NIAID Funding News May 19, 2016

Feature Articles

Opportunities and Resources

In The News

Advice Corner

New Funding Opportunities

Feature Articles

If and When You Should Submit Just-in-Time Information

NIH's automatic just-in-time (JIT) email invites your business office to send JIT information through the eRA Commons. But, depending on your situation, you or your business office shouldn't send it.

If that sounds contradictory, keep in mind that NIH doesn't know which applications are likely to receive awards. That's NIAID's responsibility, and we need JIT information only if your application is likely to be funded.

Why Are You Receiving a JIT Request if NIAID Doesn't Need JIT Information?

NIH enables the JIT option in eRA Commons and emails your business office if you receive an overall impact/priority score of 40 or better, even though this score is higher than our paylines will support.

That notification is sent automatically from NIH and does not reflect NIAID's intent to fund or not fund an application.

When NIAID needs your information, the request is specifically tailored. Be sure to read it carefully and send only what is asked for. If you submit information not requested by NIAID, it results in more work for both you and NIAID staff, in addition to complicating the review process.

Which begs the question: to send or not to send?

Send JIT Information If...

  • Your application scores within or near our published paylines or, if not yet established, within or near the previous fiscal year's final published paylines. Check NIAID Paylines.
  • You receive a JIT email request from your grants management specialist separate from NIH's notification.

You don't have to confirm with anybody at NIAID. If we need additional information, one of our grants management specialists will contact you later.

Don't Send JIT Information If...

  • Your application scores well outside of our published paylines or, if not yet established, outside of the previous fiscal year's final published paylines.
  • Your program officer informs you that you're not likely to receive funding.

If you are in line for funding (e.g., selective pay, end-of-year), our program or grants management staff will reach out directly, and you can send JIT information at that time.

Contact Your Program Officer If...

  • You have any question about your application's status.
  • You applied for an opportunity that doesn't use published paylines, e.g., a request for applications, and are unsure whether your application falls within the fundable range.
  • You receive a JIT email from your grants management specialist and NIH even though your application scores well outside our published paylines. Your application may be considered for a selective pay award or other funding reserved for programmatically important applications that score outside our paylines.

Don't worry if you've already responded to NIH's email and NIAID requests more information. You can revise your JIT documents as often as needed.

Related Links

Opportunities and Resources

Funding Available to Study Nonhuman Primate Transplantation Tolerance

NIAID solicits applications from single institutions or a consortia of institutions to participate in the Nonhuman Primate Transplantation Tolerance Cooperative Study Group (NHPCSG) program. Two companion funding opportunity announcements (FOAs)—a U01 and a U19—encourage milestone-based research projects focused on nonhuman primate models of kidney, pancreatic islet, heart, and lung transplantation tolerance.

NHPCSG’s long-range goal is to develop and evaluate immune tolerance induction regimens that will result in enhanced long-term graft survival in clinical transplantation. Other NHPCSG goals include:

  • Developing novel tolerance induction regimens
  • Evaluating the preclinical safety and efficacy of existing and newly developed candidate immune tolerance induction regimens
  • Developing and validating biomarkers for induction, maintenance, loss of immune tolerance, or for predicting graft rejection
  • Elucidating the mechanisms underlying the induction, maintenance, and loss of tolerance in NHP allograft models of kidney, pancreatic islet, heart, and lung transplantation

Scope of Research

Although individual approaches may vary, the research scope of applications is restricted to the following areas:

  • Tolerogenic approaches
    • In vivo NHP assessment of novel candidate immune tolerance induction agents, or novel refining or modifying of existing immuno-modulating agents or regimens, including developing these agents, if required
  • Mechanisms and biomarkers
    • Defining the underlying immunologic mechanisms of the therapeutic approaches under investigation, and induction, maintenance, and loss of tolerance mechanisms
    • Developing, evaluating, and validating biomarkers or other novel means for assessing the induction, maintenance, and loss of immune tolerance, or for the onset of acute or chronic graft rejection

Additionally, your proposed research must have at least 1) one tolerogenic approach and 2) one Specific Aim devoted to mechanisms or biomarker studies. Alternatively, you can have mechanistic or biomarker studies incorporated as integral parts of your research aims.

Read the FOA for more information about research objectives and scope, as well as research areas that will be considered nonresponsive and therefore not reviewed.

Application Information

NIAID intends to commit $5.58 million to fund up to five awards issued under either of the companion FOAs. Application budgets are not capped but should reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The maximum project period is five years.

Optional letters of intent are due July 3, 2016. The deadline to apply is August 3, 2016. We recommend applying early to allow time to correct any errors found in your application during the submission process./p>

Read the April 19, 2016 U01 and U19 Guide announcements for complete details. For questions, contact Dr. Kristy Kraemer,, the scientific/research contact for the FOAs.

Be Part of a Center to Develop Human Tissue Models for Infectious Diseases

This may pique your interest: being part of a multidisciplinary research center that's focused on developing innovative in vitro human tissue models for infectious diseases. If it appeals to you, consider responding to a new U19 funding opportunity announcement (FOA) for a Human Tissue Models for Infectious Diseases Cooperative Research Center (HTMID CRC).

Through the FOA, NIAID seeks to establish several Centers, each of which will be composed of experts in infectious diseases, human tissue engineering, and the human microbiome to develop in vitro model(s) that mimic biological structures, recapitulate human physiology and disease pathology, and incorporate components critical to disease and human host response.

Examples of desired model characteristics include the following:

  • Three-dimensional models that include relevant anatomical and cellular elements
  • Capacity to test vaccines or therapeutics with models that mimic the human host
  • Markers or readouts to confirm that the model(s) of interest mimic human disease
  • Methodologies to accommodate non-cultivable pathogens, where applicable

Read the FOA for other examples, as well as the types of projects that will be considered nonresponsive and therefore not reviewed.

Your application must include an Administrative Core and two or more Research Projects. It may include optional, shared Scientific or Resources Cores that support the work within the HTMID CRC.

The budget for each HTMID CRC cannot exceed $1 million in annual direct costs. Keep in mind that your budget request must reflect the needs of your proposed project. NIAID plans to commit $5.4 million in FY 2017 to fund up to four awards.

Optional letters of intent are due June 6, 2016 while the application deadline is a month later on July 6. Find complete details in the April 7, 2016 Guide announcement.

Direct questions to Dr. Melody Mills,, the FOA's scientific/research contact.

Explore the Parameters of HIV Rebound

NIAID invites applications for a research program project (P01) funding opportunity announcement (FOA) that supports multidisciplinary, multiproject research into the specific mechanisms, biomarkers, and pathways associated with rebound of HIV viremia.

Areas of Research Interest

Research should focus on viral rebound in: 1) HIV-/SIV-positive hosts who initiated antiretroviral therapy early after infection, had fully suppressed viremia for an extended period, and who later stopped therapy, 2) HIV-/SIV-positive hosts receiving an intervention aimed at controlling or delaying HIV rebound, or 3) HIV-/SIV-positive hosts receiving an intervention aimed at diminishing or eradicating viral reservoirs.

The scope of research can range from basic science questions related to the nature of the functional viral reservoir that includes primary cells to in vivo studies of viral rebound in animal models and from clinical samples. Although clinical trials are not supported under this program, samples may be used from observational cohorts in which individuals have stopped therapy for reasons not associated with this program or from clinical trials that are conducted through separate programs.

Review the FOA linked below for examples of appropriate research topics, as well as research areas that will be considered nonresponsive. Applications proposing the latter will not be reviewed.

Applications that include studies related to latent or persistent infection in the central nervous system or myeloid reservoirs and their impact on viral rebound will be considered for cofunding by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Budget and Award Details

Application budgets are limited to $1 million in annual direct costs. The maximum project period is five years.

NIAID expects to fund two or three awards.

Application Information

Optional letters of intent are due June 29, 2016. The deadline to apply is July 29, 2016. Apply early to allow time for correcting any errors found in your application during the submission process.

Read the April 19, 2016 Guide announcement for full information. Direct questions to Dr. Elizabeth Church, the scientific/research contact for the FOA.

In the News

Remember to Account for Rigor and Reproducibility in Your Next Grant Application

June 6, 2016, is the next standard due date for investigator-initiated R01 applications—for many, it will be the first time you'll have to account for reproducibility in your project proposal.

In the Research Strategy section of your application, you will need to show that you’ve critically evaluated the scientific premise and rigor of your research, as well as considered sex and other relevant biological variables. For example, in order to propose to study only one sex, you must first provide strong justification from scientific literature, preliminary data, or other relevant considerations.

Once you submit, your peer reviewers will consider the following questions when assessing whether your application adequately addresses reproducibility:

  • Is there a strong scientific premise for the project?
  • Have investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
  • Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed?

You will also report what you have done or will do to authenticate key biological and chemical resources in an Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources attachment within the Other Research Plan section of your application. Knowing how much validation is necessary is an inexact science, but for key reagents or resources that are essential to the success of the project, more is definitely better than less. Even in the case of commercially available reagents, a manufacturer’s data sheet may not provide sufficient validation.

For example, let’s take a commercially available antibody. The manufacturer’s data sheet may say the antibody can be used for Western blotting, immunoprecipitation, and ELISAs, but have you confirmed that for yourself? If, for example, immunoprecipitation is essential to your project, it would be best if you confirmed that yourself and reported this validation in your proposal.

Visit NIH’s Rigor and Reproducibility page to learn more. There you’ll find the guidance and resources you need to ensure that you fully meet the new rigor and reproducibility review criteria.

News Briefs

RePORTER will begin displaying the names, degrees, roles on the project, and foreign affiliations (if applicable) of project personnel listed in section D (Participants) of Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), starting with FY 2016 RPPRs. See the May 3, 2016 Guide notice for complete details.

Apply for USAID Funding to Combat Future

A recent USAID broad agency announcement calls for proposals to prevent future infectious disease outbreaks. The deadline for Zika-focused ideas is this Friday, May 20. However, you have until June 17, 2016, to submit proposals not focused on Zika in areas like vector control, healthcare worker safety, clinic and laboratory systems, diagnostics, and more. For more information, go to Combating Zika and Future Threats.

See NIH's Redesigned Website for Research Involving Human Subjects.

If you work with human subjects, you'll want to check out NIH's new Research Involving Human Subjects website. You can find relevant information quickly by selecting your role and stage in the application process, including a list of Clinical Trials requirements, the online Protecting Human Research Participants course, and Certificates of Confidentiality.

Advice Corner

Timeline to Funding: Know What to Expect

Suppose you submit an investigator-initiated R01 application today, May 19, 2016, for the June 5, 2016 non-AIDS standard due date. If your application is selected for funding, when should you expect to begin your project?

The answer is April 2017, give or take a month. Your application would undergo peer review in October or November of 2016 and then second-level review at the January 2017 Council. About six to eight weeks after that, assuming no delays due to foreign clearance, a bar to award, or some similar issue, you will have your award.

Learn Our Cycles

Knowing when NIAID will begin funding your project is essential—it’s necessary for hiring support staff or arranging subcontracts or even timing a renewal application. Thus, as you prepare an application, you’ll want to determine your likely project start date.

Many requests for applications and program announcements list the earliest possible start date in em>Part 1. Overview Information of the funding opportunity announcement, which you can use for planning purposes.

However, many others simply say “standard dates apply,” which isn’t as helpful. In that case, you’ll want to determine the cycle to which you’re applying—Cycle I, Cycle II, or Cycle III—by referencing the next due date listed at Standard Due Dates for Competing Applications. You can then use our  Overview of R01 Process and our Grants Timeline for Fiscal Year to figure out your likely start date.

Exact Timelines Will Vary

A number of factors can impact the timeline within a cycle, such as application type or peer review outcome. Generally speaking, we say that the timeline from application submission to project start date can vary from 6 to 20 months.

Relative to the investigator-initiated R01 application due date, a renewal or resubmission R01 application isn’t due until one month later but is still part of the same application cycle.

Likewise, AIDS-related R01 applications aren’t due for an additional three months beyond the investigator-initiated R01 application due date but are still considered for funding within the same cycle. Our expedited process for AIDS-related applications allows us to shorten the timeline from application submission to Notice of Award to six months.

AAnother example is that Cycle III small business grant applications are sent to a special August Council so they can be awarded before the end of the fiscal year.

The best-scoring applications, if they have no special issues that need to be presented to Council, will go to expedited Council for second-level review, which allows us to fund them faster. Others may miss the payline and then be chosen for selective pay or an R56-Bridge award at the end of the fiscal year, which will lengthen the time from submission to start date. 

Of course, the section shaded in purple in the chart above doesn't include the presubmission process, which itself can be time consuming.

You may need to meet conditional deadlines before your application submission date, such as the 6-week prior approval process for big grants or the 10-week prior consultation process for investigator-initiated clinical trials./p>

In addition, your institution likely has an internal deadline. Plus you’ll need to afford plenty of time to any collaborators on whom you’re counting for letters of support, biographical sketches for key personnel, and budget information for subawards.

Once you’ve factored in everything, from planning to writing, from submission to review, a realistic timeline from bright idea to project start date is closer to 12 months, so you may need to begin your application earlier than you'd expected to meet your target project start date.

Be sure to check out our Timelines for Applying for a Grant for a complete rundown since missing a required deadline along the way could delay your application by a full cycle.

Reader Questions

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

“Do I need to submit a final progress report if I am applying for a renewal?”—anonymous reader

No. If you submit a renewal application before the due date of your progress report, you do not need to submit a final progress report because you must document progress in your renewal application. This holds true regardless of whether or not NIH funds the renewal application.

For more on renewals, read Apply for Renewal.

“Are there special budget requirements for applications from foreign institutions?”—anonymous reader

Yes. Foreign applicants must submit a detailed budget and may request a facilities and administrative (indirect) costs rate of up to 8 percent.

Read more in Foreign Grants Management.

New Funding Opportunities

See other announcements at NIAID Funding Opportunities List.​​

Content last reviewed on May 19, 2016