near with a recently reissued funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for CFARs and Developmental CFARs (D-CFARs).
Both CFARs and D-CFARs are designed to improve coordination of research, support emerging research opportunities, and promote efficiencies through shared core facilities. D-CFARS also provide support to help investigators develop a competitive standard CFAR.
The FOA has many components, so be sure to read the December 18, 2013, Guide notice for complete details. In the meantime, here are a few highlights:
If you have any questions, contact Ann Namkung Lee, NIAID's Scientific/Research Contact listed in the FOA.
*The FOA has three application due dates, the first of which is July 28, 2014.
Investigators whose research focuses on finding a cure for HIV-1 may be interested in Beyond HAART: Innovative Approaches to Cure HIV-1. This new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) offers a chance to collaborate with other scientists and leverage the expertise and resources of NIAID and other institutes.
The FOA encourages research that will explore non-drug-based approaches to eliminate HIV-1 with an emphasis on cell therapies, including those based on hematopoietic stem cells; novel gene therapy approaches; and the development and delivery of nontraditional antiviral strategies, such as miRNAs, siRNAs, and gene-editing enzymes.
Your U19 multiproject application must:
Find complete details in the January 24, 2014, Guide notice.
For help in writing your multiproject application, as well as information on submitting it electronically, go to Guidance for Preparing a Multiproject Research Application.
Optional letters of intent are due by June 28, 2014. The application deadline is July 28, 2014.
Read about three new funding opportunities that support workforce education training related to “big data,” i.e., data sets and databases that are too large or complex for conventional biomedical research approaches.
Develop Your Big Data Skills
If you're interested in diving head-first into a career in big data, consider a mentored career development award (K) to help you with the skills needed for independent research and interdisciplinary collaboration.
With this K01 support, you'll develop the technologies, methods, and tools to use big data in basic and clinical research.
To be eligible for this opportunity, you'll need to fit into one of these categories:
For more information, read the January 15, 2014, Guide notice.
First deadline is April 1, 2014, with optional letter of intent due March 1, 2014.
Create Courses for Skills Development
For those who prefer to provide structured training, check out an opportunity to develop short-term educational activities that improve big data skills for researchers at all career levels. You may qualify for an R25 grant that provides as much as $150,000 annually for up to three years.
Whether you have in mind traditional in-person courses, online courses, or a hybrid of both, we're looking for courses that are creative, interdisciplinary, and collaborative.
Make sure your project improves diversity in biomedical research, for example, by including mentors and teachers from underrepresented groups, involving faculty from diverse backgrounds, and incorporating the needs of underrepresented groups into your activities.
For details and instructions, read the January 16, 2014, Guide notice.
Open Up Your Big Data Resources
If you want to develop resources that teach the extramural research community about big data, this final funding opportunity might interest you.
You can propose a wide variety of educational resources, including self-instruction tools and resources other institutions can use to tailor their own instruction.
Your resources can fit within a big data training program or serve as a stand-alone resource, with no limits on the amount of content.
Keep in mind that you'll have to share your resources widely, make them easy to find and repurpose, and ensure their maintenance even after your grant ends.
Read the January 16, 2014, Guide notice for details, instructions, and examples of responsive projects.
Check out Frequently Asked Questions about these big data training opportunities.
Keep Abreast of All Things "BD2K"
These opportunities come out of the Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, NIH’s effort to develop new approaches, standards, methods, tools, software, and competencies to improve scientific use of big data.
We'll continue to cover big data funding opportunities in this newsletter.
For more information about BD2K funding opportunities, contact Dr. Maria Giovanni in our Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID).
If you're interested in learning more about BD2K, go to NIH's Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) site and read our August 21, 2013, article "Big Data: Web Site, Workshop, Funding Opportunity."
And, don't forget about the soon-expiring opportunities we told you about in the January 15, 2014, article "Two New Big Data Funding Opportunities."
Here's your chance to provide input on high-priority research areas aimed at controlling or eradicating HIV as it persists despite optimal antiretroviral treatment.
Your feedback will help NIAID in its planning process and may be used to develop future funding opportunity announcements.
Limit your response to three pages, and submit to CureRFI@nih.gov no later than March 14, 2014. Read the February 5, 2014, Guide notice for full details.
This request for information is for diagnostic product developers. Consider participating if you're interested in the advanced development of multiplex diagnostic platforms that can detect infectious diseases directly from a blood sample, without a blood culture step.
Submit a white paper, limited to 10 pages, by February 24, 2014. Read the January 31, 2014, Request for Information for full details.
Use Adobe Forms C for Administrative Supplements, Type 6, and Type 7 Applications. Starting on March 1, these application types must use Adobe Forms C. NIH just reissued the parent FOAs with the new forms. See the January 30, 2014, Guide notice for FOA links.
Page Limits for K Letters of Support. NIH corrected a Guide notice that stated no page limits for the “Letters of Support from Collaborators, Contributors, and Consultants" attachment of career development award (K) application forms. Under Adobe Forms C, the limit is six pages. Read the January 30, 2014, Guide notice.
Long before it's time to submit each electronic application, you should check your software versions to see how they compare with Grants.gov's recommendations.
We recommend that you check whether your organization submits directly to Grants.gov or uses a proprietary system instead. (For more on other submission methods, check with your business office and see the first Strategy link below.)
Here's Grants.gov's latest word on PDF software and Web browser versions, summarized from its Technical Support pages.
Adobe Reader (or the full version, Adobe Acrobat) is still your surest bet for any direct interactions with Grants.gov's forms.
That said, you can create the attachments for your electronic application using other software or even free online converters. Grants.gov provides a list of examples at PDF Conversion Software.
If you are using Adobe, Grants.gov has more guidance for you at Adobe Reader Compatibility and Adobe Reader FAQs.
Grants.gov has declared Internet Explorer your best option for electronic application submission. However, don't upgrade to version 10; Grants.gov recommends Internet Explorer 9 instead.
Or, other browsers may work. At Browser Support, Grants.gov recommends using the latest version if you choose Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, or Apple Safari.
For browser-related submission issues, see Troubleshooting advice, including Grants.gov's instructions on Managing Browser Cookies and Clearing Browser Cache.
Strategy for NIH Funding
Feel free to send us a question at firstname.lastname@example.org. After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.
"Does NIAID support F30 grants?"—anonymous reader
Yes. NIAID does support the NRSA for Individual Predoctoral M.D./Ph.D. and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (F30). You'll see us listed in the Components of Participating Organizations section located at the top of the FOA. We have an interim payline for the F30 listed on NIAID Paylines.
If you have questions about the F30, touch base with the appropriate program officer listed in the funding opportunity announcement's Table of IC-Specific Information, Requirements and Staff Contacts.
"As a new investigator, should I apply for the smallest grant type?"—anonymous reader
Not necessarily. You should request the amount appropriate to meet your research objectives. If you can demonstrate that you have the needed expertise and resources to take on a larger project, then you should propose such a project using a grant mechanism that supports larger projects (e.g. R01).
Talk to your institution and a program officer for advice. Do not choose the award type yourself without getting advice first.
For program officer contact information, see When to Contact an NIAID Program Officer. Also read these pages in our New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding:
See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.
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Last Updated February 12, 2014
Last Reviewed February 12, 2014