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.


  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. writedit said

    Indeed. They call it an editorial board approach, which is what they used for the deluge of ARRA applications, as it is modeled after journal peer review (expert reviewers submit written comments, which the editorial board discuss when deciding which manuscripts to accept. I agree that the journal editorial board model is not as good a fit for proposed research (not yet conducted) versus the reporting of actual data and methods performed.

  4. NewInv said

    I am a little confused about what is reported on ERA Commons. Under the grant status at the top it says “Council review completed” but further down it says Council Meeting Date: 2012/01 date. There is nothing else. So has council actually reviewed it? It was an R15 to NIAID that received a PS 15. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      I assume, since your score is well within the payline, that Council reviewed/approved it electronically en masse with other applications within the payline that have no administrative issues that might require discussion or special approval. This is a time-saving measure, done in advance of the meeting.

  5. hopefullyso said

    My JIT was requested in July and submitted soon thereafter. They were just waiting on the final budget to decide on payline. Fingers crossed!

  6. writedit said

    As far as I know, not all, just those submitted by the IC as having the potential for funding, which varies by IC and can include applications at many impact score/percentile levels (such as those for select pay). The easier statement is to say that not all those applications approved by Council will be funded. The IC Director makes final decisions, but needs Council approval first.

  7. Bing Lu said

    I have a question. My PO told me my grant at Oct 2011 council meeting will still use 2011 payline, is that right?

    • writedit said

      They might just continue the FY11 payline for FY12 – it is up to the individual institute/center.

  8. blu said

    Thanks. My R01 (Sep 27, 2011 council meeting) was just on the 2011 NIAMS payline. My PO said, will use 2011 payline. However, no any good news yet. Do you have any idea when the decision would be made for last Sep council meeting grants?

    • writedit said

      No way to know on the outside, but they have not made any Type 1 or 2 awards in the past 90 days, so I would imagine they will get their act together soon & take care of business.

  9. Nixie said

    Is this also true for NIDA as well?

    • writedit said

      Each IC sets its own payline (most only do so internally, not publicized) or other method (guided by impact scores/percentiles/summary statements) of selecting applications for awards. The increase over 2011 funding is so small that last year’s paylines probably would apply in 2012.

  10. Nixie said

    Thanks, my NIDA PO told me that will have to wait for 2012 budget if my R21 will be funded, do you know if NIDA funded any grant since the last council review, I believe in Nov 2011.


    • writedit said

      You can see what has been funded by clicking on the Excel file named Notice of Grant Awards issued in the last 90 days at http://report.nih.gov/budget_and_spending/index.aspx

      You should sort the data by Column B, as you are only interested in the Type 1 (new) awards. (Type 2 = competing renewals, Type 3 = competitive supplements, Type 5 = noncompeting renewals, etc.)

      The NIH just released its fiscal policy for 2012 today, so I would expect ICs to pick up on award activity in the next week or two.

  11. Dim said

    My SBIR application just got a score of 27. It is a joint FOA for NHLBI and NICHD. No payline published for either of these ICs. What do you think are my chances?

    • writedit said

      Your application will first be considered by the primary IC to which it was assigned (which you can identify on your summary statement – and in the assigned application number, either HL or HD), so that is the important payline. Your PO (also listed on your summary statement) should have an idea as to your likelihood of funding, since this is the final review round for FY12.

      • Dim said

        Thanks. I’ll contact the PO.

      • Dim said

        I just talked with the PO. He told me that since this was a special announcement, he will not be able to say for sure whether the proposal will get funded until the council meeting, and that the standard payline does not apply. Does this make sense?

      • writedit said

        Yes – they will only fund a few awards (announcement should say how many), so scores alone will not be the deciding factor on which applications are funded. Bottom line is you just need to sit tight until a decision is made. Your score is good, but you have no way of knowing whether your project is more attractive to NHLBI than another project with a similar score (or higher or lower).

  12. Arnold said

    Does anyone know how long it takes for a notice of award to come through after a grant is reviewed by the SPL at NCI?


    • writedit said

      Could be days, could be weeks. They have a huge backlog of awards to make, so it would depend on where you were in the queue (assuming Harold gave his final blessing).

      • Arnold said

        Yes, I heard they voted to fund. It sounds like an absolutely crazy process, and I am now very grateful to my PO, who, I discovered, put in a ton of work on my behalf. Thanks, Writedit, for all the advice.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations on the happy ending – and on having such a great PO (it seems many NCI POs are incredibly frustrated with the new processes there, so I’m glad yours stuck it out). Best wishes for success with the research!

  13. trying to figure it all out said

    I have a question for more experienced grant people. I submitted an R03 in February 2011 which was scored in July at 21. My PO said the agency didn’t have a budget yet and it would be safer to resubmit, so I revised and resubmitted in November. At the beginning of January, I received a JIT request for my ORIGINAL submission and turned around my paperwork (but my PO warned me it was not a guarantee of funding). I don’t want to be pesky with the PO, so thought I would ask about the approximate timeline after submission of JIT info and determination of whether you will get funded or not. (And etiquette – at what point is it acceptable to email the PO and ask w/o being totally annoying?)

    • writedit said

      Which IC is this? Some are doing better than others catching up with the backlog of awards to be made. Your PO could have a better idea by now both about the pay line and when/whether you might get an award. As long as you keep your e-mails short, to the point, and polite, I don’t think you need to worry about asking now, a few weeks later. If your PO does not say to stop asking (he/she will let you know when there is news), you could ask again a couple weeks later. I assume your A1 will be reviewed later in Feb or early March, at which point you could get in touch again if need be.

      • trying to figure it all out said

        Thanks for the commentary; it was helpful. I wanted to follow up and note that my grant was awarded last Friday – NIDA apparently had a bit of a backlog, and I’ve been hearing from other senior PIs who had been waiting on their grants (since July 2011) that they’ve been getting their NOGAs too over the last day or two. So, hopefully this is the start of good news for many a PI :)

      • writedit said

        Thanks for sharing your experience and giving some hope to many of those waiting (for far too long). Congratulations and best wishes for success with the science!

  14. A said

    My lab mate and I just resubmitted (A1) our F31 NRSA grants to NIMH and received scores of 8th% and 17th%, respectively. My lab mate has received numerous e-mails from our PO asking for confirmation of several courses and recommended taking a few others to bolster “general knowledge.” I have not received any such e-mails (we have the same PO). Should I assume that 17th percentile was just not enough to cut it at this point, or is it possible that I may hear something further down the line since I was on the cusp of funding?
    Thanks so much for the help and this blog has been amazing to read!

    • writedit said

      Your application could be given consideration after the cycle 3 applications are reviewed and NIMH knows the range of percentiles involved. Their success rate in FY11 was 22.3% and in FY10 was 25.5%. Remember, success rate does NOT equal the payline – 20% of their applications might well be scored at the 12th percentile or lower. You should not hesitate to ask the PO about the status of your application – whether it will still be considered later in the FY when all the numbers are in, or whether he/she can already say, sorry, but you probably won’t make the cut. You won’t be told that you are not being funded, so the only way to find out is to ask. Good luck … I would certainly hope a 17th percentile F31 can still make the cut.

      • A said

        Thank you very much for your rapid response. I e-mailed my PO so we’ll see what happens. Thank you again!

  15. Anne Houtin said

    Will a detailed budget be required in JIT information or initial module budget is sufficient? Thanks

    • writedit said

      JIT requests are about potential budgetary overlap from other funding sources (active and pending) and include the total costs for the current year (or first year if pending). You do not provide your project budget in any format. You complete this form as shown in the example on the PHS 398 forms page (grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/othersupport.pdf).

  16. Anne Houtin said


  17. Temujin said

    The payline for NHLBI K awards (which was announced prior to knowing the FY 2012 budget) is 19 compared to 30 from last year! Now it is confirmed that the total NIH budget did not change much from last year. Any idea when the payline will be updated? I am sure someone has already asked this question…I went through most of the previous comments but didn’t see it. Thanks for your time.

    • writedit said

      All I can say is that NHLBI will update it when they update it. No idea of the time frame. They might now wait until after the Cycle 3 applications have been reviewed, since then they’ll know the score distribution for most applications to be considered in FY12.

  18. Temujin said

    You mean the applications that were submitted on Oct 12, 2011? I submitted mine on Feb 12, 2011. Sorry I am a noob in grant applications XD.

    • writedit said

      Yes, cycle 3 = the standard due dates in Sept, Oct, Nov, & Dec (varies by mechanism & application type – new vs renewal … oh, and AIDS applications get until January for cycle 3). The review period for cycle 3 grants is Feb-March, so I would hope NHLBI et al. would update their paylines before then – perhaps now that everything has been assigned (& # of applications is about set), some awards will be forthcoming. In the meantime, if you haven’t already, you can check with your PO about the degree to which the payline is likely to shift up.

  19. frustrated said

    A few people on here have also posted on this–why all the drama, NHLBI?? Why take down the paylines, indicate they would be updated when final budget is known, leave paylines down for a week or two, and then POST THE EXACT SAME PAYLINES???!!!???
    I’m not the only one here wishing paylines would drift up one or two points (specifically, two points) and thought they just might when they got reposted. But this one had kept my stomach in knots . . . . uuuuuugh. Okay–just needed to vent!

  20. DW said

    Not sure if this means anything but a couple months ago I spoke with my PO for K series grant from NHLBI. My score is 23 and she told me that I would need to wait until after the Feb 15 Council meeting to get a final result. She said that though the meeting was on the 15th, she probably would not know for sure until the end of March. However, she said that in her experience a score of 23 should be in the safe zone. A few days later the postings came up with the payline of 19 so I must assume she knew that was coming and did not pertain to my grant given that the Council meeting was not until Feb. So, bottom line is that I am confused but hopeful and waiting anxiously for more information. Given my PO’s comments, I was under the impression that the paylines (at least for the Ks) will be changing after this Feb meeting but who knows…Anybody talk to their PO’s at NHLBI recently? Again, my email correspondence was months ago.

    • writedit said

      Paylines can change up through the end of the FY and are most likely to change again after the cycle 3 applications have been reviewed (then the ICs know the numbers of applications per score/percentile & what their budget will bear). Your PO might also be able to advocate for funding your application out of order (above the payline), so if you have any updates to send (new manuscripts, abstracts, data, etc.), don’t hesitate to check in with her.

  21. MKIM said

    Regarding the RO1 submission, if the application is submitted as a ESI/New Investigator on Feb 5th then is it true that the statement summary would be provided by 1 st March so that the ESI can be eligible for next cycle submission.
    What is the review cycle for a ESI/New Investigator

    • writedit said

      If you submit Feb 5 (Cycle I), your application will be reviewed in ~June, you will have your summary statement in July 10, and you will be eligible to resubmit August 10 (for Cycle 2 review in ~Oct). The schedule for each cycle is posted here: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-001.html

      • MKIM said

        Thanks Writedit for your response. However in the following NOT:


        it is stated that study sections participating will schedule meetings so that new investigators receive their summary statements no later than March 1, July 1, or November 1.The Summary Statements for qualifying applications will have an explicit note indicating eligibility for next cycle submission.

        Resubmission applications for consideration at the next cycle must be submitted by March 20, July 20, or November 20.

        New Investigators who do not choose the next cycle option will use the standard resubmission dates for subsequent cycle submission (March 5, July 5, or November 5).

        Please clarify.

      • writedit said

        This is an old notice, that was updated by this one: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-11-057.html (which is summarized in the link I originally provided).

        What is it that you need to have clarified? If you can and want to, you are allowed to resubmit during the same cycle you were reviewed. Otherwise, you wait for the next cycle (or later, depending on the state of your project).

  22. Ben said

    My A0 has some overlaps with my another grant, but are significantly changed in A1. The A1 has not been reviewed (but will be reviewed very soon). Now, NIH asks JIT (specific email asking) and seems to fund my A0. I prefer NIH to consider my A1 after it is reviewed if the score is also fundable score. Is this reasonable request and is that possible to do this or what is the best way to do this? Thank you for any your suggestions.

    • writedit said

      Talk with your PO about why you would prefer that the A1 aims be funded instead and negotiate this as part of your award (which is a grant, not a contract to do exactly what you said in the A0, so long as you make progress on a project that can be renewed in 4-5 y).

  23. jane said

    I got a score of 31 on a R34, and did not find percentile on eRA commons. Is there anyway to know the percentile? Or some mechanisms just don’t have percentile. So how would I be able to know the payline, then?

    • writedit said

      Most mechanisms go by score, not percentile. The R34 is pretty specialized (and payline never posted at any IC), so you should just check with your PO as to whether a 31 will be competitive.

  24. HB said

    Numerous posts on this site recommend talking to ones PO regarding ones score and the possibility of funding. I know my experience may be unique, but I have found the process of talking to the PO less than helpful and even potentially misleading. I applied for a K in June 2011 and received an IS of 21. I had a very hard time getting my PO to return any of my calls or emails. I finally resorted to calling her office at random times, in the hopes of catching her. I finally got through and began to ask her about my score. She would not tell me much, but after 15 minutes of very diplomatic conversation, she finally told me that she thought my IS was a good one and that she would definitely NOT recommend that I consider a resubmission. So I waited for my council meeting (which according to eRAcommons was supposed to happen in January of 2012) to occur. I went to re-contact my PO 2 days ago, but noted that on the commons website, a new PO had been assigned. So I called her instead and immediately connected with her. She was quite nice and told me that the council meeting would not be happening til the end of Feb 2012. She was significantly more informative, but I almost fell down when she told me that she though that my grant would not be funded for this cycle and that I need to think about resubmitting! She though that the payline would likely fall to about 19-20 and that I would likley be outside of that payline. To say I am devastated would be an extreme case of sugar coating. But what REALLY bothers me is that I now have less than 4 weeks to revise, repackage and get all new documents together – in order to resubmit my application by the March cycle. Had the first PO been more forthcoming, I would have been preparing my resubmission for the past 2-3 months! So the punchline is that while your PO *should* be your liaison (and potentially your advocate), you still have to be very cautious about believing what they have to say. Anyone else with similar experiences?

    • writedit said

      Your experience is not entirely unusual … there are less than helpful POs at the NIH, and while you’ve happily been reassigned, another option is to diplomatically direct your question to the program, branch, or division head. Also, not all POs would recommend resubmitting with a score of 21 since the likelihood of making it 5 points better could be tough (depends on your situation & summary statement & trends at your SRG – they don’t automatically give you a little more of a break on your A1 just because it was close the last time). A colleague here at BICO was advised by her NCI PO not to resubmit her R21 with a score of, I think, 24 (she put her time & effort into other grant applications instead). I am sorry you got such conflicting advice and hope you can pull things together in time to improve your score. Thanks for sharing your experience, which is important for everyone to be aware of.

    • DW said

      Do you mind sharing which institute? I am in the same boat but unfortunately this is my revised application. Waiting until after council meeting in Feb to contact my PO. Thanks

  25. I was just wondering how long it takes after council meeting for updates to show up on the commons website (just basic things like “council review completed”).
    Also, while reading the summary statement for my scored K99 application, I just realized that there was a minor discrepancy in the scoring associated with reviewer #3. At the beginning of his critique where his scores for the different sections are summarized, the scores are listed as 3-5-5-1-1 (candidate-mentoring-research-mentor-environment). However, as I scroll down and actually read his detailed comments, the scores he has assigned to each section are lower: 3-4-4-1-1. For the first two reviewers, however, there is no such discrepancy.
    I know individual section scores don’t directly translate into the overall impact score (25), but I can’t help but wonder if there is a chance that my impact score would have been better had it been influenced by the “correct” (lower:-)) individual section scores. Any thoughts? Is this worth mentioning to the PO?

    • writedit said

      No, not at all. Each SRG member assigns his or her impact score following the discussion. The summary statement doesn’t exist until after the meeting, so their is no discrepancy to cite that might have affected the discussion. It could be your reviewer (who, as #3, was essentially just a reader) went back & changed the scores in the summary list but forgot to change this in the individual categories (or vice versa) – reviewers can update their critiques following the discussion. And, scores of 4 would not improve your funding likelihood in any case. They need to be 1s and 2s predominantly. You will want to talk with the PO to gauge the likely outcome. Waiting for your eRA commons status to change won’t tell you much (definitely will not tell you if you are not getting funded). For some ICs, you need essentially a score of 10-11 to get a K99/R00, so, again, check with your PO about your relative ranking & funding chances.

  26. Confused said

    Hi I have been working on my K23 (NIMH) since last year. I have been working with this one PO and then, she told me that someone else will be my PO. So, three of us talked about the grant. When I submitted my application, I had different PO assigned to my grant. But today, I noticed that my PO is different person. Would this be any indication that no PO likes my proposal? Anyone had their PO changed this many times?

  27. Gabe Luna said


    Does anyone know what the current payline is for R21′s in the NEI? I received an impact score of 32 (don’t know what percentile that is) and realize that probably won’t get funded however, I wanted to know how far I am from getting to the payline for R21′s.

    • writedit said

      I think we have a few NEI investigators participating sometimes, so you might hear back. In the meantime, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, you can check with your PO about what last year’s payline was and how this year’s looks and ask specifically for resubmission advice.

  28. TCGirl said

    There is no benefit for NEI except for R01s. So for R21s you are competing on the same level as established investigators.

    Last cycle my R21 A1 application had a impact score of 29 and a percentile of 20% (the A0 app had an impact score of 37 and a percentile of 29%). Needless to say, the A1 is DOA

  29. Ben said

    R21, NEI, 2011, A0 got 23 and A1 got 25. Neither got funded.

  30. Temujin said

    I submitted my K in Feb 2011 (first cycle)…At last on my eRA website it says “Council review completed.” I assume they have reviewed all the applications from all three cycles? The NHLBI payline still is at 19…I hope it gets updated soon but based on HB’s comment I am not going to hold my breath since my score is 22.

    • writedit said

      The Cycle III applications are still being reviewed, and these won’t go to Council until this spring/summer. If there is a slim chance of your application being paid out of order, you won’t know until August probably, but your PO can suggest how likely that outcome might be.

  31. Temujin said

    I doubt it. My PO isn’t telling me anything…just tells me to sit tight and resubmit in case I don’t make the cut.

  32. Lina said

    Hi, any idea about the payline for K01s at NIA? It has previously been 20. My PO said final decisions would be made mid February. Thanks.

    • Bepa said

      I am wondering the same thing. My PO has not answered my questions and I have a 21.

      • writedit said

        I am afraid I do not have any special knowledge of the career development pay lines at NIA – you should both have the same PO, who hopefully will have an update soon (& you can ask again via a brief, polite query).

      • Bepa said

        Thanks, writedit. Not sure what the etiquette is. After a week is there still a chance of getting an answer? Or do you follow up with another message?

      • writedit said

        You could call or email again in the next week. If nothing else, hopefully he/she can give an update on the timing of these decisions.

  33. Katie said

    Hi. So I’m new to the NIH application process. I have a K01 in with NCRR and the eCommons site says the Study Section Meeting date was 2/15/2012. Is this a real date or an estimate?

    • ultras said

      real. usually two days. You will have your score couple days after the meeting.

      • Katie said

        Thanks for the info! :)

  34. May said

    The posts here are all very informative. And I have been reading them trying to interpret my F31 score. I submitted my first F31 application in December and just got an impact/priority score of 18. I don’t see a percentile or snap indicator code. I submitted to NINR. Is this even a fundable score?

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the exceptional score! You should check with your PO, but I would think that an overall impact score of 18 (there is no percentile) would be funded at NINR, especially since they funded 35 of 82 applications last year (success rate of 42.7%). I can’t imagine there are 30+ applications with scores below 18 out there … but your PO can give you the best insight.

      • May said

        Thank you so much for your rapid response! I didn’t even know they had a success rate of 42%. For some reason I thought it was lower, so that’s great! I have not seen my comments yet, since they have not been displayed but will definitely contact my PO! thank you!

  35. TCGirl said

    Here is the info i got from my GMS on my year 3 non-competing award hold up

    “Currently all NCI awards are on hold pending the release of OMB funds. As soon as the funds are released, this award will be funded. We apologize for the delay.”

    What is going on here? The budget was signed almost 2 months..

    • DD said

      I am in the same boat. Large clinical trial: No money. I don’t even know what OMB funds are. Any suggestions?

  36. Ann said

    Hi — thanks so much for all of the helpful information! Do you have any idea about paylines for R01′s at NEI? I am a NI/ESI and my A1 application just got a priority score of 24 and an 8th%. Should I be cautiously optimistic?

    • writedit said

      I think cautious optimism would be warranted … NIEHS doesn’t have a big budget, but you can see what your PO has to suggest.

      • Ann said

        Thanks! I was actually asking about the National Eye Institute, not NIEHS, but I’m guessing your answer would be the same.

  37. JaneyC said

    I checked the status of my NIH R15 grant proposal and noticed that I got a score of 20 for the resubmission.
    My proposal was assigned to NICHD as the primary institute, followed by NHLBI and NIDDK. I could not find the 2012 R15 payline for NICHD, but I found that the 2012 R15 payline for NHLBI is 20. Does this mean that my project will be funded by NIH in 2012? Can anyone tell me the 2012 payline for NICHD?

    • writedit said

      That score might also be fundable at NICHD – you can check with the PO. Also check with the NHLBI PO as to their potential interest in taking assignment if NICHD does not make an award.

    • Jessy said

      I also have an NICHD R15 resubmission that just got scored. The payline for FY 2010 was 22 (http://www.nichd.nih.gov/funding/strategies_concepts/2010/strategies.cfm). In speaking to my PO about the resubmission in October, she said it was “about 22″ last year. My score? 23, You should be fine (congrats!) – I am probably out of luck!

  38. Jerry said

    What is the process for moving a grant? Let’s say I land an R15 and move to an ineligible institution? Is it possible?

    • writedit said

      The award is made to the institution, not the PI, and while usually institutions allow PIs to move their awards, I do not believe the NIH would. You should ask your PO to be sure of their policy. If there is no one at your current institution whom the NIH would allow to take over as PI, though, the award would go back.

      • Jerry said

        Thanks for your informative reply. I really appreciate it.

  39. gpdem@med.unc.edu said

    February 21, 2012
    R21 Impact/Priority Score 30, Percentile 13.0.
    Is that gant fundable?
    Please, responce

  40. D said

    In order to answer this question, it would be helpful to know the IC (Institute). There is no ESI benefit for R21, so most paylines are in the neighborhood of 10%. Some ICs do not even use the R21 mechanism. As previously mentioned, some ICs (such as NCI) have a “gray zone” that they pick and choose from. Regardless you should contact your program official.

  41. buddy_holly said

    Hi, I saw the revised 2012 paylines for NIMH and am surprised that NICHD’s paylines are so much lower. I know this year is unique. But, is there a chance NICHD will up their payline? I submitted in July and it went to council in October. I just want to know if I should keep hoping or submit someplace else. Thanks!

  42. gpdem@med.unc.edu said

    This is NIMH

    • writedit said

      My guess is that your score falls in the discretionary decision range, so you’ll need to check with your PO whether your application will be pushed for funding or not.

      • buddy_holly said

        thanks! I’m in the grey zone and trying to be patient given that they are behind. This is agony! My PO is helpful. But, has been much more careful with wording as of late. Before they were using “cautiously optimistic”. Now, not so much. I’m only one percentile away and hoping for the best.

  43. Tash said

    I applied for an F32 to the NIDDK back in December 2011. I recently received my impact/priority score = 20. What are my chances of getting funded? Besides getting this question answered, what are some additional questions I should ask my PO? Thanks in advance!

    • writedit said

      I know they are paying them at 16 … I would think 20 should be competitive, but ask your PO.

  44. Y said

    Does any one know the FY12 R21 payline at NINDS? I have a A1 scored at 12% with impact score of 26. Do I have a chance? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Probably, if their R21 payline is not too much tighter than their R01 payline (14th percentile in FY11, likely for FY12).

      • Y said

        I received the NOA last Friday. 12%, A1, NINDS. The payline is probably 14% or 15%.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your data! Best wishes for success with the research.

  45. braunar said

    Does anyone know the payline for F31s at NINDS? I received a 17th percentile and 29 priority score and am nervously awaiting the most recent council’s results. Am I in the running?

  46. Todd said

    Does anyone know when one might expect to receive a NoA for Cycle II for NHLBI, F32 awards (submitted in August)? I am well under the payline and was told by my PO that I need not worry but a tentative idea of date for final word would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      Cycle II awards don’t start until the spring (officially April 1, but probably later), so you’re not late yet (unlike cycle I awards that have not been paid yet). In a month or so, you could ask your PO for an update of the timeline, or the GMS, if one has been in contact with you by that time.

      • Todd said

        Thanks for the input and such a great site for info.

      • Todd said

        Letter came yesterday saying they plan to fund and it seems like things are moving. Thanks again for the advice.

  47. Ewura said

    Does anyone know if changes can be made to the salary line after an application has been submitted to the NIH? The application (K01) has not been funded – it will be reviewed next month. However, I am expecting an increase in salary as part of an upcoming move to a new department. I expect the move to take place before the grant is awarded / funded. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      I believe this can be negotiated if an award is to be made (nothing can be done now). [if not, I am sure someone will correct me - great feature of doing this page :)] You can ask your PO for guidance.

      • Ewura said

        Thank you very much for the response!

  48. NINDS_R21 said

    Dear Writeedit,

    My R21 grant proposal received impact/priority score 43 at NINDS. The NINDS does not provide any percentile. Could you please tell what does this score means?

    • writedit said

      It means you need to resubmit. With a score of 43, there will be some clear items to fix, which is not always the case for scores in, say, the 20s that miss the payline. If your PO went to the study section, he/she might have some extra insight into how you can craft your revised application to appeal to the SRG.

      • NINDS_R21 said

        Thanks, Writeedit.

  49. NINDS_R21 said

    Dear Writeedit,

    My R21 grant proposal on translational research (first submission) received impact/priority score 43 at NINDS. The NINDS does not provide any percentile. Could you please tell what does this score means? Any idea about the payline?

  50. DD said

    What is going on with NCI funds for Non-competing funds being held up? Any insight? Thanks

    • writedit said

      You are not alone – it seems both non-competing and competing awards are being held up at NCI … no idea why. More than enough frustration to go around, though.

    • Arnold said

      Any word of movement at the NCI? Still waiting….

  51. D said

    This must be IC specific, not sure what is up at NCI. I had a new R01 from NHLBI that was disbursed pretty quickly (got the NOA in mid Dec and funds were there within a couple of weeks). This was from a competing grant under FY 2012.

  52. hagi said

    Just received a score for my first NIDDK K01. The priority score was 34. I am assuming it’s a resubmission? I see that they have been funding around 35% for the last couple of years (but what does that translate to in terms of the score?).

    • writedit said

      Yes, that score will almost certainly not be fundable. You can talk with the PO for any pointers he/she might have on your resubmission strategy (based on the SRG discussion).

  53. iseeu said

    Question about bridge award (R56).
    Could some of you share your experience of R56 award? My PO mentioned that only competing R01s can be bridged. I have a unfunded A1 R01 with a percentile score very close to the payline. My PO kind of implied that this R01 may not be qualified. This is a bit confusing.

    • writedit said

      Perhaps he meant competing renewal – we just received a 1-y R56 award for a Type 2 A1 that was not scored within the payline but was of high programmatic priority to fund quickly. That said, R56 can be used for Type1 (new) applications, so unless your IC restricts its use to renewals, you should be eligible for consideration. More likely, your PO was referring to the idea that the short-term award is meant to support you while you work on the revision, which isn’t possible for an A1. The PI here got the R56 because the NIDDK really wanted to see the work done (& we’ll submit a new application in June or Oct, taking advantage of the bridge-funded data).

      • iseeu said

        Thank you writedit for the information. The IC is NINDS and I could not find any policy saying only type 2 can be bridged. I guess my A1 application is qualified.

      • iseeu said

        BTW, writedit do you know if your colleague initiated the request for a R56?

      • writedit said

        No, the PI cannot request an R56 award, though I guess a PI can ask the PO about being considered for bridge funding. This is not the same as select pay/pay by exception, though, so folks should not get in the habit of asking about it, especially in the absence of a good relationship with the PO.

  54. I study stress, irony is ironic. said

    A0 with a score of 23 and percentile rank at 13 at NIGMS. I wrote my PO and he is not responding, 4 days now. I don’t have the summary statement yet and don’t want to call yet. But I assume the lack of response is due to massive volume just after SS and because this is borderline, but NIGMS does not publish payline. Past success says 13th is greater than 90% likely to get funded. Additionally, I am at the end of my bridge funding and have no other current support. Does anybody have recent experience at NIGMS with a 13th percentile???

    • writedit said

      Nice screen name … at least you know what to do (or what is happening anyway). I would think you should be in good shape with a 13th percentile at NIGMS … the lack of response from your PO is no indication to the contrary. He/she is probably just very busy, possibly away on official or personal travel. You should try again when you get your summary statement and have something to discuss (e.g., concerns raised are easily addressed via technical tweaks without changing the underlying science etc.).

    • TYK said

      It’s been a month since I received my summary statement for my A1 with 2% score with NIGMS. I just e-mailed my PO few days ago but no response. The PO has never replied to my previous e-mails when I was prepping my revision either… I wonder if there’s a trick to get POs to respond. I have tried to be polite, not be too pushy, etc., I haven’t had much luck with other POs either.

      • writedit said

        A few days is not too long for a reply, but if you have never heard from this PO, you might want to confirm this is the correct person still; POs get reassigned, and NIGMS in particular has just undergone some reorganization to accommodate NCRR programs. If another week or two go by with no response to your next e-mail or call, then you could check with the person who directs the branch in which your PO is located (both to make sure you are trying to contact the correct PO and to check on the status of your application). The communications should be brief, focused, and polite – not a hint of complaint.

      • TYK said

        Thank you. I’m sure I’m contacting the right PO but I will wait for a while and see how it goes.

  55. A@B said

    As ESI/NI, my RO1 grant proposal received 10% score at NCI. The eCommons site says the Council Meeting date was May 2012. Is this a real date or an estimate?Any idea about my score?

    • writedit said

      At NCI, the Council meeting milestone is especially relevant. All applications scored above the 7th percentile are discussed by program and individually approved by Harold. Last year, ESI up to the 10th percentile were automatically funded, but this is not stated in the FY12 funding policy, so I suspect your application stands a good chance of being funded but is not a given … and the outcome will not be known until well after Council meets (the date is real, BTW). You should be in touch with your PO to see if you will get an ESI break on payline and, if not, whether you should prepare for him/her a rebuttal to your summary statement to help make the case for funding your application.

      • A@B said

        Do you mean I shold give myPO a rebuttal letter before of after the concil meeting ?

        Thank you.

      • writedit said

        You shouldn’t give your PO anything before asking if he/she wants it. If you have not been in contact with your PO, you should first ask if your percentile and ESI status will be enough to secure an award and, if not, whether he/she (the PO) would like you to draft a brief rebuttal.

  56. A@B said

    I have contacted my PO. He lets me wait the decision from concil meeting.

    • ultras said

      Did you ask your PO if you should draft a rebuttal and he said he didn’t need the rebuttal, just wait for the council meeting?

  57. NIAID K99 said

    I am curious whether such a score is funded by NIAID eventually. NIAID is so tough on K99.

  58. ASBU said

    Question of F31 Individual Pre-Doctoral Eligibility: One of the sites associated with the NIH/NCI F31 Fellowship states that there is a requirement for the sponsor to have an R01 or equivalent funding in an area of research related to the application. My sponsor had an R01 that expired recently and currently has an R01 that is ranked in the 6th percentile, but has not been administered a budget. I am confused as to whether this technicality would disqualify me for the fellowship. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      If you have not applied yet, your sponsor will complete the current & pending research support table to reflect the pending application (and any others in the queue). The requirement is that the sponsor have sufficient research resources to support your training, which could also come from institutional funds, if he/she has any (start up package, bridge funding, internal award, foundation, etc.), though reviewers do want to see an R01 or equivalent on the books (& a track record of funding – and graduating productive students). If the 6th percentile application is not awarded by the time you apply, you can send an update to the SRO about this once the award has been made (which would certainly happen well before the SRG meeting). If you have applied, you can let the SRO know about the 6th percentile score and send another update once the award is made (which I assume his highly likely, barring any administrative issues).

  59. DW said

    NHLBI just changed their funding paylines for K awards from 19 to 25. My K-02 score was a 23 and I emailed my PO who confirmed that I will be funded. I know there are a couple others on this blog in similar situations with K series with NHLBI so hopefully this is good news for you as well.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations and best wishes for success with the project and your career in biomedical research! Thanks for taking a moment to share the details of this happy turn of events.

  60. Immunologist said

    I recently got my impact score for an F32 application that I submitted Dec 8th 2011. Does anyone know what the pay lines are for NIGMS for FY2012 for F32? Do you think a impact score of 24 will be funded?

  61. Lil said

    I received a 31 impact score for my R21 at NIDDK. This was in response to a specific RFA. Do you think I have a chance of getting funded? I also received the JIT, the day after the review.

    • writedit said

      You should just check with the PO since it will depend on the score spread for RFA applications (vs NIDDK paylines) & the number of applications they can fund. The JIT probably went out to all scored applications given the timing.

  62. ASBU said

    I am currently applying for an individual predoctoral NRSA fellowship and am just wondering how others have dealt with the budgeting area. Is there a need for an explicit justification? Most of the parameters are outlined by the application, but tuition and fees and the institutional allowance might differ from individual to individual. Thanks for any help.

    • writedit said

      There is no budget justification (nothing to budget) – you provide an estimate of the stipend & tuition/fees cost, and the final amount is determined at the time of award. Your grants/fiscal administrator will give you the $ amount for each year.

  63. Amy Hepburn said

    My PO sent my RO1 to the Varmus committee for making the final decision in late Feb. Now the current status of my grant has been changed to “Council review completed” on March 2, 2012. But I have not heard any words about if it is fundered or otherwise. I contacted my PO and he has not yet replied. Does anyone know if the funding results have come out since the late-Feb Varmus meeting? Any suggestions for what should I try at this time? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      All you can do is wait to hear from your PO. He might not know the pay list as yet either.

  64. NCI or Bust said

    My post-doc just got a 19 priority score on their KO1 award from NCI. I could not find any payline guidance for NCI. Is this within the 2011 funding range ?

    • writedit said

      Possibly, if they use a payline … an excellent (actually, exceptional) score like this should certainly be discussed for consideration. The PO will give you the best idea as to the likelihood of funding.

  65. jlhell02 said

    I received a 26th percentile score on my F32 application from NHLBI. Anyone know the likelihood of getting this funded after resubmission?

    • writedit said

      That will depend on the A1 score, which could go down (better) … or could get worse – some applicants go from close to the payline to unscored. There is no way to predict what will happen.

  66. If I stare at the score long enough, would it go lower? said

    I got a score of 21 (impact) and 11% on my F32 application to NIH/NIMH. My PO congratulated me on the score but said the final decision won’t be made until the council meets in May, thus he has no information on payline. I have not asked him if I should submit a brief rebuttal since the reviews just came out yesterday. Does anyone have any idea what is the payline for NIMH F32 these days? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      NIMH uses both paylines and programmatic discretion in selecting applications to fund (& in not funding applications below the stated payline), though your score and your PO’s encouragement bode well for your success. You should let your PO know about any new manuscripts/abstracts submitted, and you can ask whether a rebuttal would be helpful – depends on what NIMH takes into account in discussing applications. NIMH has never published paylines for anything other than R01s/RPGs, but perhaps someone has some insight of F32 levels from past applications or intel from their PO.

  67. Young Scientist said

    First of all thank you for such a valuable website. My question is …. I submitted a K22 to NCI (2011 cycle III) and got a priority score of 27. This is first submission. The summary statement doesn’t have any major concerns. I contacted the PO and asked if my score is within the fundable range but the PO said “can’t comment at this moment because the budget situation is not yet clear” and I have to wait until council meeting. I read in this blog that a score of 30 was funded in 2010. On the basis of that can I be cautiously optimistic about getting funded. I greatly appreciate your comments and suggestions. Once again thank you for such a wonderful website.

    • writedit said

      Cautiously optimistic, perhaps, but this is a different FY, and there could be more lower scoring applications in the queue … or different programmatic priorities. Everyone is waiting for NCI to get its act together, so I think you’ll just need to see what the PO says. If this was an A0, though, certainly think about revising or moving on to a different mechanism, depending on your status now – just in case.

  68. Young Scientist said

    Thank you for your response. Is it a good idea to contact the PO again and ask more details, though I am not sure that the PO will reveal any additional details such as the possible cut-off or if I have to start revising the application. I am just assuming that my score is just inside the cutoff but as you said it is a different FY. Thank you.

    • writedit said

      You can certainly ask for his advice on whether to resubmit – if he tells you to hold off, start smiling … but if he tells you to start revising, don’t assume the worst. It’s always your best course of action, just to be safe.

  69. Has anyone heard from their PO if the NHLBI paylines for RO1 (ESI) will move up at all or will there be much lattitude for pay by exception?

  70. D said

    FY2012 paylines for ESI R01 are final (20%), with the caveat that 15-20% requires a response to any issues raised in the summary statement. For FY2013 (submitted this year), there will still be an ESI benefit, but the payline won’t be determined for quite some time. I don’t think NHLBI awards many grants by select pay, but someone else may know more. If it’s an A0, keep in mind that, as an ESI, you can revise and resubmit the next cycle.

  71. SG said

    I got a score of 29 on my F32 submitted in Dec 2011 (to NIGMS). From reading this page I have seen scores that high get funded, but I’m not sure. Does anyone know what the funded scores are likely to be this year?

    • writedit said

      The score is a little high, but NIGMS funds based on programmatic priority etc. as well. If you haven’t heard from your PO about how interested they may be in your application, you could ask, especially if this is an A0, in which case you could then also ask about resubmission strategies (based on PO insight after hearing discussion of your application) to improve the score.

      • SG said

        Agreed. A friend submitted to the same study section 2 cycles ago, and got a 32. She was planning to resubmit, but got a call from her PO a couple weeks before the planned start date saying she was being offered a fellowship. So I’m feeling cautiously optimistic but know full well that the PO might just have liked her proposal a lot…

  72. Q said

    Just wondering if K08 can be transferred between ICs. If a K08 that was assigned to NIA (primary) and NIAID received a high priority score fundable at NIAID (<24), but unsure at NIA, can this K08 be transferred to NIAID? What procedures should be taken?

    • writedit said

      Secondary ICs can and do pick up applications on occasion, but first NIA needs to decline making an award. You should talk with the NIA PO, who would also be the one to recommend a counterpart at NIAID (unless you already know the appropriate PO at NIAID); the NIAID PO then would request transfer of the application if it is of programmatic interest.

      • Q said

        Thank you! This is very helpful…

  73. HB said

    I have a similar question. I submitted my K08 in June 2011, and it got assigned to the NCI and received an IS of 21. I had suggested in my cover letter that it may be most applicable to the NCI, NIAID, or the NHLBI. Of course, the NCI has yet to reveal their decision and may not do so for another month or more. My question is whether there is a mechanism by which to transfer a K08 application to another one of the other requested institutes. The NHLBI and the NIAID have released their paylines and my application (should it have received a similar score at their SRG) would likely have been fundable. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You will want to talk first with the NCI PO (your score could be fundable there) and then the NIAID & NHLBI POs, to gauge their programmatic interest in your work. The NCI PO should be willing to help you make contact (if you don’t know the right POs) at the other ICs to determine whether either would accept primary assignment

  74. KC Rice said


    My resubmitted R01 (submitted in Nov 2011 review cycle) status update switched to “Council Review Completed” on 3-22-12, even though the next council meeting isn’t until May 2012. Is this a glitch in the commons system or could it actually mean something? My grant was scored 10% outside the posted payline for NI/ESI status.

  75. johnson said

    Could anyone advise me where to submit best K01 proposal, NIBIB or NCI? It looks like my proposal qualifies to both of them. I was wondering which one has higher payline, or in other words, less competitive. Thanks in advance!!!

  76. I have a question regarding ESI responding to RFA. Since these R01s are not percentiled, do ESI get their brownies and how?

  77. johnson said


    Please share if someone knows what is the difference between K01 and K25 training grants. They sound similar from NIH website information. I am to choose between these K01 and K25 grants, but do not have a clear idea.

    • writedit said

      While the K01 covers a wide range of basic science expertise, the K25 is very focused on quantitative scientists (mathematicians, statisticians, physicists, computer scientists, bioinformaticians, et al.). If the K25 is appropriate for you and your IC participates in the parent announcement, that is mechanism you should use – but you can check to be sure with the appropriate IC contact (http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/guide/contacts/parent_K25.html).

  78. johnson said

    Thank you very much, writedit!

  79. Jessca said

    I just got a priority score of 30 for my postdoctoral NRSA to NIGMS. Does anyone know my chances of getting funded? I am still waiting for the reviews…

  80. Mover said

    Not sure if this is the right page for my question, but I am curious about how hard it is to transfer an F32?

    I got a competitive score (won’t know funding decision until ~July according to PO), but my sponsor is moving to another University and I can’t go with him due to family reasons. Assuming I get funded, I’d like to move to another lab at my University and work on a different but related project.

    According to the NIGMS F32 FAQ, “If you change two of the three parameters (e.g., project and sponsor), you will need approval to retain your fellowship from your program director and from the NIGMS Fellowship Oversight Group (FOG). Your request will only be approved if the justification for the change(s) is very compelling.”

    Does anyone have experience with this? Any idea how hard it is to get approval from FOG?


    • writedit said

      Well, your justification is compelling. You should start working with your new sponsor to modify the research project as needed so you can show your PO how you can make this work. If the underlying hypothesis or focus (science) is the same/similar and the new sponsor has a strong track record, this shouldn’t be too difficult. If your old and new sponsor have the same Dept Chair, perhaps he/she could also write a letter of support indicating your training will be as productive in the new arrangement as had been originally proposed. You will want to work closely with the PO on all this, since he/she will be the one making your case at NIGMS.

      • Mover said

        Thanks for the tips. My new sponsor would be in the same department, so having a letter from the chair is a good idea.

        I am unsure when I should approach my PO about this. I am leaning towards waiting until I receive an offer, because I don’t want to give him any extra reasons to keep me off the pay list.

        Also, do you think I will need a whole new research strategy to give to the PO, or just explain in a letter how I’ll be shifting my focus (i.e., still studying the same general process but a different aspect of it).


      • writedit said

        Since the issue is moot without a pending NoA, there is no need to bring it up now. When and if the award is ready to be processed, you will need to talk with him – particularly as part of JIT information (change in budget from one sponsor to another). You shouldn’t need to rewrite the entire research plan, but you will want to rework the specific aims page as needed and address any changes in the approach needed to accommodate the new aims and the new lab, as appropriate. You want to show the PO you’ve thought this out and worked it out with your new sponsor (who will need to submit a letter of his/her own). Since the change in labs will happen no matter what (I assume), you should be working on this now with the new sponsor so your being proactive is reflected when you do approach the PO with the change.

  81. Kawardee said

    So I am putting together my first progress report for my K23. Any suggestions or advice, particularly when discussing progress on specific aims? (not much has happened since parent study from which I am awaiting specimens still has not started enrollment). Also, how long should the mentor statement be? I’m guessing pretty short since the report has a 4 page limit. Thanks

    • writedit said

      You don’t need to sweat this too much – just say what you’ve done toward each aim, and if no data are available yet, no worries (esp on a K23, since clinical data take a long time) – the PO just wants to see that you are working toward your aims and whether you’ve encountered (& overcome) any specific problems. If you’ve done anything on the didactic or career development side (attended workshops etc.), you can mention that. The mentor statement doesn’t need to be long – just supportive.

  82. Kawardee said

    Thanks writedit for the reassurance. I definitely have stuff I can report on didactics/career development and one of my aims. The lack of progress on the other 2 (for reasons outside my control) was worrying me.

  83. Y said

    I am curious if any one has updated information on the FY12 R21 payline at NINDS. Thanks.

  84. Mellon said


    Could anyone comment on this new PA from NCI? I may be wrong, but isn’t it true that historically NCI has issued very focused R21 (bio-specimen, pancreatic cancer etc). This announcement appears very similar to the parent R21, save the cancer requirement. I am debating whether to submit my proposal to this or the Nano Medicine R21 NCI also participates. Any insights will be greatly appreciated.



    • writedit said

      NCI does not participate in the parent R21 announcement and, yes, this is essentially their NCI-specific investigator-initiated R21 mechanism (not tied to a scientific focus). Other ICs have similar broad but IC-specific substitutes for the parent announcement. If your science is appropriate for the Nanoscience PA (& if another IC might be appropriate as a secondary assignment), you should contact the appropriate NCI PO for that program and also search RePORTER to see how your work compares with that which has been funded already through this PA (PA-11-149, PA-08-053, PAR-07-271, PAR-06-475, PAR-03-043).

      • Mellon said

        Thanks for the info writedit!

      • Mellon said

        Sorry I meant to ask that are you saying that PA-12-145 is an re-issuance of an existing PA? Thanks.

      • writedit said

        No, it’s a new PA. No awards have been issued to applications in response to this PA as yet. (when searching for awards to older PAs, don’t forget to change the FY from active projects to all years)

      • Mellon said

        Thanks again.

  85. lakers said

    Hi, I need a little help. I am bit confused. K01 objective says: “… The expectation is that through this sustained period of research career development and training, awardees will launch independent research careers and become competitive for new research project grant (e.g., R01) funding.”

    However, K25 objective does not say like this. I wonder if I should emphasize in my K25 proposal that I will follow up with R01, or it foes not matter for this proposal?

    Thank you in advance!

    • writedit said

      Yes – all the career development awards have the goal of helping junior investigators establish independent research careers. That means securing an R01 apart from your mentor. You’ll want to indicate both how any training (key skills learned) and the research project (preliminary data for R01) will put you on the road to starting your own line of research.

  86. lakers said

    Thank you, writedit!

  87. HB said

    FYI – I was awaiting a decision from the NCI on my K08 submitted June 2011 (yes, over a year ago). However, it seems that some of the NCI funding decisions are now being finalized, as I was informed of the decision on my grant 2 days ago, but only after talking to my PO. Notably, the only change to my eRAcommons page was the addition of a grants management specialist. So, if you have been waiting like I had (and getting more frustrated each time you checked eRAcommons), it may be time to re-contact your PO to see if anything new may have happened with your grant. Good luck!

  88. newinnovatorapplier said

    Does anyone know what the fundable range of priority scores tends to be for New Innovator applications? does low 20′s sound hopeful?

    • writedit said

      These are very competitive, but I would guess a score in the low 20s would be within striking range. Your PO could give you a better idea of where you rank in the pile.

  89. Fly pusher said

    Hello everyone,

    I am a ESI/NI and my R01 grant application (A0) has received 29 percentile/priority score 40 at NINDS. The score just came out and I am waiting for the SS. Do you have any about the NINDS payline? Any feedback would be helpful.

    • writedit said

      You should start working on the A1 – you can contact your PO for advice when you get your summary statement. In FY13, the payline will not be above the 14th percentile. They go higher for ESI, but not up to the 29th percentile (the research would need to be exceptionally exceptional).

  90. Fishing said

    I am a ESI/NI and my R01 grant application (A1) has received 10 percentile/priority score 24 at NCI.The status of my application in eRA is “Council review completed”. Status date is 06/26/2012. So does it means a decision is made. Thus I ask my PO. He said a decision on my application will likely be made in July and my application is still under consideration for funding. However my project period begin date is 07/01/2012. Does anyone have the similar situation? Why the final decision is not from council review?

    • writedit said

      The IC Director, not Council, makes final funding decisions. At NCI, Harold Varmus & the SPLs decide which applications scoring in the 8-15th percentile range will be funded. Your PO won’t know if your application has been selected until the final list is sent out. Your start date is irrelevant – they can make the award after this date (which is the earliest possible start date).

      • Fishing said

        Thank you.

      • Forbes said

        Are the names and contact info of NCI SPLs published?

      • writedit said

        Yes – you would need to look up the contact info for each individually (http://www.cancer.gov/aboutnci/organization), but they are listed at the outset of all NCAB minutes:

        Members, Scientific Program Leaders Committee, National Cancer Institute, NIH

        Dr. Harold Varmus, Director, National Cancer Institute Dr. Kenneth Buetow, Associate Director, Center for Bioinformatics and Information Technology Dr. Robert Croyle, Director, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences Dr. James Doroshow, Director, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis Dr. Joseph Fraumeni, Director, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics Dr. Paulette S. Gray, Director, Division of Extramural Activities Dr. Peter Greenwald, Director, Division of Cancer Prevention Dr. Lee Helman, Scientific Director for Clinical Research, Center for Cancer Research Dr. Douglas R. Lowy, Deputy Director, National Cancer Institute Dr. Alan Rabson, Deputy Director, National Cancer Institute Dr. Dinah Singer, Director, Division of Cancer Biology Dr. Sanya Springfield, Director, Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities Mr. Michael Weingarten, Director, Small Business Innovation Research Dr. Linda Weiss, Director, Office of Cancer Centers Dr. Jonathan Wiest, Director, Center for Cancer Training Dr. Robert Wiltrout, Director, Center for Cancer Research Ms. Joy Wiszneauckas, Executive Secretary, Office of the Director Dr. Robert Yarchoan, Director, Office of HIV and AIDS Malignancy

      • Forbes said


  91. Florian said

    Is there any information out there on what score is needed to fall within the 2012 (final) or 2013 (interim) paylines of NIA for R21 grants? My colleague just received a 28.

  92. Kal said

    When a grant is administratively withdrawn by the IC, can I make use of the same or similar specific aims and submit a new application in the same mechanism, say RO1? Do the referral people still go back and check those old one’s and deny review? Is it two years after the last review for administrative withdrawal? Also with the NCI omnibus R21s (introduce this year), any idea how many grants will be funded per year? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      If the application was administratively withdrawn prior to review, I believe you can still use the same application (but you should check with the PO to confirm this – especially if the reason for administrative withdrawal was due to duplication from another application); if after review, you cannot use it again. After 2 years, however, I would expect the science to have moved forward sufficiently that you would be ready to submit new aims and experiments toward an updated hypothesis. With regard to NCI’s funding strategy for R21s, I have no clue – and I am sure they do not at this point, either, given the many budget uncertainties that lie ahead.

  93. Mover said

    I posted back in April about my F32 application, so I thought I would update with current information. I got a priority score of 29, which I thought was borderline but probably fundable. Then, my boss informed us he was moving to another University, and I was unable to move with him. I was hoping that if I got the fellowship, I could take it with me to another lab to work on a similar (but not identical) project.

    Well, last week my PO emailed me to say they were preparing to offer me the fellowship, and I had to inform him about my situation. He was sympathetic, but said they were unable to fund me since my project and sponsor would be different from the application.

    Hope that information is useful to somebody out there….

    • writedit said

      Very sorry to hear they did not find your justification for the change compelling, especially if your new mentor and department chair were supportive (and as qualified as the original mentor). Did you talk with the PO about submitting another F32 for your research with the new advisor? (feasible for the Aug submission if so?)

  94. Fishing said

    Can anyone here tell me when NIH requests for JIT? Before or after final decision? Thanks.

    • writedit said

      JIT must be submitted before a notice of award can be sent, so before the final decision (and usually, but not always, before Council meets). The IC Director will not sign off on an NoA without full administrative clearance (which requires JIT).

      • newcomer said

        Thanks. Wasn’t aware.

  95. Chris said

    Though a lot of this depends on Congress and the Fiscall Cliff/Sequester situation (FY 2013), does anybody know how an impact score of “20″ sits with NIAID? My PO is out of town until the end of the month :(

    • writedit said

      That depends on the mechanism (since you don’t give a percentile, I assume not an R01, unless this is an RFA with its own special panel), but NIAID publishes the score cut-offs for just about everything, and for FY12, it seems as though a 20 would have fared well in any category. If this is for an RFA, both the score and the science will come into play as will the number of awards to be made – all of which will require input from your PO (who won’t know at the end of the month in any case, though).

      • Chris said

        Good God I’m an idiot. I can’t believe I didn’t mention what this was for. This was an ap for an F32 NRSA fellowship. For FY 2012, I think the cutoff was “22″, but I’m concerned about how the upcoming budget sequester (and resulting NIH cut) will affect my chances. Thanks for the info.

      • writedit said

        Yes, the FY12 payline was 22.Well, your PO still won’t know the impact of sequestration etc. or whether your score would survive. No one knows how that will go, and we won’t have an inkling for a few months. If the cuts go through, then you might be closer to the edge, but if the House language (sets a quota for NRSAs) is used for the final appropriation, you could be okay. Really absolutely no way to know, though, so don’t drive yourself crazy over this. If that was an A0, you could work on the A1 in the meantime. Keep looking for/applying to other fellowships (not NIH), too.

  96. Patiently Waiting said

    Hello. I am seeking information about the NIH/NCI F32 NRSA timelines. I applied Dec 2011, received my score (16th percentile), and was told via email on June 1 that my fellowship was recommended for funding “pending successful review by the NCAB later this month.” I asked my PO for an update on July 16 and she said “To the best of my knowledge it is currently being processed by the NCI Office of Grants Management.” What does that mean? Should I anticipate an official Notice of Award soon? I have another fellowship I’ve been awarded that I plan to decline if I indeed receive the F32, but I can’t keep the other organization waiting for a reply much longer. This was my first time applying for F32, so I’m not sure what to expect.

    Thank you for your input!

    • writedit said

      Your can contact the GMS assigned – but you can also check with the sponsored research/programs office at your university (or your department grants administrator) as they are involved in the acceptance and activation of the award. Processing at NCI takes a few weeks, maybe up to a month, depending on how busy they are. You will be receiving the F32 (they do not process awards that are not going to be made) … if NCI knows about this other fellowship offer, you may need to decline it before they will issue the NSRA, but the GMS should tell you this as part of the processing process. Again, check with the assigned GMS for a better timeline.

  97. subin624 said

    Dear all, I have a R15 application (A0) get a impact score 20 at NIAID. Can anyone give me some confidence whether the grant could make it or not. The 2011 and 2012 payline was around 25, but there will be a cut this coming year. Will that affect my grant?
    thanks a lot!

    • writedit said

      Unfortunately, no one will be able to say for some time whether your 20 will be funded.If sequestration weren’t looming, you might have been funded under a conservative interim payline, but I think until closer to January, the ICs will need to be incredibly conservative … and if sequestration does go through, other mechanisms will likely be cut more so that R01 funding can be preserved. If there were any concerns raised that you think you can address well, you could plan to submit the A1 in November (your A0 will remain under active consideration for funding, even after the A1 is reviewed, and even if the A1 gets a higher score). You could talk with the PO about resubmission strategy, but he/she won’t have much advice for you on the funding likelihood of the A0 at this point.

      • subin624 said

        oh, thanks for the input. I will wait for the statement coming out, then to check whether I can address their concerns and make a better resubmission. So stressed funding situation!

  98. anon said

    Thanks for the excellent resource writedit!

    I have an R21 app at NIAID that was reviewed in Feb, and went to expedited council 7/31. Does going to expedited council review change anything in the timing of notifications for cycle 1? I was expecting to have to wait until mid-late 2013 to know for sure about funding, but when I saw it went to expedited review I thought it might speed things up. With all the budget uncertainty I don’t see how it could though. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You must have a very good score on your application, which means it may be fundable under the interim payline (if your score is at least a few points below the last posted payline for FY12). Your PO won’t know anything definite for some time, though, as you surmise.

      • anon said

        Thank you! That’s very helpful. I was wondering about how far under payline you need to be for interim. So “at least a few points below” gives me hope! I have a 22, but I haven’t found a frame of reference for interim vs. final for R21′s yet.

      • Chris said

        I may be wrong about this, but if you were reviewed for an R21 in February, you are probably on cycle III from last year. I don’t believe there are any interim paylines yet.

      • writedit said

        You are correct – an application reviewed in Feb would be for FY12 Cycle III, which means anon should be funded this month or next (FY12 R21 payline is 28).

      • writedit said

        Sorry, I hit send before completing the message. As I started before, an application reviewed in Feb would be funded in the FY12 Cycle III. However, I was going to add that the May 14th Council would have looked at Cycle III applications, so I am unclear whether the 7-31 expedited Council is for final FY12 decisions (though a score of 22 would have been clearly under the payline and should have considered at the May Council) or an early review in advance of the Sept Council meeting (Cycle I of FY13). Some ICs have some Cycle I start dates in Sept, and it could be NIAID follows this practice. I would suggest Anon clarify this with his PO.

    • anon said

      I made a mistake! So sorry! I submitted in Feb. and it was reviewed in June. It was an early review in advance of the Sept. council meeting. Is it correct then that regardless of the early review it would still be funded under FY13 paylines? I did ask my GMS about it (hope that was OK) when I saw that it had already been to council (thought it was a mistake), and was told that it was expedited review and that anything under FY12 payline went so that they could fund some projects early, if possible. Just not sure what “early” means, if anything, for this cycle. Maybe those under FY13 interim paylines, if the paylines are released before the Sept. council meeting?
      Also, sorry for post as a separate comment below!

  99. Chris said

    There must be a wide variation in PO’s, as I couldn’t get mine to give me a hint of where my “20″ stood in the pile of NIAID F32′s. I’ve heard from others much more revealing info. The wait is maddening.

  100. anon said

    I made a mistake! So sorry! I submitted in Feb. and it was reviewed in June. It was an early review in advance of the Sept. council meeting. Is it correct then that regardless of the early review it would still be funded under FY13 paylines? I did ask my GMS about it (hope that was OK) when I saw that it had already been to council (thought it was a mistake), and was told that it was expedited review and that anything under FY12 payline went so that they could fund some projects early, if possible. Just not sure what “early” means, if anything, for this cycle. Maybe those under FY13 interim paylines, if the paylines are released before the Sept. council meeting?

    • writedit said

      Certainly okay to contact the GMS … and thanks for sharing the clarification you received. “Early” could mean prior to Sept 30 (end of FY12) or in Oct (beginning of FY13), either of which would be prior to your assigned Dec 1 start date. Depends on whether they want the award on the books in FY12 or FY13. Your experience suggests they anticipate the FY13 interim payline for R21s to be at least 22, though, which is helpful. Congratulations and best wishes for success with your research.

      • anon said

        Got it – and thank you! Either of those descriptions of “early” would be much earlier than I originally thought with all of the budget uncertainty (thought the Dec. start date would be impossible). The GMS didn’t indicate one way or another whether mine would be on the list that could go through early, just said that the early review was in place so that some could be funded early. If I find out more I will pass it along here!

  101. academic hack said

    Hello writedit-a quick question for you. Can you please tell me how long into a K99 award (NCI if it matters) a PI has to wait before they can accept a tenure track position at another institution? I have heard throught the grape vine that a year is the minimum. I feel like I would want to avoid losing an oppourtunity (as they are so rare today!). Any ideas of the positives/negatives of going as early as possible?

    Thanks much!

    • writedit said

      These awards are actually quite flexible, so you should not hesitate to talk with your PO about the offer. NCI has their own K99 program, so I am not sure how they handle their awards, but I have heard of K99 applicants who had tenure track positions offered before the K99 was even awarded being allowed to start with the K00 (sometimes even keeping some of the K99 $). If the tenure track position is at an institution you would like to join, I am not sure what the negative might be … unless perhaps you need some special training at your current place that you cannot get elsewhere & would miss out on if you left early. Talk with your PO about the grant management part, though – this should be a common occurrence, since it seems a lot of universities use these awards as part of the selection process.

      • academic hack said

        Great info, thanks so much! The budget situation really is putting everyone in a lurch–hard to effectively negotiate with employers when you unsure of the funding situation, no matter how good your impact score. But that is OK-at least we have your guidance!

  102. hopeful said

    I received an impact score below the FY 2012 payline for a K99 application (NCI). Council review is in mid October, but I just saw that council review for my grant has already been completed. Is this a good sign? Thanks as always writedit.

    • writedit said

      I expect it means they sought pre-meeting electronic approval en bloc of those applications scoring below the FY12 payline … but given the uncertainties that lie ahead for FY13, you cannot make any assumptions about funding unless your score is well below the payline and your PO has shown optimism with regard to funding.

      • hopeful said

        Thanks as always writedit!

      • ILoveTC said

        After NCI council Review, how soon we will come to know whether our K99 grant funded or not!

      • writedit said

        For FY13, probably not until next year. Your PO should be able to give you a rough idea of funding likelihood (whether you are even under consideration).

      • ILoveTC said

        Thanks for the answer. PO huh!! not at all helpful, starting date is 1st the Dec 2012, council review is over we do not know where we stand…

      • writedit said

        I’m sorry to hear this but not entirely surprised, given the unknowns ahead. They don’t know themselves what might happen. Even if Harold doesn’t think sequestration will occur, it is tough to make plans in the interim.

  103. Aging postdoc said

    Greetings! I have been in touch with a program officer at NIH about whether I qualify for K grants. I emailed my program officer in mid August to inquire. She responded immediately and asked for some more details, and gave me some good advice on which Ks have better paylines. I responded with the requested information and she said that the case was complicated and would take some consideration, but she was about to go on vacation for a week and would get back to me after that. That was more than a month ago, and I haven’t heard from her since. Naturally, writing someone in August is not the way to expect quick consideration, so I cooled my jets when I didn’t hear from her after her vacation. A few days after Labor Day, I sent a brief email to follow-up and included our previous correspondence as a forward. Still nothing. I feel anxious to know this information, for obvious reasons, but I don’t want to be a belligerent pest. I’m not sure what to do next and would appreciate any advice.

    • writedit said

      Most ICs have a separate PO assigned to K mechanisms. If you made initial contact with your “science” PO, you might look around for the appropriate K-specific PO in your IC and forward this person your prior correspondence. If you have been communicating with the K-specific PO, you should certainly try to make contact again (especially if you were planning to submit in October). If no response again, you could see if there is a senior career development PO at the IC or another K-specific PO to whom you could forward your earlier correspondence and ask for guidance on eligibility. Alternatively, the training officer for the entire NIH (Rodney Ulane, PhD, ulanere@od.nih.gov or nihtrain@mail.nih.gov) should be able to offer guidance for your situation, which I assume, based on your handle of “Aging postdoc”, has to do with years since you completed your terminal degree etc. versus the science itself.

      • Aging postdoc said

        Thanks, this is really great advice. It was my K-specific PO with whom I was corresponding, and yes I was asking for an extension of eligibility based on taking time off to take care of my parents during an extended illness. She was genuinely sympathetic, which makes me keen to get her response in particular while also being careful not to aggravate her. I will write her again, and I feel much better knowing about the other avenues to take if she is never gets back to me.

      • writedit said

        It could be she has been waiting for confirmation from someone higher up rather than risk incorrect advice. Reminding her gently again, especially if you have a submission date in mind, should get some sort of response.

      • Aging postdoc said

        I just wanted to follow-up with an additional thank you and more info for others who might be in a similar situation. Indeed, my PO never got back to me in the past three months, despite kind follow-up emails and even catching her on the phone to ask. I have enough interpersonal experience in life to know when someone’s decision is that they are just not going decide. I have taken your additional advice and sent a fresh request Rodney Ulane for some guidance in the matter.

  104. SL said

    I’m in the process of moving to a different university. During the transition period before my official start date at the new position, how should I handle my NIH grant submissions? Given that the study section/council review will take at least half a year and possibly a lot longer, it seems the logical choice is to start submitting proposals from the new institution. Is it possible to have my era commons account affiliated with both institutions for a short period of time (before I complete the move), so that my future institution can submit my proposals? I would appreciate your advice.

    • writedit said

      The institution is the applicant, so until you are employed by your new university, I do not believe you can submit grant applications through them (the application is a legal document). Your current university would submit the application, and you would need to consider how much of the budget would remain at your current university after you leave (e.g., if you have collaborators there who have paid effort). If you complete the transition to the new institution prior to the grant being reviewed, you can ask the SRO about submitting new budget and resources sections (including any new personnel involved at the new institution), assuming you can get the current university to transfer the application to the new institution in time (this is not a problem, usually, but it is not automatic – it is not something you can switch in eRA Commons, certainly). If there is a significant benefit in terms of more resources, collaborators, equipment, etc. at the new university, then you may be better off just waiting until you move. Alternatively, if you have a collaborator at the new institution who is engaged in a different aspect of the science, he/she could submit the application with you as part of a multiple PI submission, though this individual would need to do the actual submission as the contact PI. If awarded, then, your current university would just need to relinquish your portion of the award to the new institution. Now, I give all this advice based on what makes sense based on my best guess about how all this interim-processing (not pre-, not post-award) might work. If anyone has actual experience with a situation such as this, please do chime in! SL, you might in the meantime explain the situation to your PO and/or to the sponsored research office at the new university, to see how they would recommend handling this transition period.

  105. Cycloproffe said

    You can apply through the new institution. I have done this successfully.

    • writedit said

      Interesting. Thanks for sharing your experience.

      • Cycloproffe said

        Of course, I did this after consulting (as you suggest) with my PO on all of the specifics.

  106. Anya said

    I just learned that my R01 (A1) application was reviewed at council last week and will not be funded due to “low programmatic priority”. This application received a priority score of 10, so I am a bit surprised. I directed this proposal to said institute after conversations with the PO. Any suggestions on how I approach one of the secondary institutes (this grant was assigned to one primary and two secondary institutes)? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Wow. This is not the first time I have heard of a fundable proposal being declined by the primary IC due to low programmatic priority, but it is a first to hear that an application with a perfect score is being turned away. But, with a score like that, either secondary IC should be happy to pick it up. I would suggest you talk with your PO at the primary IC about which would be the better secondary to approach – your PO should be happy to initiate the process. If you have a preference, let the primary IC PO know what that is. You can also contact the PO in the secondary IC that you would prefer, but your primary IC PO will be involved in the transfer no matter what, so best to start there. Congratulations on the exceptional score – I am sorry you need to go through such an exercise, but I hope it works out for the best for you.

      • Anya said

        My PO is discouraging me from working with him to approach either secondary institute about a potential transfer (and he said I should not contact other institutes directly). He said a transfer was highly unlikely for a number of reasons and that the new institute would have to have available funds for special emphasis consideration, which was also not likely. He used very strong language in his email about not requesting a transfer to a secondary institute. But, he said he would initiate the conversation if I thought it was worth a try. It seems like he wants the grant to just die, which is difficult for me given the perfect score. I’m having a hard time letting go of this R01, but it seems like my hands are tied. Any suggestions?

      • writedit said

        Unfortunately, your PO does need to be on board & involved – you cannot transfer the application yourself, and having been told not to contact the other POs, you should not. He does offer to make contact himself, at your request, so that would be my advice (to ask him to initiate a conversation). The other POs will look at the score, summary statement, and how the work fits in their programmatic priority and make their own decisions based on these factors. If you can make the case that the science proposed should be of programmatic priority to one of the secondary ICs, you could point this out your primary PO when making the request (so it comes across as a reasoned, rational request rather than one out of funding desperation).

      • whimple said

        I’ll bite. What is wrong with your grant that it doesn’t get funded with a perfect score and you’re told to just let it die? Do you propose killing people? Was is reviewed by your mother? Do you already have a $bazillion in active NIH funding? Are you at an Institution outside the USA? Are you being investigated for scientific misconduct?

      • Anya said

        I believe it is door number #3. I submitted 3 R01s at once. Two received perfect scores and the third received an 18 (9th percentile). The grants (unfortunately) all went to the same institute. That institute funded the first grant, and also wants to fund the one that received the 9th percentile if they can this fiscal year. So, I think they just choose 2 of the 3 and don’t want to fund the third. But, I’d really like to do the work and was hoping that the score would win them over.

      • writedit said

        Wow. Two perfect and one exceptionally scored R01 all on different topics. Congratulations. While I can understand a bit better the low programmatic priority clause, I am not sure why the PO does not want you to move one of the applications to a secondary IC. Of course, depending on the budget sizes (and whether you have other NIH awards), 2 or 3 simultaneous grants could put you over threshold for extra consideration in making awards to well-funded applicants (though this is not the PO’s job to consider). You might be able to check with someone higher up at the IC, though I expect your case is well known at all levels as such a situation rarely (ever?) arises. If it is the same PO for all 3 applications and you have a good relationship with him/her, you could ask for some additional insight on the decision process and whether you should attempt to seek funding again for the project left on the table.

  107. lakers said

    Hi, I am trying to find a list of documents for R01 proposal in NIH website but with no success. I know about research strategy, project summary, and specific aims, but not sure these are all. 1) Does anyone know the full list of required documents for this R01? 2) Do specific aims and project summary count to 12 page limit?

    • writedit said

      All the forms and uploads are listed on the electronic application package. The SF 424 instructions will walk you through them (including individual format pages to upload). You can refer to this annotated set of SF424 forms for guidance as well.

      The Project Summary (abstract) is a separate upload (limited to 30 lines), as is the Specific Aims, which is limited to 1 page. The Research Plan is 12 pages. The literature cited (references) are uploaded separately, as are any other required components (human subjects, vertebrate animals, select agents, resource sharing, etc.). Your department grants administrator or university office of sponsored programs/research should be able to help you with the application (the latter must submit it – you cannot do this yourself).

  108. lakers said

    Thank you so much!

  109. Chris said

    Not sure if this helps anybody, but NIAID released interim paylines for an R01. Though this probably won’t be much of a surprise, it is 6 for an established PI and 10 for a new investigator. They haven’t released any other interim paylines.

  110. newbie said

    SIX!? Ugh. I was actually excited for about 5 seconds when I received an 8% on my recent NCI R21… Is there anything I can/should do? Should I wait until I receive the summary statement to contact my PO? Could/should I ask to be transferred to my secondary IC assignment? Should I just pack up & go home?

    • writedit said

      Well, considering that NCI set their hard percentile threshold at the 7th percentile in FY12, I don’t imagine this will go up to the 8th in FY13, especially not for the first half of the FY, which would leave you in the large pool of discussed applications – but at least in very good standing. You might do better with one of the other ICs, but they would not accept it for consideration until NCI was sure they were not going to fund it, which won’t happen until next year. You should check with your NCI PO to gauge his/her level of enthusiasm for your research (he/she needs to serve as a steadfast advocate for the internal review) and whether the application can/should be transferred to one of the secondary ICs – assuming you have a willing PO on the receiving end). Probably best to wait for the summary statement, so the PO can see what, if any, addressable concerns the SRG had.

      • newbie said

        My contracts & grants office and I just got an email saying that “I am pleased to inform you that the NCI is considering funding this award…”. I’m assuming this isn’t an NGA (although I’ve never seen one of those!), but does it mean that I will get funded? Or just that I “may” get funded?

        I am sooo thankful for this site BTW! Your help and guidance is much appreciated.

      • writedit said

        Congratulations – though don’t pop the bubbly yet. You are correct that this is not an NGA/NoA. Was this part of a JIT request? If so, it means the SPLs (Scientific Program Leaders) will discuss your application for possible funding, so be sure the data are submitted in a timely manner. You can and should check with your PO as to whether your application has already been discussed by the SPLs and selected for funding, pending resolution of any JIT/administrative issues, or whether they are just now in the discussion phase. If the former, very good news. If the latter, you could then ask yoru PO whether it would be helpful for you to prepare a short (one-page) rebuttal to the summary statement (resume & summary of discussion) to be taken into consideration during the SPL discussions.

  111. Cycloproffe said

    I was in the same boat last year (with an A0) and was told by a couple of POs that IC transfers are not happening….period.

    • writedit said

      Well, some are – but no doubt a very small minority (and perhaps more likely as A1s – not sure). All the POs involved must be quite enthusiastic about the research itself (not just score-driven, but it must be a very competitive score, too).

  112. newbie said

    Thanks so much for the advice!

  113. Gabe Luna said

    NEI, R21, re-submission score of 20. Any chance of being funded?

    • writedit said

      When you get your summary statement, talk with your PO. Especially if the score improved, he/she can give you an indication, though with no certainty given the uncertain budget times ahead, how your application might do during paylist discussions and what your next steps should be.

      • Gabe Luna said

        Thank you. The score did improve from 32 to 20, it was also assigned to nibib from the NEI, I’m not sure what they are like in terms of funding. Thanks again for your feedback.

  114. Gabe Luna said

    NEI, R21, Re-submission score of 20. Any chance of being funded?

    • writedit said

      When you get your summary statement, talk with your PO. Especially if the score went down, he/she can give you an indication, though with no certainty given the uncertain budget times ahead, how your application might do during paylist discussions and what your next steps should be.

  115. K01NHLBI said

    I just received an impact score of 22 for my NHLBI Diversity K01 application. According to the FY2012 K01 payline (IS=25), I would get funded. When will the FY2013 payline be available? Should I be worried that I may be cut out of the funding, or do you think the payline will stay the same?

    • writedit said

      The payline will likely go down in FY13, but the question is by how much … more if sequestration occurs, probably just a point or two if some other compromise can be reached that keeps the NIH budget flat or only slightly cut. Your PO might have a better idea after Council meets as to NHLBI’s strategy for FY13 (i.e., whether to start making awards slightly below FY12 levels), but if you are on the edge, you won’t know about funding likelihood until next year. If this was an A0, you should probably start thinking about the A1 … if this was an A1, perhaps consider other funding mechanisms, such as a diversity supplement to an existing R01 or other qualified RPG.

      • K01NHLBI said

        Thanks for the reply. I have more questions related to the specific award I applied for. As mentioned, it was the NHLBI K01 Diversity/Re-Entry RFA. It was a special announcement, separate from the regular K01. It was reviewed by a special emphasis panel. What does all of this mean in terms of scoring and funding? Is it lumped into all of the K01 apps and scores? If so, why bother having the separate RFA? Can you shed some light on how these are handled? Thanks.

      • writedit said

        Your score is compared with other K01 scores in making funding decisions (including programmatic discretion based on portfolio priorities), but the separate funding announcement allows these applications to be reviewed (and scored) apart from those submitted to the parent announcement – a similar concept to reviewing R01 applications submitted by new/ESI applicants separate from those submitted by established PIs.

      • K01NHLBI said

        So then how does it work for new/ESI apps for R01? Do they receive some kind of point “break” after scoring is done? Meaning is there some type of systematic point deduction/improvement for these apps? Would this be the case for this separate RFA for K01? I am still trying to understand the advantage in applying for the separate announcement. Is it just an issue of less competition overall? Thanks again.

      • writedit said

        No, there is no scoring on a curve, and the payline break comes at the IC level. The idea is that reviewing applications from PIs at the same level of experience levels the playing field … reviewers can recalibrate their expectations based on whether the applicant has had prior funding to support publications and generate preliminary data. The same would be true for applicants who took time out of the tenure track for medical, family, or other reasons or who may not have had access to the best research institutions or mentors for training. The bottom line is that the science must still be exciting and compelling and the plan robust though.

        In FY12, NHLBI made 12 awards to applications submitted to the diversity/re-entry K01 RFA and none to the parent announcement (NHLBI only began participating in the K01 parent announcement in Feb 2011 – in FY11, they funded 6 of 15 applications reviewed – all to the RFA – for a 40% success rate). Data are not yet posted as to how many applications were reviewed (and we will not know from which FOA). So, at the moment, it seems NHLBI still makes all K01 awards to applicants to the RFA (now HL-13-019), perhaps reflecting its programmatic priority for enhancing diversity.

  116. Quick? said

    Hi writedit, May I remain as a co-PI on an SBIR grant if I move to new institute (500 miles away)?

    • writedit said

      I assume you mean co-investigator (since the PI must work at the small business applicant), but yes, so long as you have the resources and environment to complete the work for which you are being supported, the award (a subcontract from the small business) can move with you. You’ll need to work with grant administrators at your current & new university/institution and the GMS assigned to your SBIR to manage the administrative details.

  117. Jennifer Gaddy said

    This may be a silly question, but I am on an F32 Fellowship (which just started in August) and so theoretically I have 3-years of funding ahead of me. Will sequestration impact that? Can I lose my F32 due to the sequestration looming in January 2013? I only ask because my PI has made some weird comments about me trying to “wrap up” my projects before the first of the year…..

    • writedit said

      Not to worry (about your F32). You will receive your noncompeting renewals, and to the best of my knowledge, NRSA awards are not affected by budget cuts (that is, you should receive your full fellowship amount). You can check with your PO to be sure, though. I cannot begin to explain your mentor’s comments – unless he is worried about his budget for research supplies that likely contributes to your work.

  118. new to the game said

    This are a lot of informative discussions here. Thank you – I have learnt a lot by reading through the discussions.
    I submitted an R03 to the NIDA B/START program in June 2012, and got a score if 19. The PO said its a very fundable score and could be picked by by either NIH or FDA (which meets about a couple if weeks after NIH council meets). In my case, I will have to wait till February 2013 because that’s when council meets. However, the PO advised me to still work on resubmission to show enthusiasm for the grant. Although the original grant could get funded, it will be good grantsmanship to do a resubmission. Any suggestions from others who have been in a similar situation? Thank you very much.

    • writedit said

      Yes, you are likely to have the A0 funded before the A1 even gets reviewed, but it is good insurance and a chance for you to think through your project more. Were you looking for advice on whether to prepare & submit the A1 or how to develop the A1 narratives?

      • new to the game said

        Thank you so much for the reply. I was looking for advice on going through the resubmission process if the grant is likely to be funded. Having read your reply and talking to others who have been successful, it seems prudent to work on a resubmission (you’ve put it accurately – as an extra insurance).

  119. providang said

    Great site! Learned so much already. I just submitted an NRSA (resubmit) to NIAMS and got a score of 25. The payline for FY 2012 is a 24, which gives me a little hope, but the payline for 2013 is 18! Any idea if the 2013 or 2012 payline will be used?

    • writedit said

      The FY13 payline will be used (FY12 ended Sept 30th), though it may go up later in the FY, depending on what happens with sequestration etc. if it does, the higher payline will be applied retroactively to your application, but not until much later in the FY, and there is no guarantee the FY12 payline would be matched, so if you can submit an A1, you should.

      • providang said

        Ah, that doesn’t sound so promising. This was my A1; I was triaged last round.

      • providang said

        I guess one question that I still haven’t seen addressed anywhere, is about how many awards are made beyond a scheduled payline? My PI seems to be quite optimistic, but I’m not finding any evidence to be hopeful otherwise.

      • writedit said

        It varies with IC & mechanism, but there are not a lot of awards above the payline (tend to be ESI & special programmatic priority). Your PO can tell you if your application is under consideration for select pay.

  120. Dave said

    Dear writedit-looking for a little historical perspective here…

    As it appears that the across the board budget cuts (sequestration) will not be addressed by congress—(and I find it hard to believe this will be fixed before Oct 1), I was wondering…. is this truly the “worst” time to be a biomedical scientist competing in the NIH for research dollars? I have heard things were bad before the budget doubled, but were they this bad?!?!?

    • writedit said

      The short answer, IMHO, would be yes. The decline in funding has been accompanied by an increase in applications and applicants, and even those applications receiving awards are being funded at levels below what was requested. During the doubling, Universities went on a buying/building spree, assuming they could rely on the NIH to keep funding their larger research enterprise. The ARRA stimulus added more bodies in need of continued support. Faculty are very much under pressure to cover their salaries, their techs, their grad students, et al. plus the higher costs of fancy toys and expensive reagents and mice.

      With regard to sequestration, which seems inevitable for all discretionary programs, there is a chance that Congress could restore some funding to the NIH — though this would have been more likely if we had not lost so many key champions in the past year. However, all legislators have family members and constituents with disorders in need of additional research, so it is difficult to withhold funding from such an obvious and universal societal good. Plus, my guess is that every (or almost every) Congressional representative has someone in their district who receives NIH funding at some level (even a rural community practice participating in a larger trial), so there is the direct local support to maintain funding for biomedical research and simultaneously boost the regional and national economy. I wouldn’t expect funding to be restored to FY12 levels, but maybe something would be added back before the end of the FY. Again, depends on who at the table pipes up on behalf of biomedical research.

      Keep those cards and letters touting the benefits of stable NIH funding going to your Congressional delegations and those with a voice behind closed doors. And don’t forget to let your POs know that you’re advocating on their behalf (well, the NIH’s behalf) … they need some cheering about now, too.

      • Dave said

        OK-I thought this was pretty much the worst, but just needed to check outside of my head and experience level. I know all postdocs feel pretty down right now. Especially those with K award scores which would have been funded in FY2012. But I think many of us are realizing that much of this is more a referendum on the system, as opposed to our science.

        Thanks writedit and happy new year to you!

      • writedit said

        Oh, man, it’s absolutely not your science … and I hate to think of all the work scraping along or, worse, getting scrapped, when it merits full support.

        Keep looking to professional societies, foundations, and wherever else you can find a few crumbs to keep the lab going. Some universities are trying to pick up a little of the slack with intramural awards and bridge funding (instead of buying new toys).

        Best of luck to you with your research and your career path – and a happy and healthy new year!

  121. Dave said

    Much respect writedit. Happy new year indeed!

  122. Katya said

    Dear writedit – do you think a score of 20% for A01 from NIGMS has a chance to be funded for FY2013? Hoping it may….

    • writedit said

      It has a slight chance only if your PO feels it is worth advocating for. You should contact your PO to discuss the summary statement and your response to concerns raised and let him/her know if you have important new data or publications since the application was reviewed. If you don’t work with your PO, your chances are almost zero .. and if your PO feels your application is not competitive with the others under consideration, he or she will have good advice on preparing the A1 so it is more compelling both for reviewers and for NIGMS to select for funding.

      • Katya said

        This was A1 competitive renewal submission for R01 grant. I guess there is no hope… Don’t have the summary statement yet but will wait to get it to call PO. Can you speculate on what the payline may be?

      • writedit said

        Don’t give up hope – you should still talk with your PO, especially since this is the A1 of a Type 2 submission. Your PO may want to help but would need your input. There is no payline – the program staff discuss applications within a certain range (my guess is that would include the 20th percentile) to select those recommended for funding. Before he left NIGMS, Jeremy Berg posted a nice explanation of how NIGMS selects applications for funding: https://loop.nigms.nih.gov/index.php/2011/01/28/the-funding-decision-process/

      • Katya said

        Dear writedit,
        I have been trying to contact my PO for several weeks now, but with no luck. He does not respond to any e-mails and any attempts to call him result in the secretary telling me that I need to e-mail him first to schedule a call. What to do in this kind of situation? Is it possible he will never respond to discuss my summary statement? I am at a loss…

      • writedit said

        Well, your PO is under extreme duress right now, though a brief response would be polite. Whether you want to go above him depends on the nature of your query. If it is just to ask about funding likelihood based on your summary statement, please wait and try again in April (he has your summary statement & score). If this was an A1 that clearly will not be funded, and you want to discuss next step strategies, you might try a message that says “Next Steps” in the subject line and asks how to repurpose the application for a viable June submission (no mention of asking whether the A1 might be funded). If you have a different question, word it clearly and ask for some dates and times on which he might be able to schedule a call (this is standard operating procedure, BTW, not a brush-off by the secretary at all). If in two weeks you still have no response, you could politely contact his or her branch or division head with your request for a phone conversation – but you should only do so if the discussion is unrelated to / unaffected by the current budget disaster and ongoing uncertainty (that is, it is not a question about, will I be funded).

      • SG said

        It would be unlikely but not impossible thast GM would fund a 20%. But, you would have to make a very good case to the PO about they should fund you and skip over a better scoring grant. Of course, if the PO won’t respond that is hard to do. You could try calling a PO in the same Division and see what advice you can get.

  123. Heather said

    I am confused: Just received a score on my R21 (NIMH) of 23, with a percentile of 4. I’m not sure what to think of this–4th percentile sounds great but it’s hard to get excited with such a seemingly mediocre score….could this be right and which number should I hang my hat on? Thanks for any insight!

    • writedit said

      SROs and Chairs are enforcing the spreading of scores this cycle, which is putting them out of sync with prior scoring trends (hence the delay in some scores being posted) and, at least in some SRGs, a fresh start to percentiling. When you receive your summary statement, you can check with your PO about how it will be handled.

      • Heather said

        Thank you so much for your input! I suppose I can’t know yet, then, whether 4th percentile still means the same thing as it used to? Is it possible that paylines will be drastically different this time around?

      • writedit said

        Oh, since they posted it to eRA Commons, your 4th percentile (possibly just a single SRG meeting ranking) should be viewed like any 4th percentile (usual comparison against prior two cycles) and would most likely be funded – even if sequestration goes through. What I don’t know is whether NIMH goes by score or percentile for R21s. If they go by score, they may need to consider yours in light of the percentile when ranking it against applications from the other two cycles, depending on how the scoring matches (or not). I just don’t know how that will work.

  124. Justin said

    Dear Writedit – I received a score of 18th percentile for a R01 grant at NINDS (A1 application). I am a new investigator. Do you think there is chance for funding? I am having trouble reaching my PO (for now). Thanks.

    • writedit said

      You should wait to contact your PO until you have your summary statement – and if your question is about funding, not until after March 1. If sequestration goes through, the answer will be no. If it doesn’t go through, that score is still in select pay territory, in which case you would also probably be told no decision would be made until the FY13 budget was negotiated (which probably won’t happen until April or May). When you have your summary statement, you can talk with the PO about how best to repurpose the application … whether to try to scale back for an R21 or R03 or rework the aims for a new application.

      • justin said

        Oh, the dreaded sequestration……hopefully it doesn’t go through. Thank you for the input. I am learning a lot from all the blogs here.

      • Justin said

        I have another question…. I submitted 2 R01s at the same time and don’t yet know the score on the 2nd R01. In case they are both in the gray zone of funding, or that 1 is in the gray zone while the other is in the fundable zone, will I still get the New Investigator advantage for both grants? I’ve submitted the R01s to different institutes.

      • writedit said

        Whichever application gets funded first will end your NI status, which will be reflected at JIT for the second application. However, if the decisions are made at the exact same time, they would be made without knowing the other IC’s decision, so each would consider your NI status (but would know about the other application – not sure but do not think they communicate with each other about these things).

        On Feb 15, 2013, at 5:10 PM, “Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship”

  125. Andy said


    I have an question that might sound odd. I am a new investigator with a recent R01. Since I am short on hands with just one post-doc, I end up working a lot on my own and have produced results that can result in some key papers.

    But I would have to be a single author in at least a paper or two based on these results since the postdoc did not contribute anything…she is busy with other projects.

    How does one handle this situation…a NI who is under resourced but has new results that they want published but it was not done as a team? Are single author papers, as opposed to senior author papers, viewed negatively by study sections? Of course I hope these results will yield new grants and I will be able to hire more people.

    Thank you for any input.

    • writedit said

      Well, I am always struggling to keep non-authors off manuscripts, so if you truly did conceive/design the study, complete all the experiments, analyze & interpret the data, and write the manuscript all on your own, then it is your paper. You can acknowledge people who gave advice, gave reagents (other than, perhaps, their first reported use, if they are central to the work’s success), critiqued your drafts, and so on. If you were a postdoc, it wouldn’t fly, but given the funding situation, and your signing off on the journal’s submission contract, a manageable piece of bench work could well be a single author paper these days. If the journal – & its reviewers – accept the work as solely your own, the grant reviewers should as well. I’m sure others will chime in if they have additional thoughts/opinions.

      • Andy said

        Thank you writedit for the thorough and professional answer…as always !

        yes I am funded independently and did the entire work…I was just worried if this will be perceived as being “selfish” whereas actually it was just lack of personnel.

      • whimple said

        Throw your post-doc a bone. Have her work on some of the figures for the manuscript, or write the introduction, or anything really. Then make her first author and you last author (or the other way around if you prefer). It’s good for her, it’s good for you (shows you can advance your people), it doesn’t look weird to the study section. Try to think strategically about your career and the people around you; this one is an easy opportunity to “pay it forward” at absolutely no cost.

  126. hbomb said

    My NINDS K08 got an impact score of 29. Fundable?

    • writedit said

      NINDS only funded 11 K08s in FY12, 16 in FY11, so I would doubt they would go that high up in the score unless your science is of high programmatic interest. Also, if you just got scored and the NINDS SRG is following the CSR model of spreading the scores better this cycle, that 29 might actually be comparable with lower scores from earlier rounds – but I have no idea how your group handled the scoring. After you get your summary statement and after the sequestration/FY13 budget are resolved (i.e., April), you should check in with your PO as to your likelihood of funding. Right now, he/she won’t know much. If this was an A0, you should certainly be working on the A1 for July, though.

  127. Tadpole said

    My NIA K01 submission received an impact score of 16. I’ve been told by my PO that April is the earliest I will know if it will be funded due to the sequester/FY13 budget issues and that I should start preparing a resubmission for June. Not encouraging so far! but I just wanted to get your thoughts. I’ve heard that on the last cycle NIA K01′s were funded at score of 19 and below….. do you think that a 16 would suffice even if the sequester goes through? Any info would be great. Cheers!

    • writedit said

      I assume you mean last year (vs last cycle), as it does not seem that NIA has funded any new K01s yet in FY13. If sequester goes through, you might have a second chance, depending on how much might get added back in the FY13 appropriation (which wouldn’t be hammered out until April or May, is my guess). But even then, I am not sure Congress would add enough back to match the FY12 appropriation, in which case all paylines/pay lists would be lower. In the meantime, I would suggest that you certainly take your POs advice and submit your A1 in July (not June). Your PO should be willing to give some advice on your Introduction and planned revisions, which would be valuable since he/she should have heard the discussion of your application and will know what these reviewers look for in A1s.

    • bbcnews said

      Tadpole, is your NIA k01 funded or not? I have a same score as you.

  128. tc said

    Hi, I have recently submitted 2 grants, one just reviewed and another just submitted. In the first grant, I did not specify the primary funding institute. In the second grant, I picked an institute with bad payline. Do you think it is too late to suggest/change the funding institutes at this point? Also, is this really necessary? I am under the impression that if a grant is not fundable by one institute, it is automatically referred to a relevant institute for funding. Is this right?


    • writedit said

      Well, you should always request an IC – and you should be in touch with a PO at that IC before you submit (have PO review your aims & give advice on your application). Otherwise, CSR will refer your application to an IC based on the abstract and perhaps the specific aims page. No IC is obligated to accept it, and there are cases of applications administratively returned because no participating IC will accept the application. Once the assignment is made, if the primary IC does not fund the award, it is unlikely that any secondary ICs (assigned at the application is submitted, not after the review) will fund the application; this does happen – but generally only if the PI has a good relationship with the POs (at the ICs involved). Your application will never be sent by CSR to another IC for consideration after it has been reviewed and declined by the primary IC. You need to select your IC based on programmatic relevance rather than payline, though certainly if your science can be assigned to more than one IC, you can and should strategically request assignment to the one with the most promising fiscal policy.

      • tc said

        Thanks a lot, writedit, for the valuable advice. But how do I compare the fiscal policies among the ICs? Based on payline or success rate? As institutes like NIGMS do not have a payline, I guess the success rate is a better measure? Also, in general, is the policy in previous years a good predicator of the current year policy?

      • writedit said

        You should pick the IC based on the science first and ensure that you have a PO who is enthusiastic about your science (in case you need an advocate at paylist discussions or select pay decisions). Some ICs participate in FOAs that are more appropriate (and more likely to result in an award to you), so that’s another consideration. Then, yes, you would check the success rate for a given mechanism, which will also tell you the number of applications reviewed (i.e., how much competition you will have). Payline varies according to each year’s FY appropriation – and of course the SRG has a bigger impact than IC, since you need the score/percentile from the SRG.

  129. et said

    Hi, I got a priority score of 20 on my NHLBI K99 (new submission) in Nov 2012. On the notice of grant awards issued within the last 90 days, the NHLBI have funded 2 K99 applications (“type 1″ application – I assume this is new applications), with the notice of award date 05-FEB-2013. How likely do you think it is that I will get funded?

    • writedit said

      Yes, the Type 1 is new (Type 2 is competing renewal, Type 3 is competitive revision/supplement, Type 5 is noncompeting renewal – the others indicate administrative changes in grantee, IC, etc.). I am a little surprised NHLBI has only made 2 awards, since they made 39 in FY12 & 22 in FY11 (i.e., they are not one of the ICs that only makes 1-5 awards per year). With that many awards, I would hope a 20 would be in the running till (would have last year). However, in addition to being conservative until the sequester & FY13 budget negotiation outcomes are known, they could be shifting resources among the mechanisms – but that is my speculation. When you receive your summary statement, you can check in with your PO about whether to start working on the A1. He/she won’t know anything for sure until April or May, but the ICs should be completing their sequestration contingency plans soon (internally), so your PO might have a better idea if the number of K99 awards overall will decline and where your score places you in the pile (won’t know how far down the pile will get funded until later in the spring though).

      • et said

        Thanks writedit. The advisory council met on Feb 12, so it is unclear to me if the grants funded on Feb 5 are from the October reviews or from before. I got my summary sheet in Nov, and there were only two minor comments but they were more technicalities than scientific. I spoke with the PO back in Nov, who said that not many people get between a 10 and 20, so my score was excellent, but that the payline started at 19 in FY2012, and ended at 25. Do you have any idea when FY2013 budget negotiations will take place/be completed, or is this on a per institute basis? Also I cannot go in for the A1 – too many years. But I guess I can re-purpose as an R01 for June submission…

      • writedit said

        The awards could have been approved via expedited Council review prior to the meeting. These are the first two K99 awards NHLBI has made in FY13, so it is hard to say if they were from Cycle 1 and 2 or just from Cycle 2. Either way, 2 whole awards. Wow. Additional applications that did not undergo expedited review might be processed for awards in the coming weeks.

        The FY13 budget negotiations take place at the federal level (by Congress), and the entire NIH budget broken down by IC is in the appropriation for Labor, HHS, and Education. Congress can tweak appropriation levels to individual ICs, the Office of the Director, the Common Fund, etc. Whatever is appropriated is what the IC will receive then. By March 27, Congress must either renew the CR or pass individual appropriations bills or an omnibus budget bill. My guess is they will extend the CR so they have time to negotiate any adjustments that might be needed to “undo” parts of the sequestration, if that goes through (e.g., adding money back to the NIH for FY13, one hopes). Even if sequestration is headed off somehow, Congress also has the debt ceiling deadline in May, so I expect the FY13 budget negotiations will then also be tied in with that process (long term debt/deficit solutions).

        Long way of saying … you probably won’t know until April or May what is happening with your K99. You can certainly start converting to an R01, especially if you have good preliminary data and some publications. Your PO might have some good input on this, including who else you might want to work with (science-based PO, that is, if you are currently working with a career developpment PO).

  130. Larry said

    Council review is complete on our P30 application to NIGMS and the e submission status now reads “Pending Verification.” Do you know what this means?

    • writedit said

      Hmm. Usually the next status is either “Council Review Completed” or “Pending Administrative Review”. My guess would be verification of your JIT, if that was submitted, but you can just ask your PO at this point.

  131. et said

    hi writedit,
    do you know if niddk use impact score or percentile as paylines for k99 applications?

    • writedit said

      I don’t know, but I imagine if they all have percentiles, that would be the benchmark. That’s an easy question for your PO.

      • et said

        ok thanks. the nhlbi use impact scores for k’s but percentiles for r01 so it’s a little confusing between the different ICs!

  132. GeneGenie said

    Does anyone have a clue as to the impact on the SBIR program? We just today received a score of 38 on the first submission of a Phase II, so it will be resubmitted, but curious to hear any feedback on funding of the overall program.

    • writedit said

      The sequester will be applied proportionately to the SBIR/STTR appropriation (which is based on a percentage of the overall agency budget). You don’t mention the IC, but I would be surprised if any will be funding that high a score. When you receive your summary statement, you can check with your PO to strategize your next move.

      • GeneGenie said

        NIGMS is the primary. No, I would not expect to get funded but once we see the summary statement we can respond appropriately. Could have been worse!

      • writedit said

        Yes, a score is good, and a score in the upper 30s & 40s usually means there is something to fix that should improve your score (whereas a score in the 20s could be more difficult to improve, if that is as high merit the reviewers would assign no matter what you changed).

  133. Bhaskar said

    in my eRA commons showing my A1- R01 – not discussed but asking JIT.

    Here in eRA common website saying this way. If your grant got score 10 -30, you will get JIT link.
    Kindly advice

    [Important: The NIH provides the JIT (Just in Time) link in the Commons for applications receiving a percentile of less than 30 or for applications receiving a priority score of between 10 and 60 if no percentile is provided. Please await instructions from the NIH on whether to complete this information.]

    • SG said

      That is strange. Perhaps the JIT was activated by accident. If your grant was not discussed then you won’t get funded.

  134. Bhaskar said

    Thanks SG. Should I contcat PO?

    • writedit said

      You don’t need to do anything. Per NIH policy: “For all applications, the eRA Commons JIT link will be opened and available for submission of JIT information within 24 hours after the impact score has been released. This supersedes NIH’s former business practice of only opening the JIT link for applications receiving impact scores within a certain range. Since the JIT link will be available for all applications, applicants should not rely on this as an indicator of the need to submit JIT information; instead they should rely on the JIT notification described above and any specific requests from NIH staff.” (http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-12-101.html)

      • SG said

        Ackkk..So many policies….I am glad Writedit keeps up on them for us.

  135. kk27 said

    I submitted for the first time my NIMH application and received my summary statement as well as the impact score/percentage. My impact score is 24 and percentile is 14. I contacted my PO and she told me that the NIMH will not be able to fund my application as of now but that may change as the FY progresses. What are the chances of this happening? I am preparing for a resubmission soon. Thanks!

    • kk27 said

      This is an F31 by the way…

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the excellent score on your first application to the NIH. Any other year, and you would have been funded. In an earlier review cycle, your score and percentile may have been better (lower), if your SRG was one of those to recalibrate their scoring. The ICs are still calculating how to distribute the cuts to their FY13 appropriation, and they all have their own priorities. Your PO knows what the current very conservative payline is for F31 applications (lower than 24/14th, obviously), but once NIMH figures out how much money it has and how it can best allocate it to new awards, your application might get picked up later in the FY. It is impossible to say whether this might happen at NIMH. Certainly you should prepare a resubmission – for the April receipt date if you can that quickly, based on the summary statement. However, if you are not ready to resubmit so quickly, please wait until August – there is no timing advantage, in terms of when you’ll learn about an award – to rush in if you are not ready, and you need to submit the most competitive application possible. If you submit the A1, the A0 will remain under consideration until Sept 30, 2013, so having the A0 withdrawn when you resubmit is not a concern. Any application you submit now will be considered for funding in FY14 in any case. Good luck with the A0 and the resubmission, if it is needed (hope not).

      • kk27 said

        Good to hear that I’m not completely out of the running! Thanks for your advice!

  136. NoK99foru said

    Just wanted to share my timeline for a K99. This is how you get the bad news with a good score.
    June 2012: Application submitted
    Oct 2012: Review (Priority Score: 20)
    Dec 2012 : Summary statement (great reviews with minor concerns)
    Dec 20: Council review completed before council meeting
    Feb 15th, 2013: Council meeting
    April, 2013: I couldn’t take the “council review completed” status any longer: Mailed PO. PO directed me to the person who handles training grants. Prompt reply: decision has been made..unfortunately missed by a tight margin. She suggested revision if within 5 yrs or R01/R21.

    This was my last chance so no revisions allowed. So after 10 anxious months no grant, and no jobs either. Any advice would be really helpful. Anyways this site helped me so much that I though its only fair to share when and how you get the bad news.

    • writedit said

      Oh wow. Thank you so much for sharing all the details. I expect some others might like to know the IC.

      If your institution will allow you to submit an R21 as a postdoc (or will promote you to a status that will allow you to submit a grant application), you could certainly move forward with converting your research plan to an R21 … or an R01 if you have enough preliminary data. If you cannot submit a grant application (because you are a postdoc & will not get a contract at a status that allows you to apply), then your options are limited. You could ask your current institution if they would provide you with a letter of support guaranteeing an academic appointment (with or without tenure stream status) for another appropriate K application (i.e., K01 or K08, depending on your science). That is, you can apply for the other types of K awards with the promise of a position if you receive an award (it’s always a stronger application if you already have the appointment, not contingent on the K, of course). Your current institution knows you and your skills/promise, and they are currently paying you (can only apply from an institution at which you are employed – not on your own in advance of an offer).

      If you were looking to leave anyway, I assume that your job search is both in academia and industry. Some universities have reasonable postdoc offices that can help with your job-seeking efforts. Otherwise, time to remember everyone you have talked with at meetings, posters sessions, seminars, etc. and see what leads they can offer. There are research-related options outside the lab (& academic stream), such as patents/tech transfer, administration, communications, and so on. I am watching (& trying to help – but I can’t make jobs appear) folks at BICO struggle with their next step, so I feel for your situation. Hopefully your publications, excellent application/review, and sound research plan (indication of your ability/capabilities) will get you in the door somewhere soon. Good luck.

      • NoK99foru said

        Thanks writedit, as always great advice. Sorry I skipped the IC: NIAID (they give only 6 k99s). I hate to leave the ideas that I had and switch abruptly to something completely different. I will probably still try the other K’s first.

  137. K22alumnus said

    noK99foru, I’m very sorry to hear about the decision made by your institute. Would K22 be an option for you as well? I believe NIAID limits the number of K99 awards in favor of K22. It’s only for two years but provides great support for your lab as well as the bulk of your salary.

    • writedit said

      The K22 has the same 5-year postdoc experience restriction as the K99, and I had assumed the time limit (5 y) was why noK99foru could not resubmit the K99 application. If not, and if citizenship is not an issue, the K22 would be an alternative (for others with two strikes on their K99, too).

      • NoK99foru said

        yes k22alumnus..its the 5 year limit that will prevent me from applying. In fact the summary statement recommends applying for K22 if eligible and K99 is not funded.

  138. Joe said

    Hi – a newbie here for NIH funding. I see that some NIH institutes have either issues NoGAs or are in the process, but others are waiting till May–June. Shouldn’t it be uniform across the entire NIH?

    • writedit said

      Nope. Each IC is different, with its own culture and policies in terms of funding decisions. The ones that go strictly by the numbers can start issuing NoAs to the lowest scoring applications. The ones that develop paylists in particular will want to wait until they are sure of their final appropriation and how they can distribute the cut.

  139. I just received an Impact score for my K99 with NIGMS. Does anyone know the range they fund in?

    • writedit said

      NIGMS develops paylists rather than use hard paylines. Last year, they received 115 applications and only made 15 awards, so your score will need to be low to be under consideration and your science of great interest. Because the ICs are just learning their FY13 appropriation and determining their strategy for distributing the budget cut, your PO probably won’t know for a few weeks still. If your application was reviewed for the May Council, then you would need to wait until after that in any case. You can learn how NIGMS makes their funding decisions here: https://loop.nigms.nih.gov/index.php/2011/01/28/the-funding-decision-process/

      • Thanks for the reply, I’m happy about my score, but its hard to tell what it means. I guess I just need to sit still and wait.

  140. newPI said

    so I put in my first NIH grant (DP2) and got a number back today. “Impact Score” of 35. No percentile given. What does this mean? Will it get funded? I read somewhere that overall/impact scores of <30 are highly likely to get funded, and between 30-40 may get funded. Considering that funds are tight I am thinking it probably wont get funded. They haven't given reviewer comments back (probably arrive in the next month) so I dont have a sense of how they reacted. Why has the NIH given me one number without telling me what it means (for chances of funding)? Doesn't make too much sense – or am I missing something?

    Does anyone have experience with DP2 and can shed light on what this Overall/Impact score might mean for my chances of getting funded? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Wow – that’s quite a mechanism to start with. There will be no percentile, so that is normal, as is just getting the one score with no indication of funding likelihood. Your score seems too high for such a competitive mechanism (congratulations on being scored though), but you can check with your PO about where roughly you rank in the group. Unless the reviews for these have changed, I do not believe you will get much back in the way of comments, but I am only familiar with one award/summary statement from the first year this mechanism was used.

      • newPI said

        thanks for your reply, writedit! i’ll check with the PO to get an idea…

  141. NewK99er said

    To writedit and others,

    I got a lot of information from here, expecially during the anxious waiting period. I would like to share my timeline for a K99 (NIAID).

    June 2012: Application submitted
    Oct 2012: Review (Priority Score: 11)
    Oct 2012 : Summary statement (great reviews with essentially no weakness, some concerns with data analysis and future collaboration with mentors)
    Dec 2012: Council review completed before council meeting
    Feb 2013: Council meeting
    Apr 4, 2013: Requested JIT
    Apr 12, 2013: Award prepared
    Apr 18, 2013: NoA

    I will continue to watch and support this very helpful website.
    Best wishes to all applicants.

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! Congratulations and thank you so much for posting such a detailed timeline, which I know many other anxious applicants will greatly appreciate. Best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research.

      • NewK99er said

        Dear writedit,
        I have a question about my title during my K99 phase (NIAID). I possibly will be promoted to assistant professor very soon (still in K99 phase). Is it allowed? My boss said that he may use his grant to make up the salary. Or could I request addtional salary support from the IC? Thanks in advance.

      • writedit said

        If the award has been made, no, you cannot request more funding to cover your salary. I assume at NIAID you are just getting 1 year of K99 support, too. The $249K total per year for the R00 phase covers your salary whatever it is plus fringe, research costs, and indirect costs.

      • NewK99er said

        Thanks a lot. That means It is OK to be promoted by the salary support from my boss? It is one year K99 support. In the middle phase of K99, I may be promoted to Assistant Professor at my current univeristy. Also, I am actively looking for jobs outside and have several interviews later.

      • writedit said

        Yes, your boss can supplement your salary to make up the difference from what NIAID is covering. Congratulations on the promotion and best wishes for success in your job search and career in academic biomedical research.

      • NewK99er said

        Dear writedit, I got response from NIAID: Saying “Promotion to Assistant professor would end my K99 phase early since I would then no longer be in a mentored phase of my award.” Why I saw someone is in K99 training phase and meanwhile as assistant professor? Do they have soft policy?

      • writedit said

        Most ICs got a bit lax in how they administered K99s because it was so tricky to time them (most applicants start applying for jobs during the 1-2+ years after the initial submission), but the NIH has shortened the eligibility period and now expects awardees to complete a full year of mentored training in the K99. I thought they would be flexible for FY13, given the very extended delays in funding decisions (i.e., if the award had started on time, the promotion would be coming at the end of the award rather than in the middle). However, it seems they (or at least NIAID – and I suspect most if not all ICs) will now be strict about getting the full year of K99 in. I assume they will then let you transition to the R00 if you undergo the promotion during the K99 year.

  142. Demetris said

    Hey guys. I have a Transformative Directors R01 with an impact score of 15. The reviews were very good. No one seems to know how the process goes for these R01s and the PO said that I should optimistic but since there is no paylines and no %iles on these grants how can you even know if you have good chances or not?

    • writedit said

      You really can’t know, since the selection is based as much on subjective criteria (interests & priorities of the Director and those advising him) as on the score. The reviewer comments are probably as important as the score as well. If your PO is optimistic, this is good news – your PO must feel the review and content will be attractive to those making the final decisions.

  143. newbie said

    The era commons status for my NIA K01 (submitted in June 2012, reviewed in Oct) just changed to “pending administrative review”….. is this a good or bad sign…? Any information would be great. Thanks for the wonderful blog writedit!

    • writedit said

      This is a very good sign. Have you been asked for updated JIT? You can check with your PO or GMS about the status.

      • newbie said

        I haven’t been asked for undated JIT yet. I submitted JIT information in Nov. I will check with my PO. Thanks!

  144. pom4pom said

    My international R21 is waiting for clearance at the US state department for 2 weeks already. Does anyone know how long this process takes?


    • writedit said

      I am not sure but assume it depends on the country involved. I have only worked with a few PIs collaborating with foreign investigators, and the process took on the order of weeks, though the sequester may add delays if there were any staff reductions (furloughed). You could check with your PO, but I would not be surprised if he/she will not know either.

  145. curious said

    Just got score of 18th percentile on A1 RO1 application for NIDDK. I am NI but no longer ESI. Does NIDDK do much select pay? ESI payline (interim) is 16, established investigator interim is 11.
    What are the chances? Any?

  146. Biomat said

    Got an impact score of 40 and 30th percentile for my R01. I am an ESI and this was A0. What are the chances of this being funded. Institute is NIDCR.

    • writedit said

      Almost nil. Be sure to communicate with the PO about how the discussion went and your best strategies for the A1.

  147. Dgil said

    I have a question regarding impact scores. I am anxiously awaiting a K99 score. If a grant is not discussed will my eRA commons page at least be updated with a status of ND. It has been 1 day since the review was completed.

    • writedit said

      Yes, and it is not uncommon for the SRO to take a few days to post the score, so don’t be concerned by the delay.

  148. Dgil said

    thanks so much for your reply

  149. HS said

    I got an impact score of 23 for a K99 to NHLBI. I was wondering what will be the percentile score and whether there is any possibility of it getting funded without revisions?

    • writedit said

      You won’t get a percentile, and you won’t know for sure about funding until the end of the year (when it is more clear what will happen with the federal budget). However, you are within the FY13 payline for Ks (25), so you should be cautiously optimistic about receiving an award as I would not expect paylines to drop further next year (but possibly not improve, depending on how Senate-House negotiations go over the summer/fall).

  150. HS said

    Thanks writedit for the response. Do you think I should go ahead and submit a revision just in case after I receive the comments. This Oct would be my last chance to revise..please advise

    • writedit said

      You should talk with the PO when you receive the summary statement. An A1 would be due in November, and while I assume if you submit during October while you are still eligilble, that would be acceptable, it is another factor to clarify up front (i.e., does your submission date or the cycle date – Nov 5 – count when calculating whether you are still eligible).

      • HS said

        I do have until Jan next year for the 5 years limit..I will talk to the PO after I get the summary. How long does it usually take to get the reviewers comments?

      • writedit said

        Depends on the SRO and application load, but generally no more than 6-8 weeks from the study section meeting. Probably sooner if your application was reviewed in an IC career development study section (again, depends on number of applications involved though).

  151. curious said

    How long from submission of an A0 RO1 do I have to revise and submit as an A1 of the same grant? I initially submitted June 2012, got comments around October 2012, and plan to resubmit either this cycle (Jul. 5) or the fall cycle–there must be an official rule on this but i can’t find it.

    • writedit said

      You have time – I believe the window of opportunity is 36 months.

  152. ms62 said

    I had a bad priority score in a R21 application (NIAID), I do not know the critiques yet. It is worth resubmitting?

    • writedit said

      Wait for the summary statement to see if the concerns are fixable or if they were related to the significance of the science (not so fixable). Your PO should have additional insight about how the discussion went (should have attended the SRG meeting).

  153. SP said

    Just received a score of 34 on my K23 revision. This is better than the 56 I got on the 1st attempt, but is 34 good enough to get funded by NINDS? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Probably not, unless the FY14 budget gets a considerable boost. However, NINDS could give significant weight to your significant improvement, so definitely check with your PO when you get your summary statement &, if the PO is not optimistic – and even if he/she is – strategize for an October submission (perhaps an R21 to fund a piece of your research project to get more data/publications for an R01).

  154. HS said

    My PO is not giving any hint if my grant (K99 impact score 23, NHLBI) would be funded. The council meet in Oct and she says that they dont know what the payline will be for the next year. I dont know if I have to think about resubmission or not.. I have not yet got the summary statement. I am worried becoz I just have until Jan 2013 for resubmission. What do you think I should do?

    • writedit said

      No one, including your PO, will know for sure about funding until next year, in all likelihood, so you should plan to submit your A1 in November if your eligibility ends in January. Submitting the A1 does not affect the status of your A0 (still considered for funding), so there is no reason not to submit, just to be safe. You can talk with your PO about strategy for revising.

  155. Cat said

    Any ideas about how K01s at NIDA are being funded? Just received my impact score but have no idea what it means (with no percentile to go with it). Thanks!

    • writedit said

      You won’t get a percentile for your K01. NIDA cut a few career development awards in FY13 to deal with sequestration, and whether they will be able to restore these or need to cut more will depend on what happens with the FY14 budget, which will not be known for months. You can ask your PO how your score would have fared in FY13 – I do not expect paylines to get worse in FY14 unless the Senate really caves to the House on appropriation levels. Wait until you have your summary statement, so you can also talk with the PO about strategies for an A1 submission (which you should probably plan on, even with a very good score).

  156. dgil said

    Thanks so much for the information this blog has provided. I have a question regarding K99 submitted to the NCI. I recently got an impact score of 11. Not much info on the summary statement. The PO only said that “there is a high likelihood that your application is in the fundable range”. However, what other criteria besides just being within the range will my application have to go through at the council meeting in order to be funded????? What goes on at the council meeting? For example, someone in my lab was just funded for the K99 grant. Does that lower my chances? If the NCIs portfolio has too many “breast cancer” grants awarded does that lower my chances? The reason I ask is that I got a top score for my DOD fellowship but the council decided not to fund. So does the NIH really make a line in the sand or are their many more factors at play. thanks for your input

    • writedit said

      First, barring a complete budgetary meltdown and administrative issues with your research (e.g., missing IRB or IACUC approval), you should be in line for an award. Having other K99 awardees in your mentor’s lab or in your department won’t be an issue. NCI will not suddenly decide it is funding too much breast cancer research. Reviewers would not have given you a score of 11 if your work duplicated that of others in the field, and NCI relies on the study section (especially an NCI review committee) not to give exceptional scores to applications that do not stand out based on the science and your potential as a researcher. Council can raise concerns for individual PIs that have lots of funding through multiple RPG awards (R01s, P01, P50, etc.), which is probably what you remember reading. Council members read summary statements to be sure the review was appropriate, the project fits within the IC’s mission (again, especially not an issue when you were reviewed by an NCI SRG), and there are no administrative concerns. It is very, very unlikely that any Council member would raise any issues with your application. You can be hopeful, though you won’t be 100% sure for a few (to several) months yet, since it will depend on the federal budget status, and I don’t know if NCI would issue awards under a CR (continuing resolution).

  157. RunR said

    Hi all, just got the score back for Phase II SBIR. It was a 30, second submission, down from 39. I have two questions. First, the primary is NHGRI, and I know they don’t publish, but any have a clue if this is fundable? We’ve had good interactions with the PO for the Phase I and I know he’s interested in the technology. Next question is assignment to secondary institution, which is NLM. Since the technology is mainly computational, is it possible it would be picked up by them if NHGRI doesn’t fund it?

    • writedit said

      FY14 paylines/paylists are a long way off (not until the federal budget is settled), but your NHGRI PO should have an idea of how your score would have fared in FY13. Your PO would also be involved in any transfer of the application to NLM, so you can ask about that option, but any involvement of NLM would not come into play until NHGRI determines their level of interest/ability to pay. If you have already worked with a PO at NLM, you can ask how serious they might be about taking on your application, if NHGRI cannot fund it.

  158. Mohan said

    My NCI K22 score is 26 in June Cycle. This is my A1 application. Is there any chances of funding?

    • writedit said

      No one (not writedit, your PO, or Harold Varmus) will have no idea of what FY14 paylines will be for at least a few months, probably several. Your PO might be willing to say where your application would have ranked in FY13 – I certainly hope paylines will be better in FY14. You should probably rework the project for an R21 or R01 application, depending on your publication record and preliminary data (when you get your summary statement, you could ask your PO for specific advice).

  159. CStew said

    Hi WritedIt,
    This might sound silly (or paranoid), but with the sequester/bad funding climate, I don’t assume anything:
    I had JIT requested for my K01 (NIDDK), then received an email saying that my “K award application has been approved for funding for 3 years of support”. Finally, my commons account says “Pending administrative review”.
    Should I be more optimistic about this? It seems that I shouldn’t relax until I get the official award notice…


    • writedit said

      Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and your career in academic research. They would have asked questions after you submitted your JIT if there were still administrative concerns. Soon your Commons account should soon say “Award being prepared” or something to this effect.The NGA might take a bit longer to be issued, but actually, at NIDDK, probably not much more than a week or two (at which point your Commons account will say Awarded).

  160. HS said

    My K99 score is 23. But the breakdown for the scores are:
    reveiwer #1- average 1
    reveiwer #2- average 1
    reveiwer #3- average 1.4
    How is my impact factor score a 23 in this case? my biohazards was unacceptable but does this make such a huge difference?
    thanks in advance.

    • writedit said

      You were not dinged for your biohazards section (or your score was not), but one of your reviewers obviously gave you a score of 3. My guess is that you received impact scores of 1, 2, and 3 from the 3 assigned reviewers. You cannot use the individual criterion scores to calculate (or even guess) the overall impact score for a reviewer. If your PO attended the study section meeting, he or she can let you know which reviewer went high (so you know what concerns swayed the rest of the study section members), but it should also be reasonably clear from the Resume & Summary of Discussion, since the cited weaknesses in the discussion are usually lifted from one or more of the 3 reviews (for summary statement purposes). Depending on the IC, you could be fine with a 23 in FY14 … your PO will not know what your funding chances will be for a few to many months, but he or she could say how your score would have fared in FY13 (& I don’t expect FY14 to be worse).

  161. TM said

    I applied for an R01 in response to an RFA that was reviewed by a special emphasis panel within the institution (not SRC). The grant was unscored (not discussed), but there is a JIT on my ERA page!
    Does this mean anything?

    • TM said

      Sorry, I meant CSR not SRC

    • writedit said

      The JIT link is automatic and nothing to get excited about. Hopefully you will be able to use the summary statement comments to revise the application for submission to another program announcement (since this was for an RFA, you can recycle it for the parent or other announcement).

  162. DG said

    I am not sure if this the correct forum, but I have a question regarding how the CSR deals with scientific overlap. I have had an R21 reviewed and now I want to expand that grant into an R01. I assume having a large part of it being written verbatim and with significant scientific overlap will not be an issue since they are two different funding mechanisms. First, am I correct with that statement? Second, can I submit the R01 in one cycle and then resubmit the R21 in the next? I am very unsure of how this will be viewed/dealt with by the CSR. I am not planning on submitting during the same cycle, to avoid any issues. But maybe there would be none since they are two different funding mechanisms? Also, they will not be reviewed by the same study section.

    My goal was to expand the R21 into an R01 but the R21 was scored really well (16%) on its first submission, so it has a decent chance on resubmission (although I have yet to see the summary statement). But since the science was supposedly well received I feel I should possibly shoot higher with it, as we have more preliminary data now.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions.

    • writedit said

      You can either resubmit the R21 or convert it to an R01 but not both (submitted in the same or successivegrant cycles). If the R21A1 does not get funded, you could then try the R01.The issue here is not one of overlapping aims for a new application submitted after the A1 isn’tfunded but one of having two essentially identical applications (mechanismdoesn’t matter) under consideration at the NIH (different study sections doesnot matter) the same time: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch2.htm#similar_identical_applications. Otherwise, everyone would submit their projects as R21s and R01s and anyother appropriate mechanism at the same time. You could talk with your PO aboutwhether to skip the R21 A1 and go straight for the R01. Now, if you do gostraight to the R01 (& skip the R21 A1), you can keep the aims the same, ifthat is appropriate for the science, and expand or add to them for theR01-level support. This is where the different mechanisms come into play – forsomeone trying to submit essentially the same application for the third timefor the same mechanism (that policy is here: http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/policy/nihgps_2012/nihgps_ch2.htm#submission_of_resubmission).

  163. Sunnyday said

    The posts here are really interesting and it appears to be great website to get some insights.

    I have a R21 that has a score above the NIAID payline but is being considered for EOY funding. I received a personalized email about two weeks ago asking for JIT. My PO also contacted me for some budget information soon after that. On 8/8/13 I noticed that at the COMMONS website the grant status has changed to “Award prepared: refer questions to Grants Management Specialist”. Since then I haven’t heard anything from NIH. I contacted my GMS today, but no reply. What do you think is happening? What is the chance that my grant get funded?

    Thank you very much in advance for sharing your information.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations – your application will be funded. Your GMS is probably very busy, since FY13 is almost over, and they have many awards to quickly process within the next month. You can sit tight and wait for your Notice of Award – no need to ask your PO or GMS anything else, and don’t worry about the lack of response. Nothing to worry about. You can talk with your university grants administrator about setting up an account for the award, if you want to be able to spend funds prior to or as soon as the award is issued.

      As an FYI, there is even more discussion of what is going on at the NIH on this page of the blog: http://writedit.wordpress.com/nih-paylines-resources/

      • Sunnyday said

        I was getting more and more anxious as time passed by. Your reply really calmed me down. Thank you so much again and have a nice day.

      • writedit said

        Happy to alleviate your concerns and help you relax. Best wishes for success with the research.

  164. Sunnyday said

    Guess what, I just heard from our OSR that NIH has sent them the NGA!!! Thanks again for maintaining such a wonderful website.

    • writedit said

      Woohoo! It is a sunny day for you. Congratulations again and best wishes for success with the research.

  165. I submitted an R21 in response to an NIDDK RFA. I received a priority score of 27. Anyone know the “payline” for this mechanism? any chance a 27 will get funded?

    • writedit said

      No paylines will be set for several months, since it looks like it will take a while for the federal budget for FY14 to be negotiated. When you receive your summary statement, you can talk with the PO about whether you should, based on reviewer comments, revise the proposal for submission as a new R21 to an NIDDK program announcement (if an applicable PA is available, since NIDDK does not participate in the parent R21 announcement). This would be allowable since your first submission was to an RFA, and any subsequent submission to a PA would be new. The PO likely attended the study section meeting and will know how your application fared in the discussion. Your PO might also be willing to say where you rank among the applications that were scored – but for an RFA, the score is not the only factor for funding decisions (programmatic interest may result in their picking & choosing from among projects with a wide range of scores). Given all these variables, your PO won’t be able to tell you your funding likelihood but could give advice on repurposing the application in the meantime.

  166. Sarah said

    After basically being told back in May that my K99 wouldn’t be funded (sent to NICHD, score of 20. Published pay line is 18), I received the following cryptic message today from the Grants Management Specialist at NICHD assigned to me:

    I am reviewing the above grant. Please provide clarification on the Summary Statement comments below: The issue must be resolved before the grant can be fund. I also included your Program Officer ; you must work with her to get the issue resolves. Thank you.

    The issue in question is a budget issue that I brought up with the PO when I got the summary statement back, so it should be resolvable (obviously, I’ve written to the PO at NICHD already and my grant office contact at my institution). My question is: does this mean my grant might be funded after all? Is this something that has been happening to other people? On eRA Commons, my status has now been changed to “Pending”
    Is this a reason to have hope???

    • writedit said

      Congratulations. If the budget issue can be readily and rapidly resolved, you can more than hope for an award – you can count on it. At this point, just over a month out from the end of the FY, the ICs are seeing how much $ they really have left after covering better scoring applications and their highest priorities. With the K99s in particular, it could be that PIs of better scoring applications have since received faculty appointments, other awards, etc. that knocked them off the list and allowed the PO to go farther down the list of scored applications to make awards. However they managed to do so, NICHD has found the funds to issue your award, which they could not guarantee earlier in the FY. This is why PIs with potentially fundable scores should not give up hope until after Sept 30th. Lots happens in the last month of the FY.

      • Sarah said

        Just an update. I got my NoA today for the K99! Thanks for all the helpful information you have here. Its been a long and confusing process.

      • writedit said

        Great news – best wishes for success with your project and career in biomedical research!

  167. BrianM said

    We received a decent score on our A1 submission of a Phase II SBIR. NIGMS doesn’t publish paylines, but based on previous years I’d say we are in the gray zone. Our secondary assignment was NLM, and we are below their payline. So I am interested to know what the chances are for being funded this year or next, or asking that it be transferred to NLM.

    I’m trying to reach my PO to discuss the possibility of funding, but he has been unresponsive. I’ve tried email, phoning and leaving messages, and calling his admin. In the past he has been responsive and helpful, and I am sure he is swamped, but I really do need some feedback on how to proceed. Any suggestions?

    • writedit said

      If you just received your score this summer, then the A1 will be considered for funding in FY14, and your PO will have no idea about the SBIR pay range for a few months (maybe several months). You don’t need to be in touch with the PO about a score being considered for FY14 until after Congress has passed (and the President will sign) a budget for the federal government. Truly, they will have no idea before then, since so much is in flux with regard to the federal budget. You could contact your PO at NLM in the meantime about whether they are interested in picking up the application, though I believe they rarely do. They would only do so when NIGMS determined that they were not going to make an award, so, again, not for several months.

      • BrianM said

        This is very exciting. I did not speak to the PO, but I just received an email from him asking if I can submit my JIT directly to him by COB Tuesday. The subject line of the email was 2013_10 Council and the grant submission number. They bumped the Council meeting up to 9/19.

        5:30pm on a Sunday – they must be working very hard!

      • writedit said

        This is good news – you didn’t mention your score, but this confirms that you are being considered for funding. Nothing is guaranteed with a JIT request, but Council needs to know there are no administrative issues before they can concur with its consideration for an award. Fingers crossed as the process moves forward.

  168. Sequenceman said

    Ok, clearly this is the wrong forum (sorry) but … does anyone know how long it takes to get an MDA grant reviewed? That is, from submission of the full application how long does it take to get an answer? Thanks for any info, I can’t find this anywhere and my MDA contact hasn’t returned my email.

    • writedit said

      I took a quick look at their Website. If the start date is Feb, the review will be sometime this fall, but you probably wouldn’t hear anything until the end of the year.

      • Sequenceman said

        Ok, thanks a lot for taking a look.

  169. Demetris said

    Hi guys I have a question.

    I have a transformative R01 with an impact score of 15 that has passed the Council of the Councils.
    its initial number of 1R01 ODxxxxx
    yesterday I received an email that it has been reassigned a number and its now under 1R01 HLxxxx so it is under the NHLBI
    I called the PO and he said that this is a good thing and that I should be “cautiously optimistic” ….what does that mean? does that mean that NHLBI is interested in funding my TR01?
    It is a confusing process…one year after submission….

    • writedit said

      Congratulations. The Transformative R01s are administered by an IC, not the OD, so your change in grant ID number to HL means that NHLBI is taking steps to process your award. As defined here earlier, “cautiously optimistic” means you should receive an award, but it is not final yet (& an administrative or other unexpected issue could arise), so the PO cannot give you definitive news.

      • Demetris said

        Thank you so much and I will let you know how things turn out.
        I hope that you are correct :-)
        I should know soon i guess…

  170. boulder said


    I have a question too. I made my PhD nine years ago and I want to apply to K01 training grant. I am wondering, does it matter when you finished your PhD to apply to this award? If theoretically no, how much does it affect review committee’s decision? Thanks, Yahya.

    • writedit said

      For the parent announcement, it doesn’t matter (in terms of eligibility), but some of the ICs have restrictions (e.g., NIDDK). Because you are so far out from your doctorate, you will want to explain in the Candidate section why you delayed in applying (especially if there was a break in your postdoctoral work due to family or other issues). Presumably you have a solid publication track record by now, so reviewers will wonder why you are not applying for an R01 or other RPG at this point (& what training/help from your mentor you still need). You should certainly talk with the appropriate PO in the IC you are targeting for advice on what mechanism to apply for (K01 vs R01 or other RPG) and whether the IC is likely to award career development funding to a PI with so many years of postdoctoral experience. Also, in case you were not aware, you must be a citizen/non-citizen national or permanent resident for K award funding (except K99, but you are not eligible), whereas this restriction does not apply to RPG applications.

      • boulder said

        Thank you writedit!

  171. BrianM said

    Quick question as I fill out the JIT. For multiyear pending grants do I need to break out the calendar months per year and dollar amounts per year as separate items? I have one key person who has a different time commitment per year.

    • writedit said

      Unless you were asked for more detail, you should be providing the standard (PHS 398) Other Support form page for each key personnel listed in your budget (see the example – you provide an overview for the entire project period). If there are concerns about scientific, budgetary, or commitment (ie, >100% effort committed) overlap, you will be asked for more details, but more likely at the time when the pending application’s award is being negotiated, should that happy day arrive. The $ amounts for your subsequent year (noncompeting renewal) awards are not set in stone, as you’ll quickly learn when budget cuts are handed down in subsequent FYs.

  172. wrc said

    I was denied tenure a few months ago. So I will either leave the school within a year, or stay as a research scientist rather than a professor if I can get some funding to support myself. I am submitting grants in Oct. Should I indicate this on my biosketch? How would this affect the score?


    • writedit said

      No, you do not need to discuss any of this on your biosketch, which should reflect your position at the time of application. If your current institution will provide you with the time and resources to conduct the research as a staff rather than faculty investigator, then your appointment is irrelevant. If you change institutions, the IC will want to be sure you still have access to the required resources and expertise to complete the study as proposed but will not be concerned with your position itself.

  173. wrc said

    I can stay in the current institution for only 1 year, unless I get more funding. I am afraid that the reviewers may bring up the tenure issue anyway when they look at my biosketch, even if I do not mention it. Finally, technically, since July, my job title is no longer professor, but research scientist.

    • writedit said

      We have plenty of research assistant professors with R01 funding at BICO. The science rather than their lack of tenure status won over the reviewers. You list your current title on the biosketch but do not discuss the situation – reviewers all know about young investigators not getting tenure due to lack of funding in these highly competitive times. If your publication record is weak, they would mention that though. You might consider getting a letter of support from your Chair, indicating you will have all the resources and support you need to conduct the proposed research (and that he/she is enthusiastic about the project, confident in your abilities, etc.).

  174. Brenda said

    Does anyone know when NICHD or other Institutes will decide on administrative supplement awards for 2013?

    • writedit said

      If you mean administrative rather than competitive (Type 3) supplements, you should just ask your PO. Time is running out for FY13 (ends Sept 30); FY 14 supplements would not be awarded before Nov – later if they need to wait for the NIH appropriation to be passed. However, your PO will be involved with the decision no matter what, so just ask him/her.

  175. tjr said

    Writedit, this is in response to your 31st August 2013 comment about research assistant professors: I thought research assistant professors are different from research scientists. Also I see at some universities they get tenured after particular time, may be slowly when they are promoted to full professor level…isn’t that equal to tenure.

    • aldctr said

      I am not sure about “equal to tenure”. You have to write (and get) your grants and publish papers but you don’t have YOUR lab. You work for someone else, and that is annoying.

      • tjr said

        I do know several research assistant professors having their own lab…so still confused..

    • writedit said

      Sorry for the delay in responding – I’ve been out of the country with limited access to electricity & the Internet. Every university is different though, and it depends on the internal policies. At BICO, tenure track assistant professors can be taken out of the tenure stream after 5 years, either to give them a little more time to get funding and publications (temporarily out of the tenure stream) or on a more permanent basis (research asst prof – though I have seen someone in this category get back in the tenure stream – and receive tenure – when he hit on a few grant applications). Research Asst Professors can also be hired as such directly (and some of them can transition to the tenure stream if they are productive with publications and funding). Researchers with any of these titles are allowed to apply for their own grant funding (as PI) – postdocs cannot though. Neither can staff scientists – usually (some senior scientists can, especially for equipment or core facility funding). So, it depends on the university and sometimes the school/department as to who can apply for independent funding to conduct in their own lab (or their own corner of a tenured faculty’s lab).

  176. Dgil said

    First, thanks so much for this website. It is such a help (especially for newbies like me). Council review for my K99 is sometime in October. No one seems to be able to tell me who in general makes up the council … is it all NIH staff?
    Second, I haven’t been asked yet for JIT info (although the link is available) – is this usually submitted before council review?
    Can I modify the budget at this time? For example, my salary has changed (a little!).
    Lastly, after council review when are you usually given a decision .. will it be another 4 months????

    • writedit said

      You can see exactly who is on the Council for your IC: go to your IC’s Website and click on the “About” (or similarly named) link. You should see a link for advisory boards or something similar. The names and usually bios are listed for Council members, who are appointed by the IC Director and include researchers in the areas covered by the IC from academia, industry, foundations, etc. as well as public representatives. You should wait until you receive an email request for JIT, which will come around the time of Council (sometimes after). Your budget will be cut (that is a given), so if you want more salary, you will need to reduce the amount of $ for supplies or something else. You cannot ask for more $ now. You probably won’t know for a few to several months about whether you will be funded, since the federal budget is a complete unknown right now, and ICs will be very conservative in making awards until the Feb Council, I suspect. Your PO might give you an inkling as to whether to be “cautiously optimistic”. If you submitted an A0 (initial) application, you will probably be advised by your PO to submit an A1 application in November or March, if you are still eligible to apply for the K99. This is standard hedging of bets and generally a good idea unless your PO is confident about an award.

  177. dgil said

    Thanks so much for the detailed info. My score was an 11 so the PO (NCI) does not think that I should prepare to resubmit (would probably get a lower score) but he also won’t say even to be cautiously optimistic. My PI said it can still be a crap shoot and he thinks that I should apply to private funding. I can only apply to the award mechanisms that he suggests if I had a faculty position. He won’t give me a faculty (instructor) position unless the K99 is funded. So I am kind of stuck with regards to available funding mechanisms. I have only a year left on my current post-doctoral fellowship so I am not sure what the next move should be …. I am thinking to apply to faculty elsewhere in the interim??

    • writedit said

      Wow – I would hope NCI will fund a K99 scored at 11. Your PO is correct in telling you not to resubmit. The NCI K22 would be another option for you, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense with a K99 scored so well. You can start checking on job leads, except you will need to complete at least 1 year of the K99 as a postdoc, so you would not be able to accept a faculty position elsewhere any sooner without risking the award. You can talk with your PO to see how flexible they are on timing – or if he has an idea when NCI might start issuing awards for FY14; depending on when your current position is slated to end, you do not want to wait until next spring to start job hunting, if that becomes necessary. Also, an appointment at your current institution to instructor during the K99 phase should be fine, since it is not tenure track and usually represents a high-level postdoc position – but you might ask your PO about that as well.

  178. jupiter said

    Hi, I was wondering if someone knows answer to my question. My adviser submitted a proposal several years ago on one research topic, but was not funded. I was not co-PI in that proposal. Now I moved to another university as a faculty, and now I want to submit similar R01 proposal on the same topic. Of course, with changed title and with new preliminary data. I wonder, will this be considered as a submission of the same proposal third time? I would expect NO, because I was not co-PI in that proposal and I am independent PI now. Am I correct? Thanks!

    • writedit said

      Sorry for the delay in responding – I’ll post the answer here, too, in case anyone following this page is interested. I assume by now the field has moved on and you have collected and published data since the original submission by your mentor, so the application should be new by definition (new aims, new approach). You do not need to avoid the same research focus certainly.

  179. Raj said

    I got a score of 23 for a K99 to NHLBI. The council meeting is in Oct. Do you have any idea what the payline for NHLBI is going to be for the next FY? Do you think it will go below the current payline of 25?

    • writedit said

      If you have been following what is going on in the House and Senate with regard to the budget, you should realize that NHLBI will not know about their appropriation or paylines for months still. In the meantime, the payline will probably be at or a bit lower than the FY13 payline – the ICs are always incredibly conservative at the outset of the fiscal year, especially with another sequestration looming. However, the paylines will go up retroactively if the appropriation supports continuation of the full FY13 payline (or even higher). That is, your application will be considered for funding during the entire FY, and if the initial payline is below 23 and goes above 23 later in the FY, you would get an award.

      • Raj said

        Thanks for the response. I have one more question. If I submit a A1 and my impact score is worse, meaning it is greater than my previous score of 23; what score will be considered? will the score of my initial submission (23) be considered and will I get funded on that score?

      • writedit said

        Your A0 remains under consideration for funding even after the A1 is submitted and reviewed. My guess is that we won’t have a budget by the time Cycle 3 applications are reviewed next Feb/March, so if you submit in November, both scores would be available. Anecdotal evidence indicates that the A0 can be funded even after receiving a worse score on the A1, but each case is different. Your PO (if he could respond, which he cannot until the shutdown is over) would be able to provide some guidance on whether to resubmit in November. If you were planning to wait until March to resubmit (to get more data, publish, etc.), it won’t matter since the A1 would be considered for FY15.

  180. BrianM said

    Hi, I am waiting to hear results from last week’s council meeting. I had spoken to the PO right before the meeting to see if there was anything else he needed, and his response was “Not at this stage. It goes through Council this week.” I just logged into the SO account and if I search on Application Status: Pending, that is the only grant application that shows up, but in the status field it shows “Council review completed.”

    Should I be encouraged?

    • writedit said

      This status change is completely neutral and uninformative. If not funded, your application status would remain “Council review completed” until it is administratively withdrawn in a few years. If your application is considered for funding, the status will not change for several months (unless you have an exceptional score), as the NIH is unlikely to know its final appropriation before the end of the year. Your PO will have no new information on funding likelihood until Congress passes (and the President signs) a budget, so time your queries a week or two after any progress is made on the federal budget.

  181. YoungBuck said

    Hi writedit and all,

    First, thank you for all of your helpful comments. This is unbelievably useful as a new investigator.

    I received a priority score of 20 and 7th percentile on my R15 A1 application (improved from 28, no percentile given). It will be going to the NIAID. I realize that there is much uncertainty in today’s environment. Can anyone predict likelihood of funding? The NIAID has not published paylines for 2014 R15 applications yet. 2014 paylines are: R01 percentages of 6%/10% for established and new investigators respectively. These appear to have dropped 2% from 2013. Are these worst case scenarios? The published funding rate for R15 was 20 in 2013 (though I was told that up to 27 or so could have been funded).

    Thanks in advance for any wisdom or conjecture.

    • writedit said

      Congratulations on the excellent score. The interim paylines are always lower than the final paylines, so you shouldn’t be too concerned about the current percentiles. I certainly hope the final FY14 paylines will be no lower than FY13 (in which case you will be funded), but this depends on what happens with the federal budget in the next few months. The debt ceiling negotiations will be a challenge, but I think the NIH appropriation will be relatively safe from further cuts (deep ones anyway), and you can probably remain cautiously optimistic. If you have other projects to pursue, you could certainly be working toward a new submission in Feb or June in the meantime.

      • YoungBuck said

        many thanks again writedit— this is very helpful. I think that we will also try to push out a R21 application since it does not appear that a PI can hold 2x R15s and I do not yet have enough data to try for a R01.

      • writedit said

        Well, you can’t have an R21 at the same time either, but you should have an application (either a different R15 or an R21) ready to go in as a back up, so you don’t lose time waiting for a funding decision. Hopefully you would know before you submitted, and if you receive an R15 award after submission, you would simply withdraw that application.

  182. YoungBuck said

    oh… I thought that it only disqualified simultaneous R01s (though honestly I haven’t fully researched it yet). I have some thinking to do. Thanks!

    • writedit said

      If you get an R21 or R15 application ready for resubmission next Feb or June and need to withdraw it (or not submit it) on the happy circumstance of receiving R15 funding (I believe you cannot hold any other RPG – research project grant – award, but you could check with your PO to be sure about which mechanisms are disqualified), you could repurpose the withdrawn (or never submitted) proposal for foundation or other non-NIH funding, depending on the nature of the project and so forth.

  183. YoungBuck said

    once again— many thanks—- very helpful.

  184. James said

    Hi Writedit,
    Do you have a guess on when NIAID publishes their payline on R21?

    • writedit said

      Not even a bad guess … but maybe not until after everyone has caught up with the fall review session, which won’t be completed until December.

  185. James said

    Thanks a lot.

  186. WE said

    Hi, my A1 submitted in July 2013 was ‘not discussed’ during the SRG review meeting that was held recently. I was very surprised by this since my A0 submitted in June 2012 received a 36 percentile. We have addressed most, if not all, the comments by the reviewers in A1 and published a senior corresponding author paper in peer-reviewed journal. I am also qualified as a new investigator. I called my PO today and was told to consult with SRO on how ‘non-discussion’ was decided on my grant. I did contact the SRO by email and the answer was ‘SROs do not discuss any review with an applicant. ……. all communication about the review should be with your program officer ‘. I have not received the reviewers’ comments for A1 yet.

    Do I have any options other than submitting a new grant in the future?

    • NonEssential PO said

      Submitting a new grant is your only good option. What the PO should have told you was to call back after you get your summary statement. Since your app wasn’t discussed and the PO doesn’t have access to your summary statement until it is relased there isn’t much that he/she can tell you anyway. Even once the SS is released the only thing the PO has to go on is the written critiques. ALso, perhaps give you some insight about the culture of the study section…what the reviewers tend to like and not like.

      There are some bad options. You could appeal (factual error or conlfict) or send in a grievance (complaint about fairness) but with an ND neither option is likely to be very helpful.

      Good luck.

    • writedit said

      Aside from the good advice you’ve already received, I will add that it is not uncommon for a scored A0 to be triaged as an A1. Not typical, but not unusual. The A1 reviewers were looking at the application fresh and had new/different concerns from the A0 reviewers. You need to be sure the next A0 is both sufficiently different from the A1 so as not to be returned as a surreptitious A2 and that your reviewers find it exciting and engaging.

      • WE said

        Many thanks to NonEssential PO and writedit. Your advice are very helpful. I am thinking about how to change A1 for submission as the next A0. Do I need to change all three aims and the title? Propose completely new experiments? Or I need to change everything, but for <50%, I can just reword? Should I consider a different study section? If I do not change study section, would my next A0 be sent to the same three reviewers? If yes, does it mean that I need to address all comments in the A1 summary statement? Thank you very much.

      • writedit said

        What do you need to change? The title should definitely change, mainly because the work proposed will change. The rule of thumb is that at least 2/3s of the aims and approach should be new – not just reworded. The question/hypothesis being addressed should be different, and hence so should the design of the study to address this new question (some of the techniques themselves may stay the same, depending on what the science calls for). You can show your PO your revised aims and planned approach to get confirmation that you have sufficiently modified the A1 to qualify as a new A0.

        You should only change study sections if the science has significantly changed. In that case, study CSR and RePORTER to figure out who would be best to review your research. However, probably the current study section will still be the best reviewers, which is another reason to be sure your revised aims and approach are sufficiently revised – you may or may not get one or more of the same reviewers assigned. Depends on the timing (study section members rotate on and off and cannot participate in every review) and the expertise needed to review your science. You should take the A1 summary statement critiques into consideration, but you absolutely do not address them per se in the new A0 (and no introduction). Only use what is relevant to improving the new proposal.

  187. Oncodlo said

    Hey, I received an 11th percentile for an R03 at NICHD. In 2012 they funded at 11th percentile and 2013th at the 9th percentile. I only applied to NICHD because they had a specific PA that I thought they might have more money to fund. Turns out NINDS has better paylines for most grants and I should’ve applied there. If I’m borderline and a new investigator, and responded to a specific PA do I get special consideration at a council meeting? In other words, how does the council decide???

  188. R01_Hopeful said

    Greetings. One of my recent R01s got a priority score of 32. This was for an AHRQ RFA, and hence, no percentile score was given. Still waiting for the pink sheets and I suspect this is a hopeless score, but still thought of checking with everyone in this forum if you wanted to share any thoughts. Never tried for an AHRQ R01 mechanism before, so a total newbie! Thanks a lot.

    • writedit said

      Not necessarily (a hopeless score). AHRQ is its own beast, so don’t let NIH scores guide you. I am afraid I have not been involved with an AHRQ submission in recent years so cannot say how that score stacks up, but I do know the program folks at AHRQ are very happy to work with PIs, so you should be able to get good insight and advice from your program contact there.

  189. WE said

    Thank you very much again. I truly appreciate your advice!

  190. friarpreacher said

    Greetings. My R15 proposal received an impact score of 16 two weeks ago, and is scheduled for Council discussion at NIGMS next month. How cautiously optimistic should I be in this very hard funding environment? Thank you for your expert feedback.

    • writedit said

      Well, the budget situation will be better than in FY13, so I think you can be cautiously optimistic with that score. You’ll want to communicate with your PO about his/her assessment of your score and whether he/she needs any information from you with regard to any of the concerns raised in the summary statement.

  191. 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..; -)

  192. 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.


    • 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).

  193. 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.

  194. 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.

  195. 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).

  196. 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.


    • 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).

  197. 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.

  198. 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.

  199. 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.

  200. Dave said

    Ah that’s better. Cheers.

  201. 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}

  202. 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.

  203. 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.

    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.


    • 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.

  204. 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).

  205. 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.

    • 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.

  206. 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.

  207. anyhope said

    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.

  208. 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!

  209. 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.

  210. 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.

  211. 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.

  212. 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.

  213. 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

  214. 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.

  215. 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!

  216. 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.

  217. 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!

  218. 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.

  219. 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)

  220. 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!

  221. 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!

  222. 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.

  223. 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)

  224. 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 …).

  225. 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.

  226. 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?

  227. 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

  228. 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.

  229. 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.

  230. 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.

  231. 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-

  232. 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.

  233. 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.

  234. 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!

  235. 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.

  236. 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.

  237. 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.

  238. 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.

  239. 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?).

    • 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.

  240. 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.

  241. 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.

  242. 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.

  243. 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.

  244. 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.

  245. 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!

  246. 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.

  247. tc said

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

    • 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?

      • 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.

  248. mattl said


    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.

  249. 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.

  250. 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..

  251. Earl E. Researcher said

    very helpful. thank you!!!

  252. 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


    • 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).

  253. 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):


      • 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.


  254. 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.

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