Discussion: NIH Scores-Paylines-Policy-Peer Review

I will continue to update the NIH Paylines and Resources page, which is where most discussion of application review, scores, paylines, etc. can be found, but I will keep this page available for those who have bookmarked it to discuss anything related to NIH impact/review criteria scores, paylines, peer review, policy changes, and so forth. Many comments and questions on these topics are scattered in posts throughout the blog, so perhaps this central page will serve to consolidate shared advice, insight, debates, etc.

244 Comments »

  1. drugmonkey said

    Also, any member of the panel can review any proposal (save conflicts) assigned to that panel and write a critique if they so choose. In theory you could end up with 20 or more of them!

    Of course this never happens.

    But what I have seen occur is that someone not assigned to the application will get really involved in some point of discussion (pro or con, people, pro OR con). The system recognizes that the summary statement is supposed to reflect discussion. So sometimes the SRO or Chair or a panel member will say “Hey, will you 1) write that up as a critique; 2) write up a brief blurb for the SRO to include when prepping the resume or 3) write up a point for one of the other reviewers to include when they are editing their review”

    Or, occasionally, a reviewer will just be so ticked about where the assigned reviewers and panel votes went that s/he will just write up a dissenting view on his/her own hook.

    final scenario: the way I understand it* the official rules require that at least two people assigned to the application have to be in the room if it is to be discussed. So if for some reason 2 of the 3 are phone reviewers, the SRO may tap a 4th “discussant” reviewer to fulfill this requirement.

    *it is possible that this is only a strongly encouraged practice and/or a practice limited to selected study sections.

  2. writedit said

    Great – I’m glad you got a reassuring reply promptly. Showing that you are paying attention may work in your favor at some point, too. Good luck with the review!

  3. NewbiePI said

    What is the difference between an R01 vs a U01?

    • writedit said

      With the R01, you conduct the research on your own, with no involvement of the NIH extramural staff. With the U01, which is a cooperative agreement, there is programmatic involvement by NIH extramural staff; if the project is part of a consortium, there will be a Steering Committee and other shared governance of how the research is conducted. For a non-consortium U01 (which could be a multi-site clinical trial, but not with other U01 awardees), the NIH staff participate in trial design and oversight (regular confernce calls etc.). Sometimes an R01 clinical trial is converted to a U01 (large budget, complex trial, involvement of intramural researchers, etc.). There is no parent announcement for the U01, but many ICs require PIs to submit multisite clinical trials applications through a two-part process that involves an R34/U34 clinical trial planning gran) first, followed by a U01 application to conduct the trial itself. Otherwise, U01s are solicited through PARs and RFAs.

    • writedit said

      Also, you can read the cooperative agreement requirements for a specific funding announcement in Section VI. Award Administration Information. It occurs to me this question might have been prompted by the recently released FOAs for the BRAIN Initiative, 5 of which involve the U01 activity code.

      • SG said

        Depending on the IC it is also a way for the PO to act as (or pretend to be) a PI..; -)

  4. IntraNIA said

    Hi WritedIt:

    As some brief background, I’m an intramural NIA post-doc (Ph.D. June 2010). I do neuroimaging work in humans instead of basic research.

    My NIA first submission K99/R00 was reviewed today. My priority score is a 31. It’s very disappointing. Given FY2014 projections you recently posted for NIA (K’s at or below 20), I’m almost entirely certain the grant won’t get funded. I plan to do a resubmission during the next round, which I’m guessing will be the last round when I’m still eligible. Hopefully I can address concerns and not have a triaged A1.

    I do have two questions:

    1) Do you know if NIH is going to delay the next round of reviews, given that the October review period was delayed until December because of the Shutdown?

    2) Congress cobbled together a mediocre budget deal to ameliorate some sequestration cuts. Does any of that alleviate the projected FY2014 cut to NIH? I’m curious to know what the situation is when I resubmit.

    -IntraNIA

    • writedit said

      Well, the interim paylines will go up, since yes, the recent budget agreement does remove the FY14 sequester. Appropriations are still being negotiated under the shadow of the looming debt ceiling deadline, so the outcome for the NIH remains uncertain, but it will be better than FY13, perhaps not quite back to FY12 funding levels. Not sure if that would cover your A0, but my guess is not. Your A1 application would be for FY15 funding, though, which won’t be known until this time next year (we should have some clues based on what happens for FY14). Unless there is another shutdown of the federal government in February (not likely unless GOP is feeling suicidal), the review meetings will be held as scheduled. Your PO can give you some insight into how the discussion went and what would be most important for these reviewers (in terms of making revisions).

  5. Sarah said

    I just wanted to encourage you to go ahead with your resubmission. My A0 K99 was triaged, but I managed to get my A1 funded, even in the middle of the budget sequester. It can be easy with the terrible budget situation to talk yourself out of putting in all of the time and effort to resubmit (I nearly did- I almost didn’t resubmit but was talked into it by a friend at the last minute). And anecdotally, it seems to be really helping my job search. Enough so that my advice to everyone is that its totally worth the effort.

    • writedit said

      Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah, and giving hope to triaged K applicants. I think career development applications are most likely to be able to move from triaged to funded (just told someone here at BICO this, so thanks for backing me up), and I realize I didn’t make clear in my initial reply to IntraNIA the importance of submitting the A1, so thanks for that encouragement, too.

      • IntraNIA said

        I appreciate that WritedIt, thank you. Your initial advice helped me to stop worrying. Many thanks to Sarah and New PI also for their encouragement to submit an A1.

        Barring the (apparently/hopefully) rare circumstance where the A1 is triaged or gets a worse score than the A0, I’m pretty sure my revision will score better and give me a decent chance.

        I have a follow-up question re: TT job apps. Would you recommend I list my K99 and A0 priority score on my CV, or leave out the K99 altogether? On the one hand, it’s an encouraging if likely not fundable score. On the other hand, I’m not sure how search committees now perceive K99 applicants, now that one is required to be on the K99 part for at least 12 months.

      • writedit said

        Regarding the job applications, the idea of listing your score would be to show that you are proactive in submitting grant applications and capable of proposing science of interest to review committees. Whoever might consider hiring you would understand that you would not come with an award unless the appointment were postponed until after the K99 portion was completed, which could then be a negotiating point if you wanted both the K99 and the appointment, and the institution could wait on hiring.

  6. New PI said

    I encourage you to put in A1 as well. Get get input from PO and trusted experts on addressing weaknesses. My A0 IF score was 34 and my A1 was 13 – funded, and well worth it! Good luck!!!

    • writedit said

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience & encouragement and congratulations on the award!

    • IntraNIA said

      Many thanks, and congratulations! I hope my K99 trajectory follows a similar path.

  7. Carica said

    My first R01 (I am an ESI) was recently (last week) scored 23rd percentile (sadly!). My grant was assigned to NIDDK (primary) and NHLBI (secondary). 2013 paylines for ESI were ~ 16 and 21 for NIDDK and NHLBI, respectively. Is there any chance that I can convince anybody (PO) to switch my grant to NHLBI as the primary IC?

    • writedit said

      It is rare for a secondary IC to pick up an application, but if you had an established relationship with the PO at NHLBI, it could be possible. If you had no contact with anyone at NHLBI, you should still email the PO there, in case your area is of programmatic interest. In communicating with the PO, you can also ask if you should request primary assignment to NHLBI for the A1, which I assume you will submit in March or July. Be sure to check in with your NIDDK PO also as to your status there, since they do pick up some select pay applications above the payline (which should be higher for FY14 – though almost certainly not the 23rd percentile).

  8. K01 guy said

    Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if this question is outside the scope of this website, however I thought it would be worth asking since your advice has been very insightful in previous exchanges.

    I am in the second year of a K01 and am becoming confidently clear on the fact that continuing a career in academia is not the best fit for me. While I’m interested in the work that I am doing and am making forward progress, I don’t see a long term future for me as an academic PI. Concurrently, I have been sought out by a local biotechnology company that I would be very interested in working with and would be a great way to transition out of my academic position. The catch is that the timeline is short and I would need to take the industry position in the next 3-6 months.

    Core question: given how early in my K01 I am, what are my options in terms of ending my award? Is there any way to pass a K01 onto someone who can continue the aims of the grant? Are there other options?

    A key concern of mine is not burning bridges with my supervisors and the university by dropping the grant and making them look bad in the eyes of the NIH.

    Any advice on how to handle the grant components of this situation would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You can end your K01 at any point without repercussion to you or your mentor. There is no pay-back agreement, as with NRSA awards, and the funds are intended to advance your career development (the research project is a vehicle to do so vs the focus of the award), and your decision to move to industry is just part of this career development process. You cannot pass on your K01 to someone else – the award will simply be terminated. You can talk with your PO about whether the K01 can be transferred to the biotech company, but it depends on what you will be doing in the industry position (i.e., whether you can continue your project with sufficient protected time and receive mentoring).

  9. Nammi said

    I received a score of 26 on an A1 R21 proposal to NIDDK. I followed up with the PO today and this was the response, ” Sorry. Your grant has been reviewed by the team and out forward for possible funding but there has been no final word. Council meets February 5 but even then the decision may not be final as if your grant remains on the list for possible funding, we still have to balance funding against our limited pool of funds for R21s. Also, there a large number of very meritorious R21s this round. I hope to be able to give you a more definitive answer by mid February but until then there is not much I can say beyond what is in this email.” Is there anything I can learn from this response besides the fact that I just have to wait? I did submit a 1-page response to reviewers who were enthusiastic about the proposal and there were just a few minor concerns.

    • writedit said

      You just have to wait. No one will have definitive answers until Congress passes an appropriations bill (omnibus federal budget bill). Right now, the NIH can only guess at how much $ it will receive based on the framework bill passed last month. Last minute wrangling related to the debt ceiling could still come with cuts, so watch what happens between now and Jan 15 (and between then and Feb 15, if Congress only passes another CR). Your PO is great – he/she is advocating for your application and is being very transparent and realistic about the situation. If there is any chance of getting your R21 funded, he/she will make it happen.

      • NK said

        I got an email yesterday informing me that my R21 would not be funded by NIDDK (Score was 26). SInce it was an A1 I won’t be able to reapply through this. SO disappointed. Maybe I can package as a small R01.

      • writedit said

        You probably want to ask your PO what about the R21 kept it from consideration at the program level, or if they have a priority/gap in their portfolio that your work could be tweaked to address. You’ll want to be sure to send them something they want/need to fund. NIDDK doesn’t participate in the parent R03, but if they have an appropriate PA for this activity code, you could also consider that route to secure some needed preliminary data or develop your model. If you have enough preliminary data, a small R01 could be viable, if your PO is interested in seeing the project reworked for that.

  10. writedit said

    From summary of the FY14 federal spending bill: National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The bill includes $29.9 billion for the NIH, $1 billion above the fiscal year 2013 level. This funding will continue support for basic biomedical research and translational research through the programs like the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) to support scientists as they conduct research to discover cures. Further, it provides full support for the NIH Office of Science Education and programs like the Science Education and Partnership Awards (SEPA) to support biomedical research for the future.

  11. Dave said

    @Writedit: On the paylines and resources page, why can I only see up to October 24th, 2013 now? Have you changed the address or is discussion continuing here for now?

    • writedit said

      I am not sure why WordPress sometimes pushes some earlier comments to the bottom of the page. I need to archive comments from earlier in the year to help this page load faster, so I’ll move those botttom stragglers (mostly from Feb-March 2013) to an archive page. The two most recent posts on the main page didn’t show up as I had expected either (drafts vs final versions), so I’ll need to be more vigilent and appreciate the heads-up. Thanks.

  12. Dave said

    Ah that’s better. Cheers.

  13. Dave said

    The problem has returned Writedit, at least for me……

    • writedit said

      Thanks again for the heads up – I am not sure what is up with WordPress, that older comments keep getting pushed to the bottom (below the newest comments) as I move them to an archive page. Please feel free to keep letting me know, and I’ll try to check back myself. {also, @ Dave, I’ll remove these last few messages about the NIH Paylines page problem in a day or two, so they aren’t cluttering up this Discussion page, but I really appreciate your chiming in & helping me keep on top of this}

  14. Cautiously Optimistic said

    I had a question with regards to R15 vs R01 funding. I’ve recently been awarded an R15, but I have another completely different project that I suspect is competitive for an R01. Given the limitations of R15 funding, is it possible to even apply for an R01? If I was awarded an R01, could I possibly give back the R15 funds?

    • writedit said

      Your AREA award is good for 3 years, so you can certainly apply for R01 funding in the meantime. If you receive an R01 award prior to the conclusion of the R15 award (not necessarily a given), I believe you would receive the remaining R15 funds but could not submit a renewal application. You would communicate with the PO about all this upon receiving a potentially fundable score for an R01 application (PO will know about both). You should not let the receipt of the R15 award keep you from applying for the R01 though.

  15. VTA said

    Hello, I am a NI/ESI with prior K99/R00 funding (R00 ends mid-2014). R01 A0 submitted October 2012 and received 46 (44th %). Revised the app and submitted the A1 in July 2013 and received 27 (19th %). PO at NIDA was an advocate for my K99 funding years ago and is the same now – saying he/she will help as much as possible, including stress that my K99 is ending. PO asked me to submit response to the few minor issues in the summary statement, which was attached to the PO’s recommendation and sent forward to branch chief, division chief, etc. for consideration. Based on this and writedit’s data showing that about 1/3 of 19th % grants were funded in FY 2012 (and presumably many of those that were funded were NI/ESI’s), I felt reasonably optimistic. Also, I asked PO if I should think about revising or “hold on”. Response was to hold on. Unfortunately PO recently says they can’t reach my app for Feb 5th NIDA council but it remains a possibility for later (May) council or end of FY funding in summer. There is no secondary IC.

    Questions:
    1. The process whereby an app is sent up the hierarchy at NIDA is mysterious to me. Seems that anywhere along the way (branch chief, division chief), the app could be dropped from further consideration. PO won’t comment on this part of the process. Any info on how these discussions progress at NIDA? Do I even know whether the Division chief or Director even saw my app?

    2. How realistic is funding at later council or end-of FY funding? Is this how gray-zone scores like mine are more commonly funded, if they are? I imagine they have both October 2013 and February 2014 council to fund now that dollars are real and approved in the recent spending bill, so perhaps they have a bunch of highly meritorious grants to fund and are deferring the beyond-the-payline grants until later? Just wondering how much hope to pin on funding later in the year. Obviously I am working on a new app regardless.

    Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You should be working on a new application, but your R01 A1 could definitely be picked up at May Council. You should assume that the Branch and Division chiefs have seen your app, SS, and response – you have a great PO. The need to wait with such a gray zone score is that they still have one round of reviews left (just starting now). I would guess that your PO will have a better idea where your 19th percentile stands in ~April, after all the spring reviews are done, and NIDA knows the number and range of scored applications that could be considered for funding. I suspect right now, you are looking good – but if Cycle III comes in with lots of lower-scored applications, then they’ll need to put yours on the back burner and perhaps not have the $ to consider it. If your PO is a little less positive after the May Council applications are reviewed, you might ask about the possibility of short-term (R56) funding to keep you collecting data for a new R01 for one more year. This is something only your PO can do, and I’m not sure how often this mechanism is used in this manner at NIDA. Sometimes the IC can cut a deal for a shorter/smaller R01 award, too. But, the fact that you need to wait for May for all this is typical, given your score, and your PO’s enthusiasm is a good sign. Still, you should be thinking about a new R01 – always, not just because this app might not be funded.

  16. Pick said

    Your website is super helpful, thank you. I’m waiting to hear about a K99/R00 submitted in June 2013. I scored in the grey zone, and my status now reads Council review completed (good news?). Does my Just In Time information need to list other support for Me, the two co-mentors and all 4 consultants that are listed in the application? My institution says they only need to include this information for me since I’m the only one with salary in my budget, but I want to make sure my JIT is done properly in case I’m still in the running for the award. Thanks

    • writedit said

      Yes, they only need your Other Support page updated. You would need to document human subjects research protection training for anyone on an IRB protocol who is also listed as contributing effort, but I think this would be unusual for a K99 (ie, doing human subjects research requiring IRB approval).

  17. Daniele said

    My funding timeline for anyone that can find it helpful

    K99/R00 funding through NCI:
    applied Feb. 2013
    score and comments June 2013
    Council Review September 2013
    JIT requested Dec 2013
    Award Letter Jan 2013
    Start Date Feb 1 2014

    A question that I really need help with (sorry not entirely related to string)

    I was on a Komen fellowship and during JIT submission for the K99 I asked my PI, financial specialist, and office of grants management at my institute if we could preserve Komen funds if my K99 was awarded. Everyone said that we needed to relinquish these funds so that is what I proposed on my JIT.

    After my award letter was received, my PI had his financial advisor contact Komen and long story short they said that we could re-budget Komen salary funds to supplies if I modify my K99 from 100 to 75 LOE and carry 25 LOE on the Komen. Now my PI would like my to go back to NCI to ask for this. I am upset this should have been done at the time JIT was requested … Is this even possible to ask for at this late date? .. I don’t want to jeopardize my K99 or my relationship with the PO over this? What is the appropriate thing to do?

    sorry for the long post and thank you.
    -D

    • writedit said

      You will not jeopardize your K99 by talking with the PO or GMS about the Komen award and reallocating the budget. Multiple NOAs (notices of award) can be issued for the same application in the same year to adjust for changes in budget (both on the NIH side and the awardee side), and your PO will recognize that having both awards is a good thing for your career development and research. It sounds like your PI and grants administrator didn’t realize Komen would be willing to adjust their budget until after the fact. You will need to write a justification for reducing your effort to 75% (how the effort will be split and that the K99 aims can be achieved at 75% effort), but your PO can explain what is needed. Again, you don’t have to worry about losing your K99 as a result of asking. Worst case, they’ll say you can’t modify your K99 award, but I do not think this will be the case.

      Separately, I assume given your rapid award that you had an exceptional score, but I am sure there are those following the blog who would be interested to know what your score was, so they can calibrate their odds of funding.

  18. Daniele said

    Thank you so much for the advice. This site has been and continues to be a wealth of knowledge for me. I will get in touch with my PO and ask.

    I didn’t realize that the timing for K99 was rapid (it felt like forever). I had a score of an 11.

    thanks again.

  19. anyhope said

    Hello,
    I wrote late last year regarding a K01 resubmission application that received a score in the grey zone (review date was in Dec.) I’ve been in contact with my PO who has been extremely supportive during the process. After talking by phone post receiving the score and my PO anticipated having an internal meeting to review all grants from the cycle this have been our trend:
    Jan. 14 – My PO wrote to let me know that an internal meeting went well and there are no concerns about my K. The issue was what IC’s payline was going to be for the year. My PO also suggested that I work on a response to the summary statement and send for review.
    Jan. 22 – Submitted response to summary statement
    Jan. 27 – PO responded that the response looks good.

    I don’t want to be a nuisance to my PO, but when is an appropriate time frame to follow-up on potential funding? Or should I simply wait for my PO to email and let me know the final results?

    • writedit said

      Your PO probably needs to wait at least until Council meets. Council does not select applications to be paid, but they need to concur with IC funding plans, and at that point, your IC might be willing to set an interim payline for the Ks. If you don’t hear back a few days after Council meets, it could be that your PO also needs to wait until the next round of applications are reviewed and scored, so the IC knows the number of K01 applications scoring at each level. They pretty much set the payline based on how far the money will go, and they won’t know how far it needs to go until after the final review cycle (you can check the IC career development study section meeting date to know when that will be). My advice would be to check in with your PO again about a week after Council meets (if you have not heard anything yet) and ask whether an interim payline has been set or whether you will need to wait until the final round of K01 reviews have been completed.

  20. HS said

    I am working on my K23 application biosketch. I have well under the limit of 15 publications to list and am wondering if I should include 1) a published abstract and 2) two, peer-reviewed and published educational products (one CME course and one educational tool).

    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    • writedit said

      Yes, for early stage researchers, you can include items other than peer-reviewed original research reports, and your suggestions are fine (reviews, patents, software, etc. as well). You want to feature your contributions to the scientific community, particularly those directly relevant to the research (and in your case, training) being proposed.

      • HS said

        Many thanks!

  21. YJ said

    I just got a score of 25 and 14 percentile for my first A0-R01 applications to NIGMS. I am an ESI/NI, so I just wonder if anyone has a sense of likelihood of funding. It looks very difficult to predict for NIGMS since there is no payline and solid guideline for ESI/NI awards. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      If you look at the past funding trends, you will see that NIGMS does fund most 14th percentile awards, and ESI/NI would be most likely to be in the funded group. Now that the NIGMS appropriation is known, your PO should be able to give you some idea as to your funding likelihood and whether you should start working on the A1, but I would think you are likely to receive an award with that score.

      • YJ said

        Thanks! I will contact PO.

  22. BMcC said

    I am up for a R01 noncompetitve renewal and a pending supplement with NICHD which should have started on 2/1/2014 but I have not received my award notice yet. I have tried to contact my grants management contact a couple of times but they have not responded with concrete information. Does anyone know whether this is normal protocol for noncompetitive awards?

    • writedit said

      Because the ICs just got their appropriation, grants management staff are catching up on backlogged awards, including noncompeting renewals. I am not entirely clear on whether the noncompeting renewal or supplement should have started on Feb 1, but I assume the renewal (usually, but not always, supplements coincide with the parent award start date). You also don’t mention if this is an administrative or competitive supplement, so I am not sure if the decision to fund is pending or the issuance of the supplemental award. In general, though, you don’t need to worry about the delay in award. They would have told you if you needed to submit something (I assume your progress report was fine), so you should just be patient. You can also ask your PO, especially if there is any question about the supplement being awarded, but I am sure he/she will just say NICHD is behind on all awards still but working to get yours out.

  23. BrianM said

    Hi Writedit. After having almost given up hope, my Phase II SBIR status changed to pending on 02/04. First submission was 12/2012, scored as 38 but many positive comments from PO and reviewers. Second submission was 04/2013, scored 30. JIT request and discussion with PO prior to Council 9/2013. Nothing else until the status change. What’s funny is that my business partner and colleague just got his grant scored and it will also be funded. Feast or famine, it seems.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and thank you so very much for sharing all your details here – especially giving hope to those who have almost given up. Best wishes for success with the project.

      • BrianM said

        How long does it usually take to go from “Pending” to a NoA? I checked to make sure my assurances are current, but I am not sure if there is anything else should be doing to make sure there are no snags.

      • writedit said

        Not to worry. It is not instantaneous, and with the backlog of awards to process, it could take a week or two. If the GMS needs anything from you, he/she will contact you. Otherwise, sit tight – and congratulations on the award.

  24. GM dude said

    NIGMS won’t be sending out NOAs for most Jan Council R01 grants that they want to fund for at least another month or two.

    • JTS said

      is this because they’re still sorting through the meritorious awards from september?

      • GM Dude said

        It takes a week or two (assuming no snow days) after Council meets to get all of the paperwork together and schedule a meeting to discuss all of the grants they want to fund. Then it takes a week or two for final adjusted budgets to get entered into a big spreadsheet. Then it takes a week or two for the spreadsheet to be double checked by the money folks and approved. Then you can expect a call from your PO, “Good News Everyone!” Then it takes several weeks to actually get the money sent to your institution.

        Things can go fast or slower depending on whether NIH actually has a real budget, how complicated the grant budget is, how much other stuff the POs and grants folks have to deal with etc….Not to mention how quickly PIs respond to Emails asking for more information. You might be surprised how lackadaisical (or maybe just disorganized) some PIs can be.

  25. BrianM said

    I was in the September NIGMS Council, my status went to ‘pending’ on the 4th.

    • JTS said

      we’re also a holdover from sept council (R01 mech., score=22, 7%), but team members already funded by NIH — i think we have to wait a while as NIGMS works through their priorities, as outlined in november

    • writedit said

      I meant to change my reply to a few weeks, and GM dude has clarified it could even be a couple of months. Yes, all the ICs are still sorting through fall and winter Council meeting pay lists and guestimating how much they need to save for the spring Council applications. Don’t that forget the federal government in DC has been shut down by weather sporadically this winter, too.

      • JTS said

        perhaps cupid might aim an arrow or two at NIGMS

        we all need a little love

        happy valentine’s day

  26. curious said

    Strange phenomenon–my RO1 was assigned to a study section that met 2/13 (last Thurs.). I checked the commons today and in the list of applications it indicated a ‘last status update’ of 2/14. When I pulled up the grant information, though, no score or any indication was listed (not ‘not discussed’ or anything). It looked like the page had not changed at all, despite ‘status update’ of yesterday. Has this happened to anyone before?

    • writedit said

      Nothing unusual. If the weather did not prevent your study section from meeting, just watch for a score on Mon or Tues.

  27. Frustrated said

    My PO has not responded to multiple (polite!) emails over 3 months asking for a phone call to discuss a resubmission. I have identified another PO in the same institute that might be interested in my work. Do you see any potential issues in naming this new PO in my resubmission cover letter?

    • writedit said

      Not at all, if you have made contact with this alternative PO and he/she is willing to accept your application. However, you don’t request a PO in your cover letter (just the IC and SRG), though you can mention this PO by name, so the SRO can make contact as needed/appropriate and to get your connection out there when the referral is made.

      • Frustrated said

        Thanks for the advice. By the way I bought the book and found it very helpful!

      • writedit said

        Great – thanks so much!

  28. YJ said

    Does anyone know the payline of NHLBI-R21 after the appropriation? My A0 application got 12 percentile, but the resubmission resulted a worse percentile (19%). I will contact PO after releasing summary statements, but I just want to know if anyone heard about payline changes after the appropriation.

    • writedit said

      Paylines will not be final until after this current round of reviews has been completed (ICs need to know the score spread for the full year to see how far their $ will go). However, your A0 application can still be considered for funding, and hopefully the payline will go up a notch or more from FY13.

  29. cautiously optimistic said

    I just got a score on an RO1 resubmission to NHLBI. The initial submission was as ESI, and my ESI status has since lapsed, but their website says they honor the ESI for any resubmission as long as you are still a New Investigator (unlike NIH overall, which gives you 13 months from the first submission). The current standard payline is 10th %ile, and that plus 5 for ESI, ie 15th %ile. My grant scored 12th %ile. My PO said it is ‘likely’ to get funded, and she considers it to be an ESI proposal, but will go through two more people for final approval for ESI status (where they check that i don’t have other NIH funding, which I don’t). So she said that POs can’t say ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and the best thing she can say as a PO is ‘likely’. She also discussed getting my ducks in a row for JIT requests, especially IACUC approval. And that this will be put forward at the June 11th council meeting for earliest possible funding by July this year. This all sounds fantastic, and I have been working toward this for at least three years now submitting this proposal in various forms every other cycle. Is there any plausible way this can go wrong?? All indicators point to it being funded but of course i’m still nervous.

    • writedit said

      Just like your PO, I will say this indicates you should get an award, but no one promises anything until the NoA/NGA is issued. Her comment about the IACUC is apt: you want to be in a position where they can immediately issue the award, which means having IACUC approval before Council. This is especially important late in the FY, because the timing becomes important; if an IC cannot resolve an administrative issue quickly, it may move on to tap other applications for awards that it knows can be made (ie, all approvals secured & all JIT issues in order) before the FY runs out in September. So, yes, you can be cautiously optimistic – and focus on getting your IACUC approval and any other JIT info/certifications etc. ready by June if not before.

      • cautiously optimistic said

        Thanks for the advice!

  30. NewbiePI said

    Anyone get a score on R21 from NIA in CDIN study section? Review was yesterday and today – hoping the grant wasn’t triaged.

    • writedit said

      Patience – you’ll need to wait a day or two for your score to be entered. Maybe longer, depending on the number of applications. Everyone finds out at the same time. Good luck.

  31. NewbiePI said

    Thanks, what will it say under score if triaged?

    • writedit said

      Not Discussed (instead of an impact score) – also as current application status (will replace Pending IRG review)

  32. IntraNIA said

    If I recall correctly, it will say Not Discussed or ND, next to the “Priority Score” row on the left-middle side of the page. When my A0 K99 section met, the score was posted a day later. My PO indicates that it can vary depending on workload, weather, etc.

    Good luck!

  33. NewbiePI said

    Thanks, I got my score on A0 R21 at NIA.
    IF of 30, 19%.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on getting scored – that is likely out of funding contention unless your PO thinks it is worthy of select pay, but you should have some good comments on the summary statement (which will likely take a few weeks to show up) to submit a strong A1.

      • NewbiePI said

        Thanks very much! Your input is, as always, is very much appreciated!

  34. gary said

    I have an R21 that got 28/15%. I had submitted my Other Support JIT last year and now want to submit my IACUC (which I thought was submitted, but I feel it disappeared). The JIT hyperlink is gone preventing submission of additional JIT. I’m wondering what this means. Council review is completed and my PO says that 15% has been selected in the past for funding. But obviously I want them to have my IACUC approval if they take a second look. I’ve sent my Introduction of my resubmission to my PO to take a look and try to support my application at his end. But the only thing I can really do is wait and wonder what the JIT concern means. Any idea about the JIT issue? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You can check with your PO and let him know you have the IACUC approval. The documentation might not be necessary until they need to process the award, but he’ll let you know if they need that sooner. If so, your GMS might need to do something on their end to allow you to submit via eRA Commons – or your PO may just have you email the documentation to him.

  35. tc said

    Can the NIH funding for a particular grant be partially used to support irrelevant research? What is the policy here?

    • writedit said

      Well, I would certainly hope no federal research dollars are spent on irrelevant research. If you mean work not directly related to the proposed aims, the answer is generally yes (you received a grant rather than a contract), but there is a governing policy in considering the degree and nature of any change in scope for the overall project itself: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2013/nihgps_ch8.htm#_Toc271264934

      “In general, the PD/PI may make changes in the methodology, approach, or other aspects of the project objectives. However, the grantee must obtain prior approval from the NIH awarding IC for a change in scope. A change in scope is a change in the direction, aims, objectives, purposes, or type of research training, identified in the approved project. The grantee must make the initial determination of the significance of a change and should consult with the GMO as necessary.” (see policy guide for details in making this determination)

  36. nk said

    I reached out to my PO after getting an email from her saying my R21 was not chosen for funding at NIDDK Council because other R21s scored higher. I then asked if NIDDK has any funds left at any point, could the R21 be considered for funding? Her reply, “At the end of the year, if there is money left over we sometimes look at prior Council rounds and fund a grant or two. That said, money is so tight these days that having funds left over is not the norm.” At what point in the year, if any, would you follow-up on this? What would be the best way to follow-up?

    • writedit said

      I assume this is an A1 – if not, you should definitely be working on the A1. Otherwise, they will have a better idea after the current round of reviews (since then they’ll know how many better-scored applications are ahead of yours), but the select pay decisions will probably not be made until June or so. However, it would be more encouraging if she gave some indication that she intended to advocate for your application, as they will fund some out of order on a case-by-case basis. She seems to suggest yours would be funded only if they got down to your application on the paylist (sequentially). I assume, if this was an A1, you have been working on other applications in the meantime. If not, this would be a good time to start (for June).

      • NK said

        Yes, this was an A1. I do have other grants in the pipeline. Yes, she did say that, “The main issue was score relative to the other grants that came in. Our pool of funds for R21 is not large and there were many grants competing for funds. Although your score was good there was also a fairly long list of grants with even better scores.” My score was a 26. Would you reach out again in June or just let this go? Thanks for all your adice.

      • writedit said

        You will definitely find out from her if you are being considered for an award (so don’t worry about losing a potential award because you didn’t stay in touch), but you probably won’t hear from her again if your application never makes it to the top of the list. If you need to know the final outcome, you could check again later in June. And if she will be your PO for any other applications, you could ask again later in the context of seeking other advice (oh, BTW …).

  37. Patrick said

    I submitted two different proposals to NIH recently and they were assigned to the same study section. What should I do?

    • writedit said

      If you requested different SRGs in your cover letters, you can communicate with the SRO of the study section you requested to see if he/she can take your application – the SROs do communicate about this, so you can find out why your application wen to one SRG versus another. If you did not make a request in your cover letter but you know of an SRG that might be better for one of the applications, you can contact that SRO to see if he/she would be willing to take the application. Your rationale for any of these requests cannot simply be that you do not want 2 applications at the same study section. You will need to provide evidence (based on publications, grant awards) that the reviewers on the panel to which you want your application moved are the most appropriate to review your science. If there is only one SRG appropriate for these applications and/or the SROs cannot accommodate transferring one of your applications to a different group, then you need to decide whether to have both reviewed this cycle or to with draw one and submit it next cycle (you do not lose a submission – you can submit next cycle as A0 or A1, depending on the status of the application when it was submitted this time).

      • Patrick said

        Thank you!. Will this situation (having two proposals in the same study section) eliminate my chance to win the funding? What is the major disadvantage?

      • writedit said

        Reviewers will be instructed to assess the scientific merit of each proposal individually (against itself/scientific ideal versus against other applications). If both of your applications have high scientific merit, they should both be scored well, though one will by necessity be ranked higher than the other. The question then is whether they are both assigned to the same IC for funding consideration. If so, unless the proposals address completely different research questions of equal interest/priority to the funding IC, one of your applications would probably be skipped (though I am sure it is not unheard of for one IC to fund two proposals to the same PI in the same Council round). In theory, if the science is distinct and exceptional, it shouldn’t matter – but this is a time of limited resources.

  38. tc said

    I wrote an RO1 in response to an RFA. The grant was reviewed by SEP but did not get funded. I plan to submit it to a regular study section. Would this be A0 or A1?
    Thanks

  39. CA Sun said

    I received a score of 17 for a K99/R00 app submitted to the NICHD, the payline last year was 18, eventually escalated to 19. How confident can I be since there have been no funding cuts for 2014..?

    • Sarah said

      If it helps, my K99, which scored 20, was ultimately funded by NICHD last year. My sense is you should be in good shape.

      • writedit said

        Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah. Congratulations on the award and best wishes for success with your project and career in academic research!

      • CA Sun said

        Thank you for sharing that with me

    • writedit said

      I agree with Sarah that you should be fine. You can check in with your PO when you have your summary statement, but I suspect he/she will be cautiously (if not outright) optimistic.

      • CA Sun said

        Thank you, I have contacted and the word optimistic was used..fingers crossed! Thank you for the prompt response

  40. Airmonkey84 said

    I’ve posted a few times here before about my F32 to NIAMS. Appears that the payline actually was moved down significantly, from priority score of 24 (in 2013) to a priority score of 20 in 2014 per the most recent update (http://www.niams.nih.gov/about_Us/Budget/funding_plan_fy2014.asp). Any idea if these published paylines ever shift, or if these are likely the final paylines? In that case I should probably gear up for a resubmission. Thx!

    • writedit said

      Wow. Boy was I wrong (in assuming the payline would go up). This late, the payline is probably pretty close to final, since most study sections have met, and NIAMS has an idea of how many applications are scored at each percentile/impact score. They also know how much $ they have – and NIAMS only received a $1M increase over FY13 (which explains the lack of payline improvement). With the drop in payline, they probably have quite a number of very low-scoring F32 applications that they have no additional funds to cover. You should talk with your PO, but I am sure he/she will tell you to prepare an A1 for April. Hopefully you have been able to strengthen the training plan in the interim, and you can run this by the PO for advice, too. Thanks for the heads up on the updated NIAMS funding plan.

  41. tc said

    My grant received a fundable score. but I may need to relocate out of this country for a few years. Is this possible to defer the funding start date for a few years?

    • writedit said

      I do not think so, but you can check with your PO. You are approved for funding in a specific FY, and these funds cannot be carried over by the IC – they must all be spent by the end of the FY. For applications straddling FYs, maybe (but even then there would need to be high programmatic interest). Also, with such a long delay, I expect the concern would be that the field would have moved on since your original proposal, in which case the proposed project might no longer be significant in terms of its impact.

  42. Stellar said

    Still no comments on a scored R01 NCI study section met 2/20/14. I have a score, but no comments. Is there a requirement about when POs need to get these up or is it “working as hard as we can, we’ll get to it when we can” kind of thing?

    • writedit said

      tcgal is correct – the goal is to get them out in a month, but they can take up to 6 weeks. The priority is to get new/ESI summary statements out first, then the established PIs. I am not sure if there is a defined protocol for the order within these groups, so each SRO could have his or her own algorithm. The government was shut down yesterday – and probably another day since your study section met – due to weather, so there’s that, too. If you don’t have your SS by the end of March, you can check in with the SRO.

  43. tcgal said

    the go to response from CSR is “within 6 weeks” you will get your summary statement.. and its the SRO not the PO that writes these up. I also think that the work in order of best to worst score… seems you are still in the 6 week window-

  44. on_deadline said

    Mundane question, but I need help. As a grant specialist (contractor), I am assisting with an STTR submission. Aspects of application do not fit NIH guidelines: 1) biosketches have more than 15 publications & reference section does not include all authors nor have PMCID. I’m a stickler for details, but also paid by the hour. Should I fix these deviations to improve application’s chances?

    • writedit said

      The 15-publication limit is a suggestion, not a requirement, though I strongly urge PIs to abide by it. If they have just a few extra publications, especially if they are relevant, fine. But if they have pages of publications, they (not you) should pick the 15 most relevant citations. The literature cited does not need to include all PMCID – and if you mean the references on the biosketch, only those articles that are required to be deposited in PMC need to have PMCIDs. I assume only the PI would know which publications need to have PMCIDs (based on article date & type & whether the work was funded in whole or part by the NIH) – though I guess you could just check PubMed and add the ID for those that have one. Will any of this affect review? Not really. The PMCIDs are an administrative requirement, and the number of references may or may not piss off reviewers, depending on how far overboard they go, but it certainly won’t sink an application by itself.

  45. Vidya C said

    This is my first time on this site. My K23 received a score of 29 and was being reviewed by NIGMS. Since this was within their budget, the PO suggested transferring to NICHD. The revision was recently reviewed and got an impact score of 15. How are my chances of getting funded? NICHD seems to still not have any published paylines for FY2014. Was wondering when they are usually published.. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      I am not sure I understand what happened with NIGMS. Your research wasn’t in their area, or the score of 29 wasn’t fundable (which it probably wasn’t – but it wouldn’t have been at NICHD, either, so I’m puzzled by the suggestion to switch ICs). And did you request that your primary IC be switched from NIGMS to NICHD for the A1? The 15 should be a fundable score – especially at NIGMS but probably at NICHD as well. Your PO at NICHD should be able to give you an idea of your chances there, since all the applications are now in and scored.

      • Vidya C said

        Dear Writedit, I received request for JIT 10 days ago, and council meeting is tomorrow to review my A1 application for K23 (score of 15). Would you know how long NICHD generally takes after Council meeting to update regarding decision to fund or not? When do you think it is appropriate for me to contact the PO if I don’t see an update? I am guessing the place to look is on Commons. Thanks.

      • writedit said

        Aha – so, NICHD did pick up your application, which is great. Congratulations! Based on your score and the JIT request, I think the decision has already been made. You can either ask your PO for confirmation that you will receive an award, or you can wait for your eRA Commons status to change to Pending or Pending administrative review or something like this. The status change would not be for several days – maybe a couple of weeks, depending on how busy they are. I think a short email to the PO asking about the timeframe for the Notice of Award would be fine.

  46. Vidya C said

    Thanks for your response. The PO at NICHD said they will need to wait for new paylines for this year.

    • Vidya C said

      Dear Writeedit,This was the response I received from my PO – “The NICHD current payline for K is P.S. of 19. Your application has received a fundable score however it has to go through our May council for secondary review before considering for funding” Would you know how often does the council decide against funding when you have a fundable score? I am worried that she was not more positive in her reply. Thanks.

      • writedit said

        Not to worry at all … Council occasionally does not recommend research applications for funding, but this is rare and mainly in the case of very well-funded PIs (NIH-wide policy plus ICs often have their own) or applications with significant administrative issues. K applications are reviewed and scored within the IC, so these are already judged to be advancing the IC mission through their score. I would expect the only reasons a K application scoring within the payline might not be funded would be due to significant changes on the part of the applicant (career or personal status change, moving to institution that cannot support the research proposed, etc.). Your PO is just using standard NIH language to say you need to wait until June for an award.

      • Vidya C said

        Thanks for the encouraging reply. My K application was reviewed by an SRG in NIGMS and was then transferred to NICHD Would this make a difference to the Council at NICHD?

      • writedit said

        Not at all – NICHD clearly wanted the application and would not have taken it if they did not intend to fund it. Council will trust program on this, and I assume it makes sense in terms of the science (to be in NICHD).

      • Vidya C said

        Thanks again This is a great forum and you are really prompt with your responses!

  47. PCharles said

    I received a score of 23 on a first (and only) K99 submission. I say only because I’m one of the unlucky applicants who fall into the category of meeting the old criteria (can submit if PhD was completed no more than 5 yrs prior) but not the new criteria (4 yrs prior) and so have only one chance. As everyone knows, there’s no payline yet out but other writers on this site have suggested an interim of 20 until the final payouts are made and NICHD sees if there are any funds left for higher scores. My PO said she’d like to wait until they have the official paylines to talk. 1) Are there any special circumstances (like the one time applicant?) they might take into consideration? 2) Also, I received the JIT request but my mentor said to wait until I got the green light from the PO to submit and I read that everyone with a score under 40 gets the JIT. Should I wait? 3) Any wagers on my chances of getting funded? I think if yes, it’ll be close, very close. Thanks for any insight!

    • writedit said

      Given that you are no longer eligible to submit, your application could be given extra consideration for select pay, if your PO can make a strong case for you as a candidate and your science. If you have had any manuscripts accepted for publication since you applied, you could let your PO know. Your PO wants to wait for the paylines to be released (internally) to know whether she’ll need to make any special efforts on your behalf, but anything that might strengthen your case (like a new paper) would help at that point. You should wait until she asks for the JIT, but if you need IACUC, IRB etc., you definitely want that lined up now, so you can submit the JIT as soon as it is requested.

  48. PCharles said

    Hi again…regarding K99 score of 23 comment above. I should have clarified that I met the old criteria at the time of the first submission in 2013 but no longer meet the criteria now so can’t resubmit.

  49. AZoe said

    I got a K99 impact score of 17 from NIGMS on my first (and only, same situation as PCharles above) application. I feel like this is a good number, but with the opaque way that NIGMS does their funding, I basically have to wait around for the Advisory Council to feel confident about anything. Any advice or should I just stay in contact with the PO and keep my fingers crossed for the next few months?

    • writedit said

      You can check with your PO to gauge where you sit in the pile, since I assume the NIGMS K review committee has met by now. Your PO would have a rough idea of the number of applications that scored lower than yours, and you can get an idea of whether he/she will advocate for your application during paylist discussions.

      • AZoe said

        Thanks, that’s helpful. The review panel only met 2 days ago, so I don’t have my summary statement yet, haven’t heard from the PO yet. Should I wait until I get the summary statement before I contact the PO?

      • writedit said

        Yes, that is best, since you will then be able to discuss any concerns the reviewers had (your PO will need some ammunition in advocating for your award, if it is not clearly within the funding range). If you have any manuscripts under review (or accepted for publication) since your submission, this would be important news to pass along as well. Your PO can also give other advice on next steps, such as an alternative K activity code, if you are eligible, or an RPG. That’s a good score, though, so hopefully you’ll be okay with the K99.

  50. Teddy said

    Hi, Writedit, My PO used the word “cautiously optimistic” to describe the status of my grant. What exactly does that mean?

    • writedit said

      It means, assuming your administrative ducks are in a row, and barring anything strange and unexpected happening, you will probably receive an award. Be happy.

  51. ACG said

    Hello all, after doing a pretty exhaustive search I have been unable to find a good answer for the following question: Does the payline for F31-Diversity differs from that of the F31 fellowship (in this case NHLBI), and if so, what would you think is a reasonable margin (1, 5, even 10 percentile points?).
    Thanks!

    • writedit said

      The payline is the same for any applications for that activity code (F31), but I assume (though do not know) that the diversity applications may get extra consideration for select pay (or have a de facto higher payline if the funds for that PA go farther due to fewer applications in the pool). However, it is not like ESI/new investigator payline breaks for R01s (with a definite percentile break in payline).

      • ACG said

        Thanks for your reply. I find it curious that there are no statistics regarding this topic, especially with statements like “NIH recognizes a unique and compelling need to promote diversity”. How are they gauging their success?

      • writedit said

        Some ICs only participate in the diversity program announcement (not the main parent announcement). As I said before, at ICs that participate in both announcements, I am sure if need be, they would go above the overall F31 payline to ensure enough diversity applications are picked up – but I also don’t know if they already factor in both ranges of scores when setting the payline. You can certainly ask your PO at this point how your score looks for FY14.

  52. Teddy said

    Hi, Writedit, my PO indicated “cautiously optimistic” on my grant. What exactly does that mean?

    • writedit said

      It means I need to do a blog post (in the main section) about what this means. ;) It means, barring unexpected administrative issues or other events beyond his/her control, you should get an award – the PO just can’t say so definitively at this point.

  53. F32 Application said

    I just received news from my program officer at NICHD. I had a F32 impact score of 24 and percentile of 21. She said that a few days ago she received news that the payline for NICHD will be for the 23 percentile and below, so I should definitely receive news of my funding of application in June or July. Things are looking up for everyone!!!! :)

    • writedit said

      Great – thanks so much for sharing this update, and congratulations! Best wishes for success with your project and your career in academic research.

    • Vidya C said

      Hi, F32 Application, congrats on your score and funding! I am checking for 2014 NICHD payline updates everyday and do not see them posted yet. Seems like the payline has improved from 2013 for the F32 (per your PO). I have a score of 15 on my K23 A1 and am wondering when I will know.. so your post is encouraging!

      • writedit said

        Since you are below the FY13 payline for Ks (18), you should be fine, and I assume your PO was encouraging. Your PO may know more by now, depending on when you last communicated, in advance of the paylines being updated online.

  54. Sequenceman said

    Hi Writedit,
    We’re waiting on a decision on an R21. The score was decent (25) and after council the PO said “cautiously optimistic”, which was great to hear.

    However, the proposed start date has already passed and this was set up by the RFA. Should we be concerned? I don’t want to bug the PO too much and was curious if you’ve heard of NIH grants getting funded after the start date (I haven’t but my experience is limited). Thanks for any advice!

    • writedit said

      The start date is irrelevant – this is used to indicate the rough timing of an award assuming everything else is on time (federal budget especially). The ICs are backed up with Cycle 1 & 2 awards, so don’t worry about the delay and missing your start date. And congratulations on the excellent score and cautiously optimistic PO.

  55. louis md said

    Hi writedit,

    Have a similar question. Submitted a job application to NIH within the Global Recruitment Program. After 3 weeks of closing date I received notification saying “You might receive several communications if you apply for more than one grade”. Within the same notification I was informed I didn’t qualify for the highest grade, which I expected. I haven’t received anything else after that. It is almost 5 weeks and half since closing date. Does the delay suggest any hope in being selected for a lower grade?. Or has it to do with agreements among ICs on needs, budgets or the like?. I appreciate your insights.

    • writedit said

      I believe the first message was an automatically generated notice since the posting had more than one pay grade available. You can log into your USA Jobs account to check the status of your application, and you can send an email to the contact person listed. I am not sure you always hear back if you are not considered for the position, but you bad news sooner than good, and your application status will indicate whether has been referred for further consideration.

  56. tcgal said

    A question regarding a junior researcher that i am mentoring. How does a K01 award recipient go about budgeting her time on a R03/R21? i know that these are allowable while doing a K01- but is the investigator’s effort “in kind”? we are getting ahead of ourselves, as the K01 hasnt been awarded yet- but her score was 16 (initial app), and we are awaiting the news. she is thinking of submitting something for June deadlines.

    • writedit said

      If she hasn’t received the K01 award, she should proceed as if she does not have one – but I expect she will know before June 16. In that case, while I believe she could have effort on someone else’s award (less than 25% effort, to ensure she has at least 75% effort for the K01), she cannot be the PI until the last 2 years of her K award (see http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-08-065.html). However, some ICs have their own special R03 PAR limited to K awardees from their IC (e.g.,, http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-12-285.html). If this is one of those ICs, then she should wait to receive the K01 and then apply for the R03 through the appropriate FOA.

  57. Fannex said

    Does anyone know why my JIT link is not appearing 7 weeks after initial review if my score is well under 40? Should I interpret this as meaning anything negative or does it mean an email will be coming with a JIT request instead?

    • writedit said

      I don’t know why the JIT link hasn’t been activated, but I do know you don’t need to worry about its absence. The eRA Commons link is meaningless without a personal request from the PO or GMS. You can check with your PO by this point for an inkling of where you stand (though probably nothing definitive yet), especially if you applied in response to an RFA. Now, if there are any other issues with your eRA Commons account, you can check with their help desk, which is responsive and helpful.

      • Fannex said

        Thanks for the peace of mind and the advice. This blog is such a nice resource. Congrats on your new book!

  58. curious post doc said

    Just got a 23 priority score on our u01, no percentile. Any idea how to gauge this score?

    • writedit said

      Depends on the IC and whether this was investigator-initiated or submitted in response to a PAR or RFA. Basically, think in terms of an R01, but check with your PO, especially if this was a special solicitation (you won’t get a percentile), when you have your summary statement. At that point, you can discuss next steps if need be, but that should be a good score.

  59. tc said

    Are adjunct professor working part time eligible for NIH grant applications?
    Thanks

    • SG said

      Probably not. But, it is up to your school to determine if you can be a PI. NIH awards research grants to institutions not people…technically.

      • tc said

        I am under the impression that federal laws requires that you must work full time at an institution to be eligible for grant application. Am I wrong?
        Thanks

      • writedit said

        The federal government makes research awards to the university or other research institution, not to the individual. It is up to the institution to decide who can apply for grant funding, but generally it needs to be a permanent full-time employee, since they (the university/institution) are investing institutional resources in the application and award management processes etc.

    • writedit said

      As SG said, probably not as PI (the same is generally true for postdocs and instructors), but you should be able to be included as key personnel on another PI’s application. You can ask your Department Administrator or Office of Sponsored Programs about your institution’s policy.

  60. mattl said

    Hello,

    This forum is great, its been great for understanding more about the process. I submitted a K22 to NCI and my application got an impact score 36, outside the funding limit. I am waiting for the comments so that I can resubmit back in July. I am just worried whether this score is way outside the funding limits to come back in the resubmission. Is the impact score of 36 within the high impact group based on NIH funding factors. Please let me know your thoughts about this.

    thanks again.

    • writedit said

      Your PO should have good advice based on the discussion, and your summary statement will give you an idea of whether the reviewers are encouraging you to resubmit (ie, they like you a lot as a candidate but have specific concerns about the project or your training/transition plan). I generally view scores in the 30s-40s as the best of the non-funded options, since it suggests there are specific fixable issues that will drop the score, whereas a score in the 20s might not be easily improved (no obvious things to fix in the summary statement), and scores above 50 usually suggest lack of significance or major problems with the approach (overall design vs details). But lots of exceptions, and each case is individual. Again, your PO and your mentor will be able to guide you specifically, but I would certainly encourage working toward resubmission (getting another paper in the pipeline would be great, integrate updates from the literature/scientific meetings since you submitted, etc.).

      • mattl said

        Thanks a lot for your prompt reply, I really appreciate it.

  61. Earl E. Researcher said

    I am working under my first NIH grant funding as a PI. I am wondering what work I can and should attribute to my grant. For instance when submitting manuscripts, should I only cite the grant for work that was specified in my aims or can more general guidelines be applied? I see many cite their grants in review articles. Is this appropriate? Can you cite your grant if you are doing similar work with another drug (and it is helping you to refine your methods for the funded work)?

    I really appreciate advice and opinions.

    • writedit said

      Some PIs are very liberal in their assignment of publications to their grant. If your salary, and hence your ability to write anything (including review articles), comes from the NIH, then citing this support is appropriate. This is why grad students on felllowships or T32s have these sources cited – their stipends rather than any actual supplies etc. dollars makes their contribution possible. The NIH has no specific guidance on what is appropriate in terms of linkage (“Report publicationsresulting directly from this grant”), while the NIH Public Access Policy “applies to all peer-reviewed articles resulting from research supported in whole or in part with direct costs from NIH”. Now, if grant funding for one project leads to a different research direction, by all means, the original grant should be cited (since likely your renewal will incorporate new aims derived from this offshoot work) – you need not limit yourself to reporting publications related to the proposed aims alone. For the review articles, if it is linked to the funded area or the new offshoot area (you needed to research this field to develop these new aims), I have no qualms listing these publications. Your PO wants you to list anything possibly linked – the NIH wants to show Congress that the money being appropriated is being productively spent.

      As a side note, you want to cite the actual grant number (eg, R01CA8675309 – at the very least, keep the IC & serial number together, e.g., CA8675309) rather than the title, and not writing out National Cancer Institute etc. POs search PubMed by your grant number to find publications linked to their portfolio.

      • LNS said

        I thought this was a really good question. In case it is helpful to anyone else, I wanted to share what I learned during my recent K07 progress report. Since the K-award funds career development, I was told that all publications written or published during the funding period should be associated with my grant (even if the reported data were not collected on my K studies or I was not a primary author). I am funded at 100% so, technically, everything I do is supported by my award. This seems obvious as I write it, but I wasn’t clear about it until my PO pointed this out to me. Hope this helps others!

      • writedit said

        Great – thanks for sharing your experience, and especially pointing out that you do not need to only list first or last author papers … even middle author on someone else’s paper counts (NIH paid for your time on the project). Also, for those of you with RPG or P-mechanism funding, papers that you are not even an author on but whose authors were supported by your research funding (e.g., collaborators writing about their piece of the overall project) should be listed (per NIH policy).

  62. tcgal said

    AWESOME question! and i cant wait to see the responses. I personally do cite the grant in papers that are very closely related to the topic or methods- but have yet to see guidelines and would really like to know what others do..

  63. Earl E. Researcher said

    very helpful. thank you!!!

  64. methylene said

    Does anyone know the timeline for receipt of award/status once contact has been made by the PO stating “your application is being considered for funding”?

    Submitted F32 A0 August 2013, placed with NCI
    Received Scores November 2013, Percentile: 22
    Contacted by PO April 2014, Sent RCR corrections/proof of degree

    Thanks

    • writedit said

      They’ll contact you again closer to the award date, but anywhere from a couple weeks to a month or more, depending on the backlog at NCI. I would think by now they are catching up, but the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly (& don’t worry if your start date has passed).

  65. Emaderton3 said

    I submitted a proposal for a NIAMS new investigator R03 in November, 2013. I recently got my impact score which was a 29. NIAMS is using their FY2014 R03 funding policy even for this specific PAR, so they are funding up to an impact score of 20. While I will have to wait and see my reviews to see if I can realistically better my score by 9 points, I wanted to know if there was data out there describing how often a grant is pulled for funding that is beyond the funding limit criteria for this Institute.

    • writedit said

      Most ICs set aside 3-10% of their new award funds for select pay decisions. If you look at the ICs with R01 funding trend data, you can see they are willing to go up percentiles in the low 40s to make awards – but these are individual applications tapped for a specific reason. Your PO needs to advocate for this to happen – it isn’t random – so if he/she is enthusiastic about your work, you could ask if they did this (if he/she did not already say you would need to wait until the end of the FY to find out for sure).

      • Emaderton3 said

        Thanks. Through a few emails, I did not detect any “enthusiasm” but more standard replies. Again, the reviews will probably be the most helpful at this time. Now, can someone move a R03 9 points??? (I did better a K award by 8.)

      • writedit said

        Not impossible – depends on if there is something fixable or if the reviewers just weren’t that enthusiastic.

      • Emaderton3 said

        How often do Institutes change their paylines during a given fiscal year? I saw a comment somewhere on here that some were updated for a specific institute. FYI–I am not getting email notifications that replies have been left to my comments even though I am selecting that option.

      • writedit said

        Some ICs change them throughout the year – some only set them once at the end of the FY (to reflect what they funded). Many do not ever publish a public payline. By now, any IC offering publicly posted interim paylines that has removed the “interim” status probably will not change them again … but it could. I am not sure how WordPress manages the notification of replies, but you can check with their support (http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/).

      • Emaderton3 said

        So these would probably be permanent (I am assuming with slight adjustments if they get too many or too little good scores):

        http://www.niams.nih.gov/about_Us/Budget/funding_plan_fy2014.asp

      • writedit said

        Updated April 16, probably. They have all the scored applications in hand now so know what the spread of scores looks like and how far their budget can go.

      • Emaderton3 said

        FYI–they only take direct support inquiries from people who have paid for the upgrade (which I assume means members that run a site through them) . . .

      • writedit said

        I have not paid for the upgrade that gets me access to support. I do this completely on a voluntary basis on my own time (not as part of my paid position at BICO).

      • Emaderton3 said

        BTW what is BICO?

      • writedit said

        BICO = Baby It’s Cold Outside (especially apt description for this past winter)

      • Emaderton3 said

        Ok lol. Was checking if you had changed locations\jobs.

    • Emaderton3 said

      Just got the JIT email request. How hopeful should I be?

      • writedit said

        Cautiously. They (PO and/or GMS) don’t request JIT unless an award is likely (don’t have the time to do the work if no award anticipated) – but it’s not a guarantee. You can ask your PO to confirm whether an award is in line for processing or if this is just to be prepared in case your application is tapped.

      • Emaderton3 said

        Newer guidelines suggest that all submissions with an impact score of 40 or better get JIT requests regardless of paylines. Is this always true or is getting JIT still an indicator of possible funding?

      • writedit said

        If the request was automatically generated by eRA Commons, it means nothing. If you received an email request from your PO or GMS, then you’re under consideration for an award.

      • Emaderton3 said

        It appears to be from Commons. I was always told to ignore JIT in Commons but getting an email was a different story. Time to wait it out.

        Thanks!

  66. madness007 said

    My R00 was funded with a 10% cut, and I was wondering for budgeting purposes if there’s a snowballs chance that I’ll get this money back or not? And if it were to be re-funded, would I need to do anything to check on it or would it just magically happen?

    • SG said

      If the cut was due to NIH not having a budget in the beginning of the fiscal year then Yes, you could ayutomatically get the money back. If the cut was an administrative cut by your funding institute then No, your snowball has no chance. The best way to find out is to contact the grants specialist listed oin your Notice of grant Award (NGA). It should also say in the NGA but it can be hard to find.

  67. YJ said

    NHLBI increased payline to11% for R01/R21. I discuss with the PO about next step of my application received 12 % and he said there may be still a chance of my application for funding later this fiscal year. Has anyone received the award from NHLBI with a percentile outside institutional payline?

    • writedit said

      All ICs make select pay awards above the payline on a case by case basis, so if your PO is saying you may have a chance at being selected, this is good news, though a long long way from a guarantee. You might ask if he would like a response to concerns in the summary statement, in case he needs to make a case for your application. Of course, you can now submit as an A0 (if your 12th percentile was an A1 – and if it was an A0, definitely resubmit as an A1).

      • Emaderton3 said

        So a A0 submitted in February could be resubmitted as a A1, then resubmitted as an A0 if not funded? I guess I am asking whether the A0 has to be submitted after the April 16th deadline?

      • writedit said

        An application submitted in February (either A0 or A1, in March) would not be reviewed yet (no summary statement until June-July), so the next iteration of that Feb application could not go in until October/November. But, you could submit it then as either an A0 or an A1, depending on whether it strategically made sense to include or skip the Introduction (and whether you needed the extra month to work on the application). The policy starts now: any previously submitted application that has a summary statement issued can be submitted this June (A0)/July (A1).

  68. brain child said

    R01 reviewed last Fall, scored in grey area (19% percentile). Last week PO (very supportive throughout whole process, was a great advocate for my K99 award in 2010) indicated funding for May council was “very promising” but that “nothing is official until you receive a NoA”. Said to wait a week or two for more info. Today, Commons status changed from “council review completed” to “pending administrative review”. No request for JIT yet from GMS or PO, but then again the status just changed today. What does it mean?

    • writedit said

      It means congratulations are in order (almost). Your application is being processed for an award, which will likely be issued, pending confirmation there are no administrative issues that might interfere with this. You should get a JIT request soon (you could ask, since your status has changed, if you should prepare this now). Hopefully you have any necessary approvals (IACUC, IRB, etc.) and training certifications in hand.

  69. CF ESI said

    I am an ESI and PI for a multi-center clinical trial proposal to NHLBI. This is reviewed by Clin Trials Rev Committee and they give impact scores but not percentiles for these grants (RO1, converted to UO1 if multi-PI but that is not our case). I had a very helpful discussion with the PO today but we are not certain if or how ESI affects the pay line when a percentile is not given. I did see a percentile briefly in eraCommons when my summary statement was posted but it was removed and I don’t know if it was accurate. We are planning our A1 and it would be nice to know if I’ll benefit from ESI status or not, given that percentiles are apparently not assigned. Thank You.

    • writedit said

      If your summary statement notes your ESI status, program will take that into account when making award decisions, which will be made based on impact scores from the group of multisite R01 applications from all cycles – they’ll rank by score and then assess programmatic interest/priority for each trial – and also see how many ESI applicants are where in the pile. It sounds like your ESI status has expired; based on current NIH policy, if you resubmit the A1 within 13 months of the A0 submission (not review), you will retain ESI consideration for the A1 (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/investigator_policies_faqs.htm#2727).

  70. RD said

    I got a score of 32 for a NCI K22 submission. Does any one know what the payline for the 2014 NCI K grants are? The PO refuses to comments on the possibility of funding. The scoring is all over the place.
    For e.g, one reviewer gave a score of 1 for the research plan and the other gave a 4. One reviewer gave a score of 3 for the candidate and the other gave a 2 with no weakness specified. Any comments would be appreciated!!!

    • writedit said

      Well, that is almost certainly too high to be fundable, so you should ask your PO for resubmission strategy advice. He/she would have attended the meeting so would know which reviewers carried the discussion and what concerns to focus on. Ignore (mostly) the individual scoring and concentrate on the Resume & Summary of Discussion.

  71. Jeff said

    Dear WriteEdit,

    I am on a K-23 (starting year 3 soon) and have some reasonably good data and my mentor thinks I am ready to apply for an RO1. I transferred my K right after I got it to another institution (this took about a year) and as a result, NHLBI extended the K for an extra year since I didn’t use any of the money the first year. I always planned on trying for an RO1 to start year 4 of my K (trying is the key word of course), but it looks like the rules say that I must be in the last 2 years of my K to be able to have effort on an RO1. Any thoughts on how to get around this or since my K is for 6 years, am I stuck waiting an extra year to apply?
    Thanks for your thoughts!

    • writedit said

      You can talk with your PO, who can let you know about what flexibility they have in your situation, but I would think they could be flexible.

  72. overcommitted said

    I have an RO1 pending at NHLBI at a fundable score–I just got the JIT request! They ask for current support, pending, and planned. I am 50% on this award, and I have another submitted RO1 pending review, where I have proposed 50%. Because I”m VA funded, this will exceed my allowable coverage! Do they count the %effort for the grants pending review? Any tips for preparing this page are appreciated. I certainly don’t want to screw anything up at this stage!!!

    • writedit said

      No, they don’t count pending awards when issuing this award. If you are fortunate enough to get the second R01, then there will be negotiations to both awards to address the effort (reduce your effort on each). Neither award will be in jeopardy, so don’t hesitate to ask your PO questions should the need arise to reallocate effort.

  73. postdoc_nrsa said

    Hi writedit – many thanks for maintaining this terrific site. I’m waiting on an NRSA that will likely begin this summer, but the NRSA salary will be lower than the postdoc salary at my current institution. I’ve asked if they would be willing to make up the difference, but they are tentatively saying no, citing cost-sharing risks (i.e., two separate federal sources funding the same work). Is this true? It seems somewhat odd to me, particularly because my work involves research costs which can’t be covered by an NRSA alone, so there’s going to be some overlap between the two funding sources, at least in that sense. Any guidance is appreciated – thanks.

    • writedit said

      Many pre and postdoc trainees supported by NRSA funds have their stipends supplemented by their institution. You couldn’t be given % effort on the budget of your advisor’s award (which I assume is what will cover your research costs), since you must be 100% on the NRSA (this is the overlap issue), but your department could use other funds to make up this difference, including indirects from your advisor’s award.

  74. Gary said

    I received a 15% on an R21 that I re-submitted and that will be reviewed mid-May. I have additional data and experiments to propose so I want to submit basically an expanded version of the R21 as an R01. Now if my re-submitted R21 does not get a score (which I will know by the third week of May) that is clearly fundable, I want to turn around and submit the R01 for June. While I know I should wait for the summary statement, I want to do this for time reasons. However, it will get flagged as a similar grant to my R21 currently under review. Will I get notified of this and be asked what I want to do (e.g. withdraw the R21) or am I better off contacting them (the PO?) and requesting them upfront to withdraw the unfundable R21? When there is overlap does the PI always get asked what they want to do to alleviate the issue or do they (CSR?) decide to decline a submission without contacting the PI. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      The issue is having two applications under review at the same time. You could ask the PO for advice about withdrawing the R21 now, prior to the study section meeting, in which case you could go ahead with the R01 in June (but have no feedback from the R21). If you want to see what happens with the R21, you could get your R01 ready and check with your PO after the study section meets. You can’t submit the R01 if the R21 might be considered for funding at Council. On the other hand, if the R21 does not score well, you probably want to receive the summary statement before submitting the R01 to address concerns reviewers had about the science (especially if the score goes up from your 15th percentile), which might force you to wait until Ocober anyway. I’d suggest you contact the PO now to decide whether to withdraw now and, if not, what your best course of action will be after the study section meets. Your PO would need to be involved no matter what, so better to explain what you are considering sooner than later.

  75. Mark said

    Any chance/case that an R21 scored right on the payline not to be funded?

    I have an R21 scored 11%, institutional payline is 11%, council meeting completed Feb 25, since then nothing has changed in the ecommons status, the PO told me that there had been an unexpected delay in processing the award….I am becoming more anxious, cause this R21 is currently critical for my lab….thinking about what IF NOT is….:(

    so, anyone out there that a grant at payline was not funded?

    Thanks!
    Mark

    • writedit said

      Well, if your PO is talking about a delay in processing the award (vs making a decision about whether to make an award), then you should be okay. Paylines go up to and include the stated number (so, 11th percentile will be funded as within the payline). If there is an administrative issue (related to IACUC, IRB, etc. approval or other policy issue), they will let you know and give you a chance to address. Not sure when you last communicated with the PO, but you can ask for a status update and whether you can arrange for the spending 90 days in advance of the award notice (something you would then arrange with your department/sponsored programs office).

      • mark said

        thank you Writedit!

        The last communication with my PO was last week, there shall not be any administrative issues…Thanks for the 90-days suggestion…

        Mark

  76. Mark said

    Dear Writedit,

    is it normal that 9-weeks after the council meeting no decision has been made for a grant at the payline?

    • writedit said

      Not typical, but not abnormal. This is a large bureaucracy after all. If you have not communicated with PO or GMS in this timeframe, you could check on the status. If you have been in touch but were told to be patient, you could check in to ask when you will be within 90 days of the award (for pre-award spending planning).

  77. Karen said

    Dear Writedit,

    I got a DP2 score of 21, is it likely to be funded? As the statement summary is not available, should I contact PO asking for funding possibilities?

    thanks.

    Karen

    • writedit said

      You should probably wait for the summary statement until you contact the PO, who cannot tell you anything at this point since they do not use scores alone to select awardees. When you have the summary statement, if there are informative critiques, you can ask not only about your funding likelihood (based on score and review) but also whether you should address the concerns.

      • Karen said

        very helpful! thanks so much.

  78. Molly said

    Dear Writedit,

    I applied for a NIH grant that will be reviewed 6/26/14. If I get a good score I will need to submit a “just in time” including IACUC approval (and I don’t have an AUP yet). That would be no problem except that I will be moving to a different institution in August and if funded I would, of course, like to take the grant with me. If I write an AUP and have it approved here, I am afraid that this institution would have some additional arguments to try to keep the grant if funded (apparently this happened here before). I could contact my new institution and have it approved there but since I will not be moving until August, I am afraid that it will be too late for a just in time, plus I don’t think it is possible to send a grant from an institution with an IACUC approval from another. What is your recommendation?

    Thanks a lot,

    Molly

    • writedit said

      Don’t worry about anything – you will be fine on timing. I assume you submitted your application in February, which means it would not go to Council until this fall (after you move); this is when you would need JIT, if your score is competitive. In theory, the earliest start date would not be until December, but it will be much later than that due to midterm elections this year (federal budget will be delayed as a result). So, you should have plenty of time to relocate, write up your protocol, and secure IACUC approval at your new institution (assuming your score is within or near the projected payline – which also won’t be known until some time in 2015). If you receive a competitive score, you will want to be in touch with the PO when you move, including confirmation that you can conduct the research as proposed (and reviewed), and they can issue the award to your new institution.

  79. Molly said

    You are really fantastic and so quick in answering. Your site is a much needed asset to all of us. Thank you so much.
    Yes, I submitted in February. Unfortunately I forgot about this year elections….. this is going to lengthen the time to funding considerably.

  80. Rachel said

    Hello!

    I received my NIAMS F30 score back some months ago (Impact of 28, 23rd percentile). At the time, I emailed my PO to ask about my chances, and she said I wasn’t totally out of the running yet, and that the pay line might go up. It did: from 21 to 24. So, I’m still above the pay line…What are my chances, do you think? And how long does it take to find out one way or the other, on average?

    The next NIAMS council meeting is tomorrow (June 3), and I’d just like to know what I can expect to see, whether successful or not. In the meantime, I’m preparing for my next A0 application…

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • writedit said

      You should definitely prepare and submit again. The payline will not go up again, but you can ask your PO about select pay (selection for an award above the payline). There is no official notice that you will not receive an award, so you would only hear something if you were going to be funded (or unless you ask). You can also ask the PO for advice on your next application, in terms of what you decided to change and strengthen. She can provide insight on what program would like to see and probably knows your study section, too (might have insight about the discussion that wasn’t captured in the summary statement).

      • Rachel said

        Thanks for your quick response! I guess I’ll be pestering my PO about it again.

  81. researcher said

    Hi writedit,

    This is the best Q-A resource available! fantastic job.
    My question is: when should I hear whether my grant was approved by Council for select pay or bridge?

    • writedit said

      Council does not approve applications for select pay – they just approve applications being considered for awards (whether they are within or beyond the payline). The IC Director makes final decisions, and your PO plays the most important role in pushing for your proposal to be considered. If you are on the pay list, a select pay decision could come as late as September (ICs go down the paylist to pay awards until the $ runs out). Your PO can give you an idea where you are on the list (I assume your PO has already indicated he/she will push for select pay). You should certainly submit another application if possible in the meantime (i.e., hopefully you are not waiting to hear about this pending application before submitting another).

      • researcher said

        Thanks for your response.

      • researcher said

        Hi, going back to the list, how far up in the list you need to be to get funded based on recent cycles? top 2? top 5?

        Thanks,

      • writedit said

        This depends on the IC and the science of the projects under consideration for select pay. These awards are not necessarily in rank order, so there is no rule of thumb. Your PO’s level of enthusiasm for your application and how hard he/she pushed for funding consideration are the most important factors.

  82. ImpactFactorNeuron said

    Hi writedit, thank you so much for this extraordinary blog.

    I was recently told that the budget of my pending R01 will be cut by about 20%. The PO wanted to know if I would like to revise my specific aims if the cut will affect execution of the original specific aims. Since this is a significant cut, and the animals to be used are expensive, I would like to revise the aims (remove one of the aims, and then split the remaining 2 aims into 3). However, I am not sure if doing this will “upset” NIH and negatively impact my official award.
    In addition, since I will essentially remove 1 specific aim, can I reduce animal numbers at this stage? My grant status is currently “pending administrative review”

    • writedit said

      Your PO specifically asked this because he/she knows you cannot achieve your approved aims with that much less money. You can absolutely negotiate all this with him/her and not risk losing your award or making anyone upset. First, rewrite the aims the way you feel capable of achieving them with the 20% cut (remove one aim, split the others). Indicate the number of animals that must be cut to accommodate the lower budget. You need to show this to the PO first – maybe you can get some money added back as part of the discussion. If not, again, don’t worry about making anyone upset at the NIH. Your Notice of Award will reflect the revised aims so that is what you are judged against in terms of whether you have made appropriate progress and achieved your aims, both for noncompeting renewals and your competing renewal (progress is based on the revised aims vs the original ones originally reviewed by study section – whatever you propose for your revised aims, you need to be able to achieve them with the budget available).

      • ImpactFactorNeuron said

        Thank you so much!!!

  83. tc said

    I have a project funded by NIH, but I may have to close down my lab and move to another country, where I will continue to work on this project. What will happen to my NIH grant? Will the NIH take back the remaining money, or my current institution the US can transfer the grant to other faculty?

    • writedit said

      The award is made to your current university, so they need to relinquish all or part of the award – usually not a problem, depending on the research. The NIH does make awards to foreign institutions, but whether you can take any of the award with you depends on if the future institution has the facilities to conduct the research as proposed and the type of work. (I am assuming you are the PI – if you are a co-investigator on someone else’s award, it is up to them whether to have someone else do your portion of the project or subcontract to your new institution.) I think the State Department might get involved, too. Y ou can ask your PO how this would be handled on the NIH side – and you should do so early, as the PO must be involved months before you intend to try to move the award.

  84. ImpactFactorNeuron said

    A guy has just found out that his pending R01 will be funded a few days after submitting another R01 (brand new). Given that he is still ESI eligible, is the 2nd R01 going to be accorded ESI privileges, just like the first one?

    • writedit said

      Lucky guy. ESI status at time of submission counts, and notice of award must be issued prior to submission. The first R01 notice will come well after submission obviously.

  85. IntraNIA said

    Hi again! I previously put in an A0 K99/R00 at NIA in June 2013. Scored a 31 during January 2014 IRG (due to the shutdown). Put in an A1 in February 2014. Scored a 16 (!) during June 2014 IRG. I am assuming Council meets in November and funds get disbursed at the earliest in January.

    Now here’s my problem. While I was waiting in March, I found my dream tenure-track job. I got said job. My start date is January 2015. I have been doing the K part of my work for some time now.

    Thus, a few things are unclear to me:

    1) I believe the new K stipulations went into effect for submissions after late 2013. I put in my A0 before that time. Is my K affected or not?

    2) If the PO isn’t willing to play ball on the R00 part, is it possible to negotiate an award of some kind that covers the same Specific Aims of the R00?

    I defer to your wisdom and counsel. Thank you, WritedIt.

    • writedit said

      Your A1 falls under the new policy, which requires 12 months of K99 support (not in a faculty position). If you can delay accepting the position for a few months, you could ask the PO whether your A0 could be awarded this summer, and then you accept your faculty position at the end of the K99 period (summer 2015 vs Jan 2015). Your new institution offering the position might be happy to wait if it means you come with an R00. If waiting is not an option and you do not get the K99/R00, then you can write an R21 or R01 based on your R00 project, but you cannot negotiate to have the R00 proposal you submitted funded under a different activity code. If you cannot delay and need to start the new position next Jan (which means giving up the K99/R00), and/or if the PO cannot get the A0 funded this summer, you will definitely want to submit an RPG application this Oct versus waiting until you move (you should be able to submit your application through them, if you have accepted the position by then).

      • IntraNIA said

        The PO and I had a conversation. She did not take well to the idea of the A0 being funded. The earliest the K99/R00 could get funded would be Nov 2014. Deferring my start date to Fall 2015 is not an option.

        Based on my conversation with my PO, my alternative plan is to form some collaborations and submit a K01 in the 1st or 2nd 2015 funding cycle. My thinking is that the K99/R00 was very well received, and the K01 would be reviewed by the same internal study section at NIA. It seems a more appropriate mechanism than trying for an R01 “right out of the gate.” I am more than ready for a faculty position, but having a transitional mentorship makes a lot of sense.

        While submitting in October 2014 is a fair thought, I have no idea if I could transform the grant while finishing my projects and starting on IRB applications. I do have enough startup for a few initial projects.

      • writedit said

        The K01 route is a good thought, especially if you need more preliminary data and publications to make the case for R01 funding. At NIA, you will only get $20K for research (main point of the award is to cover your salary), so you will need your start up to conduct research even with K01 support. I assume your PO meant submitting in Feb or June 2015 for an FY16 award. If you could submit something by October 2014 (for an FY15 award), that might be a good idea given the budget uncertainty after FY15 (the budget detail reached in 2013 only rolled back the sequester for FY14 & FY15). However, if you need to attend to other projects before you move, then it might be difficult to do the K01 application as well. I assume you know who your mentor will be at the new institution – which is someone else you might ask for advice.

      • IntraNIA said

        I had not realized the K01 just covered salary. I see why you suggest the R01.

        So you have given fantastic advice, and I very much appreciate it. If you don’t mind, I could use your input on a development related to the K99/R00 A1.

        I talked to my current PI, and he’s fine with me getting K training through my mentors, working with data, etc., but not physically being on site. “Some people apply for 5 years straight and don’t get an R01, this is a no-brainer,” as he put it. My future department chair said that my future institution can probably work something out with deferring the tenure-track position. Specifically, I could in early 2015 come to said institution as non-tenure track staff covering my own salary, officially be working 75% on K99 related stuff, and then in Nov. 2015 transition to tenure-track after applying to activate the R00.

        Have you ever heard of someone doing that? Do you think that might work? I obviously would want to get the PO’s input, but this route may be a viable solution for me to still use the K99/R00.

      • writedit said

        What you suggest is feasible – continuing as a postdoc at the new institution for a year before transitioning to the R00 in a tenure track position. Your PO will need to be on board with all of this, but if the research can be conducted at the new institution and you have a mentor there, plus your mentor at your current institution (I assume someone intramural at the NIA, per your handle) who launched the project, this should all be doable and acceptable to the NIA. There might well be a continuing resolution as of December 2014, which might delay your award, depending on how well it ranks at NIA. I assume the PO is optimistic about the K99/R01 A1 score of 16 (not a sure thing at every IC).

  86. pending council review said

    I have an NHLBI RO1 in consideration for funding (well below the ESI payline and it qualifies for ESI). Council meeting is today. When will I know for sure, what will the commons status update to, and could I call my PO or would it drive her crazy, and would it be useful to call the grants administrator? Or email either of them?

    • writedit said

      If you have submitted your JIT, there is nothing you can do but sit back and wait for the processing to run its course. Your award will not be until July, hopefully earlier rather than later in the month. Your eRA Commons status will change from Council review completed to reflect administrative review, pending award, award being processed, and awarded (some permutation of this). If you truly need to know so you can start spending in advance of the award (allowable up to 90 days in advance), then you can request your PO or GMS for confirmation for your institution that the award will be issued within 90 days (which it will be).

  87. JNJ said

    Hi writedit,
    You give a wonderful advice and maintain a helpful blog. I got 12% on my RO1 (NHLBI) grant. I think the council meeting is in October. Is there any chance for me to get this grant with new FY budget? or what I should do? Please advice.

  88. K01(BD2K) said

    Hi! This may be a far reach, but I was wondering if anyone knows how they will make funding decisions for the K01s submitted under BD2K?(http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-14-007.html) My K01 received an impact score of 20. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      I would assume the BD2K applications will be ranked by score, with some discussion among the top-scoring to select the 6-7 they intend to fund. You have a good score, but depending on the response to the RFA, there could be a number of applications with scores at or below 20 (there were over 130 applications in response to the main U54 BD2K Center RFA). You should ask your assigned PO whether ICs will have the opportunity to weigh in on the selection of the 6-7 applications to be funded through BD2K and whether individual ICs can fund (outside the BD2K pool) applications assigned to them. You can also ask your PO whether you should submit your K01 (new application) this October through the parent announcement.

  89. K01(BD2K) said

    Thank you so much for the background details and advice on what specifics to ask my PO! Yikes, that is a lot of applications for the BD2K Center RFA!

  90. question said

    Hi–I have an RO1 pending, post-council, and is below the payline so all looks good. However my PO is being very conservative, of course, and emphasizing that nothing is definite until the NoA is issued. I followed up by email today and she said that she doesn’t know when the ‘pay plan’ will be signed (presumably by the director?)? This is NHLBI. Does anyone know exactly what she is referring to and/or whether this is giving more solid confirmation that my grant will be funded?

    • writedit said

      Yes, the Director signs off on the pay list or pay plan, and I would certainly expect that to happen soon, given that Council met earlier this month. Your PO is being careful, giving the standard “nothing definite until the NoA is issued” – but she seems to be indicating you are on the pay list so are just in a holding pattern. If you need to start spending money sooner (or start advertising positions in the lab, if that’s the case), you should be able to do so under the 90 days in advance of the award policy, since the award must be issued before Sept 30th and will likely be issued before the end of July or maybe August (given the July 4th holiday coming up).

  91. Sitting in limbo said

    I submitted an R21 proposal in the Fall of 2013. It was scored in the 14th percentile in March 2014 (NCI). Preparing the revision for July 2014, I discovered that the Program Announcement has expired. Is it possible to submit the revision under a different PA than the original submission?

    • writedit said

      Yes, you can submit the A1 to the parent announcement or another appropriate PA. You might ask your PO for suggestions (and alert him/her to the change in FOA).

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