Archive for Funding Opportunities

Questions Answered & Discussions Held –>

Greetings – for those of you arriving at the blog via the main writedit link, please refer to the NIH Paylines & Resources and Discussion: NIH Scores-Paylines-Policy-Peer Review pages (at the top of the right column of this blog) to ask questions (and have them answered relatively quickly, if not same day), learn from the experiences of fellow researchers (especially timelines of grant application submission, review, and award), and discuss issues related to the NIH and NIH funding.

Although I am much less engaged with the NSF now than in the past, I am happy to consider queries about their grant process at the Discussion: All Things NSF page as well.

Also, I will be overhauling How the NIH Can Help You Get Funded, so if you have suggestions for what would be useful to cover, please feel free to comment here or contact me me directly.

Thanks for all your support and contributions, and best wishes for success with your research and your grant applications!

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K99 Clarification

In announcing the re-issued career development parent announcements, the NIH highlighted significant changes to the K99/R00 program that bring much needed and appreciated guidance to applicants, particularly with regard to uniform expectations across ICs:

  • Candidates for the K99/R00 award must have no more than 4 years of postdoctoral research training experience at the time of the initial application or the subsequent resubmission.
  • Although the duration of postdoctoral training may vary across scientific disciplines, candidates must propose a plan for a substantive period of mentored training not to exceed 2 years.
  • It is expected that K99 awardees will benefit from no less than 12 months of mentored research training and career development before transitioning to the independent, R00 phase of the program.
  • Individuals who are close to achieving an independent faculty position, and cannot make a strong case for needing a minimum of 12 months of additional mentored training, are not ideal candidates for this award.
  • If an applicant achieves independence prior to initiating the K99 phase, neither the K99 nor the R00 phase will be awarded.

This has been a tricky award, since K99 applicants stressed with career planning decisions and deadlines late in their postdoc often applied for faculty positions as funding decisions dragged on for months and months after the initial submission and review (and resubmission and review), and the ICs handled these situations differently, particularly during the initial years of the program. Nice to have everyone on the same page.

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For Those of You Celebrating Sequester Day by Looking for a New Job …

why not be part of the team that works out to the sixth decimal place just how bad success rates will be in the coming FYs? Read the rest of this entry »

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4-Year R01s at NHLBI

Although a Congressional mandate has been in place for many years to keep the “average” length of RPG awards issued at 4 years, most ICs manage this by letting 2-year R03 and R21 awards offset some of the 5-year R01 awards. This is trickier at an IC such as NIGMS, since they do not participate in the short-term mechanisms, so often they “adjust” R01s to 4 years, as do other ICs (e.g., NIBIB) – including NHLBI in past years. At the November 2012 Council meeting, the NHLBAC learned about NHLBI’s new fiscal policy on R01 project length:

The Institute’s longstanding practice was to adjust duration of R01s to achieve a 4 year average for research project grants. Applications that received the very best percentiles and those from Early Stage Investigators (ESIs) received awards for the full length of their Council-recommended project periods. The Institute has made a decision that beginning in FY 2014, it will fund competing, investigator-initiated R01s for 4years. Exceptions include ESIs, applications with timelines that cannot be accomplished within 4 years, and AIDS projects (which have a separate appropriation). Researchers are encouraged to submit for review only applications with a project period of 4 years or less.

NHLBI dropped out of the R21 parent announcement and does not participate in the R03 parent announcement either, so this is not entirely a surprise, but the explicit request that PIs submit proposals limited to 4 or fewer years in duration is new.

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NIMH Adjusts K-mechanism Policies

NIMH has announced some modifications to eligibility for applicants to the parent K01, K08, and K23 mechanisms. The parent announcements only disqualify those who have received (as PI) R01, P01 or center grant project, or other K award funding. Starting with the February 12, 2013 submission deadline, NIMH only accept applications from

individuals with no more than 6 years of postdoctoral experience at the time of application (either the initial or resubmission application).  The NIMH will generally not consider applications requesting more than 4 years of K01, K08, or K23 support.  See http://www.nimh.nih.gov/research-funding/training/career-development-programs-k-series.shtml for further details. 

For the same submission deadline, NIMH will increase its K99-phase salary cap from $50,000 to $75,000.

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Action Plan for those Frustrated by Chaotic Funding of Biomedical Research

Today’s issue of Cell includes a commentary by Thomas Pollard (Yale) entitled, The Obligation for Biologists to Commit to Political Advocacy, in which he reviews why and how scientists “must take responsibility to convince politicians that funding biomedical research will benefit not only human health, but also our economic well being.” If nothing else, you will find a nice summary of how the sausage is made. Hopefully you will be inspired to act on what you learn.

In addition to the guidance given in the commentary, you might consider FASEB’s advocacy tools and advice to help you register your concerns with elected officials.

To improve your own funding situation, NEJM offers the advice to eat more chocolate as a path to Nobel laureateness.

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Creative Thinkers with Bold Ideas: Prize Competition to Identify Audacious Goals

So reads the title of a notice from NEI about their Challenge to Identify Audacious Goals in Vision Research and Blindness Rehabilitation … essentially an essay contest.

Truly. Specifically, NEI seeks “~1-page entries (4000 characters maximum, including spaces) from the general public, not just those typically engaged in vision research … [describing] audacious goals in any area relevant to NEI’s mission.”

The NEI will select up to 20 winners to receive a $3,000 cash prize and will host the winners at the NEI Audacious Goals Development Meeting (Feb 24-26, 2013).

You can learn more and submit your entry at the Challenge Website.

Submission deadline is November 12, 2012.

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