NIAID Funding News March 5, 2014

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Header: Feature Articles. 

Step Nine to a Winning Application: Nail Your Budget

Header: Opportunities and Resources.

Networking Opportunity: Contribute to Immune Profiling Data Network

Recent advances in immune profiling technologies offer new opportunities to use comprehensive data sets to help develop new vaccines, predict antimicrobial and antiviral drug responsiveness, and unravel the molecular mechanisms that regulate human immune responses.

In pursuit of these goals, NIAID has reissued an opportunity for investigators to produce new immune profiling data and join a network of human immunology research groups focused on systems biology approaches.

PIs will generate comprehensive molecular response profiles from primary immune cells obtained from human volunteers. Areas of research interest include:

  • Measuring dynamic changes in immune profiles following vaccination or infection that correlate with clinical outcome.
  • Comparing longitudinal immune profiles among ethnically diverse or special populations after infection, vaccination, or adjuvant treatment.
  • Identifying immune profiles that correlate with vaccine efficacy or surrogates of efficacy.
  • Comparing immune profiles in vaccinated populations to populations with naturally acquired infections.
  • Identifying immune profiles that correlate with adjuvant function or antigen/adjuvant formulation, administration regimen, and/or route of delivery.

In coordination with the Human Immunology Project Consortium (HIPC), awardees will develop common resources and data standards to accelerate the discovery of immune response profiles that correlate with infection or vaccination outcomes. They will rapidly share collected data publicly through two online resources:

  • ImmPort—an integrated online data warehouse for HIPC-generated data that provides public access to a variety of immunological studies, including data from current HIPC studies.
  • ImmuneSpace—a prototype HIPC Web portal, currently under development, that will provide public access to data from human immune profiling studies with associated clinical data, together with compiled results and analytical tools.

Investigators should propose two to four multidisciplinary research projects organized around a central scientific theme. Each U19 application must include an Administrative Core, a Data Management Core, and an Infrastructure and Opportunities Fund Management Core.

For advice on writing and submitting a multiproject application, see Guidance for Preparing a Multiproject Research Application.

Optional letters of intent are due August 18, 2014. The application deadline is September 18, 2014.

For complete details, including a full list of special research areas, see the February 3, 2014, Guide notice.

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Overcoming Obstacles to Infectious Diseases Research Abroad

Investigators at eligible foreign institutions can gain NIAID grant support through a recent R01 funding opportunity announcement (FOA): International Research in Infectious Diseases, Including AIDS.

Before you read on, you might want to make sure you're eligible. You cannot be the PI of a current NIH-funded grant or contract, and you must be at an institution located in a resource-constrained country, i.e., one that the World Bank defines as having a low-income, lower-middle-income, or upper-middle-income economy. To see if your institution qualifies, go to World Bank List of Economies.

Now, more about the FOA.

It will support infectious diseases research (excluding clinical trials) by increasing local scientific expertise around the globe. Topics of interest include emerging infections—for example, tuberculosis, malaria, influenza, and HIV/AIDS—that are of public health significance within the applicant country. If you plan to conduct AIDS-related research, it must address priorities described in the NIAID Strategic Plan 2013.

We strongly encourage establishing multi-institutional collaborations, particularly with U.S. investigators, but having a U.S. partner is not required. Include in your research plan collaborative activities such as sharing core resources as well as transferring technologies and research methods.

Note that AIDS and non-AIDS applications have different due dates. The first of three deadlines is May 22, 2014, for non-AIDS and August 22, 2014, for AIDS.

Submit optional letters of intent 30 days before the application due date.

Find complete details in the January 30, 2014, Guide notice.

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Get the Latest on New Funding Opportunities for Big Data Projects

As part of our continuing coverage of NIH's Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) program, check out a new funding opportunity announcement (FOA) and three Guide notices that herald future funding opportunities for big data training projects.

U01 for Big Data Software and Analysis Methods

This cooperative agreement FOA may be up your alley if you can develop new software tools and analysis for big data, or propose significant adaptations of existing software tools and analysis.

For this FOA, think big and target the toughest problems. Your application should show some proof-of-concept for a novel approach to a seemingly intractable problem with using big data for biomedical research.

You won't have to produce a final, fully-hardened solution, though you may get there at the end of your project period.

Feel free to submit more than one application, but keep in mind that each application must focus on only one of the following four topic areas:

  • Data Compression and Reduction
  • Data Visualization
  • Data Provenance
  • Data Wrangling

For definitions and descriptions of those topic areas, as well as application instructions and examples of responsive topics, read the February 19, 2014, Guide notice.

Coming Soon: Funding for Big Data Training Programs

Look out for three new FOAs slated to be published soon.

All three aim to develop a new cohort of scientists who have the knowledge and skills to develop "big data" tools and methods.

You might be counting down the days until NIH publishes the FOAs, so we're using the "countdown" motif to highlight some key features of these forthcoming funding opportunities.


For each opportunity, your project will combine three disciplines: computer science (and informatics), biomedical research, and statistics.


Two of the funding opportunities are revisions (formerly called competing supplements) of T15 and T32 training awards—meaning, you must already have an active T15 or T32 grant for which you'll expand the scope to include a separate track that encompasses big data elements described in the notices.

If you're not PI on a T15 or T32 training grant, don't be discouraged.

While NIAID doesn't fund T15s, we do support almost 200 T32 grants (and NIH supports over 1,800 T32 and T15 grants).

So, chances are your institution has somebody who is eligible to apply. Reach out to your colleagues and business office to find out, then see if you can join them in an application.

Also, one of the new opportunities will allow your institution to apply for a new T32 award. For that opportunity, you would not need an existing grant to establish your big data training program.


Your institution's best bet is to submit only one application.

All three opportunities serve one primary goal, with limited funds to do so.

By combining your efforts on one application that includes the best of what your institution has to offer, you're more likely to stand apart from the other applications competing for funding.


We expect NIH to release FOAs within the next few months. While that means you don't need to start writing your application immediately, you can build the foundation for your team and assess potential projects.

Use this time to network, brainstorm, build connections, and identify partners. We expect that in many cases, you'll be working with people you've never worked with before.

For more information, read the following Guide notices:

Header: Other News. 

Scavenger Receptor Biology and Nomenclature Workshops

"Standardizing Scavenger Receptor Nomenclature," an article in the March issue of the Journal of Immunology,summarizes proposed nomenclature for scavenger receptors based on a recent NIAID-sponsored workshop. NIAID will host follow-up sessions to solicit feedback at the following national meetings:

Before the meetings, investigators are invited to share their thoughts on the proposed nomenclature at NIAID's Scavenger Receptor Nomenclature Web site.

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News Briefs

Upcoming NIH SBIR/STTR Webinar. NIH is hosting a Webinar to discuss updates to the registration and submission process for the SBIR and STTR programs, including eligibility requirements and common submission errors. The Webinar is on March 6, 2014. You can register online.

Program Funding and Grants Administration Seminar. Registration is now open for the 2014 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 25 to 27, 2014. For more, read the February 20, 2014, Guide notice.

Header: Advice Corner.

Have a Grant Application Submission Question? Ask a Help Desk

When you encounter technical difficulties while electronically submitting a grant application, you should know where to turn for help. Your program officer is not a source of tech support, nor does he or she have the authority to accept your application while technical difficulties are being resolved.

Instead, you should always contact the appropriate help desk when you have submission problems. Depending on which system in the submission process is the source of trouble, you may need to contact:

To ensure that you are not unfairly penalized, document system issues according to Guidelines for Applicants Experiencing System Issues.

To avoid last-minute problems, be sure to begin your submission process early. Aim to submit well before your application deadline. Always read the entire funding opportunity announcement and follow the SF 424 instructions carefully. See Track Application using eRA Commons for more information.

Header: Reader Questions. 

Feel free to send us a question at After responding to you, we may include your question in the newsletter, incorporate it into the NIAID Research Funding site, or both.

"I have a clinical assistant supported by a K01. Can I use R01 funding to supplement their salary?"—anonymous reader

Yes. You may pay for part of a clinical assistant's salary with funds from an R01 grant. However, work performed for the R01 project must be distinct from work performed for the K01, and the total effort for all support must not exceed 12 calendar months.

This is different from the PI requirements. As a PI on a K01 award, you must devote a minimum of 75 percent effort and receive no more than $75,000 plus fringe benefits each year. If your salary is such that $75,000 doesn’t cover 75 percent effort, your institution may supplement the NIH contribution using non-NIH, non-PHS funding. K01 research expenses for technical personnel cannot exceed $25,000.

"Does NIAID restrict direct costs requests for R01 diversity supplements?"—anonymous reader

Yes. Budget caps vary by career level.

For guidance, go to Research Supplements to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research.

Header: New Funding Opportunities.

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.

Content last reviewed on March 5, 2014