Archived Comments: NIH Paylines & Resources (June 2011 – June 2012)

the walrus is paul said

March 24, 2011 @ 11:01 am ·

Speaking as an SRO…

Some SROs make a point of NOT assigning it to the same reviewers the second time around (as long as the new people also have expertise in the area); others make it a point to get all the original people to look at version A1; and some deliberately try to do a mix (1 prior reviewer, 2 new ones, etc.). I generally go with the 3rd option myself.

As for the likelihood of all 3 “cycling off,” it’s not as rare as you would think. Only about 1/3 to 1/2 of the reviewers on a given panel are standing members (i.e., one who actually do cycle off after several years). The rest are ad hocs, invited to a particular meeting because of their expertise relevant to the applications being reviewed at that specific meeting. Yours may be one of 6 or 7 applications they were initially assigned; if it is the only one relevant to their expertise when it comes back, they may not be invited to that meeting. So there goes 1 of your original reviewers. Another ad hoc may be invited, but unable to attend due to schedule conflicts (unlike standing members, they don’t know from time to time whether the will be asked to return, so they don’t always keep that day saved in their calendars). Or maybe he/she has an application of their own coming to the committee in this round, and so is not allowed to review “the competition”, obviously. So, you lose another reviewer to conflicts of one kind or another. The 3rd reviewer may have really cycled off; or the SRO may have thought they did a relatively poor job at earlier meetings, and so not invited them back; or s/he may have expertise that is far more relevant to other grants this round (often true of a “Reviewer #3″), and so because of workload, yours drops out of their assigned pile.

In any case, reviewers are always told to “evaluate the application on its current merits”, not solely on whether all prior items were addressed. Obviously, if they WEREN’T addressed, the application will still have faults. But even if they were addressed, it is not unusual for other issues to crop up based on new eyes looking at it (someone who is more aware of a particular aspect), or based on downstream fall-out of changes made, or subsequent of the science.

Tom said

February 7, 2012 @ 10:13 am ·

Thank you for the information. This really illustrates one of the many things wrong with the system. If one gets the reviews on the A0 and addresses the points perfectly for the A1, and then finds 2-3 new reviewers of the A1 have completely different issues, that grant won’t make it. It’s a good thing papers aren’t reviewed this way, with new reviewers each time or no one would ever be able to publish anything.

D said

May 14, 2011 @ 10:01 pm ·


Actually you don’t know who your specific reviewers are (that is those who actually read and critiqued your grant) only who was on the panel that reviewed your grant. And if you were to do a little Google search (or even read this Blog) you could find out who the SPLs for NCI are. This is public knowledge.

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

Click to access 07dec10mins.pdf

Chris said

October 21, 2011 @ 4:58 pm ·

Does anyone know the cutoff pay line for K99/R00 for NIDCR? I received a 34 on my application. While I am not optimistic, I will be talking with my PO next week. Any thoughts?

writedit said

October 22, 2011 @ 12:03 am ·

I suspect you will be getting advice to resubmit if this was an A0 … NIDCR tends to fund higher scores, but not that high, I don’t imagine.

SKate said

May 23, 2011 @ 9:33 am ·

That’s what I heard as well from my PO (and I resubmitted as well). However, others on this board have heard otherwise apparently. But I heard from my PO that they are expecting the payline to go even lower after the next council meeting.

TM said

May 23, 2011 @ 9:57 am ·

I am an NI, the grant is @ 21 percentile, so the chances of straight funding were low, but not impossible since the project fit their programmatic priority pretty well.

My PO did mention the bridge funding mechanism that I will be considered for in September, for only one year if there is money.

I know colleagues whose R01s were funded 2 or 3 rounds of council after the initial review. In those cases I know their PO discouraged them from submitting revisions so that they can remain in consideration. I am just wondering if NIDDK is doing thing differently now and if anyone else has has a similar experience?

Signaling said

May 23, 2011 @ 10:39 am ·

TM, from what source did you hear that the new NIDDK payline for NI/ESI is 17%? I emailed my NIDDK PO several times with no response… eRA Common status changed to “Council review completed”….anxiously waiting

freckle said

May 23, 2011 @ 8:50 pm ·

Before I got moved from NICHD to another institute, I was one of those with a 12% R01 at NICHD. My PO said it was by no means certain that they would stay at 11%. This was 1-2 weeks ago though.

EY said

May 24, 2011 @ 6:24 pm ·

Hi, writedit,

The frustration is that I cannot get funded not because the reviewers did not like my science (the 20 priority score and the summary statement all showed their support and enthusiasm), nor the research is not NICHD’s emphasis (it is one of their top priorities). Just because the funding is so stringent. Therefore I feel although my work fits NICHD the best, it may not be a good idea to send it back because of the very slim chance to get a score below 10% for an A0.

writedit said

May 24, 2011 @ 7:03 pm ·

I am sure frustration does not come close to describing how you feel. Unfortunately, other than to keep working closely with your PO, I don’t know what else to tell you if your application with an impact score of 20 isn’t funded by NICHD and won’t be picked up anywhere else. Yours is a sobering situation indeed.

jeff said

May 25, 2011 @ 11:34 am ·

Anybody here knows the payline for K99 in NIDDK? I got a score of 17, but my PO said “there is a chance that we won’t be able to reach yours”, and asked me to wait for couple of weeks for outcome…

Will said

June 30, 2012 @ 8:47 pm ·

Hi Jeff, What was the outcome of your K99 application at NIDDK? Was 17 enough to get funded? If not, did you resubmit?

jeff said

July 9, 2012 @ 4:13 pm ·

Hi Will, no, score 17 was not good enough for K99.. If it only awards 5-6 lucky guys, it is wasting our time and money… this K99/R00 program is a joke..

abcd said

July 9, 2012 @ 7:44 pm ·

Hi jeff, its terrible shocking that with a score 17, you did not get funded. Do you have an idea of how many people were ahead of 17?

Albertxu said

May 25, 2011 @ 2:26 pm ·

I am a ESI and got 12%. I was told that the decision will be made soon…

chhabi said

May 25, 2011 @ 2:31 pm ·

Hi Albertxu,

I did not receive a call, but an e-mail about update regarding other support. I was asked to wait until 7th June. Did they mention if they are funding you, and if I may, what % are you at and if you are ESI?

witsend said

May 25, 2011 @ 6:36 pm ·

Just thought I’d share that they’ve finally gotten around to the Ks at the NIDDK! Got word my K01has been selected for funding!!!

witsend said

May 25, 2011 @ 9:24 pm ·

Thanks!! My score was a 30 and it was an A1 submission in Cycle 1 (Feb 2010). It’s been quite a wait and it’s a huge relief because my funding was running out.

..I realize that NIDDK doesn’t publish a payline and I’ve been curious what their hard and soft cutoff scores are for these grants, since we don’t get a percentile rank. Anyone else like to share?

AV said

May 26, 2011 @ 11:19 am ·

I received a ‘Pay Letter’ from NIDDK about 4 weeks ago for my F-32, but haven’t heard anything since then. No NoA, or any other documents. Do you think it’s alright to email my PO and check if there is any progress?

Matt said

May 26, 2011 @ 11:23 am ·

Amazing: exactly the same thing with my.. F32, NIDDK, 4 weeks ago.. I emailed the GMS this week and she said that she had not rec’d “final authorization” to pay the award.. This makes me a bid worried, but I have to believe that they would not have sent that formal letter if it was not a done deal..

More important for me.. How likely is it that my July 1 start date will happen??

AV said

May 26, 2011 @ 11:33 am ·

How can they say that they don’t have final authorization when they have sent out a formal letter?? It just doesn’t make sense.

I know, I have the July 1st start date too, that I am waiting on! I am going to email my PO and see what she has to say. Will keep you posted.

Rose said

May 26, 2011 @ 3:29 pm ·

I’m following up on my post a few weeks ago. My K23 resubmission to the NIDDK received a score of 20 with very favorable reviewer comments about all aspects of my proposal (training, mentorship, research plan, etc). However, My PO told me today that NIDDK would not be funding my application. NHLBI is the secondary funder, so I put in a phone call to someone my PO recommended to see which PO at the NHLBI I should contact. I am waiting to hear back.

Any advice for “selling” my application to another institute? Does this ever work? Any advice about which PO I should contact? My application fits in with multiple obesity-related strategic goals of the NIH.

After I inquired further, the PO told me that the reason that they didn’t fund my application was:

“We go by score, reviewers’ actual comments, and for Ks we try and support applications across all our areas of interest. I sit in on the study section meetings, and when the comments made during the meeting and recorded in the summary statement don’t match the final score, we take that into account. We don’t have a pay line for Ks, but aim to fund about 30-35% of our applications.

We don’t take the decision on not funding an application lightly. We really don’t like to fund projects without a suitable control group, which is the major reason for not funding your application. ”

On the phone she was a bit harsher a few weeks ago and basically told me she didn’t agree with the reviewers’ score and comments and thought they were “just being nice” to me. When I asked why they would just be nice, she said “because it is a resubmission and you are working with underserved populations.”

The reviewers supported my reasons the first time for not having a control group (clustering issues for an RCT and inability to match on ethnicity and language for a case-control study) and when I spoke to my PO over the phone before resubmitting (my original score was a 31) , she did not tell me how strongly they factor having a control into their decision making processes. If fact, she told me at that time that my application was strong and that they wanted to fund me and she encouraged me to resubmit. It has been a rough couple of years waiting, and I am very upset and confused by this outcome, especially because I see that someone above was funded at a 30.

Any advice would be very much appreciated.

moja said

June 7, 2011 @ 5:57 pm ·

Hi, my R21 application with NCI (A1 application) scored 16 for 2011. I did not get anything from my PO till now? Anyone can advise me what I should do next? Any suggestion on what to do will be highly appreciated!

hopeful said

June 28, 2011 @ 1:36 am ·

Does anyone know FY ’11 paylines for NIMH F31s (or examples of funded scores)? Any guesses for FY ’12? The last posted stats I can find online are from FY ’09.

This blog is such a great resource, particularly for students and early stage researchers. Thank you for all of the insight.

Dim said

June 28, 2011 @ 7:17 am ·


I just did my daily check on commons and the status from “pending council review” changed to just “pending” . Does that mean its moving?

Cris said

July 1, 2011 @ 8:04 am ·

NCI R21s below the 8th percentile are being funded- i just got my NOA this week, grant starts today.

But i have still heard no news about what is happening to those in the gray zone, i know a few people stuck there, with great percentiles like you, silbrandeb.

silbrandeb said

July 1, 2011 @ 1:24 pm ·

Congratulations and thanks for sharing Cris!

Cris said

July 1, 2011 @ 3:05 pm ·

Thanks.. and WCDE– sorry for not being clearer– mine was below 8th (4th percentile on a A1 )

I think NCI is using the same payline /gray zone for R21s as R01s..

Baited breath said

July 1, 2011 @ 8:46 am ·

I just wanted to echo what Writedit said about PO support. Mine was interested in what we were doing and very helpful in providing useful comments when it was clear we were going to resubmit. Second round we received an ‘on the bubble’ fundable score, and, although he would not say anything, it was clear he supported the grant. I base that on his interest in some of the very technical pieces of the grant and the JIT request and interactions two weeks before council. We did get funded, NoA came this week.

K said

July 1, 2011 @ 10:57 am ·

Has anyone heard whether their NCI R03 is being funded? Mine was reviewed in April, priority score of 20, council review completed this week. I read in the NCI FY2010 funding policy linked above that most R03s with scores up to 25 would be funded, but I wonder what “most” might mean. Scheduling a call with my PO…

Zivagojamaica said

July 1, 2011 @ 11:59 am ·

Hi wcde,

NCI R21 FY 2011 Gray zone is 8-20% Currently gray zone applications are being considered by Division Directors and SPL

Upto 7 percentile will be robotically funded.

(Source-Direct inquiry to Program officials of NCI).

kmc said

July 1, 2011 @ 1:06 pm ·


That is very much consistent with what my PO has said. By any chance, did you get a sense of the timing of decisions on R21s in your inquiries to POs?

Zivagojamaica said

July 1, 2011 @ 1:20 pm ·


Not really. Only thing I could extract that they have to decide definitely by September 30, 2011 (of course end of FY2011).

kmc said

July 1, 2011 @ 1:33 pm ·

I figured as much. Wishful thinking that the wait might be nearly over…

Best of luck to you!

Zivagojamaica said

July 1, 2011 @ 2:58 pm ·


Although PO mentioned that R21 approval has nothing to do with Council meeting, my era common has changed to Council review completed. What about you? Please let me know

kmc said

July 1, 2011 @ 3:07 pm ·

Also Council Review Completed…though mine has been so for quite some time, as it’s not Cycle III.

Bertal Aktas said

July 3, 2011 @ 9:37 am ·

I have an unusual question. My PO, who also has a lab of his own, had been very unresponsive. He ignored almost all of my phone/e-mail inquires. The only time he talked to me was about writing a bullet-point reply to reviewers. I sent him decision by Nature Chemical Biology to accept my paper for publication and he sent me a terse reply (to the effect of why are you bothering me). He has some issue that I cannot figure out. I think in all likely-hood he cost me a grant ( I am NI with 14%ile RO1 reviewed in October 2010). I could not even get him talk to me about re-submission.

My question is this: Can I ask someone at the NCI to please change my program officer? If so who do I ask and how do I ask?

Thank you

writedit said

July 3, 2011 @ 10:50 am ·

Hmm. Depending on how specialized your area of research is, you may not be able to change POs, since they maintain portfolios based on the science, but you can look at other personnel in the same Division/Branch to see if someone else might be appropriate (and contact this person). Switching among scientifically appropriate POs should not be a big deal. You can also contact the Branch Chief for help … though if the PO can’t be switched, you may then strain your relationship further depending on how the Chief handles your concerns (though it does not seem like it could get worse). Hopefully someone in the know will chip in with advice as well …

spacesonics said

July 5, 2011 @ 5:35 pm ·

My PO told me that I should have some funding info late July. I am NI with 12% in NCI.

writedit said

July 6, 2011 @ 2:02 pm ·

Harold wants more with less …

“We are attempting to fund about 1,100 new grants this year by making small reductions in most components of our budget; because the number of applications remains high, the success rates will be relatively low. Under these circumstances, we do not have a traditional, sharp payline. The NCI scientific programme leaders meet regularly to ensure that we are not ignoring highly original proposals and that we are not creating an unbalanced grant portfolio.”

Vivian said

July 7, 2011 @ 5:16 am ·

Please help with K23 questions!

I am new to this site and found amazingly helpful information here!

I am in my 3rd year of a K23, and submitted an R21 Oct 2010 which received a priority score of 12 (2 percentile, NICHD). I have received positive feedback from my PO and recently received the standard letter stating the second level review has been completed and they expect to fund it.

My questions are about the K23: (and trust me I have read over the notices and announcements a million times and still am not clear…)

1. I realize I am not allowed to reduce my effort on the K23 until I am in my 4th year. But am I allowed to take salary support from the R21 in my 3rd year without reducing effort on the K23?

2. My 4th year will start potentially in the middle of the first year of my R21 – can I make adjustments to salary support/percent effort mid-way through the first year of the R21?

3. Someone also suggested that because the R21 aims are “an extension” of the K23, that I should request to reduce my R21 effort to 2.5% to cover only administrative tasks and to avoid scientific overlap. Is this reasonable? I assume NIH would then adjust my budget? (I requested 10% salary support for the R21)

THANK YOU for any help/advice.

writedit said

July 7, 2011 @ 11:17 am ·

Your own sponsored programs/sponsored research office should negotiate all this for you when accepting the award and do so in a fashion that maximizes your total salary support from the NIH, especially the R21, since the institution gets higher indirects/F&A on your salary from R vs K mechanisms. I suspect they may be allowed to reduce your effort on the K sooner – the NIH must run into this situation frequently, where the atttempted timing was for the R mechanism to kick in during year 4 but is awarded sooner. However, if not, and if you have no institutional obligations (e.g., clinical care, administrative duties, teaching, service, etc.) for the 25% of effort not funded by your K23, your institution can use the R21 salary support for the 25% not covered by the K (i.e., 75% K, 10% R21).

writedit said

July 7, 2011 @ 11:29 am ·

Great – thanks so much for sharing your experience and posting the correct info on this … this is why I leave these situations to our sponsored research office (and they can figure out how to make it work).

Vivian said

July 7, 2011 @ 12:43 pm ·

Help with K23:

Thank you Writedit and mph for the feedback. Sorry I did not give you any background info: I am a clinician-researcher, so I do have some “other” responsibilities.

So mph what you are saying is for the first half of the R21 (mid-Year 3 of K23), I need to take NO salary support, but could use the R21 to pay for my RA, equipment, etc. Then once June 2012 hits, I will be in Y4 of K23 and could start taking salary support at that point? I am having heartburn thinking that I will lose the R21 because no one (including me) realistically thought it would be funded in the first submission. (I feel I am being penalized for getting a good score).

Thank you for any advice!

mph said

July 7, 2011 @ 1:53 pm ·

That’s exactly what I’m saying, but I’d definitely talk to your grants administrator or office of sponsored research to help finagle the details. It seems that it shouldn’t be a problem as long as you are not concurrently getting salary support from the R21 during the 3rd year. (Take my thoughts with a grain of salt, as I am totally junior and only in the process of applying for a K!)

Vivian said

July 7, 2011 @ 8:33 pm ·

OK-thanks again.

I will update you guys once I learn anything new.

john said

July 7, 2011 @ 2:23 pm ·


I was wondering if the NIH, or specifics institutes, give preference, either explicitly or implicitly, to K99/R00 applicants who also received NRSA (F32) awards? Thanks.


john said

July 7, 2011 @ 8:41 pm ·

I was wondering if the NIH, or individual institutes, give preference, either officially or unofficially, to K99/R00 applicants who are/were also F32 NRSA recipients? Thanks.

writedit said

July 7, 2011 @ 10:18 pm ·

I assume you mean the study sections rather than the ICs themselves (since the application needs to get a competitive score before the IC ever thinks about whether to fund it). On the one hand, F32 awardees are no doubt productive with good publications to help give them a competitive edge in the K99 component. On the other hand, F32 awardees should probably be going for R01s rather than Ks … and they’ve probably already had a reasonably long post-doc by that point (time prior to application/award, time during the award period … time, then, to move on …). I am sure reviewers look favorably on K applicants with a prior F32 – they’ve passed peer review muster already – but then may also hold them to a higher standard. I’d be interested in hearing any tales of progression up the various career development mechanisms like this.

MH said

October 20, 2011 @ 2:15 pm ·

I got both a F32 and K99. Good luck

Benjamin Teller said

December 15, 2011 @ 3:58 pm ·

I had both too, and they were delicious. But they didn’t help whatsoever in the competition for R01s.

hung said

July 8, 2011 @ 3:22 pm ·

Has anyone recived any information on R21s from NCI…

My R21 scored 11 perentile and I am still waiting…this gets really frustrating…..had it been 2010..I woudl have recived my grant…

writedit said

July 8, 2011 @ 3:29 pm ·

When did you submit? If this was a 2010 submission for FY11 funding, you should hear something later in July or August, though you could check with your PO if you have not touched base in a while. I believe others have mentioned finally getting word on their R21s. You don’t get an ESI break with the R21 mechanism, and I would presume the hard payline, if there is one, is down around the 7th percentile with the R01s, so you’re now waiting for the outcome of the discussions.

jonas said

July 11, 2011 @ 9:48 am ·

I’m still waiting for a 11% R21 at NCI, reviewed on Feb 2011. Was asked by PO for more info in late March and since then been waiting. Last info from PO last week suggested that waiting will continue…

EY said

July 8, 2011 @ 6:39 pm ·

Dear Writedit,

I wonder what is the payline for F31 at NCI now. My student applied and have got a 35% and I hope it is promising. However, one of the major criticisms is that I, as a new investigator, has not secured my RO1 yet. I feel it is very unfair given the score I have (14% with 20 priority score), it is the extremely low payline at NICHD that makes it unfundable.

writedit said

July 8, 2011 @ 7:30 pm ·

If this is for FY12, the payline won’t be known for some time yet. I would certainly recommend you communicate your situation to the NCI PO, especially if you have other grants submitted or soon to be submitted. However, the issue with the F31 is not so much about your qualifications and quality of science and potential for funding (excellent score speaks to that) but rather that reviewers want to be assured that the primary mentor already has independently funded research that will support the student’s training for years to come. Only an active award can provide such assurance. The other biggie (on your end) is a publishing track record with prior/current students and the outcome of prior students (i.e., did they pursue postdocs and academic careers), which I assume you also do not have as yet. If your student has another mentor/mentor team of senior investigator(s) with funding and publishing/training track record(s), you could reinforce their involvement with the PO and also ask how to convey this to reviewers upon resubmission, which I assume you will be counseled to do (especially with the FY12 budget a complete unknown).

Saurabh said

July 10, 2011 @ 9:19 pm ·

I had the same situation…mine changed to pending from council review completed. An email from my PO followed a week later saying that they planned to fund my grant.

pom said

July 12, 2011 @ 2:37 am ·

how do you get NI and ESI scores, other than priority score?


DD said

July 12, 2011 @ 7:18 am ·

Every application that was discussed at the review meeting gets an Impact Score which is then converted to a Priority score. Some institutes publish paylines that say….We fund everyone who got a priority score of 10% or less and we will fund all ESI/NIs who get a score of 14% or less. Other institutes do the same thing but don’t publish paylines. This is the major place where ESI/NIs get a brake.

The broad goal being that the grant success rate of ESI/NIs is the same as the success rate of all other investigators.

writedit said

July 12, 2011 @ 7:21 am ·

Everyone, established and new/ESI applicants, receives an overall impact/priority score. This is based on the study section review. The difference is the payline (score) at which funding is possible, with new/ESI applicants being funded at a higher score than established PIs. This differential only applies to R01 applications – not to any other mechanism.

You can read about who is/is not a new/early stage investigator and the policies designed to promote their early career success at

prof_nas said

July 13, 2011 @ 12:37 pm ·

R21 submitted Oct 2010 received an impact score of 30 (21.0) percentile. Current status: Council review completed. Submitted the revision today, due 16 Jul. Any chance the initial application might be funded?

TCGirl said

July 13, 2011 @ 3:31 pm ·

Depends on which IC. Its out of the range of consideration for NCI

Pending said

July 13, 2011 @ 1:26 pm ·

I received a priority score of 22 for a R21 in response to a NICHD RFA. The council met June 2nd and I have still not heard about funding. I last wrote my PO a month ago and he said he still did not know about funding, and he would contact me. Any advice?

sudsakul said

July 13, 2011 @ 3:02 pm ·


Is any one know about ACS (Americal cancer Societu)? My ACS grant was reviewed Febreary 2010 and kepy under “pay if we have funds”. ACS sent a letter and mentioned that my grant will be viable till 18 months, if they received additional funds they will fund. I have sent numerous e-mails and telephone phone calls my program director or ACS are not respond to me. I still have no clue of what is going on at ACS. I know I will not get funded, but I thought at least programdirector will tell me the facts. Any one have clear idea about the grants under “pay if we have funds” cases.

I appreciate any insights about ACS grants funding related.


July 13, 2011 @ 8:45 pm ·

My ACS application was placed in the “pay if” pool since last Sept. I emailed the PO earlier this year and did not get a reply. But the PO always picks up his calls, which is good. I remember him saying that the council selects a small pool of “pay if” grants as the high-priority ones. I guess ours did not fall into this category.

However, you can still submit new proposals or resubmit twice even you have a pay if application, given that you are still eligible.


writedit said

July 13, 2011 @ 8:50 pm ·

resubmit twice

You can only resubmit once … but submitting an A1 (the one resubmission) does not affect the ability of the IC to fund the A0 (original application). Any other new applications submitted must be new (and different), so of course would not affect the pending application on the bubble.


July 14, 2011 @ 9:44 am ·

American Cancer Society (ACS) allows 2 resubmissions, unlike NIH.

Click to access acspc-027416.pdf


August 8, 2011 @ 5:11 pm ·

Congratulations!! Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is nice to know that some pay-if applications actually got picked up. So, was your 2007 A1 submitted in April or Oct? I am trying to see what my chance is.

Mine was an A2 with outstanding rank submitted in April 2010 and placed in the pay-in category in Sept 2010. They say it would remain in pay-if until June 30, 2012.

NCI or Bust said

August 8, 2011 @ 5:48 pm ·

Couple of comments:

1. Program officers at ACS mainly only respond if you go through their online booking system.

Go to

2. Alot of ACS grants get Outstanding (about 20 %), but the numerical score is what matters, which your program officer may tell you when you book a meeting.

3. Last year they funded to about 10 % + the “Pay Ifs”.

4. I have A2 rated outstanding by both reviewers. Both reviewers reviewers indicated grant was better than A1 (which was also rated outstanding). Grant was not funded but may be placed in “pay if” but has not so far.

5. Geography can really matter for Pay If grants. I.e. alot of donors will only pick up pay if grants in their area.

Benjamin Teller said

December 15, 2011 @ 4:05 pm ·

Yes, true, the ACS “pay-if” is a craps-shoot depending on which state you are in. To be honest, it’s mostly a waste of time.

The problem is that they seem to have all kinds of positive feedback, but when it comes to actually funding the grant, ACS is a “No-Show.” Lately there seem to be a lot of complaints about this. Having someone tell you your grant is nice but not backing it up w/ $’s doesn’t cut the mustard.

John said

July 14, 2011 @ 7:04 am ·

I have been trying to look up the number of R01s awarded in FY11 on RePORTER. Harold said he would fund 1100 new R01s. It appears that NCI has only funded 295 NEW R01 for FY11, or 472 R01s (new and competing renewal). Is this correct? Did I input something wrong to get this result? Does this 1100 new R01s including competing renewals?

writedit said

July 14, 2011 @ 7:56 am ·

We won’t know the total number of awards in FY11 until after Oct 1st (FY 11 ends Sept 30th). The 1100 does include all competing awards (so, yes, renewals). The better/easier place to check for FY11 award data (once they are compiled) is

TCGirl said

July 15, 2011 @ 4:21 pm ·

Actually he said that he believes that NCI can “can award approximately 1,100 new RPGs” – that includes R03, R15, R21, R33s too – so it can’t be 1,100 new R01s

JIT said

July 14, 2011 @ 5:48 pm ·

I have a u24 that just received a score of 30 in an institute that does not publish their pay line and these application are not percentile since the application was in response to a RFA. I also received a JIT automatic request. I spoke to the PO about it and the PO told that funding decisions will made after the Advisory Council meets in September 2011 and before the end of fiscal year 2011 (September 30). Is the JIT automatic request a good sign of funding or should I just completely ignored it ?

writedit said

July 14, 2011 @ 5:55 pm ·

No, unfortunately, the automated JIT does not reflect the likelihood of funding … especially not given the tight award timeline (i.e., anyone who was scored probably received an automated JIT e-mail since they will not have much time closer to the funding decision and will need all these approvals/other support details ASAP).

trying to figure it all out said

July 15, 2011 @ 8:57 am ·

hi – i’m a first-time grant submitter. i just checked and my grant was reviewed and received an impact/priority score of 21. i don’t know what my chances of funding are and probably won’t until i talk to the PO but am still excited i even got scored (!). do you know how long it takes after the review for summary sheets to be released? 2 weeks? 6 weeks? 10 weeks? do they appear as another link in era commons?

writedit said

July 15, 2011 @ 9:08 am ·

Congratulations on the outstanding score, which should be competitive for funding, depending on the mechanism and IC. If you are a new investigator and this is an R01, you will get your summary statement very soon. The timing of summary statements more generally depends on the number of applications to the SRG and how busy the SRO is, but usually less than a month … and yes, you will find it via your eRA Commons account.

TCGirl said

July 15, 2011 @ 12:17 pm ·

Any R21ers out there hear anything from their NCI POs? My colleague and I have a A0 R21 app w/8th percentile that has been stuck in the gray zone limbo for almost 1 year. She just got a call from her PO that it is looking really really good right now. It sounds like the senior scientific leadership might have just met or are currently meeting to discuss gray zone apps.. anyone else hear??

wcde said

July 15, 2011 @ 2:37 pm ·

My R21 A1 got 8th percentile too. Still no news or update from my PO.

wcde said

July 22, 2011 @ 11:23 am ·

My PO just told it got approved. Thanks.

jonas said

July 15, 2011 @ 2:42 pm ·

was your grant submitted in june or oct 2010?

TCGirl said

July 15, 2011 @ 4:14 pm ·

Ours was submitted in Feb 2010 (Cycle 1) and reviewed June 2010

Carol2 said

July 18, 2011 @ 3:56 pm ·

My previous Dept took a lump sum of a few percent for IT support from my R01. I since left the Dept but they won’t return the % – or even pro-rate it. The individual is given a faculty appt (instructor or so) – so they justify adding % effort for him, even if it was NOT in the original budget. My question is – is this a violation of NIH policy? Where can I go to investigate or report this….


writedit said

July 18, 2011 @ 4:59 pm ·

I suspect this will need to be negotiated rather than addressed as a policy enforcement. I am not sure if there are policy guidelines on individual items if the budget is modular especially. I assume this is just for the one year in which you were there (prior to leaving) – not that your old department is asking for continued support out of subsequent year budgets. The NIH Grants Policy Statement is the place to look for information: … in your case, probably Part II, Section 8: … but also the cost principles in Section 7: If you find restrictions in there relevant to your particular situation, you can communicate with your GMO and/or PO for clarification and suggested course of action. The grant administrator at your current department/institution should help with negotiations if the award needs to be modified to reflect changes in actual effort, contributions, etc.

2010-oct-NCI said

July 21, 2011 @ 3:21 pm ·

I’m still waiting for an 18% R01 at NCI (NI/ESI) submitted Nov 2010, was asked by PO for more info in late March and since then been waiting. My colleague submitted his R01 at same time to NCI received 12%, he got fund and start spending money. Anyone else get more information?

writedit said

July 21, 2011 @ 3:28 pm ·

You should contact your PO again. They do not contact you if you are not getting funded, so the only way to find out for sure is to ask. NCI should be deciding about the rest of its FY11 awards in the next few weeks, and your PO should know if your application is in the pile still being considered (which gets smaller & smaller with each passing week).

spacesonics said

July 22, 2011 @ 10:43 am ·

The NCI leaders had a meeting yesterday and approved funding including my R01. The grant was submitted on Oct 2010 with 12% (NI status) in NCI. Good luck with yours.

writedit said

July 22, 2011 @ 11:16 am ·

Thanks for sharing your update and congratulations! Best wishes for success with the research.

kmc said

July 22, 2011 @ 12:11 pm ·

R21 9th percentile submitted for FY11 Cycle 1 at NCI…got news from PO that it is going to be funded! Good luck all!

watanga said

July 27, 2011 @ 3:26 pm ·

Submitted an R01 in Feb 2010 to NCI, scoring 13% (ESI/NI). PO said at the time it was likely to be funded, but this was before the budget contracted. I was then told that it wouldn’t be funded – passed over by council, and advised to resubmit, but the A1 got a worse score (21%). The good news is that my PO called Monday and told me it will be funded after all, which he attributed to his many persistent appeals to council (not sure whether it will be the A0 or A1 that will be funded). Writedit – Thank you and everyone else for this resource – it has helped me through the hard times.

Darma Suden said

July 28, 2011 @ 2:27 pm ·

The NCI program leaders also approved funding for my new investigator R01 and I was informed yesterday. The grant was submitted on 2010 with 14%. Good luck with yours.

writedit said

July 28, 2011 @ 2:30 pm ·

Congratulations and thanks for sharing the details on this hopeful turn of events! Best wishes for success with the research.

elegans said

July 22, 2011 @ 2:38 pm ·

Just received a pay letter from NIDDK for an F32 with a priority score of 30. I submitted in December, May committee.

Gatordoc said

July 23, 2011 @ 10:27 am ·

same for me. F32 score of 30 December sub, May review. Just got Pay letter.

writedit said

July 23, 2011 @ 10:31 am ·

Congratulations and thanks for the details. Best wishes for success with your fellowship and career in academic research.

DE said

July 24, 2011 @ 11:00 am ·

Looking for suggestions:

My RO1 will be funded on August. My appointment will be end at the end of September in current institute. I have offers which may start in October or November. Can I transfer my RO1 before October?

What if I will start in another institute from November? There will be one month gap. Is there any problem?

writedit said

July 24, 2011 @ 3:30 pm ·

If it were any other time of year, I think you could ask to delay accepting/activating the award until you relocated. However, I believe the funding IC will need to issue the NoA before the end of the fiscal year (Sept 30, 2011), which would mean transferring it after you have moved. You can ask your PO/GMS for advice/info on how this will work and/or your current grants administrator (clearly they know you are leaving and will take the grant with you).

writedit said

July 25, 2011 @ 2:12 pm ·

Congratuations on securing the final piece – and thanks so much for summarizing all the details. Best wishes for success with the project, securing a great faculty position (you should have good offers), and your career in academic research!

Carlos said

July 25, 2011 @ 3:57 pm ·

I submitted an Area grant R15 to the NCI that received a priority score of 25. I was told by the PO that this will go to FY2012. Any idea of whether the payline for FY12 will be the same than FY11? For FY11 the payline for this type of grants was up to 25.

writedit said

July 25, 2011 @ 4:04 pm ·

We won’t have a clue about FY12 paylines for several months, but the payline certainly will not go higher. If Congress significantly cuts the HHS appropriation (and NIH), paylines will go lower, especially for non-R01 mechanisms (since the ICs will protect these first). Just watch for clues in the budget talks as the political spectacle unfolds …

Buds said

July 25, 2011 @ 5:41 pm ·

Has anyone with Oct/Nov 2010 RO-1 submission and with 8-15th percentile ranking (grey zone, NCI) heard from their POs about funding possibilities. Thanks.

Waiting4funding said

August 10, 2011 @ 12:04 am ·

Hope my reply is not too late to you. I did hear one of my 10% RO1s in NCI approved by the SPL for funding a week ago, but not the other one.

Hope it helps.

Buds said

August 10, 2011 @ 10:03 am ·


Was the unfunded grant also in similar percentile range?

Waiting4funding said

August 11, 2011 @ 1:30 am ·

The unfunded one has 12th percentile but I’m a established investigator. Thanks and good luck with your grant…

Buds said

August 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am ·

thanks again……………just curious, were you explicitly told that the other grant will not be funded? Mine is sitting at 12th %ile and PO indicates that it is in the pile of “under consideration proposals”. But I guess time is running out so not much hope here. BTW I am also an EI.

Waiting4funding said

August 11, 2011 @ 11:55 pm ·

If your PO is right, I believe your 12th%’s has a higher chance than mine. I was told that the NCI likes to fund more investigators in the current climate. My PO did told me that my 12th%’s has no chance to be funded since there is no money left for FY11 a week ago.

Xenon said

July 26, 2011 @ 5:18 pm ·

I just got the notice of award for my R01 renewal (submitted March 2010, 10%, NIAAA). Good luck to all those who are still waiting. Writedit, thanks for this site – it has been extremely helpful through this long year.

K question said

July 26, 2011 @ 6:16 pm ·

I received a K award this year. I am planning to ask for a raise. If I get my raise, can we ask for additional money from the K award to cover the raise that we didn’t budget for originally or will it have to come from my institution? (My salary with raise still won’t reach the maximum allowed for the K). Also, and I know this will differ by individuals and institutions, but do many people get raises from their institutions when they receive k funding?

writedit said

July 27, 2011 @ 7:02 am ·

You cannot ask for more $ from the NIH – you will receive what was awarded, and if you are given a raise, your university/institution will need to make up the difference.

writedit said

July 27, 2011 @ 3:37 pm ·

Well, your payline be in FY12, which won’t be known for many months yet. Your PO should be able to give you a clue about your likelihood of funding and whether you should start working on an A1. Good luck …

Cheryl said

July 27, 2011 @ 5:24 pm ·

Thanks writedit. This already was my A1, and the score was much better, but at 20, 23%, I’m anxious. Thanks for the help.

tigerhuatj said

July 28, 2011 @ 10:05 am ·

Hi, I just noticed that council review of my r21 application was completed, which is a little earlier than scheduled (09/19). Not sure what this means.

This is an A1 application with NIAID . the impact score is 19 (study section met 06/03), which is within the 2011 payline (24).

Thank you for your reply.

tigerhuatj said

July 28, 2011 @ 10:26 am ·

hi, I have a r21 application with NIAID. The grant was reviewed 06/03; the Impact of score of this grant is 19. I just noticed yesterday that the council review was completed 07/26, which is a little earlier than what has been scheduled (09/19). Anyone can tell me what I should do and what this means?

Thank you so much

writedit said

July 28, 2011 @ 11:25 am ·

Well, we won’t know FY12 paylines for some time, but NIAID is good about setting interim paylines early on. This won’t happen for a few months (not until sometime after Oct 1), though, and there isn’t anything for you to do in the meantime. The interim paylines will be lower than the final FY11 paylines, especially in light of the current fiscal impasse in Congress (ICs will be conservative until they know what might happen).

tigerhuatj said

July 28, 2011 @ 6:21 pm ·

Thanks Writedit!

Do you think that could be an expedited council review? link:

the council review shown in era Commons will on 09/19/2011. but they met 07/26 and now the status is council review completed.


writedit said

July 29, 2011 @ 7:01 am ·

The problem is not the Council review but the lack of an interim payline, which won’t happen until after Oct 1. Council can approve applications for funding, but the IC director has the final decision on which applications receive awards, and these decisions will wait until an interim payline is set, which will wait until the budget situation is a bit more clear (e.g., whether CR appropriation levels are based on FY11 or an earlier FY, whether the debt negotiations severely lower FY12 appropriations levels, etc.).

cipher said

July 29, 2011 @ 6:55 pm ·

Anybody submitted to NIAAA Oct 2010 got the NoA yet? I was informed over a month ago that my K was approved for funding at the June council, but haven’t heard anything else ever since. Not even the JIT request. Just want to know how everybody is doing.

JustWaiting said

August 3, 2011 @ 9:19 pm ·


I have followed this thread with great interest and I found the links explaining the process very helpful. I have a question that seems to be fairly common so I hope it’s not too repetitive.

I got a score of 23 with a 12th percentile score on an NIDDK RO1 (first submission-NIE). I did get the JIT and the PO said to submit all the information. According to the PO, my application is in the “grey zone” and he’ll have a better idea after Council meets (in September). He does not want to give me an estimate of how likely it is that the application will be funded.

At first I was very excited about 12th % since the posts here and comments from collaborators seemed to be very encouraging about getting funded. Now I’m very nervous again. So 2 questions:

1) Any reasonable estimate of my chances for funding?

2) Should I start preparing the resubmission already?


writedit said

August 3, 2011 @ 9:32 pm ·

Normally you could feel quite confident about an award, especially if you are a new/early stage investigator (for FY11, I think the 12th percentile was the rough cut-off for established investigators, too … maybe a percentile or two higher). Was this an application you submitted in February or last year? I assume Feb of this year, though, in which case your PO is being cautious because the NIH has no idea what it’s budget will be for FY12 … and won’t for many months still. The FY will start off with a continuing resolution, and the question is on which prior FY the interim appropriation will be based (normally it would be FY11 … but with all the deficit/debt cutting measures, Congress may insist on using an earlier FY to set budget authority levels). So, anyone looking at FY12 awards is probably in the gray zone unless they are below, say, the 5-7th percentile. Closer to Oct 1, the ICs will at least have an inkling about what funding they will have to work with.

JustWaiting said

August 3, 2011 @ 9:39 pm ·

Thanks for the reply and the explanation.

The submission was indeed on February this year. I’ll guess I’ll remain in this “gray zone” for a while then.

crash555 said

August 4, 2011 @ 8:24 am ·

I’m curious what direction you decided to go Maggie? We are considering an appeal for our R01 as we applied to a specific RFA with its own study section and we believe that the composition of the study section was problematic for many of the reasons you outlined here.

drugmonkey said

August 4, 2011 @ 11:01 am ·

If the problem is supposedly a reviewer who doesn’t agree with a subfield consensus…are you sure you read te RFA closely?

SaG said

August 4, 2011 @ 11:23 am ·

If your Program Officer agrees that the panel did not have the correct expertise then you have some hope. But, since all SS rosters (with some exceptions) are posted 30 days before the meeting the first question you (and your PO) will be asked is why you didn’t raise your concern before the meeting?

The chances of your appeal being successful for an app submitted in response to an RFA is even slimmer than the usual type of appeals.

EY said

August 5, 2011 @ 4:33 pm ·

Dear Writedit,

I tried to submit a new RO1 because my previous one is most likely unfundable with the extremely stringent payline at CHD, however, despite a lot of effort to rewrite it, it was returned by CSR and the reason is that they still think it is too similar to the previous A1. I wonder what is the process to appeal this, if possible. Thanks a lot!

Dr Rajesh K Mishra said

August 8, 2011 @ 5:58 pm ·

I received a priority score of 20, submitted to NINDS. The proposed start date for the grant is 1st Sep 2011. Submitted the JIT on 6th June, 2011.

What are my chances of getting funded and when can I expect to receive the award letter.



writedit said

August 8, 2011 @ 9:56 pm ·

You don’t mention what mechanism is involved here or when you submitted, but between the score and the JIT request (which I assume was a direct personal vs generic request), your chances seem quite good … more than quite good. You can check in with the PO or the GMS (if he/she requested the JIT) for an update. For FY11 funding, they will need to process the award before the end of Sept.

Dr Rajesh Kumar Mishra said

August 9, 2011 @ 1:53 pm ·

Thanks for the response. The SBIR grant was submitted on 12/04/2010. The scientific review was completed on 3/14/2011 and the council review was completed on 05/27/2011. We were asked to submit JIT in June 2011.

Yesterday the GMS requested us to send IRS W-9 form to obtain HHS EIN (Entry Identification Number) and told us that they have started administrative review of the application and would request another JIT very soon.

This is the recent update on this grant.


writedit said

August 9, 2011 @ 1:59 pm ·

Congratulations – they would not be doing all this if they did not intend to fund you, and an SBIR application with a score of 20 would surely receive an award. Best wishes for success with the research and development.

Rajesh Mishra said

September 2, 2011 @ 3:00 pm ·

This is a recent update on my SBIR grant. Last week we were asked to submit a revised animal portocol, which we submitted on last Friday. The start date of the grant was 1 Sep, 2011. I am yet to hear anything from the GMS.

Any idea why the grant approval is delayed? I am really worried.

writedit said

September 2, 2011 @ 3:11 pm ·

The requested start date doesn’t mean anything. They can make the award any time up until Sept 30th. If you needed to submit a revised animal protocol, that will need to be reviewed, which no doubt delayed the processing of your award. You shouldn’t be worried yet.

Dr Rajesh K Mishra said

August 9, 2011 @ 2:09 pm ·

Thanks. I appreciate your comment.


jonas said

August 12, 2011 @ 11:26 am ·

Any R21 still waiting for NCI funding? any news on the selection process? Ours is a 11% percentile from Oct 2010 submission

last info from PO at the end of June, was that the selection process was not decided yet for R21′s

backstabbed said

August 13, 2011 @ 11:47 am ·

Mine was NCI June 2010 submission , IS 27 , 10th percentile – tossed out !

jonas said

August 15, 2011 @ 9:58 am ·

Sorry to hear that… not funding such a good score is terrible

Tipu said

August 14, 2011 @ 1:01 pm ·

I am wondering if there are any good resources on how to manage money effectively, especially for new investigators with an R01-type funding? I understand that it may be highly case-specific, but there should be at least some general guidelines? I hear quite a bit of woulda-coulda-shoulda stories, and any advice can help youngsters. Thanks.

pseudonymous said

August 14, 2011 @ 3:53 pm ·

I think there are good resources to manage money effectively and it is urgent to work on that. What backstabbed said is extremely sad, if not devastating. And If there are not good resources to start doing that right away, we need to work very hard and efficiently on that. The situation is just ridiculous, to say the least.

anon said

August 14, 2011 @ 4:10 pm ·

To manage money effectively is doable. And is mandatory under the circumstances. If CSR has been able to save 35 million/year and do more with less, all the other institutes and centers can do it. If investigators are required creativity and determination to compete in an extraordinarily harsh circumstances, their institutes should first set up the example for them to follow.

mothershood said

August 15, 2011 @ 5:59 pm ·


I applied for an F31 to NINR for the AIDS-related Jan 7 deadline. Today I saw that my status changed on 8/12 from “pending review” to “Award prepared.” Does that mean I will be awarded the grant? I don’t yet see an NoA.

writedit said

August 15, 2011 @ 10:57 pm ·

Certainly seems that way, but the F-award program officer for your IC could confirm for you (or your sponsored research/program officer at your university). Fellowships are not as straightforward as research project grants, so not to worry that you haven’t heard anything as yet.

mothershood said

August 15, 2011 @ 11:44 pm ·

Thanks very much. I hate to write to the grants management specialist again, but my university program officer thinks it’s a sure thing. My IS was 19, so I was passed over for other departmental funds because it seemed certain I’d get this F award. I hope so! Thanks for hosting this blog, I’ve read it several times when I’ve needed information.

mothershood said

August 17, 2011 @ 11:38 am ·

Just a quick update, writedit – just got the NoA last night. Apparently there is a 3 day window between award release and official notice of award (per my GMS). I’m so relieved. Thanks again for your help!

ABCD said

August 17, 2011 @ 10:12 am ·

Just to highlight NCI woes…NCI has awarded only 348 R01 so far in FY11 ( from ereporter), compared to 835 R01s in FY10. We just have 6 more weeks left in this FY. Do they have the money?

nanoparticle said

August 17, 2011 @ 2:43 pm ·

The numbers that I got from the NIH reporter are:

349 R01 (NCI, new, research projects, R01 equivalents) for 2011

578 for 2010

620 for 2009

554 for 2008

560 for 2007

574 for 2006

Hope they still have money to fund more R01 in the next 6 weeks.

madness007 said

August 17, 2011 @ 9:55 pm ·

Just wanted to say I finally got my NOA today… for NCI K99, impact score 20, from Feb 2010 – 10 months overdue, and according to NIH Reporter, I’m probably one of the last people to get it (19 already awarded for FY 2011). What an exhausting process!!! Oh well, guess I better get used to it… right?

writedit said

August 18, 2011 @ 12:03 am ·

Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project, your faculty job search, and your career in biomedical research!

K99_Aspirant said

August 30, 2011 @ 9:52 am ·

Congratulations on your award. My NIH commons status just changed from “Council Review Completed” to “Pending Administrative Review” for a NIAID K99 award with a score of 23, applied A1, July 2010. Is that a good sign?

writedit said

August 30, 2011 @ 10:27 am ·

Yep. Congratulations … assuming there are no administrative bars, you should have good news and can check with your PO for confirmation (he/she would know now).

K99_Aspirant said

August 30, 2011 @ 12:22 pm ·

Thanks writedit! I just emailed my PO. Keeping fingers crossed.

K99_aspirant said

August 31, 2011 @ 1:08 am ·

Yes!! PO said they have decided to fund it. Waiting for NOA.

writedit said

August 31, 2011 @ 5:06 am ·

Congratulations! Best wishes for success with the project and your career in biomedical research!

K99_aspirant said

September 30, 2011 @ 1:30 pm ·

Oops! How does a grant go from designated for funding to not being funded? Received an email from the director of program saying that PO was a little quick to say it will be funded but we have decided not to fund it. Bummer!!

SaG said

August 18, 2011 @ 6:55 am ·

Not officially. That is, there is not a line item in most (never say all) IC budgets for R15s. But, some ICs publish separate, usually higher, paylines for R15s. And others commit to funding X number of R15s each year. So, it is kinda-like NI/ESI funding.

John said

August 19, 2011 @ 10:12 am ·

Just for everyone’s information, the GMS just advised that my R21 (10%) in NCI (submitted in June 2010) will be funded and the award should arrive in Sep 01.

hung said

August 22, 2011 @ 11:40 pm ·


Was yours an early stage investigator

cipher said

August 19, 2011 @ 2:38 pm ·

Finally my eCommons status changed to “award prepared”. I guess/hope that is official.

I submitted my K to NIAAA last October, got an OK score and didn’t think I would get funded. But my PO, who is always helpful and responsive, gave me the opportunity to address the reviewers’ comments before the council meeting. Luckily, my grant was approved for funding through select pay.

I want to thank writedit for such a helpful blog, especially how you helped me when I was panicking about only having 24 hours to write the responses to reviewers.

Wish everybody good luck with their applications!

writedit said

August 19, 2011 @ 2:50 pm ·

Congratulations – and thank you for sharing a recap of your story … and its hope-inspiring conclusion. Best wishes for success with your project and your career in biomedical research!

froggin06 said

August 21, 2011 @ 4:27 pm ·


Did you get a JIT request or did your status simply change to “award prepared?” I’m in the same boat as you. I was told that my NIAAA October K submission was approved for funding, but haven’t heard anything since the June council when my status changed to “pending administrative review.”

NCC said

August 28, 2011 @ 2:04 pm ·

Thanks Cipher and Congrats! Would you mind sharing your score now that you are funded? There is so little info out there for the smaller institutes (eg NIAAA) that don’t publish paylines. Thanks!

cipher said

August 28, 2011 @ 2:34 pm ·

NCC, I got awarded through select pay, which doesn’t really follow the payline.

trippinbillie06 said

September 16, 2011 @ 11:20 pm ·

Congratulations Cipher. Job well done. Can you share your score (since you are funded) with others who are applying to NIAAA so we’ll have a little more insight into the kind of K scores that are successful? Again, congratulations on your award.

Sherry said

August 20, 2011 @ 12:56 am ·

My R15 application has narrowly missed FY11 payline, last week my commons status has changed from council review completed to pending administrative review, does this mean that my application is being considered for funding. Many thanks.

writedit said

August 20, 2011 @ 7:27 am ·

Seems likely as the status does not change if you are not being funded. You can check in with your PO for an update.

biologist said

August 20, 2011 @ 8:44 am ·

The competitive renewal on my R01A1 got a 14% (payline is 11%). My PO informed me that I would need to change either the animal model or the disease to make it a allowable submission of a new R01. Either of these options requires new preliminary data. My other option is to pare the A1 down and submit it as an R21. I’m trying to wrap my head around the logic of doing this. Why does NIH even permit this, since a new R01 cannot result from the same project that was unsuccessful as an R01A1 but was successful as an R21!!! Talking it over with colleagues, the only thing I can come up with is the R21 option provides bridge funding which allows you to develop the new angle (new model, new disease, new whatever) that is required of a new R01 submission as opposed to the unallowable resubmission of a failed A1. In short if you get the R21 you do not prosecute its Aims as written, but you use the $ to “start over”. Does anyone think that this is the unstated intent of NIH? Any other thoughts?

writedit said

August 20, 2011 @ 11:16 pm ·

Wow. That’s a tough miss on your competing renewal. You can certainly repurpose the A1 as an R21 without changing the major components (). This might give you the additional preliminary data on your current model/disease to succeed with a new R01. Alternatively, you could tweak one component of the former R01 project as a new R21 (change model or disease or …), which would help you start in a new direction and not raise ire with reviewers who would realize you needed to try a new direction with a previously productive project (I assume, if you had been funded before and gotten so close with your renewal score). A grant being a grant rather than a contract, and an R21 not being renewable in any case, you could take the money and run in another direction (other than Aruba) … though this would be at your peril, since you would have had no third-party input (i.e., peer review) to suggest what was good, bad, or possibly missing from your plan. If the proposed aims were good enough to be funded, they should be good enough to pursue productively.

biologist said

August 21, 2011 @ 3:51 am ·

Thanks for the insights. Why do you suppose the NIH allows an unfunded R01 to be “repurposed” as an R21 without changes except the obvious reduction in scope required in consequence of the reduced length/$? If an A2 is not allowed on the R01, why would/should what is in essence an A2 but with less work proposed (which is my and my colleagues interpretation of what the “repurposed” R21 indeed is) be allowed?

writedit said

August 21, 2011 @ 9:04 am ·

You’ll have to convince a new set of reviewers that the R21 version (which will take some thought, so the chunk you propose can be feasibly produce meaningful data in 2 years with limited funds) still represents “meritorious” science. You would seem to have a leg up on the competition, but this is not a given (esp if everyone else is taking the same tactic). Not all ICs accept investigator-initiated (parent announcement) R21 applications, and paylines are just as tight.

BTW, I started to mention before that your PO was making suggestions straight from the NIH policy on all this: While certainly not the best solution, some applicants do need to be discouraged from repeatedly resubmitting the same unfundable application.

ES said

August 20, 2011 @ 4:45 pm ·

I am having a RO1. I am wondering if I can conduct unfunded research projects using my current RO1 support since I have more experience and more publications on these unfunded projects. In contrast, testing our hypothesis proposed in my funded RO1 is practically not promising. If I decided to do something else which was not originally proposed in my funded RO1, how can I renew my funded RO1 or submit the report down the road.


writedit said

August 20, 2011 @ 11:29 pm ·

If you are Mario Capecchi, you ignore the reviewers critiques, put all your marbles into an unfunded aim, and win the Nobel Prize. (

If not, you run the risk of not being funded again (& not just in your attempt to renew the R01). You might instead talk with the PO, who will want to see good science come out of all this, about renegotiating the approved aims (change in scope). You should be able to explain why pursuing the approved aims will not be a good use of taxpayer dollars and that the PO’s portfolio will be better off with the revised project. (see

Comradde PhysioProffe said

August 20, 2011 @ 11:46 pm ·

You might instead talk with the PO, who will want to see good science come out of all this, about renegotiating the approved aims (change in scope). You should be able to explain why pursuing the approved aims will not be a good use of taxpayer dollars and that the PO’s portfolio will be better off with the revised project.

This is fucken ridiculous advice. Just do the science you think makes sense. If you are productive, and you can make up a good story, you’ll do as well on your competitive renewal as if you pursued the original proposed aims. Reviewers of a renewal do not get to see the previous grant. All they see is the summary statement of the review of the previous grant and its abstract.

ES said

August 21, 2011 @ 10:13 am ·

Thank you very much for all your advice but the issue here is that my unfunded and funded project are total irrelevant. It is almost impossible to convert my unfunded project to something which is even close to the funded project. Can I do whatever Science takes me to with the unfunded project, and submit the unfunded project as new applications later, instead of renewal of my RO1? Will this cause a bad record for my academic career?

cc said

August 21, 2011 @ 11:59 am ·

i would not change anything without discussing w/project officer, who should want to see the best science come forward.

also, a caveat w/what Comradde PhysioProffe said, for renewals, while reviewers do not see the previous grant, they do see the previous summary statement and abstract- and more often than not – at least in the grants that i review – many put their aims in the abstract.

just anecdotal on my part, but reviewers have become exceptionally harsh on renewals in these tight fiscal times.. i’ve seen renewals on more than occasion go down in a ball of flames (scores of 7, 8 ) because team wasn’t productive enough w/publications..

curie said

August 24, 2011 @ 2:58 pm ·

think i agree with cpp. because grants are not contracts, there is some room to move around especially if new angles or derivatives of proposed aims show more promise and higher impact–which in turn are easily justifiable.

writedit said

August 24, 2011 @ 3:07 pm ·

Oh, I agree that grants are grants and as such are flexible in how the money is spent. The key is that the PI can discern on his/her own whether the alternative use is a smart choice. I would hope at the very least that PIs who spend their grant $ on other projects have presented them to their peers and received some feedback on feasibility, suggested tweaks, etc. … the refinements a PI might not make on his/her own without going through the proposal process. Funds are too tight and the margin of error too small (in terms of available funds for re-dos), methinks, to wing it on one’s own.

BikeMonkey said

August 26, 2011 @ 7:59 am ·

received some feedback on feasibility, suggested tweaks, etc. … the refinements a PI might not make on his/her own without going through the proposal process. Funds are too tight and the margin of error too small (in terms of available funds for re-dos), methinks, to wing it on one’s own.

Hahahaahahha. Please tell me you don’t really think this writedit!

Any PI who cannot decide on a scientific plan of action absent the “proposal process” doesn’t deserve an R01

writedit said

August 26, 2011 @ 8:18 am ·

You misunderstand. I am not suggesting the actual proposal submission process is necessary but rather the feedback from some source or another to ensure the plan will work, actually answer the desired question (and that the question at hand is the right one to ask). The peer review process forces this deep thought and then feedback … in its absence, I would want to be sure a junior PI especially didn’t ‘t go off on a significantly different research plan without having vetted it with his/her colleagues. This might seem obvious to you, but there are those who would try to wing it on their own without input/advice.

BikeMonkey said

August 26, 2011 @ 1:26 pm ·

The peer review process forces this deep thought and then feedback

No, it doesn’t and I disagree with your apparent belief that substantial fractions of PIs worth their R01 awards aren’t doing this deep thinking in making their strategic decisions.

I certainly agree that junior PIs are best off getting collegial input on their scientific plans-in any case. It has nothing to do with whether or not she is making substantial changes to the original research plan, it is just a good general idea. Collegial input that does not include some sort of veto power from Program Officers, btw.

cipher said

August 21, 2011 @ 5:00 pm ·

Hi froggin06,

I got an JIT on Monday and the status change happened on Thursday.

froggin06 said

August 21, 2011 @ 8:03 pm ·

Thanks again Cipher. Did they change your original start date (if you proposed July 1, 2011)?

cipher said

August 22, 2011 @ 9:54 pm ·

Froggin06, I got the NoA today. The grant starts 9/1.

NCC said

August 28, 2011 @ 2:07 pm ·

Congrats Cipher! Would you mind sharing your score now that you are funded? There is so little info out there for the smaller institutes (eg NIAAA) that don’t publish paylines. Thanks!

Comrade PhysioProf said

August 24, 2011 @ 5:23 pm ·

I would hope at the very least that PIs who spend their grant $ on other projects have presented them to their peers and received some feedback on feasibility, suggested tweaks, etc. … the refinements a PI might not make on his/her own without going through the proposal process. Funds are too tight and the margin of error too small (in terms of available funds for re-dos), methinks, to wing it on one’s own.

This is insanity. Once you have been awarded an R01, you should use your judgment and pursue whatever experimental goals that are broadly speaking (very broadly) related to the aims listed in the grant application your judgment suggests are the most fruitful.

BikeMonkey said

August 26, 2011 @ 7:55 am ·

1) now

2) yes

3) pubs, pubs, pubs

Comrade PhysioProf said

August 26, 2011 @ 8:34 am ·

Oh, pleez. This advice is still fucken ridiculous. We’re not talking about first-year motherfucken gradde students, for fucke’s sake. If you have a fucken R01, and you don’t know how to identify a fruitful line of inquiry, then give the fucken thing back so it can be awarded to someone who does.

And in relation to competing renewals and “continuity”, you do want it, but only in a very specific sense. The ideal competing renewal builds on something unexpected you discovered in the prior project period to move in a new direction that wasn’t apparent when the prior project was awarded. If your competing renewal proposes to just keep doing more of the same shitte you were already doing, you’re dead. (Cue the poutrage!)

Your Grant in Review: Productivity on Prior Awards : said

August 26, 2011 @ 10:27 am ·

[…] was also a related query from Saheli in that thread: 2. Should the renewal reflect a substantial continuity to the current grant? 3. […]

writedit said

August 26, 2011 @ 12:07 pm ·

Yes, you want to start now for a November or March submission, realizing it will take a year (or more) to learn whether that renewal succeeds or if you will need to put in an A1 and wait another year. Yes, you want to show how progress on your prior aims led to the development of your new aims (which should be substantially different and not simply a continuation of work on the prior aims). Yes, productivity (publications, patents) is the winningest ingredient of a successful renewal, and it makes the 12-p narrative feasible if you publish and cite your data rather than try to shoe-horn them all into the Research Strategy. You also need to demonstrate there is much more to the story that needs to be explored. Some R01s do die a natural death after varying numbers of renewals (and some never die … e.g., You can get an idea of the flow from original to successfully renewed projects by looking in RePORTER for funded R01s in your area (or in your PO’s portfolio) that have been renewed at least once. Look for the “2″ in front of R01 – versus “1″ (new) or “5″ (non-competing renewal”) to find the renewal applications, and then check the change in abstract from the prior award to the renewed award as well as the Results to get a feel for the level of productivity expected in your field. I assume you have colleagues there who can share their applications and experiences, too.

Ocean said

August 26, 2011 @ 5:55 pm ·

Dear writedit and fellow researchers:

I apologize in advance for the long email, but I need some honest advice on whether I should speak with a program officer, or look for a mentor/job in another institution ASAP, or stick it out at my current position.

My situation: after several years of trying to identify a research niche, I finally developed one over the last few years and received a K23 award this fall, thanks in no small part to a very supportive mentor with a well-established cohort of patients. And now, he’s moving to another institution, in the next 6 months. He wants me to come with him, but I am not sure if this new location is right for me for other reasons.

I am worried about finding a replacement for him locally, because no one in my institution does what he does, at least no one with R01 funding. I should still be able to do the research portion of my K, since it involves database queries, which he will let me access no matter where he goes, but I am worried about my continued productivity- the patients will follow him for the large part, and the majority of my recent publications utilized them. I am not afraid of working hard to re-establish a new cohort of patients, but I am worried it will take several years, and my productivity will drop off since I will have to see a boatload of patients to build the cohort up again. My institution has already indicated they will like me to do this (develop the cohort anew), yet, has also said they have no money to pay for a portion of a study coordinator to help me with my research.

So, back to the original question: do I stick it out at current institution, keeping my mentor at-large for my K23 (if that’s even an option), and pray that I develop the database anew locally to be successful in future years on my own? Do I try to interview at other institutions that may be more supportive of someone with a K23, and also have R01 funded mentors in my field? When do I talk to the Program officer about this, and will they necessarily be an advocate for me?

Sorry for the long-winded email, and thanks in advance for any advice you can offer!


waiting said

August 26, 2011 @ 6:46 pm ·

I was wondering if someone has ideas about whether one can request a later start date for NIH grants. Suppose for example the award came too unexpectedly (hey when do we hear that happening ?!!) and there isnt enough time to hire personnel etc.,

In such scenarios is it possible to request a delayed start date (by a few months or so)?

Thank you

writedit said

August 27, 2011 @ 9:37 pm ·

You can check with the PO or GMS, but if they need to start the award before the end of the fiscal year (i.e., Sept 30th), then you probably cannot ask for a delay.

grant proofreading said

August 29, 2011 @ 11:39 am ·

Can anyone recommend a good editing/proofreading service for NIH grant proposals?

grant proofreading said

August 29, 2011 @ 11:40 am ·

Can anyone recommend a good editing/proofreading service for NIH grant proposals. thank you.

curie said

August 29, 2011 @ 4:06 pm ·

i guess there are many. i think that the stephen russell and david morrison team does consulting and grant reviews. not sure of their costs. they have a nice primer for nih grant writing. check out:

Dim said

August 30, 2011 @ 8:31 am ·


I got my RO1 a few months ago and things are going. Thanks to you guys i was able to go through the wait and stress that NIH gave us this year. This is just to say thank you toall of you and specially writedit.

For those who are waiting for their grants …… best of luck. This is what is all about….you know you love it.

waiting said

September 1, 2011 @ 8:03 pm ·


Just a question about NIBIB R01s. On the paylines website it says that new R01s will be restricted to 4 years, unless its a BRP.

I was wondering if there can be exceptions to it, for instance if someone gets a 5 year R01 transferred from another institute.

Thanks for any suggestions.

writedit said

September 2, 2011 @ 12:36 am ·

The average R01 length needs to be 4 y. If your award was approved by 5 years by the original IC, it should be transferred with 5 years of funding. If this is NIBIB picking this up as a new award as the secondary assignment, they may impose a shorter award term, though not necessarily … your PO could shed some light on this.

waiting said

September 2, 2011 @ 4:18 pm ·

Thank you for the response writedit. I had one more question. If my grant is being reviewed for the september council does that imply that grant (if funded) will start in FY2011 or can it also be delayed to 2012. I guess I’ll find out but just impatiently curious while I am waiting with fingers crossed.

Thank you !

writedit said

September 2, 2011 @ 4:38 pm ·

For a September Council with a Sept 1 start date, they will probably try to fund in FY11. Your PO would know for sure … but if it is pushed to FY12, when it might be funded could be a big question mark that will depend on what the CR looks like. If there is a drastic reduction in spending authority, the ICs will be very conservative in making awards.

waiting said

September 2, 2011 @ 4:54 pm ·

I see. Thank you again. And I hope someday you will get an award as this website is a very good source of support and practical knowledge base for scientists in these difficult times !

Richard said

September 3, 2011 @ 5:10 pm ·

I also confuse about the September Council meeting in Sept. For my grant, I was told that it is in the October cycle with a starting data of Dec. 2011. However, the council meeting will be held in the mid of Sept. before we know the 2012 budget. I am wondering how the council can make funding decision before we know 2012 NIH budget.

writedit said

September 4, 2011 @ 12:34 am ·

If you submitted in Feb for a Dec start date, then you will be considered for funding in FY12 … but who knows when. Not in Dec unless you have an incredibly low percentile score. The other person posting indicated they had a Sept 1 start date, in which case the IC might try to fund in FY11.

Dr Rajesh Kumar Mishra said

September 2, 2011 @ 3:19 pm ·

Thanks for the response. You mean to say that the award has to be made by the end of fiscal year (Sep 30).

Has there been a case that the award was denied because of animal protocol?

If the grant is awarded, will the start date be still 1st Sep?

writedit said

September 2, 2011 @ 3:35 pm ·

You should be able to get an update from the PO, but you will hear if you need to provide more details/explanation about the animal care protocol. If the issues cannot be addressed by the end of the fiscal year, the award can’t be made, but you will be asked for more info if needed. Now, if the experimental design is such that the issues raised cannot be addressed satisfactorily, then it is possible the award will not be made – possible, but not likely. As to the start date, sometimes they back date the start date, but not always (or usually). If you need to start spending money, again, you can check with the PO to be sure it looks like the animal issues can be addressed to the NIH’s satisfaction and when a NoA is likely to be issued.

Dr Rajesh Kumar Mishra said

September 2, 2011 @ 3:52 pm ·

Thanks for the information. We actually have a tie up with NIH screening program and they already have an approved animal protocol in practice.

I hope everything goes smoothly and I hear good news in coming days.


A successful K99 first and then R01 said

September 3, 2011 @ 3:44 am ·

Yes, this is an excellent site for support at challenging times. If we knew the name(s) of owner, we could propose him/her/them for single or team Presidential Award for mentoring at birth and all through the internet era.

writedit said

September 3, 2011 @ 7:27 am ·

Thanks so much for the kind words – this is a group effort, and you all make it an excellent resource through your sharing of information and advice … so thank you!

bob snederson said

September 3, 2011 @ 9:23 am ·

That’s good writedit that this is a group effort. Wouldn’t it be nice to recognize also group efforts in mentoring?. Perhaps our culture is used to acknowledge individual merit/effort and we need to move a step up recognizing group merit/effort as well. I always thought that mentoring was a two-way activity mentor/mentee. I have perceived it that way all along my training and professional activity. And am grateful for having had mentors that helped me see it that way.

nuclearspin said

September 6, 2011 @ 8:12 pm ·

Just heard from my PO today that my R01 has been funded. I’m a NI (but not ESI) at NIGMS. Grant went to study section last October and council in January. Priority score was 27, 18th percentile. It was obviously pretty close to the cutoff – glad it came down on the right side. It had the support of the PO, which clearly tipped the scales. It has been an anxious year (made a little easier by having Writedit’s site to find and share information – thanks Writedit!) Best of luck to those of you still waiting.

Snowwhite said

September 7, 2011 @ 6:47 am ·

I was wondering if we could propose the organizational structure “Writedit blog” as candidate for Presidential Award for Mentoring. And since this is mostly a blog for Pseudonyms we can propose, if awarded,

to send the First and Last K99 2011 recipients to represent everybody at the Ceremony. Any other suggestions?

Snowwhite said

September 7, 2011 @ 6:58 am ·

And suggestions also for what would be the best use for the $10,000, if awarded.

Cheryl said

September 7, 2011 @ 10:03 am ·

Just heard the bad news… my NINDS F31-A1 won’t be funded (20, 23%). My PO is out of town for at least two weeks, and trying to figure out if I should:

a) Submit a new F31 to another agency

b) Submit a R21 to NINDS

c) Submit an RO1 to NINDS

Of course, I am planning on modifying the proposal some, but just not sure “how different” it needs to be. I’m also worried that although my F31 scores were strong, if I move into the R-grants they may be tougher on the proposal and I may not be so successful. I really appreciate any suggestions. Thanks!

Biologist said

September 7, 2011 @ 11:23 am ·

Hi Cheryl,

This is a tough situation. Although totally different context (I’m a senior investigator and my problem is an R01) I know a little how you feel. My R01A1 received a 14% but the payline is 11% so I also how to figure out how to resurrect the project (and my lab, I am/was a one R01 pony; DO NOT make that mistake!). Anyways, my sense is that you won’t want to submit an F grant as an R grant; that makes no sense, so you have fewer options that I do. You will need to come up with a new F31. The problem is of course, “how new does it have to be?” and this is where the NIH powers that be have failed miserably; the rationales they put out for what is new are simply arbitrary and un-defined. You will need to discuss this carefully with your mentor and ultimately take an informed chance; the organizing principle being that you want to change the science the least possible to get it past the unallowable re-submission KGB and on to review. Since your grant was reasonably well-received, I’m not sure I’d change SS; they may well be on your side, believe it or not!

Californian said

September 7, 2011 @ 12:07 pm ·

Wow Biologist,

Your advice sounds great. Learned a lot from you. You focused one side of the problem, “how new it needs to be”…” there is where the NIH powers have failed miserably”, and gave the most competitive answer, “discuss it with your mentor”, who is possibly the one who knows most about your area of research. Perhaps one has to accept that NIH powers are bound to fail – from that point of view- because they are not DIRECTLY involved in so many distinct and diverse fields of research to be able to advice each applicant on the subtleties for how newer an already very good application needs to be in the following submission.

Thanks a lot. You’re wonderful.

drugmonkey said

September 7, 2011 @ 11:54 am ·

um. am I in bizarro NIH land or is the F31 still a mechanism for graduate student fellowships?

Californian said

September 7, 2011 @ 10:49 am ·

Sorry Cheryl. I can imagine your anxiety at this moment. I thought that NINDS had a system of Co-POs. They work in pairs and when one of them is out in the field or for other reasons the Co-PO is in full charge and absolutely knowledgeable on each applicant situation. Alternatively, you might try to contact Dr Finkelstein. He follows every of his POs very closely and he might find a way to get you advised in this situation.

On the dogged pursuit of graduate training fellowships | DrugMonkey said

September 7, 2011 @ 12:06 pm ·

[…] Reference: Just heard the bad news… my NINDS F31-A1 won’t be funded (20, 23%). My PO is out of town for at least two weeks, and trying to figure out if I should: […]

JuniorPI said

September 7, 2011 @ 12:46 pm ·

I had an A1 – RO1 application to the NIDDK that actually went to council last fall. It was above the payline but because I am an ESI the PO told me that it would be recommended for special emphasis funding (RO1 with a smaller budget or R56) and that I would have to wait until congress passed the budget to get a final word. In late May I heard again from the PO that it was still recommended for special emphasis funding but that funding levels had not yet been set.

At this point (three weeks to the end of the FY) I assume that its not going to be funded and the PO has not responded to any e-mails since June. I am preparing an new A0 application to the same study section. I wrote to the PO to ask him if he would look at the new aims for programmatic relevance but no response. I also see, from NIH reporter, that my study section which typically give out 20-30 new RO1 (and equivalents) each year has only given out 9 for FY2011. So what’s going on here? Are some parts of the NIH budget being cut by 50%? Should I therefor be applying to a different study section or institute? Is the NIDDK just hopelessly behind in funding grants? Finally how can I get feedback about my aims if the PO doesn’t return my e-mail?

drugmonkey said

September 7, 2011 @ 3:17 pm ·

Note that Program is often scrambling like mad, trying to figure out what to fund to use up their annual allocation by Sep 30. Go back to prior years on RePORTER and you will see a ton of grants with a start date of precisely Sep 30. Three weeks is still plenty of time. Just make sure you have dotted all your i’s and crossed all your t’s with respect to JIT info.

JuniorPI said

September 8, 2011 @ 1:18 pm ·

Thanks Drugmonkey, I do know a number of people who have been called by a PO in the last week of Sept. so I’m sure you are right…I will have the IACUC office on high alert…just in case…

I should say that my PO is always nice and helpful when I can get him on the phone so I don’t mean to complain but this summer has been maddening

ES said

September 8, 2011 @ 10:07 pm ·

Hi Junior PI

You may hear from your PO anytime in the next three weeks. One of my colleague whose RO1 is in gray zone received the phone call from NCI today that his RO1 is funded although the previous message from the PO was negative. I know the agony you are suffering from. Best luck to your application.


September 9, 2011 @ 10:58 am ·


Do you happen to know the percentile of your colleague’s RO1? Is she/he an established or new investigator? My application also falls in the NCI gray zone. Thank you for sharing the information.

jonas said

September 9, 2011 @ 3:32 pm ·

it seems like final decisions are being made by the NCI leaders

so if you have a grant waiting for a decision on the funding selection you should contact your PO

Cheryl said

September 7, 2011 @ 1:12 pm ·

Thank you Biologist and Californian for your comments. I appreciate the constructive thoughts that make this blog great. It doesn’t sound like there is a co-PO of this project, it sounds like it was more of an emergency causing the PO to go out of town. I am currently thinking I’ll go ahead with another F31, and then hopefully help out with an R01 or R21 in the lab. Thanks.

Ted said

September 8, 2011 @ 12:20 pm ·

The council meeting for my application was just held. I am wondering whether anyone knows if an application will be funded, what will be the status shown in era common? Should it be still ” Pending council review”, or “Council meeting completed” or “pending”? Thanks inadvance for your reply.

writedit said

September 14, 2011 @ 8:47 am ·

You won’t receive word if it isn’t being funded, so you should just check with your PO than keep checking your eRA Commons status every day. Good luck.

MKim said

September 8, 2011 @ 6:08 pm ·

I received a 2 year grant from NIH. The NoA shows 2 year funding. However the funding was released for 1 year. The eRA common shows, upon submission of progress report the second year funding will be released. How remote are the chances, that the second year will not be released. If the progress report is submitted on time and is upto satisfaction, is there any reason the funding for the second year may not be released.

drugmonkey said

September 12, 2011 @ 12:06 am ·

IME, it would be highly unusual for Program to fail to fund the second year of the grant. Highly. Why are you concerned? Have you knowledge of any situations where the grant was terminated at the noncompeting anniversary for no apparent reason?

Z said

September 11, 2011 @ 6:36 pm ·

Hello all,

Has anyone heard anything from NICHD PO’s about a possible raise in the payline for this last month in FY2011?

Monisha said

September 15, 2011 @ 2:50 pm ·

I just heard my 13th percentile R01 (with NI status) is being picked up, so i know they are trying to reach down for new investigators/early stage folks. Dunno about anyone else.

writedit said

September 15, 2011 @ 6:56 pm ·

Congratulations – and thanks for sharing your experience. Best wishes for success with your research!

SO2 said

September 15, 2011 @ 9:34 pm ·

My 12th percentile R01 application is also being picking up by NICHD. I am NI too.

Good luck to everyone. Greatly thank Writedit for such a useful website.

writedit said

September 15, 2011 @ 9:37 pm ·

Congratulations and thanks so much for sharing the details of your success. Best wishes for success with your research!

Z said

September 16, 2011 @ 9:27 am ·

Thank you all for the updates, it is much appreciated. From a combination of these posts and emails back and forth with my PO, looks like NICHD is dipping into ESI/NI apps at the R01 level that are above 11th but from how things stand, the payline does not seem likely to go up across the board. I guess this will make ESI/NI folks think twice about submitting at any other mechanism other than R01 (at least it will for me, I am sitting on an R21 at 12th)?

Maybe they should just, as a general rule, tell all us ESI/NI folks to submit R01s until one “hits” and forget the other mechanisms? In this economy (and assuming that you have even a hint of pilot data to support your app), if you only get “brownie points” for ESI/NI status if you submit R01s, why would you submit under any other mechanism?

writedit said

September 16, 2011 @ 9:42 am ·

Skipping the other mechanisms and sticking with R01 applications is generally my advice in view of the R01 budget level, duration, renewability, and NI/ESI breaks.

Z said

September 16, 2011 @ 9:46 am ·

Thanks writedit, this site is so helpful to all of us, you get this a lot because I follow the posts, but I wanted to just say it as well. Take care.

johnwang60077 said

September 12, 2011 @ 11:50 am ·

Does anyone know NIDDK council meeting? I have R01 scored 8th and IF of 23, still not information yet. Nervously waiting.

writedit said

September 14, 2011 @ 8:53 am ·

You should be in good shape with an 8th percentile score. If this is for FY12, though, it may be quite a while still before you hear anything … though I would expect them to pay awards below the 10th percentile sometime this fall/winter (depending on when your start date is).

JustWaiting said

September 14, 2011 @ 7:01 pm ·

I sincerely hope you get your NIDDK RO1. My RO1, with a 12% and IF of 23 will NOT be funded. I’m a NI too. Why are we doing this again?

Ms.Beaker said

September 13, 2011 @ 5:16 pm ·

One of my post-doctoral fellows is requesting their stipend be increased to the next nih stipend level on the exact date of their hire. The university is stating they only do raises on fiscal year dates (annual, mid-year with exception). Is the PI obligated to adhere to this punctually? I want to support the fellows, but my opinion is it should be performance driven. If they are still paid off of my grants and have not yet received their own funding, nor published their work, I feel it is at my discretion. In these tight funding times when all other positions are at a salary freeze, the post-doc situation is a conundrum. Maybe I’m just being a stingy PI – I worked long hours for little pay so am passing on the tough love! Advice….

Waiting4funding said

September 13, 2011 @ 8:20 pm ·

There is no clear answer for your question. Based on my own experience, it mainly depends on your institution. For example, we have to increase postdoc salaries on their anniversary dates in our university. I share your frustration, but it’s our policy. The bottom line is that you may not use their performance factors to make a decision for this type of increase. As a PI, you have right to address your concerns on their performance anytime. Hope it helps.

madness007 said

September 14, 2011 @ 9:50 am ·

Just to clarify here, you are upset over raising a post-doc salary based on the NRSA payscale, correct? I’m assuming this b/c most institutions use this payscale for post-doc salaries. So between year 0 and year 1 we are talking about an increase in salary of $2052 annually or $171/month. Now I understand that times are tough, but I would imagine that compared to your consumables cost or your molecular biology reagents paying a post-doc an extra $171/month is rather trivial. But to this post-doc it can mean paying down credit card debt or having a little extra money to pay child-care or rent/mortgage payments. I’m just trying to look at this situation from both sides.

Ms.Beaker said

September 15, 2011 @ 10:41 pm ·

No I totally understand their situation, and when I was in the same boat I greatly anticipated the yearly increase, as little as it was. However, I had my own NRSA grant and my dates and salaries were set. I feel if post-docs are not on their own funding they have less bargaining power for requesting raises from underfunded NIH or other grants. Nonetheless I do adhere to the NIH scale. The disagreement was that my Dept/Institution only does post-doc raises bi-annually – so if they have to wait a few months I don’t want to hear about it – I didn’t set the policy. The PD office is trying to debunk this policy – so I am caught in the middle. And since none of this is performance based – the very best hard working post-docs get the same increase as the below average ones – just sayin’.

mph said

September 13, 2011 @ 7:20 pm ·

Hi – I recently read an article targeting junior researchers and addressing how to be a good research citizen. I believe it was 10 points, one of them addressed doing good/constructive peer review. I thought I linked to the article from this thread of comments but can’t seem to find it. If this sounds familiar to anyone or you know of the article I am referring to, could you please post the title or a link? Thanks!

writedit said

September 14, 2011 @ 8:58 am ·

Perhaps this …

Ten Simple Rules for Building and Maintaining a Scientific Reputation. Philip Bourne, Virginia Barbour. PLoS Computational Biology 2011;7(6):e1002108

mph said

September 14, 2011 @ 12:00 pm ·

That is it! Thanks so much.

Dustin said

September 14, 2011 @ 2:12 pm ·

I am currently an early stage investigator. In December 2010, I submitted a Phase II SBIR (R44) that I recently found out will be funded (though I still do not have the NGA). I understand that this will remove my ESI status.

In January 2011, I submitted an R01 to NIA, which received 15% and I was told will likely be funded. However, last week, I was notified that I cannot receive the R01 because receiving the SBIR will cancel my ESI status. However, I was clearly an ESI when the R01 when it was submitted. According to NIH policy (V.4 at, ESI iseligibility is based on when the grant was submitted, not when reviewed.

What’s my best course of actution?

writedit said

September 14, 2011 @ 3:25 pm ·

If you pointed this out to your NIA PO (is the SBIR also funded by NIA?), you can send your query (with a request that someone call you about your situation) to the ESI help desk: The policy you cite is in regard to 2 R01 applications; I would assume the policy would be the same for other mechanisms, but perhaps not, and perhaps ICs have leeway in making these calls. I am not sure, so would suggest you check with ESI and NIA.

Dustin said

September 14, 2011 @ 3:35 pm ·

Yeah, I did point this to the PO and he said he confirmed with the director of his extramural office that it’s not when you submit the grant, but when you get funding. Both grants are with NIA. I’ll email the ESI help desk to see what they say. Thanks.

Stillwaiting said

September 15, 2011 @ 1:02 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

I have a 12th percentile RO1 in NCI for FY2011. I have a great difficulty to contact my PO, who appeared never in his office. Does this grant have any chance for funding for this year…. or should I just forget and look for other options for my career. It is so frustrating to have this type of the PI in the current funding climate. Thanks,

writedit said

September 16, 2011 @ 6:11 am ·

FY11 ends in 2 weeks, so if your PO has not previously suggested your application is under consideration and is not responsive now, it is not likely that your application will be picked up at this point. You can certainly try to see if another PO might be interested in your research for future applications (as well as other ICs).

On double-dipping your ESI/NI designation at the NIH | DrugMonkey said

September 14, 2011 @ 4:01 pm ·

[…] this doesn’t mean that this carries over into when the funding decision is made. As the commenter found out. Yeah, I did point this to the PO and he said he confirmed with the director of his extramural […]

K said

September 15, 2011 @ 11:32 am ·

Just received the Notice of Award today for my R03 from NCI. Impact/priority score of 20. Submitted in November 2010, study section in April, council in June. My first NIH submission, and this forum has been a great help as I waited and waited each step of the way…

writedit said

September 15, 2011 @ 6:54 pm ·

Congratulations!!! Best wishes for success with the research!

Dennis said

September 15, 2011 @ 3:04 pm ·


I re-submitted an SBIR Phase I proposal to NCI (April 5 deadline) and received a Priority/Impact score of 19 (7 points better than the 26 I got on the original submission!). The CSR Special Emphasis panel met on July 14, 2011 and the council meeting date is Oct 2011.

This morning, when checking, I noticed that the status changed yesterday from “Scientific Review Group Pending” to “Council Review completed.” How can the council review be completed when it wasn’t scheduled for review by them until October? I apologize for my possible naivete, but can someone please explain what, if anything, this new designation might mean? Thank you very much.

Richard said

September 15, 2011 @ 5:49 pm ·

NCI council meeting was held on Sept. 12-14.

Puzzled said

September 17, 2011 @ 3:20 am ·

I am in the same boat (NIBIB R01, A0, 13th percentile). My Council meeting was initially supposed to be Oct 2011 but a week ago I saw eRA Commons suddenly changed to say 9/12/2011 for the “Advisory Council meeting”, so I scrambled to send the PO a response to the reviews. I haven’t heard from them, despite several emails. But oddly it says “Council Review Completed”, and Council meeting: 10/2011, which is contradictory? I wonder if the decision was made to have the meeting early as the financial year FY11 ends on Sept 30. Has this happened to anyone else? Thanks!

writedit said

September 17, 2011 @ 10:41 am ·

Did your PO ask you to submit a response to the reviews? Some Councils provide electronic approval of a block of applications the IC knows will be considered for funding (and do not have any administrative issues) in advance of the actual in-person meeting. Council does not make final funding decisions, though, so your rebuttal would only be needed for subsequent discussions among NIBIB program leaders in deciding which applications to fund outside the payline.

Pom Sailasuta said

September 15, 2011 @ 11:31 pm ·

Does anyone know if payline for NIDA for special emphasis section for international study? My R21 just changed to ‘council review completed’ status.


marine le pen said

September 16, 2011 @ 3:49 pm ·

Thank you so much for sharing with us “NIH Paylines & Resources Medical Writing, Editing & Grantsmanship”.

ss said

September 16, 2011 @ 5:26 pm ·

Hi, we received a request from the GMS for the F&A rate agreement. I thought it might mean something good, but the grant was reviewed in June and just went through the council last week. Should it fall into the FY2012 funding plan? We should have a long waiting time, but why the F&A solicitation came so early? Anybody had the experinece before?

writedit said

September 17, 2011 @ 10:37 am ·

This should be an FY12 award (so a long way off) unless it was submitted to an RFA or PAR that specifically indicates earlier start dates. The F&A request is a bit odd – this should have been clear when the grant was submitted (is not part of JIT). Perhaps your institution is renegotiating its F&A rate with the NIH … or perhaps your budget did not use the correct formula. Was the grant scored competitively? If so, they would need to clear up any concerns about the F&A rate before it goes to Council – Council cannot approve any applications with administrative issues such as this, and the IC will send a list of all applications it might fund, so Council approval is in hand when they make final funding decisions.

curiosity said

September 18, 2011 @ 10:08 pm ·

The reviewer list for the study section to which my application has been assigned has some “mail reviewers” listed. Does this mean that these people are not participating at all (i.e., even by phone) in the actual meeting? If so, is that because the applications that they reviewed are not being discussed because their scores were too low? Or were they just unable to attend the meeting for some other reason?

writedit said

September 18, 2011 @ 10:30 pm ·

I trust someone will correct me if I am in error on this, but I do not believe the designated mail reviewers attend either in person or by phone and do not submit a final overall impact score to be factored into your score/percentile if your application is discussed.

SaG said

September 19, 2011 @ 7:32 am ·

Writedit is, always, correct about mail reviewers. In my experience having a mail reviewer on a panel has nothing to do with whether a specific app has been or will be Not Discussed. You tend to see a lot of mail in reviewers with panels that use Scarpa’s Editorial Board type Study Section review (see the ARRA panels).

But, any panel can use a mail reviewer. They are especially useful when you have an app that needs very specific expertise that falls well outside what is typically found amongst scientists of that field.

ESS said

September 18, 2011 @ 10:55 pm ·

My RO1 proposal received a 32% score (A0). However, I may not resubmit it due to that our new data don’t support one of Aims. I would like to know if it is a good idea to withdraw this proposal first, then I can submit it as a new proposal with a subtle change.

writedit said

September 19, 2011 @ 3:54 pm ·

Withdrawing the application after its review does not mean you can submit essentially the same proposal as new. (anyone with an unscored A0 would want to do the same) You can either change this aim as appropriate for the A1 (and address reviewer concerns) or revise more/most of the aims (and approach as appropriate) and submit as an A0. If reviewers were concerned about the aim you need to change anyway, the A1 might be the more effective strategy, but it is hard to say without more details. Your PO might offer some guidance, especially if he/she was at the SRG meeting and can expand on how the discussion of your application went.

silbrandeb said

September 19, 2011 @ 3:07 pm ·

I just recently found out that my NCI R21 has been funded. It was reviewed on October 2010, 22 Impact score, 10th percentile. My PO was supportive but told me that it was not likely to be funded after the last round at council… A couple of weeks ago he wrote to request the JIT and sent the good news last week. Thank you Writedit and all who post here for all the support and valuable information, and good luck to all with your grants!

writedit said

September 19, 2011 @ 3:48 pm ·

Congratulations and thank you so much for recapping your story here! All of you sharing your experiences and intel like this make the site valuable. Best wishes for success on your research!

jonas said

September 19, 2011 @ 4:25 pm ·

My situation is similar (11% percentile). Thanks to everybody that has helped with info and made the wait a bit more bearable. Can’t reinforce how important it is to keep contact with your PO!!!

writedit said

September 19, 2011 @ 4:30 pm ·

Thanks for the reinforcement here … and congrats – best wishes for success with the research!

Tball said

September 20, 2011 @ 11:12 am ·

Anyone have any idea about how select pay notification works? I have an RO1 app through NIAID that was scored at 16th percentile, and I am a new investigator. This misses the payline by 2 percent, but I met the program official at a meeting a few weeks ago and he mentioned that he was nominating my application for selective pay at council on Sept. 19th, as I was new and the project was based on a PA they are interested in funding. I never met him before and he came up to me and introduced himself and provided this info. Any idea when I should expect to see any change in the commons status? I hate to bug the PO, as the end of the fiscal year is a little crazy.

writedit said

September 20, 2011 @ 11:50 am ·

Wow. Had you communicated with the PO at all (ever) about your application? That’s fantastic news that he took the initiative to introduce himself and advocate for your application based entirely on your science. I do not think he would mind if you dropped him a note asking him for an update. Just a sentence or two thanking him for his efforts and for introducing himself and asking whether your application was selected. I think he’ll be happy to hear from you, especially if you did not communicate again after the meeting.

Tball said

September 20, 2011 @ 11:56 am ·

I’d never met the PO before, but we spoke on the phone about the grant after I got the summary statements. It has already been submitted as an A1, and I outlined some of the changes to him when we spoke on the phone. I never met him in person before, and he found me during the meeting’s poster session. It was very odd, but I was thrilled to hear this grant might have a shot via selective pay. Perhaps a short note is a good idea. Thanks.

jonas said

September 20, 2011 @ 4:27 pm ·

I would not expect the commons to reflect what it is actually happening

I have heard that things are moving faster than what shows up in the commons. So talk to the PO if you need info dont expect for changes in the commons

Tball said

September 21, 2011 @ 8:22 pm ·

Just talked to the program officer. He told me my grant survived council and is going to be paid. He said it is waiting in line to be paid, and they paid grants from council in a priority order, and continue to do so until they run out of money. He wasn’t sure when it would be paid, but it will be funded. He thought it had a shot at making it out this fiscal year, but it was already approved and if it didn’t it would be paid in the next fiscal year.

Time to celebrate. Thanks to all for the advice.

writedit said

September 21, 2011 @ 11:25 pm ·

Congratulations and thanks so much for the updated details! Best wishes for success with the research.

Arnold said

September 20, 2011 @ 1:29 pm ·

My grant was reviewed at study section, and it received a 13%ile and priority score of 20. I have NI/ESI status, and the application went to NCI. Council met Sept 12th. My question is the following. My P.O. mentioned that he would be nominating my grant application for exception. However, when I called him on Sept 12th, he said that he had not heard anything about my grant. If this is the case and since the council meeting is over, is there still a chance for a funding exception? I am confused about how this process works. It seems to me that he would have to nominate my grant before the council meets, but maybe the nominations occur after the council meeting. Thanks in advance.

writedit said

September 20, 2011 @ 1:38 pm ·

If you search this page for NCI, you will see past posts discussing how funding decisions are made there now. For new/ESI applications scored in the 11th-25th percentile, the scientific program leaders discuss and select applications for funding by exception, not Council (they approve applications for NCI personnel to consider for funding). I believe this will not occur until ~November for applications from the Sept Council meeting. You might ask your PO if you need to prepare any sort of rebuttal to the summary statement or submit any new data that might help him make your case. No matter what, though, gray zone funding decisions will be delayed until a budget has been approved. The CR that will start FY12 (and last until Nov 18) includes a 1.5% across the board cut from FY11, so NIH will be starting with less money than they had last year; ICs will need to wait and see if this appropriation stays the same, drops further, or increases before making awards.

Arnold said

September 20, 2011 @ 1:45 pm ·

Thanks so much for the reply and explanation. Just to clarify and make sure I understand…the Council decides which applications to let the SPL consider. Does the PO have to nominate applications for the Council to make this decision? My concern is that my PO did not have a chance to nominate mine although he told me he would. I know I am obsessing, but it helps for me to understand.

Thanks again for your help.

writedit said

September 20, 2011 @ 2:01 pm ·

I believe everything in the gray zone (8-15th percentile for established, 11-25th for NI/ESI) gets sent to Council for formal approval (though administrative issues could bar approval at this level), and the SPL then start (and continue) discussing applications for exception pay as funding permits. However, I do recall someone here posting about pre-Council approval, so perhaps the first level cuts are made before Council, with many more applications winnowed out afterward. It sounds like your PO is being an advocate, though, and probably did do whatever he needed to to ensure your application was on the list approved by Council (and he genuinely may not know that outcome yet). At this point, you could thank him for his support and advocacy and ask if he needs any supportive material from you (response to reviewers, new data, etc.).

Arnold said

September 20, 2011 @ 2:04 pm ·

Thank you for discussing, Writedit. I appreciate it.

Julia said

September 21, 2011 @ 12:25 am ·

I have often see grants funded from special emphasis panel section, but I do not see a study section with such name. How do we submit grants to the special emphasis section? Thanks for your info.

writedit said

September 21, 2011 @ 5:08 am ·

You do not request a SEP … these are set up on an ad hoc to review specific applications submitted by regular members of SRGs (so in conflict to be reviewed with the rest of the applications) as well as certain RFAs and PARs (that is, ICs set up their own internally).

Julia said

September 21, 2011 @ 7:48 pm ·

thanks for your info.

Julia said

September 21, 2011 @ 12:31 am ·

How do we find out what the IC’s funding priorities are? I submitted a grant last year only to find out that my study section has the least funded grants amongst all the study sections.

writedit said

September 21, 2011 @ 5:10 am ·

You look at the individual IC pages to see their strategic plans and funding priorities. You look at CSR and IC study section rosters ( to see the expertise and interests of the reviewers assessing the scientific merit of applications (not related to funding priorities, as study sections do not “fund” applications). You can request each (assigned IC(s) and study section) in the cover letter of your application.

drugmonkey said

September 21, 2011 @ 10:50 am ·

The “least funded” is absolutely irrelevant to your chances since you don’t know the base rate. How many applications have been reviewed in each study section with primary assignment to a given IC for funding.

JuniorPI said

September 21, 2011 @ 10:42 am ·

Just a follow up, my grant that was in the gray zone at NIDDK did not get funded. I am now preparing a new grant and am concerned because I had a good score, was an ESI, had discussed the grant with the PO for programmatic relevance and understood from the PO that I was near the top of the list for special emphasis funding. I am trying to get the PO on the phone to discuss why the grant wasn’t funded so that I can fix this in my new application but he will not answer e-mails or phone calls. And this has been the case since last December. How do I get feedback if the PO refuses to answer phone calls or e-mails? Is there someone else at the NIDDK that I can call or write to for information. To not get the grant after so much waiting and patience (I wrote the grant in March of 2010) is bad enough but after hearing so much on this blog about how important it is to talk to the program officer, how do get help if the PO won’t talk to me or respond to my e-mails?

writedit said

September 21, 2011 @ 10:54 am ·

If you go through the Scientific Areas on the NIDDK Website – – you will see lists of POs for each. You can see if someone else on your list has relevant grants in his/her portfolio (search RePORTER) and contact them if it looks like there might be a reasonable fit. If your work is too specialized, then you need to go to the appropriate Division Director for recourse: explain what has been going on and ask who else can help you. He or she shouldn’t want to see a promising new investigator struggling like this.

JuniorPI said

September 23, 2011 @ 1:52 pm ·

Thanks , I did finally speak to the PO today. So the rule is at NIDDK that ESI and NIs get a 1 point bump in the payline. To create parity all NI/ESI grants within 10 points of the payline are automatically reevaluated for special emphasis funding (short RO1 or 56). The problem is that there was no special emphasis funding this year.This amounts to a de facto cut in the payline for ESI from 29th percentile in FY2010 to 18th percentile in FY 2011 but apparently this was necessary to maintain other paylines. In addition more money was spent than previously on center grants and program project grants…so it looks like that’s the end.

writedit said

September 23, 2011 @ 2:09 pm ·

Thanks for posting this update … sorry there isn’t better news at the end of such a long slog.

JuniorPI said

September 21, 2011 @ 10:46 am ·

As a follow up, can you request that a grant not go to a particular PO if, as seems to be the case with me, the PO does not seem to be responsive? I need guidance and feel that I cannot write a grant in a vacuum.

hopeful said

September 21, 2011 @ 11:06 am ·

I just received my notice of award from NIMH for my F31 (April ’11, 21, 8%). Thank you for all of the advise on this board – I’ve consulted it several times during the writing (and waiting) process.

writedit said

September 21, 2011 @ 11:11 am ·

Congratulations and thank you for sharing the details of your success! Best wishes for success with your graduate studies and research!

tinylight said

September 23, 2011 @ 10:37 am ·

What does it mean when your grant isn’t assigned a program officer or grants management specialist? This is an R01 from NIDA with a 5%. Council met this month. It’s making me nervous.

writedit said

September 23, 2011 @ 10:43 am ·

Your PO is listed on the summary statement … and one would hope you have already communicated with him/her. If not, now would be a good time to start, to ask about the status of your application. If this is for FY12, the GMS won’t come into play until an award is being prepared, and that might not be for a few months, depending on the budget situation.

Anonymous said

September 23, 2011 @ 1:12 pm ·

There’s a code in the system that drives assignments which is probably blank (it happens on occasion). Once you get in contact with NIDA, someone should populate it, thus assigning a program officer and grant specialist.

tinylight said

September 23, 2011 @ 2:25 pm ·

Thank you- they just took care of it.

tinylight said

September 23, 2011 @ 11:05 am ·

One would think that the PO would be on the summary statement… but no one is listed. This is not my first R01- I’ve never had this happen before. I’ve contacted my past PO from the agency as well as a PO on another grant from the agency. No one has responded…

writedit said

September 23, 2011 @ 11:16 am ·

I would suggest contacting the NIDA Office of Extramural Affairs for clarification on to whom your application was assigned (and its current staus).

tinylight said

September 23, 2011 @ 11:21 am ·

I’m going to- I just wondered if it ever happened and if it meant something. Thank you !

Forever Granthunter said

September 23, 2011 @ 1:41 pm ·

New applicants,

There is a very informative, educational and well done New VIdeo at CSR web site for new applicants. I just went through it and even, for my age and experience, there are new things that I needed learn.

Thank you CSR and keep going Dr Nakamura. You rock!.

writedit said

September 23, 2011 @ 2:05 pm ·

For those wondering where to find the videos:

Researcher said

September 23, 2011 @ 2:22 pm ·

Wow, I can’t believe they kept the names of the applicants in the video!

brewers said

September 24, 2011 @ 12:35 am ·

Can anyone provide information about R25 paylines? We just received an impact score of 25 (NIDA) (not percentiled). It is clearly an oustanding score, but it is the first time I have used this mechanism and cannot seem to find any information about R25 paylines.

writedit said

September 24, 2011 @ 9:37 am ·

Your PO is the best source of intel on gauging the likelihood of funding, especially since program usually plays a bigger role selecting education grant awards. He or she should be willing to give you an idea of where you stand in the pile, though if this is for FY12, he or she might not know how many awards are likely to be made.

Nissl said

September 25, 2011 @ 12:48 pm ·


I have a question about submitting supplemental materials prior to your grant review meeting for F31s. The instructions make it seem like nothing except newly accepted for publication articles are welcome.

Would you submit an update about your abstract being accepted for a conference, a new award, or anything like that? Or is it best to just not submit any additional information? I’d hate to bug the SRO.

many thanks!

hopeful said

September 25, 2011 @ 12:58 pm ·

I can contribute my experience, although I’m not an expert. My mentor received a NOA for her R01 during my F31 pre-review period. I was told by my SRO to submit her revised biosketch reflecting the funding since it directly affected my capacity to carry out my study and affected my resources (I’m using her participants). I didn’t change anything else about the biosketches, even though I had new studies accepted to conferences and minor local awards, etc. Of course, I would have submitted accepted papers, since those are explicitly permitted. Good luck!

writedit said

September 25, 2011 @ 1:52 pm ·

The NoA is a little different from an abstract accepted for a conference. Although I don’t think NIH policy would include an abstract accepted for supplemental material, if the SRO has not specifically asked for any materials yet, you could ask him/her when supplemental materials need to be submitted … and, oh, would your conference abstract be acceptable.

SKate said

September 26, 2011 @ 10:06 am ·

Does anyone know typically how long it takes to get your NOA (if you are going to get one) after council review? Council review was just completed on Thursday (22nd) for the resubmission of my R03 at NICHD. My impact score was a 19 and the 6th percentile. I’m hopeful, but I realize the current funding climate is crazy.

writedit said

September 26, 2011 @ 11:34 am ·

If this is for FY12, which I assume it is, you should not expect anything any earlier than your requested start date (Dec I assume). Actual timing will depend on the budget situation, but your percentile should get you funded in the first batch (versus those in the gray zone) … unless the budget cut in the CR means even lower percentiles to start off the year. After Oct 1, your PO might have a little more insight on timing (of information, if not actual NoAs).

Julia said

September 28, 2011 @ 12:26 am ·

Writedit, I am planning to request my proposal to have a secondary IC. Do I have to justify why I request a secondary IC on the cover letter? Will the secondary IC see this reasoning or it is only for the CSR to see? Thanks for your info.

writedit said

September 28, 2011 @ 8:05 am ·

Yes, you list the ICs to which you would like your application assigned (as well as the SRG) in bullet format and then add a brief explanation for these requests. What is best is if you name the PO at the secondary IC with whom you have discussed your application, which makes it easier for the CSR referral officer, who will contact this PO to ensure the secondary IC will accept assignment of the application. The PO at the primary IC with whom you have been communicating should also be named in the cover letter for the same reason. If no POs are named, I believe the referral officer will contact the extramural research office at the IC to determine whether the IC will accept the application based on your abstract and cover letter justification.

Julia said

September 28, 2011 @ 7:17 pm ·

Writedit, Thanks a lot!

Anxious said

September 28, 2011 @ 2:22 pm ·

Writedit, two questions please:

1) Is there any hope of grants still being funded for FY2011? I am an NI/ESI with a good score on my RO1 (first submission) and was informed by the PO that the grant was still wait listed for funding about 6 weeks ago. With just a few days left in the cycle, what are the odds of being funded this late?

2) If I don’t get funded, I am concerned about the revision that I already submitted. The reviewers on the study section have changed dramatically. Am I likely to get two new reviewers?

Thank you.

writedit said

September 28, 2011 @ 5:51 pm ·

1) Possible but not probable (since they will process awards up until the last day) … but your PO can tell you for sure, especially if you wait until next week to ask about the final outcome.

2) You will get at least one new reviewer, perhaps two, depending on what the SRO can work out and decides is best for your application. At this point, though, there is not much to do about it.

jonas said

September 28, 2011 @ 4:00 pm ·

Writedit, one question my research office screwed up the JIT budget request and included the 87% reduction, which was then reduced again by the NIH in the NOA. Now the NIH says that if there is money in 2011 they will reevaluate the situation. Is there anything else I can do? should i let my PO know? can he do anything? this is in the grant management specialist hands.

writedit said

September 28, 2011 @ 5:54 pm ·

You should let your PO know about the situation, though he/she probably heard about it from the GMS. If the GMS is working on resolving this, I am not sure there is anything else you can do. However, if you have significantly less funding, then you may want to talk with your PO about a change in scope, if the award amount cannot be corrected, to be sure you are not held accountable for work you cannot afford to accomplish now.

Curie said

September 28, 2011 @ 8:05 pm ·

do you mean, you got 23% of what was originally budgeted + mandatory nih cut?

jonas said

September 29, 2011 @ 9:40 am ·

no we got an extra 13% cut on top of the expected 13% reduction. I’ll email the GMS and cc the PO and hope they can resolve the issue

Thanks for your help!

Curie said

September 28, 2011 @ 8:06 pm ·

do you mean, you got 13% of what was originally budgeted + mandatory nih cut?

uka-uka said

September 28, 2011 @ 10:56 pm ·

Dear everybody, fantanstic site!

I just got terrible score 49 on my R15.Very devastating, since comparing it with other R15s from my study section, I was full of hope. I do not see anybody here reporting anything even close to this. Looks like everybody got much lower=better. I am surprised it’s been discussed and scored at all. Does it make sense to resubmit? is it realistic to expect to fall down to 24 and lower from 49?

Right now I simpy feel I cannot do it any better.((((

D said

September 29, 2011 @ 8:23 am ·

The tough love answer is ….suck it up and resubmit! You got a score which is some good news. Wait for your Summary Statement and make changes accordingly. It is definitely not unheard of for a grant to go from ND (not discussed) to funded with the next submission. Also, after the SS arrives give your PO a call and get his.her opinion.

You are still in the game. Not get out there and win one for the Gipper!

D said

September 29, 2011 @ 8:25 am ·

Dang it. I meant, “Now get out there and win one for the Gipper

ShawnB said

September 29, 2011 @ 10:51 am ·

My R15 (AREA) submission Feb 2011 went to NINDS (BINP section). It scored priority 23 and percentile 18th. The requested start date was Jan 1 2012. Council met this month (September). I just got an e-mail stating that the grant will not be funded. Isn’t this grant on 2012 budgets, which aren’t established yet? How can a no funding decision be made even before the fiscal year begins?

drugmonkey said

September 29, 2011 @ 12:41 pm ·

How can a no funding decision be made even before the fiscal year begins?

Because Program sees no conceivable way you are going to make it over the line with that score given likely budgets?

And anyway, if a miracle occurs and Congress magically decides to double the NIH budget next year, they can always pick the grant up even if they’ve told you “no way”.

ShawnB said

September 30, 2011 @ 1:33 pm ·

Okay, I get that. But is NINDS really at a point where 18th percentile is so ridiculously beyond the conceivable funding line that they wouldn’t even wait for a budget (and when 2011 success rate for these grants was 23%)? I’ve e-mailed and called the PO three times in the past 4 months – never any reply. I called and the person who answered would not put me through and said that I had to set up an appointment with him by e-mail. When I said that he isn’t responding to his e-mails, she offered to send an e-mail herself… what a runaround.

writedit said

September 30, 2011 @ 1:53 pm ·

I suspect the problem is that they have nothing they can say at this point. Funding availability won’t be clear until closer to Nov 18th (if then). They are starting with a 1.5% cut from last year. Their priority is funding R01 applications. Everything else takes a back seat in the RPG category. Right now, the Senate appropriations bill for Labor, HHS, and Education cuts the NIH budget slightly from FY11 (funds NCATS, not NCRR), while the House includes a 3.3% increase (funds NCRR, not NCATS). Negotiations will occur amidst the big deficit cutting debt ceiling deal making, so who knows where the NIH appropriation will land … hopefully no worse than flat-lined (which will nonetheless flat-line a lot of ongoing research).

Jane Pencils said

September 30, 2011 @ 2:25 pm ·

I do share your frustration. One thing that we can do is to contact the Congress to make sure that they understand the urgency and importance for funding biomedical research and direct 2012 budget to fund more RPGs in FY2012.

writedit said

September 30, 2011 @ 2:32 pm ·

Absolutely! Direct that advice to both Senators and your Congressional Representative … FASEB has great resources to help you do so:

Jane Pencils said

September 30, 2011 @ 2:40 pm ·

Thank you!!

We should make action and let our voice out: funding more RPGs!!! This is a great website. Let’s fight together!

jonas said

October 3, 2011 @ 2:13 pm ·

what to do when there is overlap between an NIH application and another previously submitted grant? Should I wait to submit the NIH application until i know about the score of the previously submitted grant? I hate to wait in the current environment since we dont know what is coming down the pipe in terms of NIH budget.

writedit said

October 3, 2011 @ 6:53 pm ·

The question is how much overlap (and in what sense … aims, preliminary data, approach, hypotheses, etc.). You might be able to get some guidance from your PO. I assume you are talking about two NIH applications, but even if you submitted to a different federal agency, the issue of duplicate submission could be in play. Unless the score is clearly fundable (i.e., under 10th percentile), you may still not know the outcome of that pending application for months, so it would be best to get clarification on whether your second proposal is sufficiently different now … and what you might be able to do to craft a distinct proposal.

jonas said

October 4, 2011 @ 9:38 am ·

thank you!

Waiting said

October 3, 2011 @ 7:22 pm ·

I have a typical question that probably can’t be answered at this time, but I’ll give it a try anyway. I am a new investigator who just got a score of 23 (13%ile) on an RO1 resubmission. The primary institute is NHLBI with NCI, NIDA, and NINR as secondary. Will I just need to wait until after council in Januray to know if it’s fundable?

writedit said

October 3, 2011 @ 10:10 pm ·

NHLBI will post paylines once there is a budget, which probably will not be for some time. Your PO might have an inkling of fundability later in October, depending on whether NHLBI sets any interim paylines (NIAID just set theirs at the 8th percentile). No matter what, it will be a waiting game for some time, hopefully with good news waiting for you in the end.

Waiting said

October 4, 2011 @ 9:12 am ·

Thanks very much! I guess I’ll work on a new application for the Jan/Feb cycle in the meantime ))-:

Saheli said

October 4, 2011 @ 1:07 pm ·

Just got a priority score of 49 on first submission RO1. Have not seen the summary statements yet. Two questions that I am dealing with:

1. How do I know if it was discussed?

2. Should I reapply? What is the experience on going from this to a fundable range of 10-20?

Thanks as always.

SG said

October 4, 2011 @ 1:15 pm ·

1). If you got an Impact/Priority Score it was discussed.

2). Yes. Tough but not impossible.

mara said

October 7, 2011 @ 11:34 pm ·

I had an impact/priority score of 49 for an A0 and a 15 for A1 (K99).

writedit said

October 4, 2011 @ 1:22 pm ·

1. You have a score, ergo your application was discussed (applications that are not discussed are not scored). 2. The summary statements and PO input will indicate whether you can revise and resubmit and hope to be funded … but a resubmission would generally better than a new A0 (which would need to be changed sufficiently to qualify as an A0 in any case). Applications can go from unscored to funded, though this is most definitely the exception rather than the rule.

Jerry said

October 4, 2011 @ 2:12 pm ·

Will the SRO invite members from other panels to reviw the grant application? I suppose not, right? I intend to exclude reviewers due to potential conflict of interest. I am wondering if I should exclude reviewers from other study sections.


writedit said

October 4, 2011 @ 2:21 pm ·

Well, you don’t know who the SRO might invite as ad hoc reviewers, so anyone for whom you can provide valid, objective COI can be listed (you don’t need to specifically cite them as members of another SRG). If there are any regular members of the SRG you are worried about, I would list them first, separate from those in the larger potential ad hoc pool.

David said

October 5, 2011 @ 10:00 am ·


I am a new investigator and I just found out my R01 resubmission application with NIDDK was not discussed. However, my initial score was 36 (24th percentile). I did not get summary statement yet.

Should I appeal? What is the appeal success rate?

Any suggestion?


writedit said

October 5, 2011 @ 10:22 am ·

You cannot appeal just because your A1 was not discussed. You can only appeal scientifically inaccurate (as demonstrated objectively, not due to differences in opinion or interpretation of data) criticisms in the summary statement. These faulty critiques would need to demonstrate major misunderstanding of your science that did not result from the way in which you wrote the narrative. You should realize it is not too uncommon for applications to be scored as A0s and not discussed as A1s … could be you landed in a much larger and/or more competitive pool the second time around. When you have your summary statement, you can talk with your PO about reworking the proposal to be a legitimate and competitive A0, but I do not expect you will find grounds for appeal (and I never recommend doing so, since you just piss off the SRO and the same reviewers you will return to with future applications).

md said

October 5, 2011 @ 10:17 am ·

exactly the same story here. my Ao received 32 is and 36% but a1 was not even discussed despite all the improvements we made. both grants went to the same panel. should we appeal? what are my chances. i am esi.

TM said

October 7, 2011 @ 9:52 am ·

Same here, new investigator, NIDDK, A0 was @ 21%, A1 is @ 39%!!!

My PO had told me that they really liked the A0 application, so all I did was make minor revisions they asked for.

I did notice a large turnover in the study section roster.

I am waiting for comment to see before talking to my PO.

writedit said

October 7, 2011 @ 9:56 am ·

Your A0 is still active, so if your PO really likes the science and wants it in his/her portfolio, it would be quite a stretch but not impossible for pay by exception. You can see what the PO advises when the summary statement is posted.

Jerry said

October 5, 2011 @ 11:29 am ·

Do we have to specify the reasons? What do people usually say about COI?


sleepless said

October 5, 2011 @ 11:39 am ·

Good news on the horizon!

writedit said

October 5, 2011 @ 11:41 am ·

COI is not a reason for appeal since you do not know who reviewed your application, and you should have in advance (in your cover letter) identified any regular study section members (and potential ad hoc reviewers) who should not be assigned to review your application due to COI (and given details on the nature of the COI).

John said

October 6, 2011 @ 9:49 am ·

Anyone has some info for NHLBI’s interim payline of 2012

Tony said

October 6, 2011 @ 3:50 pm ·

I have heard around 10%, no word yet on whether ESI status will give the 10% bump of recent years..

John said

October 6, 2011 @ 4:52 pm ·

Thank you, Tony. I am ESI with 15%, so very eagerly waiting.

iseeu said

October 6, 2011 @ 9:24 pm ·

How could this happen? My A1 application was scored 28 and 18%. The score is the same as that of my A0 application but the percentile is now higher (used to be 15%). A0 was reviewed in June and A1 was reviewed in Oct. I was able to send in the revision by July. I am now very disappointed about this outcome. Will have to see the summary statement.

writedit said

October 6, 2011 @ 11:09 pm ·

This happens because the score is linked directly to your application whereas the percentile is linked to the study section (where your application ranks in the pool of applications reviewed in the last 3 rounds). Apparently your SRG became more competitive in the most recent round. NIAID has a nice tutorial on scores and percentiles: The fact that your score did not change suggests that reviewers might not have been convinced the work was sufficiently significant to warrant an improvement in score (assuming your aims and approach improved since the A0). That is, solid work, but not exciting enough to bump up the score. Or, they could still have a concern about something in your approach. You’ll need to wait for the summary statement and talk with the PO.

iseeu said

October 7, 2011 @ 10:52 am ·

Thanks writedit! I am surprised to see this because the significance score of my A0 was either 1 or 2. The issue seems to be related to patient consent. So my A0 proposal was minimally changed. I just noticed there was a new chair and new members of my study section in this run. Maybe this has something to do with the lukewarm response to the revision. Is it still rare for the score to be the same given the fact the final score is the average of all members?

Also, my A0 was actually discussed at the September council and was denied funding. However, the payline for 2012 has not been established yet. I am wondering if I can still work with my PO to base future funding decision based on A0 percentage.

writedit said

October 8, 2011 @ 8:53 am ·

I always tell PIs that just because you have addressed all the criticisms cited in the summary statement does not mean you have addressed all the potential weaknesses in the application. It seems you might have had a different set of reviewers who, like the original reviewers, agreed the problem was important but your approach was not optimal … but for different reasons. If your PO attended both meetings, he/she should know what happened and whether the application can be funded by exception in FY12 (you don’t mention which IC).

Richard said

October 7, 2011 @ 11:14 am ·

Could you please tell me how you can know your A0 was discussed at the council meeting and was denied funding? My A1 was also discussed at the September council but I did not receive any information after the meeting.

writedit said

October 7, 2011 @ 2:23 pm ·

Having your application considered at Council does not mean you will be funded – not at all. The IC Director decides which applications are funded, though Council must approve the list of applications from which the Director makes his/her selections. If you are waiting to hear about FY12 funding, you have a long wait, but your PO might have a better idea of your chances in the next few weeks.

iseeu said

October 8, 2011 @ 3:34 pm ·

Thank you Writedit. The primary IC is NINDS. I will ask my PO whether she was present at both study section meetings but I doubt she has done that. Is it legitimate to ask the SRO of my study section for this information? The SRO explicitly said in an email prior to the meeting that all questions should be directed to the PO after the study section meets.

writedit said

October 9, 2011 @ 10:08 am ·

Yes, at this point, you talk with the PO, not the SRO. If the PO did not attend one or both meetings, she can contact the SRO for details and insights on what happened.

iseeu said

October 8, 2011 @ 12:19 pm ·

Richard, I received an automated notification from the institute director.

wes said

October 8, 2011 @ 6:59 pm ·

This is the first time I heard that a proposal was denied at the council. What does your status for that grant on eRA common say? Is it “council review completed”? or “not considered for funding’? I have proposals with NCI that have done much worst than yours, but never received notice from the institute director. Are you ESI/NI?

iseeu said

October 10, 2011 @ 12:03 pm ·

I am not a ESI/NI. The status for my proposal was ‘council review completed’ and then I received this automated email after a few days.

iseeu said

October 10, 2011 @ 12:06 pm ·

Timing of score reporting on the commons.

My observation has been that proposals with higher scores always get an update of score earlier after study section meets. Anyone else has similar or opposite observation. My guess is that SROs tend to upload scores following certain order.

MD said

October 10, 2011 @ 12:41 pm ·

Why would a proposal with the following scores not discussed in the panel?

Reviewer 1: [1 1 3 2 2]

Reviewer 2: [4 2 4 4 2]

Reviewer 3: [1 2 3 4 1]

This was a resubmission (A0 received 32 impact score) and the first reviewer said “The weaknesses identified in the initial review have been well addressed in the resubmission.”

Reviewer 2 is probably a mail reviewer because many of the things he suggested we should do were proposed in an earlier version of our application which was not funded because the reviewers back then thought what we propose (and thus what reviewer 2 proposes) were not feasible. REviewer 3 didn’t provide a full review but uses the same arguments from Reviewer 2.

The project does not have any major issues. It is IRB exempt, the budget is acceptable etc.

I am really very disappointed with this outcome. I have already contacted my PO and asked him if there are “factual” reasons for an appeal. He is yet to respond. I am sure he will respond soon.

But I am still having hard time understanding why would a proposal with these scores not discussed. A0 received worse scores than these yet it was discussed.

drugmonkey said

October 10, 2011 @ 2:55 pm ·

the first reviewer may very well have thought s/he was being too lenient and adjusted the overall impact score upwards after seeing the other critiques. that is but one way. another factor could be that that section had a boatload of good grants without 3s and 4s. a third factor is that there is no *obligation* for the overall impact score to derive from the criterion scores in any way.

MD said

October 10, 2011 @ 3:07 pm ·

>>the first reviewer may very well have thought s/he was being too >>lenient and adjusted the overall impact score upwards after seeing >>the other critiques.

If this is the case am I not supposed to see the adjusted scores in the summary statement as opposed to the original scores?

>>a third factor is that there is no *obligation* for the overall impact >>score to derive from the criterion scores in any way.

Should not have this worked in my favor?As far as I know significance and investigators are the two most important criteria. I have 1s or 2s for these two. So even if all the criteria are not equally weighted I would expect this to work in my favor. I am also NI/ESI.

drugmonkey said

October 10, 2011 @ 3:28 pm ·

If this is the case am I not supposed to see the adjusted scores in the summary statement as opposed to the original scores?

Nope. While reviewers are encouraged to edit their reviews post-meeting there is no obligation to do so. What I am talking about here is the potential adjustment of the overall impact score, which you do not see in any case.The first reviewer might also agree with the other reviewers, not adjust the score and simply not contest a call to triage the application.

As far as I know significance and investigators are the two most important criteria.

actually significance and approach explain the bulk of the variance in scores. from the data published by NIGMS and by Sally Rockey on their blogs anyway. Still, these populations trends are no guarantee of what will drive the score in any given case and may not obtain for a whole study section either.

I am also NI/ESI.

that doesn’t usually work in your favor at review, save that study sections are supposed to discuss a representative fraction so that there may be some otherwise consensus triage applications getting pro-forma “discussion”. Sounds like that wasn’t the issue for your case. It may have explained why your A0 got discussed with worse scores however.

MD said

October 10, 2011 @ 3:43 pm ·

Thanks for the additional insight.

cc said

October 10, 2011 @ 7:03 pm ·

-@ MD — i’ve seen discussion order get set with reviews missing, its unfortunate, but it happens– e.g., if the favorable review of R1 got entered AFTER — i’ve seen the opposite happen too.. a really positive score inflates the average impact score but a review is missing..

i think you are justifiably upset.. but like others have commented here.. maybe there was just a really strong pool of applicants this round

drugmonkey said

October 10, 2011 @ 9:31 pm ·

“justifiably upset” about what exactly?

Worry said

October 10, 2011 @ 8:13 pm ·

Thanks Writedit for the great job answering everybody’s questions.

I submitted an R01 to NCI in Feb 2011 and it was ranked at 9% (Priority Score 25). In June 2011 I submitted a different R01 also to NCI and this time only ranked at 13% (Priority Score 30). I was NI/ESI for both pending applications. Someone with similar experiences told me that if they give you the first grant submitted in Feb, they definitely won’t consider your second grant at that percentile since you already get one. Is this true? Although the FY12 payline has been , do I have any chance to get the second grant, which I feel much stronger and interesting that the first one?


SS said

October 11, 2011 @ 7:15 am ·

Re: Just got a priority score of 49 on first submission RO1. Have not seen the summary statements yet. Two questions that I am dealing with:

1. How do I know if it was discussed?

2. Should I reapply? What is the experience on going from this to a fundable range of 10-20?


Thanks Mara, writedit, SG. My concern is that I already have an RO1 from the same study section. Will that go against me? I am also no longer an ESI/NI, so moving that far down will be a challenge. Still waiting for the summary statements.

writedit said

October 11, 2011 @ 7:24 am ·

1. You have an impact score – ergo, your application was discussed. Congratulations!

2. You should reapply – going from 49 to fundable is not without precedent – unless the research has moved in a new direction since you submitted the A0 and could be reworked again into a new A0 (taking advantage of insights from your first R01′s critiques but with two shots at funding). Your PO can offer insight as to whether the summary statement suggests resubmission is a good idea or if you should start new.

Vivian said

October 11, 2011 @ 12:06 pm ·

I received a JIT request from my GMS for an R21 on Sept 1, and she requested for us to directly email to her which we did (not upload through Commons). I immediately received a NoA with restrictions, which appears to be because the JIT information was not yet “processed”. The GMS now tells me I will not received a revised NoA until likely early Nov. The start date on the NoA is Sept 1. My question is although we cannot do any work related to human subjects because of the restrictions, will my staff be able to retroactively claim effort on this grant for any administrative work on the grant once I receive the revised NoA?

writedit said

October 11, 2011 @ 12:09 pm ·

You will need to talk with your institute grants/fiscal administrator, but you can expend NIH grant funds up to 90 days before the NoA.

neuro-phd said

October 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm ·

Hi writedit,

I’ve been reading this blog for a long time, thanks so much.

I had a percentile score of 31 on my R01 submission to NIA last year (priority score 37). We sent it back in July, and the score this time improved to 18 (priority/impact score 28). But from the payline data on this blog for NIA, it doesn’t look very promising for me. Do you think there may still be some hope? Any comments much appreciated.

writedit said

October 11, 2011 @ 2:43 pm ·

Possible but not probable. Your PO would be the one to advocate for pay by exception. If you are NI/ESI and can show that the few remaining concerns are readily addressed (and possibly have new data and/or publications), you may be in better shape – but NIA is really tough. I assume there is no secondary IC … though the 18th percentile would not do a lot better at most other ICs. Also, if the PO is excited about the project but is not optimistic about special pay, he/she should be able to provide advice on reworking it for a new A0 (and whether an upcoming RFA/PAR might be appropriate for it).

neuro-phd said

October 11, 2011 @ 2:51 pm ·

The secondary is NIBIB which doesn’t look great either for 18th percentile for NI/ESI.

I will talk to the PO once the summary is in. thanks for the suggestion.

writedit said

October 11, 2011 @ 2:53 pm ·

The ESI status helps … good luck.

neuro-phd said

October 11, 2011 @ 2:43 pm ·

Forgot to add: I am a NI/ESI.

nancy said

October 12, 2011 @ 9:21 pm ·

I have a K99 with a priority score of 30 pending council review (next week) at NHLBI. The payline for FY2011 was 30. However, keeping in mind that they don’t yet have a budget, my PO told me this week that it was unlikely they would be able to fund up to 30.

But… the GMS did send a personal JIT request 2 weeks ago.

What does this mean? that there is still a chance? And… how will I find out what the decision was? Will I need to call my PO again after council meets?

writedit said

October 12, 2011 @ 11:52 pm ·

If there is a chance of the award being paid, some ICs want to be sure there are no administrative issues before sending it to Council for approval (approval to be considered for an award, not approval to be paid). Given the timing and the score, I would guess this is your situation – that the GMS wants to be sure you get your IRB/IACUC approvals & necessary training in plus any changes in your other support in advance of Council.

nancy said

October 13, 2011 @ 5:46 pm ·

Thanks writedit. It sounds like there is a small but unlikely chance they will be able to fund it. Will they notify me about the status after council? At what point should I contact my PO again?

writedit said

October 13, 2011 @ 6:13 pm ·

You can watch your Commons status, but that will probably just say Council Review Completed. They don’t tell you if you are not going to be funded, so you will need to check in with your PO for an update, probably a week or so after Council … though if you are potentially being considered for pay by exception, your PO won’t know anything for months probably.

MH said

October 20, 2011 @ 2:20 pm ·

nancy; have you heard about NHLBI current payline for K99s ?? I spoke to my PO and he said it will go down but is not sure by how much, THANKS!!!

kriskot said

October 13, 2011 @ 12:02 pm ·

hello –

any info about NIMH paylines? I’m an ESI, just got a priority score of 26 on my A1 (9%).

I will be contacting my PO after summary statements are posted – any pointers on what to emphasize in this conversation? I ask as my score may be above the payline but still competitive with ESI status.


writedit said

October 13, 2011 @ 3:01 pm ·

Previously, NIMH has funded below the 10th percentile and then discussed everything from 11th-20th percentile to select the remaining applications to fund. They are starting out FY12 with a 1.5% cut and no guarantee whether this will go up or down for the rest of the FY, so I would expect all ICs to be pretty conservative at the outset. NIAID has its interim payline at the 8th percentile (they also reported receiving 17% more applications in the first 2 cycles for FY12 compared with FY11, so expect success rates to continue to drop).

Your plan to contact the PO after receiving your summary statements is the way to go. You will want to ask first about funding status based on the score alone (it could be the PO will tell you things look good) and then whether you can submit materials that might help make your case for select pay/pay by exception. You will want to work up a brief rebuttal to concerns raised in the discussion. If you have any new data/publications, you’ll want to mention these as well.

dnana said

October 13, 2011 @ 9:09 pm ·

I had an Ro1 that was ending on July 31st 2011. In preparation, I submitted a grant in July of 2010 and got a 16%. I resubmitted in March of 2011 and got a 7% (in June of 2011). Technically, this falls within the 2011 guidelines.

However, 2011 has passed and my grant is appears to be pushed into the 2012 budget. Can this really happen? I am scared that the funding rates will change in 2012 and I will be left out in the cold.

drugmonkey said

October 13, 2011 @ 9:41 pm ·

“pushed into”?

Homes, what was the first possible funding date you listed, given when you submitted the grant? Does that give you any hints?

dnana said

October 14, 2011 @ 7:38 am ·

I asked for 8/1/2011. The reason I say pushed is that the 2011 budget year has ended, no?

writedit said

October 14, 2011 @ 7:48 am ·

Yes, FY11 ended Sept 30th, but if you submitted in March, your earliest start date would be Dec 1, 2012 (not Aug 1 … you can’t just ask for an earlier start date – it’s not like NSF). You should be in good shape, and your PO should be able to provide some clarity and perhaps reassurance on this.

rufus said

October 15, 2011 @ 5:48 pm ·

drugmonkey –

There is ‘holmes’ and there is ‘homie’. There is no ‘homes’ per your usage. Misuse of the vernacular undermines the general air of world-weary street smart omniscience that characterizes your comments in this forum.


SaG said

October 16, 2011 @ 9:54 am ·


AH said

October 17, 2011 @ 2:25 am ·

Bazinga? amusing and interesting

writedit said

October 14, 2011 @ 7:50 am ·

I said “reassurance” before, because I would hope a 7th percentile competing renewal would be picked up by Program even if the payline constricts even further in FY12. I think they will end up being about the same though.

dnana said

January 5, 2012 @ 8:57 am ·

I am happy to say that my grant was finally funded. Albeit at 67% of the original. They say it may be adjusted back up to 80% of requested but I have my doubts.

While I am happy to get my renewal, the funding cuts make it difficult to do any work…

cass said

October 14, 2011 @ 1:29 pm ·

Dear writedit and scientists,

I would very much appreciate your suggestions for my concern.

I got 16 percentile as a ESI for my NHLBI R01 last June (scheduled for council in this month). By looking at the FY2011 payline, I thought I would get funded by a good margin (and others told me so too) and didn’t read the critiques carefully. I recently asked the PO about my funding possibility. She expects NHLBI to set conservative paylines (several % lower than 2011) and my score might be fundable if NHLBI offers a higher payline for ESIs and continues the policy of expedited review. She also said she would be happy to talk if I consider resubmitting for Nov 5 deadline.

The problem is, as I read the critiques carefully lately, I found the reviewer 2 made critical errors emphasizing several times “all the preliminary data for aims 1&2 had been published and not extended in the proposal” and gave the lowest scores. I have no idea why the person made this mistake (because I mostly (~90%) included unpublished data for the aims and clearly indicated in every figure), but am sure the comments significantly affected my overall score.

It’s been 2 wks since I asked my PO regarding this issue and no reply yet. I was considering resubmission but would like to hear your opinion.

writedit said

October 14, 2011 @ 2:55 pm ·

Are you asking for advice on whether to resubmit? You should not file a formal protest based on this one set of comments, especially if they were not reiterated in the Resume & Summary of Discussion. If there was no mention of this issue, it could be reviewer 2 raised this concern about the preliminary data and was corrected by the primary reviewer (and reviewer 2 did not go back & modify his/her comments afterward). If the Summary of Discussion did cite this specific concern, then the rest of the group agreed with this reviewer, which would suggest your application did not make the publication status of the preliminary data clear (your responsibility, so nothing you can fault the entire panel for). You should start working on a one-page rebuttal no matter what, as it might help your PO make the case for funding the A0 as a pay by exception award … and it will get you ready for the November resubmission, which would be a good idea no matter what. The A0 might get funded in the meantime, but if not, you won’t have lost time waiting to hear (because the A0 decision will not be made for months still).

cass said

October 14, 2011 @ 3:35 pm ·

Thanks writedit for your advice!!! Very helpful! Now it’s clear I should work on a rebuttal and resubmission.

Old Grantee said

October 14, 2011 @ 3:27 pm ·

Hi cass,

I am really sorry to hear that a gross misreading of reviewer #2 might have negatively affected your overall score. What I have always found very difficult to swallow is the fact that the other reviewers do no help by correcting or clarifying in “real time” apparent errors of their peers. I understand that mistakes happen but leaving mistakes like this uncorrected is setting bad precedent in review rigorousness both as individuals and as Review Panel (other than being not fair)

Having the results of a scientific/clinical objective published or unpublished is not something that can be qualified as ambiguous or “a difference in scientific opinion”. Either they are published or they are not!. AND THAT IS PUBLIC AND CAN BE CHECKED.

I truly hope that your ESI status and wise work of your PO help you getting through this adverse event successfully.

cass said

October 14, 2011 @ 4:14 pm ·

Thanks Old Grantee for your support and encouragement. I was very surprised that the reviewer repeatedly made the false statement in multiple sections including overall impact, significance, innovation and approach. More shocking thing is, although this reviewer was the only one pointed it out, his comment was reflected in the Summary of Discussion. This is a very black and white thing that can be easily checked (as I indicated in bold in all my figures as published or unpublished). I am very frustrated about not being reviewed fairly.

Old Grantee said

October 14, 2011 @ 5:11 pm ·


Writedit gave you, in my opinion, an excellent and very practical advice (in terms of effectiveness). I know how frustrating it can be. Cheers!. I am rooting for the best!.

Arnold Lee said

October 15, 2011 @ 1:08 am ·

I would not have thought that an erroneous statement of a reviewer that is reflected also in the Summary Statement would always indicate that the entire Panel agreed with the statement. I would think that a repeated assertion by a reviewer would be picked up by the SRO, and reflected in the Summary Statement, to call the applicant’s attention on something that needs to be given careful consideration.

The case reported by “cass” is an example of unintentional errors (unintentional because they can readily be identified and proved to be “de facto” errors) that points on the direction of making the system as efficient as possible by a “learning from our mistakes” approach. Having an applicant, who could have reached the payline without uncertainty if not for an error in the review, resubmitting a grant is a sign of inefficiency (unnecessary effort and pressure on applicant, additional review expense and “administrative burden” etc) that can be improved.

It occurred to me, within the context of Reviewers Training for the Continuous Review and Enhancement of Peer Review, that a historical review of Rebuttals and Appeals (i.e, last 10-20 years) could provide a very useful instrument for Reviewers Training in the form of Study Cases (errors in grant review and their management at different levels: a collective effort for continuous improvement and education).

Maybe this is an effort that Dr Nakamura, CSR Acting Director, is willing to take on if Dr Scarpa did not have time to initiate it. If this is already done, my apologies.

CD0 said

October 15, 2011 @ 9:12 am ·

I have (obviously) not seen the grant, but if the statment that most preliminary data appear in the summary of the discussion, it is clear that the issue was raised and discussed.

The reviewer may have perceived that conceptually similar information had been already published, or that your experimentsonly provide incremental information. However, it is clear that he/she brought the issue for discussion by the panel. This is fair, in my view.

Eventually,everybody in the panel has a vote, which depends on the input of the 3 reviewers. If this reviewer was able to convince the entire panel to bring down your impact score, perhaps he/she has a point.

cass said

October 15, 2011 @ 10:46 am ·

Well, I proposed a novel concept/preliminary data and there is no conceptually similar study described. This is indeed a point that the other two reviewers gave 2s (this reviewer gave 4s). The only guess I can make is that the reviewer might have seen some of my poster data presented in previous meetings and assumed that was published. Nevertheless I clearly indicated in bold “unpublished” in all the preliminary figures and if the reviewer thought those were published, he/she should’ve pointed out my honesty.

I am still not sure how the reviewer’s wrong statement convinced the voting panel. (the other two reviewers gave me 2.1 in average and my priority score was 30).

writedit said

October 15, 2011 @ 10:55 am ·

You’ll need to check with your PO about what happened during the discussion. If he/she did not attend the meeting, he/she can call the SRO for some insight, which will be critical for your resubmission.

Old Grantee said

October 15, 2011 @ 11:31 am ·


I see what you are saying. However, if your potential explanation “the reviewer may have perceived that conceptually similar information had already been published”, was the case, would it not be fair to expect his/her perception be clearly expressed in order for the candidate to reassess justification of novelty (or otherwise) of objectives 1 and 2 in the framework of the entire proposal?.

The alternative “ that your experiments only provide incremental information” raises the question as to how novel and what novelty, other than “incremental information”, ought to be in “preliminary data” for an EARLY STAGE INVESTIGATOR (ESI) seeking funding for a line of research supported by his/her publications?. However, it seems as if the reviewer’s concern is precisely “incremental information” as per his/her expression “been published and NOT EXTENDED in the proposal”.

When scientific concerns are not clearly expressed/justified “in real time” and reflected in the Summary Statement, the chances for a proper interpretation of concerns (few months after review) are minimized not optimized (as they should be). At this point, relying too much in the advice of a PO (who might or might not have been present during review and could have 50 applicants in her/his portfolio) might represent expecting the PO to be “quasi” God.

cass said

October 15, 2011 @ 1:00 pm ·

Thanks all for your comments. I am still waiting (2 weeks) for my PO’s opinion/suggestion. I sent a reminder last week but no reply yet.

BTW, writedit said “You should start working on a one-page rebuttal no matter what, as it might help your PO make the case for funding the A0 as a pay by exception award”. Does anyone have experience with writing this type of one-page rebuttal? I am new in this area and would appreciate any advice (such as format, length,etc).

writedit said

October 15, 2011 @ 1:07 pm ·

You have just one page for the Introduction to the Revised Application (same formatting constraints as any other NIH page – 1/2 in margins, 11 pt Arial et al.) and should focus on responding to issues raised in the Summary of Discussion (cite them verbatim in quotes, then your response/explanation) and summarizing (very succinctly, since details will be in Research Strategy) relevant new data/progress since the last submission. With the remaining space, you can respond to individual critiques that you feel are most important to address.

cass said

October 16, 2011 @ 1:10 am ·

Many thanks!

waiting said

October 17, 2011 @ 11:10 am ·

Let me tell you a similar experience. I once had a grant that got unscored because one of the reviewers said that my claim to a certain PUBLISHED result was “nonsense” (yes thats the exact word used!)

In other words, what I published after peer review was not valid because this reviewer (god) said so without any backup or evidence or giving me a chance to respond. Its like shooting someone point blank when they are in a tub naked, and claiming a heroic victory !!

BUT, to end this positively, you got a GOOD score. 30 can really be brought down to 10 or something if you respond to critiques. This is assuming you dont get funded in A0, which I hope happens.

good luck.

Old Grantee said

October 16, 2011 @ 8:00 am ·


Pretty sure you’ve planned it but just in case. Have your one-page rebuttal seen by colleagues (familiar with your area but also someone less familiar but with related interests), who you trust and know your work. Then ask your PO if is ok to send her/him that page for additional opinion and keep him/her aware.

Life has taught me that strength of scientific argument is as important as your tone (i.e., persuasive assertiveness). Wish you the best of luck.

cass said

October 16, 2011 @ 10:54 am ·

Thank you Old Grantee. I learned a lot.

TM said

October 18, 2011 @ 10:24 am ·

I’ve had a somewhat similar experience to what cass has brought up. I had a 21% A0 that according to my PO was very well liked by the panel. The main concern with the first review was feasibility. So we published a paper, and added a couple of new figures, and sent a revision. The A1 got a 39%!

The main criticism from the Resume and Summary is “ the Investigator responded to previous critique by greatly expanding the proposal as to make it overly ambitious”.

This all came from the primary reviewer. The problem with the review is that I did not change any of the aims or subaims!! So what was adequate for my A0 was overambitious for my A1. The kicker is that 2 of the reviewers (including the primary reviewer) had reviewed the grant before and failed to note that the aims were the same.

My PO asked me to write an informal appeal, but stressed that appeals usually go nowhere and can antagonize the reviewers.

Not having an option for an A2, I plan a new submission for February.

writedit said

October 18, 2011 @ 12:00 pm ·

I agree that even an “informal” appeal is not a good idea (and not likely to go anywhere). You could ask your PO if you might be considered for select pay/pay by exception … but I would have hoped the PO would have mentioned this originally. If both applications were in FY11, though, you might not have the option any longer.

Arnold said

October 17, 2011 @ 12:04 pm ·

Dear Writedit,

For NCI applications reviewed in June 2011 (Council met in Sept), will there be no activity until after Nov 18, when presumably the Federal budget will be determined? Or is the SPL still meeting before then to decide on grants on the bubble? Thank you.

Hopeful Writer said

October 18, 2011 @ 11:56 am ·

Just wanting to bump this topic – I was wondering the same thing

writedit said

October 18, 2011 @ 12:14 pm ·

Sorry – I thought I had actually posted a reply (vs just thinking about it). I would imagine that NCI divisions will start making decisions about which applications to send up to the SPL in the next several weeks. I know of one PI here who was told back in Aug or Sept that the SPL would not be meeting until Nov, so it could be they will wait until a clearer budget picture is available (& NCI would just start the FY by funding those applications below the 7th percentile for established PIs and below the 10th percentile for ESI/NI PIs). Now, the SPL well knows that the current CR could just be extended beyond Nov 18, so I imagine they will meet to start rank ordering applications in the gray zone being recommended (by program) for funding, though I think POs just see a possible pay list versus any sort of ordering (i.e., if you’re on the list, you are being considered, but nothing more is definite). Anyone with better intel is welcome to chime in here …

new@grants said

October 17, 2011 @ 9:58 pm ·

Dear all,

My R01 (A1) got scored at 15% (priority score 22) at NHGRI. I am an ESI. Is it right that this score might be in the gray zone of getting funded? I contacted the PO, but he hasn’t replied. In the summary statement, I see the 1st reviewer didn’t quite understood the proposal, because he/she said I didn’t propose to correct for certain bias in the data, but I spend nearly a page in the proposal to discuss a bias-correcting model. Besides, he/she thought I was in another institution. Should I bring this up with the PO? Since this is an A1, does it still help to rebuttal? Thank you!

writedit said

October 18, 2011 @ 7:11 am ·

Your PO may be waiting for an update on interim paylines before responding, since he won’t have much to tell you otherwise. If you are outside the payline, your PO may want your response to the summary statement to help make your case for pay by exception/select pay. However, if the first reviewer’s mistaken comments are not reflected in the resume/summary of discussion, then you do not need to focus on them (they were corrected during discussion). You could mention these in a conversation with the PO, if you think they reduced the primary reviewer’s enthusiasm in presenting your application (& the PO might have been at the meeting – you can ask).

Arnold Lee said

October 18, 2011 @ 11:31 am ·


Do you know what your PO meant by writing “an INFORMAL appeal”?. I think that planning a new resubmission should not exclude your option for documenting the errors that, from your perspective, have taken place in the review of your grant.

It doesn’t surprise me that your PO stressed that “appeals go nowhere and can antagonize the reviewers” because the last update of the appeal process and its regulation took place in 1997. NIH should take into serious consideration to review and place that regulation into perspective. The appeal process is a critical component of the peer review‘s quality control (to minimize, if not eliminate, arbitrariness and maximize rigorousness). And it should not be left lagging behind and obsolete. Particularly, after all the “Reviewing Peer Review” that has taken place during Dr Scarpa’s tenure.

TM said

October 18, 2011 @ 2:51 pm ·

I fully agree. The major problem is that without an A2 submission, the only option short of writing a new grant is an appeal. And if the appeal process is an essential dead end, what does it really mean?

As far as my PO asking for informal appeal, he wants a written copy of my argument, so that he can corroborate the facts himself (comparing my A0 and A1). My hope is that he will use this to argue my case at the council for some type of select pay

Rick said

October 18, 2011 @ 5:28 pm ·

I am almost mad!

Today I received the score fo my R21(R1) whis is 45 percentile. The first submission received 31%, so after spending so much time and effort, I got a much worse score!! These reviewers are reall SXXX! I really think the revison is much improved since most commonts are about data analysis, sample size, etc. have this happend to you?

biologist said

October 18, 2011 @ 6:37 pm ·

Ok folks, I am somewhere in between. I am a full prof, established investigator. Also a one R01 pony (BIG MISTAKE, but it wasn’t from lack of trying). The A0 of my compet renewal got a 36%. The A1 improved to 14%.

Guess what? The payline is 11%. So, I’m down to one-half of an R03 and one-half of an R21 that just got a 3%, so yea! But the loss of R01 funding cost me a post-doc, a tech and I’ve got to re-invent myself. all because the nih decided that my project, which scored better than 86% of all apps, just wasn’t good enough and in fact must die.

Moral of the story: its a cruel world! only the strong survive!

MD said

October 18, 2011 @ 5:39 pm ·

Yes my proposal (r01) just recently went from 36% to not-discussed. I know this is absurd but there is not much we can do about it.

WI said

October 18, 2011 @ 6:17 pm ·

Well, I must have been really lucky or I managed to convince the Panel that my revision was improved. From 21% I went down to 8%. So, there is variation. But I agree that the appeal process need to be taken care of.

Experienced PI said

October 18, 2011 @ 8:26 pm ·

I know, it is a mess out there. I have three R01s, so clearly I know how to write a fundable proposal. And some know nothing punk triaged my latest proposal. Can you believe it? I can’t wait to see the pathetic excuse for a criticism- we have papers in press on this topic! Obviously it is great science, as determined by peer reviewers that actually know which end of the microscope to look into! The NIH needs to stop this silly affirmative action policy for “ESI” investigators and go back to a merit system where the best grants get funded.

Gatordoc said

October 19, 2011 @ 7:39 am ·

Of course you are entitled to your opinion but there are many legitimate reasons to keep the ESI policy.

Good luck to you on resubmission/next grant.

Buds said

October 19, 2011 @ 10:04 am ·

Experienced PI……….there are many more silly policies at the NIH at present (as I am sure you are aware), mostly at higher administrative level. As you probably know, early this year, there was a dictatorial decision at NCI to fund grants up to the 7th percentile and then select some from 8-15 percentile for possible funding. Who takes funding decisions at this point and how do they decide merits of grants in this category? I don’t think POs have much say here. My 12th percentile A1 (in the to be considered pile) remains unfunded and my colleagues 8th percentile A1 also remains unfunded. When I inquired about the selection criteria (mentioning that previously NCI funded labs are at a risk of drastically downsizing or being shut down), I was told “there are many other factors that are taken into account”. I think as tax payers we are entitled to know what are those “other” factors. But overall I think Dr. Varmus has taken a terrible decision here. I have written before that in my opiinon Appeal process is a hoax. So the biggest frustration here is the giant steel wall beyond which none of us know what goes on and none of us can get a straight answer as to what is going on.

D said

October 19, 2011 @ 10:10 am ·

Sounds like they are funding the best science. It just doesn’t include yours this round.

Since you are experienced then you must know that it would have needed at least 3 know-nothing punks (assigned reviewers) as well as the collusion of the rest of the cmte to triage your grant. Perhaps your grant application (even with the published papers) was just not as good as the top 50%. Maybe the scored apps were even better science than yours. Just saying……

BTW, what does being an ESI have to do with your grant getting ND? Bit of a non sequitor there.

Jane said

October 20, 2011 @ 12:38 am ·

could you give me a sample or definition for “the best science”, you called. I fully understand Buds’ frustration. As an tax payer and investigator, we would like to have a transparent process for funding decision in the current situation, which was also a reason why I became a scientist twenty years ago!

D said

October 20, 2011 @ 7:28 am ·

“Best Science” as determined by your peers and the mission of the institute. I do know that they have to justify funding decisions to their Advisory Board which is made up of outside scientists ( So, you could ask them.

In other Institutes I know that they take into account how many grants the PI has. So they might award a grant to a PI with only 1 R01 over a PI with 3. Or, perhaps NCI already has 2 or more grants funded doing very very similar science, do they really need a third? Or, as NCI says

“.. will give special consideration to applications that fill a significant gap in the cancer research portfolio or propose an especially novel or promising scientific approach.”

The real issue is do you trust NCI to make these scientific decisions or are you worried that they are just shuttling more money to their favorite peeps.

Now, let me ask you a question. Do you really think there is a significant and real scientific difference between grants with a 7% and those with a 15%?

Jane said

October 20, 2011 @ 2:52 pm ·

Many investigators have asked them, including Buds, but no satisfactory answer was given….

Do you know only 527 RO1s was funded in NCI FY11, but 835 RO1s funded in FY10 (based on RePORT…). That is why many investigators are so frustrated with NCI now….. We all like a transparent process, particularly with tax money, and hope you could understand!

D said

October 20, 2011 @ 4:30 pm ·

@Jane I am not sure where you got your numbers from but when I look for New/competing Funded NCI R01 awards in Reporter I get

Fiscal Year Projects

2011 515

2010 574

2009 619

2008 553

2007 568

Awards peaked in 2009 (ARRA money) but 2011 is only down about 10% down from 2007.

Considering inflation and a relatively flat budget that decrease isn’t too bad.

I am all for transparency and suggest that ALL submitted grant abstracts, scores, summary statements and relevant programmatic material decisional material be made available to the public. But, I imagine that we will not get a majority of PI’s to agree to that.

Now, I have answered your question but you still didn’t answer mine.

ABCD said

October 20, 2011 @ 4:34 pm ·

“Sounds like they are funding the best science. It just doesn’t include yours this round”.

This is BS. I’m an ESI with 17%tile and my grant was not picked up by NCI and my colleague who works down the hallway, also ESI but with 25%tile score, gets funded (good for him). I now have to close my lab and look for a new job. So, the system is SCREWED up !!!

D said

October 20, 2011 @ 4:43 pm ·

Strange. I just ran the exact same report again (as far as I can tell) and got these numbers

Fiscal Year Projects

2011 789

2010 835

2009 993

2008 792

2007 798

2006 816

2005 829

Although they are higher they show even less of a percentage decline (~5%) since 2005. The big bump in 2009 and 2010 is likely still do to ARRA dollars though. They only funded 9 more new/competing grants in 2007 compared to 2011. So why is transparency so much more important now than in 2005, 06, 07 etc?

Jane said

October 21, 2011 @ 1:54 am ·

I just got a chance to search for the numbers of RO1 funded by NCI in both 2011 and 2010 again. I have 524 for fy11 and 835 for fy10. Could you please share the way that you did your search and got 789 for FY11? HV has admitted that this year successful rate in NCI is 14%. If he was right, your number does not make a sense at all. Many investigators not only did not receive funding with an outstanding score, but a clear answer for why their 8,9,and 10%tile grants were not funded this year…..

D said

October 21, 2011 @ 9:12 am ·

Jane. The criteria I used are

Funding IC: NCI; , Award Type: New,Competing Renewal, Activity Code: R01, Fiscal Year: Active Projects, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007

I just re-did the search and got the second set of numbers as above.

HV said that NCI would fund anything up to 7% then use other factors besides % score to fund anything up to 25%.

Jane said

October 21, 2011 @ 10:46 pm ·

HV made the comment on his previous interview, which published on Cancer Letter

BTW, GMs funded more RO1s than NCI did in FY2011. Actually, they have a much smaller budget than NCI…. which should tell you why many investigators are so frustrated.

D said

October 22, 2011 @ 6:31 am ·

GM funded slightly fewer R01s than NCI in 2010. GM also doesn’t have an intramural program and doesn’t fund very expensive clinical trials or drug development grants. Plus, the average NCI R01 budget is a lot higher than GM.

NCI spent $327,959,742 on 835 R01s

GM spent $273,621,967 on 803 R01s

This doesn’t mean that the frustration isn’t real. It clearly is. Getting an NIH grant now is much harder than it has EVER been. Plus, Universities are so dependent on NIH money (which they always say they lose money on) that if you can’t get an NIH grant you are out of a job. Plus, PIs are so dependent on Grad students and Post-docs to do the bench work that they hire as many as they can with little thought to their future non-academic career prospects. It is a vicious circle. We are very far from the days of getting an NIH grant to fund your summer salary while a faculty member’s real job was teaching students.

Jane said

October 22, 2011 @ 2:17 pm ·

What you have said may be true. However, GM also has a better and transparent funding process/system for RO1s, which supports a lot of investigators/labs in the current difficult time. As you know, many investigators in NCI were unfunded with a score better than 15%tile this year. In addition, based on your numbers, it appears that NCI funded the similar number of RO1s this year. It is very strange who got them? This is a obvious problem since their decisions are NOT transparent….

D said

October 23, 2011 @ 7:28 pm ·

Can you give me an example of how GM is more transparent?

The way that they describe how they decide which grants to fund sounds very similar to NCI.

NIGMS does not rely solely on a percentile cutoff or “payline” to make its funding decisions. These decisions are based on a number of additional factors, including whether the proposal comes from a new investigator, the level of other funding available to the investigator, the potential of the proposal to have a large impact on science as judged by NIGMS scientific staff and the existence of other grants funded by NIGMS or other components of NIH that cover similar scientific territory. These factors, along with the priority score (see new scoring procedures for applications receiving FY 2010 funding at, the comments on the summary statement and the advice of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council, are considered together to make final funding decisions.

waiting said

October 20, 2011 @ 7:08 pm ·

I was thinking more about “Experienced PIs” comment.

You are upset that ESI are favored. Now you say you have 3 R01s. So you must have gotton into the NIH race when its budget was doubled and paylines were like 25% with much fewer applications in. So you had it easy at some point. Good for you!

Now with the economy in serious trouble paylines have hit rock bottom and have come down to like 7%. And you have a gripe against poor newcomers with possibly bright ideas are given a chance to enter the system with a few extra % in payline?

In what way is your proposal that maybe once got 20% or 15% in say 2001 worthier than a ESI’s proposal that got a 11% today??? other than the obvious advantage (and completely out of your control) you had of having entered during good times.

I would encourage you think a bit logically and be happy with your three R01s ! You had your times of “affirmative action” too !

Experienced PI said

October 21, 2011 @ 9:17 pm ·

1.2% and 1.6% on a couple, waiting. Make of it what you will.

waiting said

October 22, 2011 @ 7:38 pm ·

Everyone else about 2% is on affirmative action !!!

especially those damn new comers ! Of course who cares that you had 15 years to build your career and maybe 5 post-docs working for you.

tony said

October 19, 2011 @ 11:59 am ·

Sounds like Experienced PI is trolling……any experienced PI would know that having papers published on a topic does not automatically equate to “great science”…

waiting said

October 20, 2011 @ 2:25 am ·

hmm maybe “experienced PI” is not really experienced at all. Someone with 3 R01s will not trash talk like that…particularly referring to ESI’s as affirmative action !

juehd said

October 19, 2011 @ 5:22 pm ·

Hello, I received an impact score of 18 on a k99 to NIMH. Is this a fund-able score?

writedit said

October 20, 2011 @ 10:22 am ·

Unfortunately, no one will know for some time about FY12, but your PO should be able to tell you if that would have been funded in FY11. It depends on how many K99 awards NIMH typically makes and intends to make in FY12. You would have a good score for NCI … but not an IC that only awards a few K99s.

cosmo said

October 24, 2011 @ 6:17 pm ·

how long after your review meeting did they post your scores on commons?

Correct me if I am wrong said

October 20, 2011 @ 5:24 pm ·

It is interesting that arguments about NCI stuff knowing better, are not extended to all grants in 0-25% range. For example, what if there are three similar grants in 0-7% range?

On the other hand, if there is no statutory requirements to follow Study Section selection, it is truly strange that NCI have not yet taken over the whole selection process, as every controlling bureaucracy, with the best of intentions of course, compelled to do in similar situations.

D said

October 20, 2011 @ 5:41 pm ·

OK. I will. NCI does not have enough money to fund to the 25%. If they just went by payline they could maybe fund to the 12%.

Jane said

October 20, 2011 @ 8:17 pm ·

The bottom line is that they should make their funding policies transparent and relatively fair in the current situation. In addition, we should work together to ask for more funding no matter who we are, either ESI or experienced PIs….

Buds said

October 24, 2011 @ 11:20 am ·

It may be best if NCI lets the PI know why their grant was not funded in the 0-15th percentile range….I don’t think they can…it definitely cannot be the quality of the grant. If the grant is not funded because similar grants were funded in that range, then how are the NCI officials better qualified then the peer reviewers to judge the importance of these “selected” studies? Most of the NCI administrators have given up science to manage grants only. They should not be make funding decisions. They are messing up the once well established system.

D said

October 24, 2011 @ 3:02 pm ·

Well, HV does have a Nobel Prize and the NCAB does have some pretty big names on it ( who are actively involved in science. They MAKE funding decisions. Technically it just HV but I am sure he listens to NCAB. Ask the NCAB members. They are supposed to represent the community.

The POs might SUGGEST or RECOMMEND who to fund (like the Peer reviewers) but HV and the NCAB make the final decisions. Let me repeat Scientists who make the final decision.

And it won’t be on just “quality of science.” Most reasonable folks can agree that a 10% is the same quality as a 20%. Rather they will consider holes in their portfolio, riskiness (SS are notorious for their risk aversion in scoring grants) and other things that they publish on their site. Go look.

The bottom line is that the same number of grants will get funded but other things besides percentile will be considered. Anyway, why is the decision of the SS held such preeminent esteem? They are human too with their own biases and mistakes. Just read some of the complaints on this site.

DrugMonkey said

October 24, 2011 @ 6:37 pm ·

how are the NCI officials better qualified then the peer reviewers to judge the importance of these “selected” studies?

They are far better qualified to assess the portfolio of the NCI, for one thing.

They should not be make funding decisions. They are messing up the once well established system.

Wow. Do you not understand that the Program Staff do indeed “make funding decisions” and that peer review is advisory only? Peer review exists to advise the NIH on which grants to fund, not the other way round….

Buds said

October 24, 2011 @ 6:53 pm ·

If the grants do not fit the NCI portofolio they should not be sent forward for peer review in the first instance; and more importantly these same grants that do not fit the portofolio in the first place should not be sent back for an A1 revision which consumes a whole lot of funds to generate additional preliminary data. I think this suggests that not all the decisions are made by well qualified individuals at NCI.

writedit said

October 24, 2011 @ 8:40 pm ·

ICs do not always accept applications referred to them by the CSR … and if an application cannot find an IC willing to accept it, the NIH does send it back to the applicant unreviewed. Public law requires the applications be first sent out for peer review of scientific merit, after which the IC decides which applications it can (with available $) and should (based on needs/priorities at the time funding decisions are made) fund. Reviewers are being encouraged to offer applicants more guidance on whether a proposal should or should not be revised & resubmitted, but this is generally a very tough call (and likely advice the PI would ignore anyway, especially if he/she had no choice but to resubmit due to hiring/tenure/research program maintenance pressures). The program officials cannot tell reviewers what to say or applicants what to do, though a good PO will offer honest assessment and guidance. In fact, a supportive NCI PO just told a PI in my division not to resubmit because the score (12th percentile) would be as likely to get worse as get better … it’s more complicated than that, but the bottom line is that the PI needs to publish (i.e., have someone else peer review them) more preliminary data to prove to reviewers the science is real.

drugmonkey said

October 24, 2011 @ 8:39 pm ·

Now you want Program to prejudge and not even bother to get peer review of your app? Hmm, somehow methinks you’d be screaming bloody murder if they adopted that approach.

Buds said

October 24, 2011 @ 9:33 pm ·

I would scream bloody murder if the grant was peer reviewed, fell in the upper 10th percentile and then was told that it did not fit the portofolio…….to an extent that is what is happening at the NCI….but you are entitled to your opinion

ABCD said

October 25, 2011 @ 1:06 pm ·

I agree with Buds…If NCI had told me that my app. did not fit their portofolio, I wouldn’t have wasted freaking 4 yrs submitting A0 and A1( plus wasting peer review efforts). And before submitting my A0, I had even consulted my SRO. I’m pissed that NCI changed rules in the middle of the game…

peter said

October 20, 2011 @ 8:10 pm ·

I am an established PI and got my A1 R01 application 16%, with NIBIB as the primary and NIGMS as the secondary. This is a PA jointly issued by NIH and NSF with some education components. any chance for funding? Should I contact Program director before the summary is out? It is painful that there will be no resubmission for it anymore… thanks, Peter

writedit said

October 21, 2011 @ 2:53 pm ·

You will want to wait for your summary statement – and take the time to consider issues that can readily be addressed, in case your PO can advocate for your application (the awards will not be made according to a hard payline given the players involved).

Peter said

November 2, 2011 @ 8:49 pm ·

thank you so much! Writedit. this is such a resourceful website!

Dale said

October 21, 2011 @ 2:46 am ·


I am a new investigator/ESI, just scored at 12% at NIAID on my RO1-A0 submission. Any news on whether this is likely to be fundable for FY2012? Advice on resubmitting (with the risk of a a lower score) or simply sitting tight (council meets in Jan)? Thanks in advance

D said

October 21, 2011 @ 9:17 am ·

Great score. If this was still FY2011 you would definitely get funded. But, until NIAID gets a budget I am guessing that all of NIH will be very conservative about paying grants for a few months yet. Definitely talk to you PO.

My gut feeling is that you will get an award but with so many Political unknowns at the moment you might be delayed a cycle.

Luka said

October 23, 2011 @ 2:26 am ·


Anyone possibly knows what scores were fundable for NIMH K99 in FY2011? NIMH does not seem to post paylines. Thank you!

dfdd said

October 23, 2011 @ 8:50 pm ·

what score did u get luka?

Luka said

November 5, 2011 @ 11:04 pm ·

24 and have no idea what it means in NIMH

IndianMDPhD said

October 23, 2011 @ 5:29 pm ·

I got a 10th pecentile (Score 22) on my R01 (A1 resubmission), submitted to NINDS (with NIGMS as secondary). I am an NI/ESI.

Should I follow up in any way with my PO? The reason I ask the above question is that it seems from reading this blog that just getting a decent score is not enough, but that making calls etc is important. Or should I just wait and do nothing? My PO is very nice but I don’t want to call him unnecessarily. In an email he told me that I should be “optimistic” but that “the only official notification of award is the NGA (Notice of Grant Award)”.

writedit said

October 23, 2011 @ 7:36 pm ·

If he has already said you can be optimistic (the qualifier about only an NoA being a guarantee is standard for all POs communicating with PIs with the potential to be funded) is great news. If he hedged more, you could have asked about preparing a rebuttal in case your application might be considered for select pay/pay by exception … but his message suggests he thinks you will be within the standard payline. I think you are okay waiting (especially if this e-mail from him was sent after your score/summary statement was posted) until he suggests more direction. It could be quite a while before he knows anything definite, though, given the budget cut in the CR and the unknown outcome of the final FY12 appropriation. You would be okay to check in with him again in a few weeks, just to say you are aware that the budget is still being finalized but any update on the likelihood of your award would be appreciated for planning purposes. As an FYI, the CR ends Nov 18, but my guess is that they will not have an appropriations bill for Labor, HHS, & Education (or any other federal agencies by then), so another CR will need to be passed … hopefully with no new/additional cuts.

IndianMDPhD said

October 23, 2011 @ 11:13 pm ·

Many thanks for the reply, I got most of that. Except that I don’t really know what a CR is, though it seems like I should.

writedit said

October 23, 2011 @ 11:18 pm ·

No, nothing you would have learned in med or grad studies …

CR = continuing resolution, which is what Congress passes to keep the federal government running until the real appropriations bills are passed (well, they used to pass individual appropriations bills for each agency or cluster of agencies – now they are lucky if they can finally all agree on one giant omnibus bill that lumps everything together).

IndianMDPhD said

October 24, 2011 @ 6:35 pm ·

OK got it now, thanks!

IndianMDPhD said

January 24, 2012 @ 10:55 am ·

I got the R01! Now off to the next problem!

writedit said

January 24, 2012 @ 10:59 am ·

Congratulations & best wishes for success with the research!

Prof_Nas said

October 24, 2011 @ 7:59 pm ·

I received a 20 (8th percentile) on an R21 resubmission to NCI (reviewed 21 October 2011). Not sure if I’m ready for my bubble to burst, but I would appreciate some perspective from anyone who cares to offer it. Thanks.

writedit said

October 24, 2011 @ 8:09 pm ·

I believe, but am not sure, that the 7th percentile cut-off applies to R21 applications (ESI/NI status is irrelevant for any mechanism except R01). If so, you are in the pool of competitively scored applications that will be discussed by NCI program staff and leadership in deciding which awards to make. When you have your summary statement in hand, you can talk with your PO about preparing a rebuttal or anything else that might be helpful in making the case for funding of your application. From here on, you will need to rely on your PO to advocate for your proposal as funding decisions are made.

Prof_Nas said

October 24, 2011 @ 8:51 pm ·

Thanks! Bubble sufficiently burst! lol

junos said

October 24, 2011 @ 9:37 pm ·


I just got a priority score of 30 in my first K08 submission at NIAMS. Any chances of this getting funded?

Mouseter said

October 24, 2011 @ 11:12 pm ·

This page is a great resource. I’ve anjoyed reading it.

I’m a research fellow currently interviewing for faculty positions, so I may be a bit out of the league here. But I hope I can get some relevant information.

I submitted a K22 in Feb2011, got a score of 28 (no %ile) in June. I just noticed that the Council meeting occurred in mid-Sep instead of Oct. But I have not received any communication even after 5-6 weeks. I have written to the PO, but no answer yet.

I don’t know what to make of this. My score is kind of borderline, but the comments were very positive…”despite minor weaknesses, the committee is highly enthusiastic” etc. etc.

I wonder if my K22 is dead or still alive.

Further complication is the decision whether I should resubmit for the Nov 12 deadline.

Mouseter said

October 24, 2011 @ 11:16 pm ·

Forgot to mention that it was submitted to NCI.

writedit said

October 24, 2011 @ 11:38 pm ·

Hey, this league is open to all comers … giant pick-up game … everyone has good stats for assists.

Your K22 is very much alive and will remain thus even if you submit a revised application. If you can thoroughly address concerns raised (and any that might not have been, identified by showing the narrative and summary statement to colleagues for their opinion), and especially if you have new data/publications to add that bolster your case, you should probably prepare for the Nov 12 A1. If there is a scientific reason to wait (e.g., really exciting data might be available in Jan), then you need to think that through. You only get one more shot, but taking it now does not endanger the application currently scored and on the table.

Hopefully you will hear from the PO in the meantime. You might try calling, if you haven’t yet, for guidance on the resubmission question at least (he/she will almost certainly be noncommittal on the award likelihood). NCI often funds Ks at higher scores than other ICs (especially true for K99s, since most other ICs generally fund only a handful each year), but the K22 is a special mechanism … and this is a tricky year to guess what will happen with the budget.

Mouseter said

October 25, 2011 @ 1:37 pm ·

@Writedit, Thanks so much for the prompt and detailed reply.

Incidentally, I received reply from the PO today. She was noncommittal as you said. She says my score is “excellent to outstanding” but “cannot predict if it will be fundable.”

She also says, “you might want to consider resubmitting only if you think you can respond to all the reviewer’s comments in a manner so as to achieve a lower (better) score.”

I don’t know what to get out of this response other than that I should resubmit. And I’m relieved that the decisions are not yet made, so my grant is indeed still alive.

writedit said

October 25, 2011 @ 3:16 pm ·

You might ask if she would be willing to look at your one-page introduction (rebuttal), especially if she attended the study section meeting (in which case she would have heard which concerns were emphasized, what panel members were enthusiastic about, etc.). As I mentioned before, having someone look at it fresh to identify issues the prior reviewers may have missed or not raised in their critiques will be important, too (you may have noticed a lot of people complaining about their score getting worse on resubmission even though they addressed all the prior review concerns).

Chris said

October 25, 2011 @ 1:53 pm ·

Hey Mouseter,

Recently, I received a score of 34 on my K99 application to NIDCR. My PO was also noncommittal about the “fundability” of the score. The PO did mention that funding K99 application is dependent on available funds and the amount of applications, which is quite obvious. Since the review committee was very enthusiastic about the research plan, she recommended submitting a “R” application based on the research.

Mouseter said

October 25, 2011 @ 2:10 pm ·

That’s an interesting suggestion. Does she mean an R01? Doesn’t one need to have a faculty position (or equivalent) to submit an R01?

Chris said

October 25, 2011 @ 4:36 pm ·

While it does depend on your university, I believe so.

I would be able to submit an R01. I was recently hired as a research assistant professor (my mentor was awarded a R01). As for the K99, I am still considered dependent, so I was eligible for the K99.

DrugMonkey said

October 25, 2011 @ 5:19 pm ·

Doesn’t one need to have a faculty position (or equivalent) to submit an R01?

Job title is irrelevant. All that matters is that the applicant institution (i.e., your University) has extended you the right to submit a grant on their behalf. You do realize that the grant is submitted by, and with luck awarded to, the University, not the person listed as PI, right? This means the NIH does not officially* care what your job title is.

*the unofficial view and the view of peer reviewers is another matter, of course

The Program Staff of the NIH decide what to fund, all else is advisory | DrugMonkey said

October 25, 2011 @ 3:13 pm ·

[…] glory…since I started writing this post, the commenter doubled down: If the grants do not fit the NCI portofolio they should not be sent forward for peer review in the […]

True said

October 25, 2011 @ 3:28 pm ·

Mouseter – I think it depends on your university as to whether you can apply for an R01. I applied for an R01 as a staff person. I had to get my department chair and the grants office to sign off on it, per our university rules. Good luck!

Mouseter said

October 25, 2011 @ 5:37 pm ·

Thanks everybody for the advice. R01 doesn’t look likely at my institution at this stage. I think I’ll go for a K22 resubmission, and then cross all my fingers and toes.

Writedit, You advised to have the PO take a look at my rebuttal. I think know that was possible. Do they usually do that? Are they even allowed to?

Does anyone know the payline for K22 in FY2011?

writedit said

October 25, 2011 @ 11:00 pm ·

Sure, POs are allowed to help with any component of the application. They aren’t the ones scoring or selecting it for funding – and they have a vested interest in enriching their portfolio with exciting research that they personally want to follow. However, not all POs will do this for PIs who contact them. It sounds as though your PO is interested in helping your situation, though, so she should be willing to provide some feedback (certainly about the meeting itself, if she attended, which I expect would be likely for K mechanisms, or talked with the SRO). She should also be able to tell you the funding range for FY11 (probably no specific payline).

Elizabeth said

October 26, 2011 @ 4:44 pm ·

Mouseter-you may have some more waiting to do for your K22. I know in FY2010, they funded up to 30. I submitted a K22 in Mar 2010, got a 30 and was advised to resubmit which I did in Nov 2010. My resubmission scored a 22. I just got a NOA in Sep 2011. My understanding is they wait for all 3 cycles of the K grants then decide what to fund when they have a budget-good luck!

NervousResearcher said

October 25, 2011 @ 9:15 pm ·

Got a 7th percentile for my NCI R01A1 application for FY2012 and still don’t know if I will get funded. These are indeed tough times. Are we ready for an “Occupy Bethesda?

waiting said

October 25, 2011 @ 10:39 pm ·

“Occupy Bethesda” !! Good one. HAHAHAHA ..Made my day.

this is really funny (and of course sad, with your 7th percentile being uncertain)

WI said

October 26, 2011 @ 4:18 am ·

HAHAHAHA…… Occupy Bethesda ?. You’d better be careful and in a more secure position if you wait…Patience is the invincible’s secret.

SaG said

October 26, 2011 @ 7:27 am ·

If you really want to solve these problems you might be better off Occupying Capitol Hill.

waitingforgrant said

October 25, 2011 @ 9:28 pm ·

Hi, I have a pending R21 with niaid. the priority / impact score is 19. i was told by my PO this July that I should be able to hear something about this grant in Oct, but so far, still nothing. Any advice? NIAID doesn’t give percentile for R21 but i am still curious what the possible percentile could be around given the impact score of 19.

do you think I should bug my PO again? but i am afraid that he just doesnt have anything new to tell me at this point. Thank you!!

writedit said

October 25, 2011 @ 11:07 pm ·

You are well inside the R21 impact score payline for FY11 (24), but the NIH has started FY12 with a budget cut and no way of knowing whether this will go up or down as the fiscal year continues. NIAID set their interim R01 payline (8th percentile) and will probably have other interim paylines posted in the next month or so … just a guess based on past years though. If you need advice about whether to resubmit, you could contact the PO, but if not, probably wait a little longer, since he/she likely doesn’t know yet either.

writedit said

October 25, 2011 @ 11:12 pm ·

Also, as you may have read, NIAID reported a 17% increase in R01 applications reviewed for the first two cycles of FY12 ( … bigger pool means lower success rates, and I’m sure we’ll get lots of comments about this here at MWEG.

waitingforgrant said

October 26, 2011 @ 3:26 pm ·

thank you, Writeedit!

So how does this increase affect r21 application?

writedit said

October 27, 2011 @ 6:57 am ·

If they also received more R21 applications, which is likely (since a lot of people think an R21 is easier to get than an R01), the payline cut off and success rate will drop as well.

tigerhuatj said

October 26, 2011 @ 8:40 am ·

thank you very much. This is an A1 application and I don’t think I can resubmit this grant. Well, maybe just wait and pray.

tigerhuatj said

December 6, 2011 @ 8:31 pm ·

To Writedit!

NIAID jsut published the new interim paylines. The R21 interim payline is 20 and my priority score is 19. So, I will get funded, right?

Can not believe it! my first NIH grant! Thank you for all your information

writedit said

December 7, 2011 @ 12:50 am ·

Congratulations! We probably won’t know whether the NIH budget will go up, down, or nowhere until next year (current CR ends Dec 16th … no obvious progress on resolving Labor-HHS-Education appropriation bills) … but ICs are very conservative setting interim paylines since they know how devastating it is for PIs to think they will be funded and then not be due to a drop in payline. No assurances until your NoA is issued, but be ready for that JIT request …

waitingforgrant said

December 8, 2011 @ 5:21 pm ·

Writeedit. Thank you!

Just received JIT email today. Another step forward.

writedit said

December 8, 2011 @ 5:24 pm ·


Comparing performance of within-payline and “select pay” pickup NIH grants at NIAID | DrugMonkey said

October 26, 2011 @ 1:15 pm ·

[…] their grant applications out of the order of initial peer review. And what should I stumble upon (thanks to writedit) but some actual data which bear on the […]

adfasfsdfsdfd said

October 26, 2011 @ 7:12 pm ·

Why can’t i find anything on NIMH paylines for k’s or r’s.

Please someone provide me with info. If you receive an impact score of less than 20 is this fundable for a K grant.

writedit said

October 26, 2011 @ 10:49 pm ·

NIMH doesn’t post paylines for individual mechanisms (& they do the same thing as NCI with R01s – hard payline plus discussion of apps falling in the next ~10 percentiles). I think any K except a K99 would be competitive for funding at a score below 20 … but your PO should be able to offer a little guidance, at least based on FY11 scores.

NP said

October 27, 2011 @ 3:09 pm ·

Can anyone tell me how to chek the new investigator status in the application PDF file? I could not find it. Thanks.

iGrrrl said

October 28, 2011 @ 9:42 am ·

You do it at eRA Commons, not on the form. Log into eRA Commons and update your profile.

PUI Researcher said

October 27, 2011 @ 5:40 pm ·

I submitted an NHLBI NIH AREA R15 in June of 2010 and received a 27 impact . Unfortunately, the pay lines dropped from 30 in FY2010 to 20 in FY2011. My resubmission last june improved to a 23. Any chance that the pay line will approach 2010 levels or is it time to start thinking about a new project?

writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 1:01 am ·

Paylines will not improve … NIH is starting the FY with a 1.5% cut (from FY11), and the appropriation is not likely to go up significantly if at all (hopefully not the cut the Senate has proposed). You can check with your PO about options, in case there is a chance your application might be considered for select pay/pay by exception (nothing you can do or request – PO needs to recommend).

ShawnB said

October 27, 2011 @ 5:55 pm ·

NHLBI posted interim 2012 paylines for R01 at 10th percentile (they were 16th percentile for 2011). No info on R15s yet. You should probably be thinking about the next submission.

nancy said

October 27, 2011 @ 7:10 pm ·

ShawnB– where did you see the FY12 paylines for NHLBI? Did they post an interim payline for the K’s?

writedit said

October 27, 2011 @ 7:17 pm ·

Yes, just for R01s. I just updated above. ESI funded at 15th percentile, with those in the 16-20th percentiles eligible for expedited program review of response to summary statement. New investigators don’t get a break – no differentiation between A0 & A1.

KC said

October 27, 2011 @ 9:22 pm ·

I am a New Investigator and got 12 percentile for R01-A1. I just checked the interim payline is 10 percentile for NHLBI. Do I have any chance? If so what should I do?


writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 12:57 am ·

New Investigators have no special status at NHLBI – you must be ESI to get the payline break. Right now, you are above the interim payline. You can talk with your PO about submitting a rebuttal for consideration for pay by exception/select pay, in case paylines do not reach the 12th percentile later in the FY. Otherwise, you can talk with the PO about how to rework the proposal for a new submission, either to an RFA or sufficiently changed as a regular submission.

KC said

October 28, 2011 @ 6:34 am ·

Thanks. My application has no secondary IC. What are the chances of convincing other IC such as NCI as New Inv with 12 percentile R01 ?

writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 8:19 am ·

The lack of secondary assignment could mean that CSR asked other appropriate ICs and that none wanted to accept assignment (because they did not feel your science was appropriate for their mission/priorities). You cannot now request a secondary IC assignment just to increase your likelihood of funding. In fact, asking for NCI at this point would be pointless, as your score falls in their “gray zone” (only ESI up to the 10th percentile are funded, 11-25th percentiles are discussed for possible funding based on program interest in the science). A tenuous secondary assignment application probably would not be given much priority in this process.

eh504 said

October 28, 2011 @ 12:01 am ·

Hi writedit,

NHLBI posted 10% payline for R01 (20% for ESI) for FY2012. Are those the final numbers? How much is the chance that the payline gets increased?


writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 12:54 am ·

NHLBI notes that paylines will be updated as the FY progresses, so, no, the 10th percentile payline is not final. This payline is based on the current CR, which includes a 1.5% cut in budget … if the next CR stays at the same level, so will paylines … if the next CR cuts more or increases slightly, the payline may or may not change. When the final appropriation is known, final paylines can be calculated, at least at those ICs that use paylines.

eh504 said

October 28, 2011 @ 2:47 pm ·

Thanks a lot, writedit.

I am an ESI. My R01-A1 got 23% with NHLBI. This percentile is fundable with FY2011. But due to the consolidation of the A0 and A1 in FY2012, it may just fall outside the payline, even if the final payline could rise up by 2% (at most, I guess). It is quite disappointing. Is it possible for exception/select pay? Any good posts about this topic? Thanks!

writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 2:53 pm ·

Pay by exception/select pay might be a longshot, but you can certainly ask your PO if your application might be considered, especially if the payline moves up. However, you will probably wait until next spring or later to find out anything definite, depending on when the actual appropriation bills (vs CR) are signed into law. The payline won’t change before then and will only get better if there is no cut to the NIH budget.

Rick Steve said

October 28, 2011 @ 12:28 am ·

I am established investigator. My new RO1 (A0) was reviewed in June (priority score 21, percentile 10.0) and went to NHLBI councli this month. I saw the interim payline of NHLBI is 10.0. Please advise the likelihood of getting funded, I emailed my PO a couple last week, and she said I should like at the website and find out for myself. Please advise if I should talk to the PO again.


writedit said

October 28, 2011 @ 12:59 am ·

Your 10th percentile application should be funded (paylines are up through the 10th percentile, not below it). So, I would assume this means congratuations and best wishes for success with the research.

KC said

October 28, 2011 @ 9:25 am ·

Write edit.

Thanks a lot. I will try with my PO.

Mycell said

October 28, 2011 @ 4:02 pm ·

I submitted a R15 grant proposal to NIGMS. Now I have a priority score of 20. Anyone knows the funding priority score at NIGMS for FY11? How likely will this R15 be funded? Thanks for any input.

Arete said

October 28, 2011 @ 8:22 pm ·


Thanks for all you do for us. much appreciated. I am an established investigator and got a 12% score on my A1 R01 to NICHD, with secondary assignments to NIDDK and NINR.. My PO does not think NICHD will fund it,

The PO wants me to contact the NIDDK program officer directly to see if they can pick up my application. I always thought that these things are handled by the IC’s and I am a bit nervous about doing a “cold” call to NIDDK.

Any suggestions that would make things go smoothly?

Jane said

October 29, 2011 @ 12:38 am ·

I had a similar situation last year. My 12%tile RO1 was not funded by NCI and then my NCI PO suggested me to contact NIDDK. I made three “cold” calls to three different POs whom I found from their websites. No one appeared to be interested in helping me out. They told me that they also have very tight budget and could not help any co-assigened grants. However, it may be worth to try since you never know. You may ask your colleagues to see if they can introduce their POs in NIDDK to you. Good luck.

Arete said

October 30, 2011 @ 5:05 pm ·

That has got to have been frustrating Jane….Thanks for sharing and the good luck–I will need it…

writedit said

October 29, 2011 @ 11:15 am ·

Not to worry – you should contact the NIDDK PO to introduce yourself (if you haven’t yet) and to explain what the NICHD PO told you. If the primary IC PO is actively encouraging a secondary IC PO to pick up the application, this is a good thing (not common). In FY11, someone else on the blog described the saga of having their primary NICHD-assigned R01 picked up by the secondarily assigned NIGMS, so it does happen, even in tough times. Now, someone else just noted that moving an application from NCI to a secondary IC didn’t work, but I would say this might reflect what I perceive as a bit of bias by the other ICs against helping NCI, which has the largest budget share at the NIH.

Arete said

October 30, 2011 @ 5:34 pm ·

Thanks for your thoughts writedit. I do feel a bit more encouraged.

BTW how to secondary institutes go about choosing what grants interests them when the investigator does not request it during submission? or is this purely a decision of the SRA?

writedit said

October 30, 2011 @ 7:41 pm ·

You can request dual assignment in your cover letter, where you should name the PO at each IC with whom you communicated in advance. If your cover letter does not request assignment to one or more ICs, the CSR referral officer taking care of your application contacts program staff at the ICs most likely to be interested in your proposal (based on title & abstract), and the IC’s extramural program staff whom the referral officer contacts says yes/no to accepting assignment of the application. Some folks posting here have asked POs to, at this point, actually review the application and not accept assignment if the IC might not to want to fund it … but that is not the point of this preliminary screen – just whether the application seems appropriate for the IC’s mission (no review of scientific merit or programmatic priority at this stage).

waiting said

October 29, 2011 @ 11:39 am ·

I would go after NIDDK with full force and energy. Think about how many years of hard work it took you to achieve this score. Are you going to just let that by because of payline differentials?

Do whatever it takes. Call, visit D.C. with a powerpoint describing why your proposal is within their mission. Maybe ask a “big shot” that you know to call the NIDDK director.

whatever it takes !

I tried this approach and it worked…(switched from a primary to secondary inst. after much reluctance and “sorry” from the secondary….)

Arete said

October 30, 2011 @ 5:39 pm ·


You are the bomb!

I feel so fired up I cannot wait for Monday!

If you can think of more tricks/strategies to to use if the initial response is a push-back, send them my way please..

LL said

October 29, 2011 @ 12:07 am ·

Hi all,

I submitted my first R01 in June 2011 and it went to the NCI. It was reviewed in Sept. 2011 and the Summary Statement went out in early Oct. 2011. When will the Councils at NCI meet and decided (for grants submitted in June 2011) whether my grant will be funded or not?

Thank you so much,

writedit said

October 29, 2011 @ 11:19 am ·

The Council meeting is (mostly) irrelevant to the decision being made on funding your application. If your score is in the 8-15th percentile (if you are an established PI) or the 11-25th percentile (if you are ESI/NI), program staff at NCI will decide whether your application should be recommended for pay by exception, but this won’t happen until next year. You don’t mention a score … if your application was not discussed, you are not being considered for funding, and if your application is above the 15th or 25th percentile, you are not being considered for funding. And if this is a different mechanism that doesn’t have a percentile, then you should check with your PO as to whether you are competitive for funding and for advice on whether to start working on your resubmission. Good luck.

waiting said

October 29, 2011 @ 11:40 am ·

I would go after NIDDK with full force and energy. Think about how many years of hard work it took you to achieve this score. Are you going to just let that by because of payline differentials?

Do whatever it takes. Call, visit D.C. with a powerpoint describing why your proposal is within their mission. Maybe ask a “big shot” that you know to call the NIDDK director.

whatever it takes !

I tried this approach and it worked…(switched from a primary to secondary inst. after much reluctance and “sorries” from the secondary….)

Erohsik said

October 29, 2011 @ 11:09 pm ·

How can I access the paylines or cut-offs or percentiles for the K awards, at the NICHD, across the last few years?

writedit said

October 30, 2011 @ 12:07 pm ·

You cannot look back at paylines, since NICHD does not post these, but you can see their success rates for specific mechanisms over the past 10 fiscal years. Go to, scroll to the very bottom, and download Career Development Awards: Applications, awards, success rates, and funding, by Institute/Center and activity code … in this Excel file, you can select the data just for NICHD and for specific K mechanisms, depending on which one you are interested in. If you have a score and want to know what it means in terms of likelihood of funding, you’ll need to ask the PO for insight (he/she would know how the scores fell in past years).

Erohsik said

October 30, 2011 @ 2:47 pm ·

Thank you writedit! The link is helpful.

mph said

October 31, 2011 @ 4:03 pm ·

From their 2010 funding strategy:

“The 2010 payline for competing K applications is Priority Score 30, with the exception of K99 for which the payline will be set on a council-by-council basis.”

I was told that the K99 payline in 2011 was 25.

imho said

October 31, 2011 @ 4:17 pm ·

I was told the same. In fact, my PO told me that K awards for 2012 are being funded only at priority score of 20 since they are operating on a CR budget. But once the 2012 budget is known, they will probably extend the funding to scores at 25.

newbie said

October 31, 2011 @ 4:13 pm ·

I have a question. I happen to have an F32 application (resubmission after 1 year gap) and a K99 application (new) under review simultaneously. These proposals are based out of two different projects. Clearly, I prefer receiving the K-award over the F-award, but the F-application is closer to being selected on account of being a resubmission.

After review, if I qualify for an F-award and my K-application has a good chance with a second submission, is there any way that I can delay my F award until my K resubmission result is known. Will NIH be okay with that? Has anyone done that before?

writedit said

November 2, 2011 @ 11:54 am ·

You have up to 6 months to activate your F32, so, given the time spans involved for resubmission and review, you almost certainly would not be able to delay activation until after receiving your K99 A1 score. If the F32 and K99 are going to the same IC, you can ask a PO there how they would handle your receiving fundable scores for each (e.g., use the F32 for one year of support and decline the rest in the happy event that your K99 is awarded).

worromot said

November 2, 2011 @ 9:12 pm ·

I’m a new investigator, and sending in R01-A1. Initially it was assigned to NCI as primary and NIGMS as secondary. The focus of A1 has shifted somewhat away from cancer. Does it make sense to push for GMS assignment as primary?

many thanks!

writedit said

November 3, 2011 @ 9:38 am ·

NIGMS does fund basic research related to cancer, so the PO there might be able to speak to whether your particular work would nicely fill a gap in their porfolio. If so, then talk with both POs (NCI & NIGMS) about switching assignments.

worromot said

November 3, 2011 @ 5:07 pm ·

Thanks for the advice!

DW said

November 2, 2011 @ 9:31 pm ·


I submitted K award (revision) to NHLBI and received score of 23. The FY2011 payline was 30 but I know that does not mean it will be the same in FY2012 (eg., my initial score of 34 was under the FY2010 payline of 40 but ultimately turned out not to be funded when they dropped to 30 in FY2011). Anyhow, does anyone know/heard what the K series paylines for FY2012 are projected to be – I do not see published yet. What is my best strategy – sit tight until Jan Council meeting or contact Program Officer to see if they have any information?

Any advice is appreciated…


lilmd said

November 3, 2011 @ 12:11 am ·

DW- my two cents- I suspect you will have a good chance at funding with score of 23. My K was funded by NHLBI at 20 under FY2011 (like you my initial score was in 30s but did not get funded when they dropped the payline for FY11). I’d be surprised if they dropped payline to say below 25 for Ks (unless you’re talking about K99)

lilmd said

November 3, 2011 @ 12:13 am ·

also the PO was not very helpful when I emailed before council- just the standard lingo about not knowing what paylines will be- you might as well sit tight until at least after Jan council

NervousResearcher said

November 3, 2011 @ 8:47 am ·

It’s November 3 already and no NCI payline (not even an interim one). With my 7th percentile I still don’t know for certain whether I will make it. My secondary assignment is NIAID and they have already established an 8th percentile interim payline. Should I try to contact someone there to see if they will take my application? If so, who (there is no name in my summary statement)? Or would this hurt my chances with NCI and I am better off just waiting another couple of months?

writedit said

November 3, 2011 @ 9:43 am ·

I would hope that NCI does not plan to drop below the 7th percentile for its hard payline, so you should be okay … and I would have hoped your PO could offer some insight by now on this regard. You can contact the NIAID PO about whether their likelihood of funding your application if NCI does not (talking with the NIAID PO won’t hurt your chances at NCI), but I suspect NIAID will not want to even consider it until they are sure NCI does not plan to fund it. I’d suggest you see what the NCI PO says first.

Waiting said

November 3, 2011 @ 7:22 pm ·

Does anyone know how often an RO1 is picked up by a secondary institute? Is there a particular process that occurs, or does the PO recommend this to the division chief and he/she decides? Where does the council meeting come in?

writedit said

November 3, 2011 @ 7:35 pm ·

Occasionally though not often. Sometimes the primary IC PO will suggest to the PI that he/she contact the secondary IC PO about picking up the application. This is the best case scenario – to have your primary IC PO suggest the change (which only happens when the primary PO is sure the primary IC is not likely to fund – and wants to see the research done). The secondary IC won’t consider a secondary application for funding until it is clear the primary IC will not fund it (all or part). You can certainly check with the secondary IC PO to gauge their potential interest in your application, if the primary falls through. If the secondary isn’t excited, then it becomes moot.

Waiting said

November 4, 2011 @ 8:19 am ·

Well, that’s my scenario now. I scored 13%ile with a resubmission to NHLBI but they won’t fund it and it was suggested that I contact NIDA, the secondary institute. The NIDA PO seems to like the proposal a lot and asked me if I can think of ways to shrink the budget, which I did. I guess now I just wait and see what happens next.

nechem said

November 5, 2011 @ 12:16 am ·

New to this blog and grant writing in general…

I contacted my PD at NIGMS about my RO1(A0, NI, ESI) with 30 score/23% and got his reply 2 days later. He is very nice to let me know based on this score/percentile we would have some good chance in previous years but it’s unclear for now because they do not have a budget yet. He will have a better idea after their meeting in January.

He also suggested that we consider revising and resubmitting the proposal. He said there would be some risks but we can use the reviewers’ comments to improve the proposal. (Not quite sure about what he means on the risks) He mentioned that we can have a special receipt date of Dec 12 or we may choose Mar 5. Any comments/suggestions are welcome.

writedit said

November 7, 2011 @ 2:31 pm ·

Congratulations on landing with such a helpful PO … his advice sounds good, and I bet he would be willing to look at your introduction (one-page response to the prior summary statement).

The risk is that the next set of reviewers could raise additional issues (and the score), which could weaken your case for select pay, if it came down to that at the end of the fiscal year. If the concerns are straightforward and readily addressable – and if you have had others review your application (to identify other problems a different set of eyes/reviewers might see the second time around), then resubmission makes sense. It really makes sense if you have additional data and/or, even better, a new publication or presentation related to this work. If your data have passed peer review muster at a journal or meeting, it gives grant reviewers more confidence in your work.

Whether to submit in this same cycle or next March depends on whether you can get a strong revised application ready by December … and whether waiting might mean that you would have an additional publication or data to incorporate. Submitting in Dec keeps you in FY12 … submitting in March pushes you into FY13. Both are complete unknowns with regard to budgetary considerations – submitting in March means you probably won’t know anything until 2013 though, and you should probably be thinking of a completely different R01 by then (if you haven’t already). We might have a few clues as to the FY12 budget when the current CR comes up for renewal on Nov 18, but probably not a lot. So, rather than worry about timing in terms of budget strategy, I would suggest concentrating on which would make more sense for the science, both for this project and additional proposals you might have in the works (you don’t want the same study section to be considering two of your applications in the same cycle).

nechem said

November 8, 2011 @ 2:32 am ·

Many thanks, writedit. This is a very helpful outstanding place. Great work. I do have a new grant application I am trying to submit after this one. I think I will call the PO and get some more info before deciding if I want to take the risk. Cheers

nechem said

December 7, 2011 @ 12:29 am ·

Hi writedit,

Again many thanks for the very helpful comments and suggestions. I am updating my grant application. Today, I received an email from the PO’s assistant asking for submitting the JIT and was given 10 days. There are three items I can see from the commons webpage: other support, budget, and other. Do you have any suggestions on what I should provide for the “budget” and “other”? Thanks!!

writedit said

December 7, 2011 @ 1:01 am ·

If your budget remains the same, you should be all set in that regard … if you needed to get IACUC or IRB approval (or any other regulatory oversight approval) and any certification in appropriate animal or human subjects protection training, this should be submitted as Other. Your grants administrator or sponsored research office can help to be sure you are providing everything required for your specific application (none of this is boilerplate) … or you can ask your PO or GMS if no one at your university can help. The key is to respond as promptly as possible – definitely within the 10 days allotted (or at least contact the IC if you cannot avoid being late). Congratulations!

nechem said

December 8, 2011 @ 2:27 pm ·

Many thanks, writedit. I will report with updates. GREAT work!!

Curious said

November 5, 2011 @ 10:32 am ·

I resubmitted my K99 and received a good impact score (low teens); NIA. Wondering what scores were successful/funded recently from NIA, and which were not. Any experience/insight would be much appreciated.

imho said

November 7, 2011 @ 6:16 pm ·

I am not particularly aware of the situation at NIA but for a score below 20, I would be optimistic of being funded.

alpha said

November 7, 2011 @ 11:44 pm ·


firstimer said

November 7, 2011 @ 6:13 pm ·

Hi all,

I just wanted to see if there was any information about the payline for FY 2011. I just got my F31-A1 for NIH impact score (28) and percentile (26.0) and council meeting for 2012/01. I’ve contacted my PO, but I have yet to hear from her.

Can anyone give some guidance as to the likelihood of funding? Many thanks in advance!

firstimer said

November 7, 2011 @ 6:14 pm ·

Clarification: F31-A1 for NCI

writedit said

November 8, 2011 @ 5:41 pm ·

Your score might be a bit high, but the PO will know the upper end of scores funded for FY11 and the size of the application pool for FY12, so you will need to sit tight until you hear from her.

jimmyjohn said

November 7, 2011 @ 7:26 pm ·

hello –

w/ regard to the JIT ‘other support’ page – effort needs to be indicated in months for each grant. is this effort meant to designate time spent or salary support? they are often not equivalent – i have a small grant that does not allow salary support for the PI (me), but still requires an explicit statement of % effort (time) devoted to the project.

I assume NIH is interested in effort as salary support rather than time but would be grateful for clarification.


writedit said

November 8, 2011 @ 5:47 pm ·

The calendar months is the new way of representing effort – does not reflect salary directly, though it is used as multiplier with salary to determine $ amounts. However, you can have effort (in calendar months) with no salary requested. Usually there is a letter of support or what not confirming that the effort will be provided at no cost or via an institutional cost-sharing mechanism.

writedit said

November 7, 2011 @ 11:49 pm ·

Interesting comment over at the PQ post about how Harold selects applications for funding at NCI …

firstimer said

November 8, 2011 @ 4:37 pm ·

Thanks writedit. We shall see then. =)

fingerscrossed said

November 9, 2011 @ 1:46 pm ·


I know this forum deals more with R-series grants, but I just received an impact score of 28 on an MBRS SCORE SC1 grant resubmission (A1- I improved from from a 48 in my first submission). Any idea what my chances are?…I know that MBRS does not have a percentile scale.

Any comments/suggestions are welcome.


writedit said

November 9, 2011 @ 1:52 pm ·

We discuss all types of grants here … however, it is the IC (institute or center) that determines whether your score is competitive for funding. I don’t know of any ICs that post payline information for the SC1s, though, so your PO will be the best source of intel as to whether your nicely improved score may result in an award.

hung said

November 9, 2011 @ 11:29 pm ·

Is NCI funding applications that received 7th percentile

lucky9 said

November 11, 2011 @ 2:47 am ·

Dear all,

I am new to this forum and still trying to figure out how to join the group.

I just got an impact/priority score 16 for K01 in NICHD, no percentile info is provided. Should I be optimistic?

Many thanks.

imho said

November 11, 2011 @ 12:06 pm ·

Thats an awesome score. My PO at NICHD told me that they will fund anything under 20 for the K grants.

K99-hopeful said

December 10, 2011 @ 4:02 pm ·


I got a priority score of 20 on my K99 at NICHD. I should probably talk to my PO about the projected payline for next year, but do you think a score of 20 is “safe” or “borderline” for a K99? The cutoffs are probably pretty different between institutes.

Thanks for any comments.

writedit said

December 11, 2011 @ 11:05 am ·

For some ICs, a 20 would not be good enough. However, NICHD funded 17/44 K99 applications in FY10 … 14/41 in FY09, so you could have a shot there. You should indeed talk with the PO about your chances with a 20 … though if it is borderline, they may not know until after the Oct/Nov submissions are reviewed/scored next Feb. Good luck.

K99-hopeful said

December 12, 2011 @ 3:24 pm ·

Thanks, writedit. According to my PO, it all depends on the budget, but a 20 is a great score and perhaps I can be hopeful. So, you’re right, I could have a shot. Won’t know until the council meeting and and when Congress passes some budget.

Also, what is the difference between SRA and PO? Is the PO the one that I would call with responses to the reviewers critiques and/or bring up any issues that could influence the funding decisions?

Thanks for your input. Your forum has been really helpful.

writedit said

December 12, 2011 @ 3:58 pm ·

The SRO = scientific review officer (or SRA = scientific review administrator), who organizes & manages study sections, the assignment of applications to specific reviewers, the conduct of the review meeting, the preparation of the summary statement, etc. You would talk with him or her before the review, about submitting supplemental material (very limited now though), but thereafter, your communication is with your PO (program officer). The PO may ask you to send a response to the summary statement if he/she needs to make the case for selecting your application specifically (i.e., for reasons other than the score) … but you don’t need to do this unless you are asked. If you have a new publication or any significant progress since the grant was reviewed that might help make your case, you can let the PO know.

K99-hopeful said

February 15, 2012 @ 8:18 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

My PO said they will fund my K99 grant with a priority score of 20. Thanks for your wisdom and support on this site! I just submitted the JIT info, so I’m hoping the NoA will come soon.

Any idea on when the budget will be finalized for this to happen?

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 8:37 pm ·

Congratulations! Which IC? NCI seems to be incredibly behind (even on non-competing renewals), whereas NIAID has kept on top of things since the FY started. If you have had a GMS (grants management specialist) assigned, he/she could probably give you an idea of the timeline. Best wishes for success with your project and your career in academic research!

K99-hopeful said

February 16, 2012 @ 3:12 pm ·

Thank you!

My IC is NICHD. This was an A0 submitted for the June,2011 deadline.

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 9:14 am ·

Sorry – I answered directly from the e-mail rather than reviewing the entire thread. Great news still – looks like NICHD awards are just trickling out, so hopefully you’ll have your NoA soon.

NervousResearcher said

November 27, 2011 @ 11:05 am ·

Looks like things are starting to move at the NCI for FY2012. I just received an email from the Grants Management Specialist asking me whether a start date in January would be OK with me! So far I have not received a Notice of Award and the only change in my Commons page is the name of the Grants Management Specialist that has been assigned to my R01. I don’t know how much of my budget has been slashed.

writedit said

November 27, 2011 @ 11:10 am ·

Congratulations on the good news! Best wishes for success with the budget (ESI applicants are generally being spared) and the research.

nanoparticle said

December 2, 2011 @ 5:59 pm ·


Are you new investigator or established investigator?

NervousResearcher said

December 2, 2011 @ 7:48 pm ·

Thanks Established (I hope). But I have been placed on hold until the next appropriation bill passes. The check is not in the mail.

Vera said

December 13, 2011 @ 2:38 pm ·

Congratulations! Are you a new investigator?? I received an 11% from the NCI as a New Investigator in June 2011. Council met in mid-September. My PO said in early November that she may know something around Thanksgiving time, but I have not heard anything yet. Thanks

NervousResearcher said

December 13, 2011 @ 3:09 pm ·

Vera, I am an Established Investigator. As I mentioned above (12/2 post). I was placed on hold until the NCI gets their budget or an extension to start their FY 2012 activities. Check your Commons page for the grant in question and see if a “Grants Management Specialist(GMS)” has been assigned to your grant (bottom part of the page in “Contacts”). If so, that is probably a good sign.

jimmyjohn said

December 21, 2011 @ 12:26 pm ·

@ nervous –

Having a GMS assigned to your grant doesn’t mean anything.They’re assigned automatically.

Arnold said

November 30, 2011 @ 2:53 am ·

Does anyone know why this blog is no longer listed in chronological order? Or is it just my browser?


Jerry said

November 30, 2011 @ 5:34 pm ·

Have the same problem here.

Buds said

November 30, 2011 @ 2:05 pm ·

For those who have not seen this yet

New Grant Transparency Act Introduced . On November 16 Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) introduced the Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011 (GRANT Act, H.R. 3433 ) (PDF file), and the bill was reported out of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the following day. The GRANT Act would require federal agencies to establish an extensive set of additional transparency measures as well as setting requirements for merit-based selection procedures. In addition to making their merit-review criteria and procedures publicly available, federal agencies would also have to publicly document the basis for their grant selections, disclosing the name, title, and employer of each peer reviewer; and posting all final reports, written products, and other related data or results of the grant on a publicly available website. Furthermore, the legislation provides that applicants for competitive grants in excess of $100,000, upon request, be given a debriefing by the agency “explaining the basis for the agency’s award decision, including, if applicable, the decision not to award a grant.” Finally, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would be required to establish merit-based selection procedures for all agency grant programs.

punky punky said

November 30, 2011 @ 4:32 pm ·

Where is the pdf?. I’ve seen that Rep Lankford is asking for opinion. Of course, I support it and I’d like to read it fully before sending my note to him as he’s requesting. Thanks

Buds said

November 30, 2011 @ 4:45 pm ·

Click to access BILLS-112hr3433ih.pdf

curie said

November 30, 2011 @ 4:34 pm ·

wow, that seems fair and comprehensive. so, has that bill passed? how is the support?

somehow disclosing everything of a grant seems a bit too much (leaving no privacy for the pi, especially docs from the initial stages of review; disclosure of findings, inventions seems fair).

writedit said

November 30, 2011 @ 4:50 pm ·

The text of the bill is here:

The NIH is probably the most transparent agency in terms of making grant awards, so I see this as having the greatest impact on other federal agencies. Anyone who thinks the NIH award granting process is opaque has obviously not applied to the DoD et al. …

Frank Walter said

December 1, 2011 @ 5:41 am ·


Your link leads to Library Congress Thomas but the text of the bill is not shown in my computer. I read it, though, using the link provided by curie.

I agree that the text is fair and comprehensive. I would not have concerns on the PI’s privacy issues mentioned by curie if the text of the bill, when passed, contains links protecting the grant /PI’s proprietary information avoiding plagiarism or misuse of such information. There is still time to contribute to the bill if there are unaddressed issues that are in recent experience of PIs as to maximize expression and effectiveness.

It is encouraging that “The NIH is probably the most transparent agency in terms of making grant awards”. There is always room for improvement and passing this bill, proposed by Rep Lankford, is to benefit the NIH achievements so far, prevent from going backwards by contagion effects, and go forward under a coordinated umbrella in the distribution and appropriate use of public resources.

Feel very pleased that Rep Lankford took the lead in approaching so effectively this critical matter of general interest for all.

SG said

December 1, 2011 @ 8:52 am ·

Actually, I think NIH already does most or all of this.

1) In addition to making their merit-review criteria and procedures publicly available.

There is a section in every RFA, PA, PAR etc. that states these procedures.

2) federal agencies would also have to publicly document the basis for their grant selections, disclosing the name, title, and employer of each peer reviewer; I am not sure how the first clause fits with the second. But, SS and SEP Rosters are publicly available on the CSR Website. Are they suggesting publishing awardee SSs?

3) and posting all final reports, written products, and other related data or results of the grant on a publicly available website.

This could be different. Maybe by forcing publication of yearly grant reports? Although PIs could argue that the NIH Public Access Policy already covers this.

4). Furthermore, the legislation provides that applicants for competitive grants in excess of $100,000, upon request, be given a debriefing by the agency “explaining the basis for the agency’s award decision, including, if applicable, the decision not to award a grant.” This would be the summary statement.

writedit said

December 1, 2011 @ 8:59 am ·

Yes, my take was that essentially the NIH would need to make SSs public … which would make peer review open for peer review. All other agencies would be starting from scratch …

Sent from Pluto

JustMissed said

December 6, 2011 @ 5:02 pm ·

The FY 2012 NHLBI paylines just came up for R43/44 SBIRs with Impact Score 25. My application scored a 26. Does anyone know how this works? Since this is an interim payline, does this mean if a more favorable NIH budget gets passed, the paylines will go up and my application will get funded? Should I reapply in April 2012, or just wait for the NIH budget to get passed by Congress to see what happens to the paylines first?

writedit said

December 7, 2011 @ 10:51 am ·

You can talk with your PO about what might be likely to happen with the payline. It could go up one or two points if the House appropriation bill eventually forms the basis of the NIH FY12 budget, and this would happen before the April submission date.

luka64 said

December 7, 2011 @ 1:11 pm ·

NHLBI payline for Ks dropped from 40 in FY 2010, to 30 in 2011, and to 19 in 2012.. What’s gonna be next year, 9 ???

JustMissed said

December 7, 2011 @ 8:51 pm ·

I did speak to my PO and was encouraged to resubmit. Since there are interim paylines, historically, they have gone up throughout the year, although this year seems to be especially uncertain given the situation in Congress. The timing of resubmission, however, is a matter personal preference. An April resubmission may not get reviewed if the paylines go up an my original application is funded. I am inclined to resubmit in August and wait out until the payline adjusts (or not). Any thoughts on this? I have to decide where to put my efforts and it seems spending my time on getting some papers out is more productive than an early A1 revision which may not get reviewed.

In any case, as I am learning, this can be a lengthy process of waiting. As of a few weeks ago, I was not even aware that the paylines change throughout the year and that they go up closer to the end of the fiscal year.

writedit said

December 8, 2011 @ 10:57 am ·

If you can afford the slight additional lag (and I say “slight” because the Cycle 1 applications haven’t been funded on time in years due to CRs and budget uncertainties every FY – a pattern that is not likely to change any time soon) for a potential A1 award, then I would concur that your time would be better spent publishing and collecting more data. You will need publications to drop your score a few points in any case. Good luck with the A0 in the meantime.

BlueDuck said

December 11, 2011 @ 12:56 pm ·

This is such a great forum, you guys, with tons of useful info. You rock!!

I have a quick question. I just noticed that my K99/R00 impact score was posted: 25 (my IC is the NEI). As this is my very first NIH submission, I was wondering if percentiles are assigned to all scored applications, and, if so, how long after the impact scores are posted.

Just based on the numerical value of the score, I’m guessing that I’m probably in the grey area as far as funding is concerned. But I’m keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed because this is sort of a do-or-die situation: I am not eligible for resubmission.


writedit said

December 11, 2011 @ 1:09 pm ·

Well, for NEI, that a 25 probably won’t cut it, but you should certainly ask your PO. NEI only funded 4 of 29 applications submitted in FY10 and only 4 of 25 submissions submitted in FY09. As I recall, someone posted here last year about barely getting their NEI K99 funded with something like an 11 or 12. I assume your ineligibility situation has to do with timing since degree or your postdoc status … with that score for a K99, though, you should be able to prepare a competitive application for another K mechanism or a research project grant. Good luck with this.

NervousResearcher said

December 15, 2011 @ 12:46 pm ·

Still no Budget Appropriations/Continuation Bill for FY2012 and loooong wait for Notice of Award from NCI… Government shutdown if bill is not passed tomorrow (12/15). Congress still playing political games and scientists are getting ulcers. It’s time for Maalox.

mph said

December 15, 2011 @ 2:16 pm ·


NIH, DOE Appear Headed For Small Budget Increases in 2012

writedit said

December 15, 2011 @ 6:33 pm ·

Actually, looking at the House Appropriations Committee’s marked up bill (see pp 50-56), most of the additional new dollars are earmarked for the IDeA program, CAN, and other specific initiatives. Overall, most ICs may be taking a very slight hit, but not as much as in the current CR.

writedit said

December 16, 2011 @ 2:50 am ·

And here is my post comparing the appropriations bill $s with what was signed into law last year:

NervousResearcher said

December 15, 2011 @ 4:25 pm ·

“Small budget increases” are in reality cuts since NIH has commitments for subsequent years of existing grants. Thus, the number of new applications funded will probably be lower reflected in lowering the percentiles.

Benjamin Teller said

December 15, 2011 @ 4:43 pm ·

Some of my colleagues are convinced we are headed to a post-NIH research paradigm in which the bulk of research will be funded by public/private collectives (industry + peer fundraisers). At the very least, we can see the funding wheels are grinding to a slow halt at NIH. It does make one a little concerned for the future of scientific research in the US.

MKIM said

December 16, 2011 @ 7:06 pm ·

Can one write a RO1 grant from a SBC and if so in case one leaves the SBC after the RO1 gets funded, does the grant goes with the PI or belongs to the SBC?

Is an RO1 transferable from one a SBC to a University as the PI makes the transition

SaG said

December 17, 2011 @ 9:29 am ·

I am not positive what an SBC is (small business?) but all R-type grants “belong” to the submitting institution not the PI. They make the final decision on whether to keep the grant and name a new PI. R01s are transferable from an SBC to a University if all sides (including NIH) agree.

MKIM said

December 17, 2011 @ 11:08 am ·

Thanks SAG. SBC indeed meant small business. If the RO1 is submitted from the university and the PI changes one university to the other in that case too the grant will owned by the University.

If the RO1 is submitted from SBC does it matter as opposed to from a University?

Is there any cut-off percentage for young/early stage investigators in RO1 grant. Does being a young/early stage investigator in RO1 help in funding decisions?

writedit said

December 17, 2011 @ 12:04 pm ·

As long as the applicant institution is appropriate and has the right scientific environment & resources in which to conduct the research, it doesn’t matter, though some FOAs restrict the type of applicants (not R01s though). For R01s, the institution is always the applicant. Most universities allow PIs to take whatever portion of the grant is appropriate for their work (keeping, as appropriate, only what might need to be done at the original applicant university due to special resources, collaborator expertise, etc.). Universities want to recruit PIs with R01 funding – under the assumption they will be able to bring their grants with them – so universities do not hang on to these awards when their faculty leave (do not want to get the reputation of hanging on to grants & naming new PIs, which would lessen enthusiasm for well-funded PIs to relocate there).

ESI status makes the applicant eligible for higher paylines at all ICs … new investigators get a break everywhere but NHLBI. ESI and NI applications are (usually) reviewed separately from those submitted by established investigators, so there is also some benefit at study section as well.

TOM said

December 17, 2011 @ 11:16 am ·

I have a grant that was not discussed in the scientific review meeting and was not scored. However in the statement summary provided each critic has decently scored the application. Is there any circumstances the application can be discussed/ taken up in a review meeting again without re-submitting ?.

Do I need to request for a appeal ?

writedit said

December 17, 2011 @ 12:11 pm ·

Do not appeal. You can search this page for “appeal” for additional comments on this issue. In any case, you have no basis on which to appeal unless all 3 reviewers made serious scientific errors that can be objectively documented with support from the literature etc.

The individual criteria scores have nothing to do with the impact score the reviewer assigns, and the preliminary impact scores (which you don’t see) are used to determine which applications are discussed (40% or fewer of all submissions) and which are triaged. At this point, you can talk with your PO about whether you should resubmit (if adding new data, publishing some preliminary data, strengthening the approach, etc. would satisfy reviewers) or develop an entirely new application (if they had concerns about the significance, novelty, incrementalism, etc.).

nanoparticle said

December 19, 2011 @ 3:38 pm ·

Have anyone heard anything about the FY12 NCI payline?

Someone told me that the same payline will be used for established and new investigators/ESI.

Hopeful said

December 19, 2011 @ 6:39 pm ·

The number I heard today was 7%. I’m an ESI, but no mention was made of the previous 10% pay line for ESI, just the 7%.

lpys said

December 27, 2011 @ 3:29 pm ·

Have anyone heard anything about the FY12 NIDDK payline?

Jeff said

December 29, 2011 @ 2:45 am ·

I recieved a priority score of 27 on a S10 shared instrumentation grant application at NCRR. My PO told me after the initial peer review that my score was in the gray area but may be fundable. I just noticed that my council review was completed on Dec. 20, 2011 more than 5 weeks prior to the council meeting. Is that a good sign?

SG said

December 29, 2011 @ 8:05 am ·

It is probably more of a sign that NIH is rapidly preparing to morph NCRR into NCATS. It probably doesn’t have any bearing on whether you will be funded or not.

Raman Radhakrishnan said

January 2, 2012 @ 3:11 am ·

I am an established investigator. I am pleased to notify that I got a new RO1 from the NHLBI. My grant was reviewed by SS in June 2011 (PS, 21, percentile 10). Went to council in October (NHLBI). Got NGA on Dec 30. I am so pleased that NHLBI awarded full 5 years, with no cuts at all! (total costs $3.1 million over 5 years). What is suprising is that the erA commons kept saying Council review pending (since June), and then only got updated with an award notice last week. In the past, I would see things like, councli review completed, and then pending administrative review etc. Although my PO and GMS kept saying I will likely get awarded, the commons was not showing any thing! Is this unusual? Anyway it ended well!


writedit said

January 2, 2012 @ 3:41 am ·

Congratulations! Thank you so much for posting all the details. I am not sure why the Council status was never updated unless NHLBI was concerned that potential further cuts in their appropriation would require a reduction in planned awards, so wanted to leave the option open for further Council review (& only obvious this wouldn’t be needed on Dec 23, when the budget was signed into law). In any case, best wishes for success with your research.

Waiting for JIT said

January 2, 2012 @ 11:18 am ·

When did you receive a email request for JIT info?


Raman Radhakrishnan said

January 2, 2012 @ 5:06 pm ·

Thanks! I received JIT 2 weeks after council meeting.


Z said

January 2, 2012 @ 5:09 pm ·

Has anyone heard recently about the NICHD payline? Is it still at the 11th percentile? Did it get worse or get better after the budget bill was signed?

Wolfman’s brother said

January 5, 2012 @ 4:20 pm ·


Does anyone know the current NINDS payline and how it may change in 2012? Thanks.

ShawnB said

January 7, 2012 @ 9:32 pm ·

My PO told me NINDS doesn’t see a possibility of going higher than 14% for 2012. I was at 18% and was told no chance.

Hopeful said

January 5, 2012 @ 5:50 pm ·

Has anyone had any updates on the status of their NCI proposals?

nanoparticle said

January 5, 2012 @ 6:41 pm ·

It is still not clear whether NCI has established a better payline for NI/ESI.

Mouseter said

January 5, 2012 @ 6:46 pm ·

Pardon my ignorance…what is the difference between a “New Investigator” and an “Early Stage Investigator”?

writedit said

January 5, 2012 @ 7:06 pm ·

A “new” investigator is one who has never received R01 or equivalent funding in his or her career, regardless of age & seniority. Former NIH intramural researchers and European researchers who come to the US are “new investigators” when they apply for their first R01, which is why NHLBI did away with this designation (since these are not the folks who need the break on review or percentile processes). The NIH created the early stage investigator (ESI) status to differentiate between junior and senior investigators without prior major funding. The ESI status is assigned to those without prior major awards who are within 10 years of completing their terminal degree or training (e.g., residency for MDs). All the details & related policies can be found at

Mouseter said

January 5, 2012 @ 7:15 pm ·

Thanks heaps!

whimple said

January 5, 2012 @ 8:07 pm ·

In my opinion the ESI designation is thinly veiled age discrimination. I would love to see it challenged on that basis.

2lorac said

January 13, 2012 @ 12:07 am ·

On the other hand, PIs well into their mid-70s and beyond are awarded R01s, sometimes it would seem on the mere basis of career achievement. In these times of scarce funding it seems reasonable to try to promote the future, not the past. Just my opinion….

Z said

January 5, 2012 @ 8:20 pm ·

Whimple, from 1980 to 2009, the number of PIs under 40 years of age who was awarded a Research Project Grant plummeted from just over 44% of all awards to just a smidgen over 12% of all awards. If the ESI designation is “thinly veiled age discrimination”, this drop in PI R01 awards seen from 1980 to 2009 for PIs under 40 is quite obvious age discrimination.

D said

January 6, 2012 @ 9:20 am ·

It is certainly not because established PIs have managed to attach themselves to NIH funding like a barnacle to an aircraft carrier.

J said

January 6, 2012 @ 1:03 pm ·

Just talked to a program director at NCI. Better sit down. 7% and NO NI/ESI bonus for the time being.

J said

January 6, 2012 @ 5:40 pm ·

The time being until they sorted out their budget apparently. Exemptions on a case-by-case basis up to 15% but preferentially for A1 applications.

nanoparticle said

January 17, 2012 @ 2:38 pm ·

Have you heard any updates from your PO regarding the payline for NI/ESI?

Free Science said

January 8, 2012 @ 10:31 am ·

My R01 did not make the cut at NIDA — 15% ESI. First R01 application coming out of a K grant. Very disappointed.

writedit said

January 8, 2012 @ 10:34 am ·

Kudos for such an exceptional score on your first R01 submission. Disappointing, yes … discouraging, no.

Free Science said

January 8, 2012 @ 11:20 am ·

Thanks for the kind and encouraging words. I should clarify that was my A1 application. I have a second R01 A1 for a different grant due to be reviewed this Spring. Only remedy is to keep trying, but the heat is on with my tenure application due to be put together this year and no R01 in hand. Thanks for this great forum. It has been incredibly helpful and educational to read about other folks experiences. Back to work.

Free Science said

February 12, 2012 @ 9:29 pm ·

Here is the recap. Maybe this will be helpful/hopeful to some.

First R01 application submitted June 2010, NIDA, ESI Status

A0 = unscored, but very positive reviews, PO encouraged resubmission.

Resubmitted March 2011.

A1 = 25, 15th %ile, great reviews, PO immediately asked for rebuttal sheet, said would advocate for funding, was told I’d know more about outcome in late 2011. I kept in touch with PO and kept sending every abstract and publication coming out of K23 grant related to R01.

In early January 2012, I was told it barely did not make the cut during first funding round, but PO would continue to advocate for funding on future rounds.

I found out from PO last week that it made the cut on this round and was recommended for funding (with caveats about waiting for NGA). Next day, status in Commons changed to “pending.”

I haven’t quite started drinking the champagne, but it is being chilled.

Regardless of how this may turn out, my PO has been fantastic. I feel very privileged.

Thanks Writedit and all on this board for teaching me so much throughout this process and for providing a very unique type of support. What a roller coaster ride. Next R01 gets reviewed in March — All aboard!

writedit said

February 12, 2012 @ 11:40 pm ·

Congratulations on your successful outcome and exceptional PO, and thank you so much for sharing your entire saga (over time & this excellent recap). You are especially to be commended for going from unsecured to funded – possible but not probable in most cases, but it is nice to let folks here know it really can happen. Best wishes for success with this project, the application about to be reviewed, and your career in academic research!

smoking neuro said

January 8, 2012 @ 10:21 pm ·

Hey writedit, I really appreciate your blog.

Do you have any recommendations for junior (non-tenure track) faculty in this current funding climate? I have been in a research assistant professor line for the past year. My K99 application was scored at 30, and my PO recommended that I resubmit the research plan as a R21, but, based on comments from fellow professors, I am worried that my status as a RAP will count against me since I have no “real” support from my university. Even more frustrating is that my own college has denied me pilot funding based on being a RAP. Luckily, my mentor will be able to support me for another year, and I will continue writing and (probably) run some experiments for my own pilot data.

writedit said

January 8, 2012 @ 11:01 pm ·

If your K99 was an A1, you might also try another K mechanism, if you can get a letter of support from your Chair promising the required lab & other resources – these letters often include conditional faculty appointments (conditional on the awarding of the K), but even without such a promise, I have seen non-tenure track applicants receive K funding. I assume your mentor will be on board with other K mechanisms as well. Of course, this could be different in the current funding climate, but it also sounds as though your PO is an advocate, in which case I would suggest seeking his/her input. Applying for an R01 as an RAP rarely works. Since the R21s are non-renewable and usually do not “count” toward tenure decisions, you may not have this held against you if you have a strong letter of support (& commitment of resources) and if your science is compelling. Certainly there is no downside to applying other than the time & effort involved (& not much, since you will be converting a 6-p career training research platform to a 6-page exploratory study). If you have new data and/or publications since the K99, your R21 application would be that much stronger.

BICO allows RAPs to apply for some intramural mechanisms but not others, so I understand your frustration. An appropriate professional or disease advocacy society may have fellowship/non-tenure pilot funding mechanisms available. If your institution has a CTSA and your work involves any human subjects research (including cells/tissue etc.), you may want to look into KL2 scholar positions – though these are often restricted to junior tenure-track faculty. For a bit of encouragement, I can think of a few RAPs who managed to secure independent funding that did or should help them launch independent academic research careers – it’s not impossible, but it does require good support and great ideas.

Mouseter said

January 9, 2012 @ 3:37 pm ·

Is the NCI “K” (or more specifically K22) payline known for the FY10 and/or FY11?

I submitted my K22 in Feb 2011, got a score of 28, but still no decision on funding. I resubmitted in Nov 2011. The PO is not offering any projections for funding decisions. Just got a reply today that she does not have any update on it, and that the decisions could “theoretically be made as late as September.”

writedit said

January 9, 2012 @ 4:29 pm ·

The only 2 K22s funded in the last 90 days came from NIAID (so NCI isn’t funding any yet). In both FY10 and FY11, NCI reviewed 39 applications and funded 10 in FY10 (25.6%) and 9 in FY11 (23.1%). If your PO could tell you your relative ranking in the pile (based on your 28), that might be helpful – even whether they have more than 39 applications for FY12 (since all submissions are now in).

Mouseter said

January 9, 2012 @ 4:46 pm ·

Thanks writedit. I always worry about offending the PO by asking a question she cannot answer by the NIH rules. Is the ranking info something that POs are allowed to disclose to the applicants? Do they routinely do that if applicants ask?

writedit said

January 9, 2012 @ 4:53 pm ·

Depends on the PO. You can ask, with a qualifier at the outset that you’ll understand if she can’t provide this information, whether your score of 28 falls in the top 25% of applications scored thus far for FY12 (obviously the cycle III grants have not as yet). This is pretty generic and shouldn’t make her feel too put on the spot, and you’ll have left the out by saying you realize this might not be something she can divulge. If she can’t or doesn’t want to, that’s what she’ll say. If you have had a manuscript or meeting abstract accepted in the meantime or any other research-relevant news, this would be a good time to mention it.

Mouseter said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:48 pm ·

I asked as you suggested and she refused to disclose the information. Her exact response:

“Unfortunately, I cannot respond according to policy. There is also an additional review cycle to go yet for FY2012.”

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:50 pm ·

Aha. Thanks for posting her response … and good luck with your A1 review next month (or whenever it is scheduled).

Mouseter said

January 10, 2012 @ 6:05 pm ·

Thanks writedit.

One more question…there seems to be some discrepancy on the number of K22s awarded in 2010 and 2011 by NCI. The RePORT websiet has two spreadsheets on the awards by mechanism and institute. The first spreadsheet says what you noted above, i.e. 39 applications reviewed each year and 10 and 9 awarded, respectively. But the second spreadsheet says 30 and 28 awards made in FY10 and FY11, resectively. What am I missing?

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 6:14 pm ·

I am not sure what other spreadsheet you mean, but searching RePORTER for new K22 awards in FY10 turns up 10 awards from NCI (only 2 of which were funded as A0s). But … knowing the exact number of awards made in years past won’t tell you whether you are going to be funded. I understand the need for data, though.

Mouseter said

January 10, 2012 @ 6:27 pm ·

Here are the two spreadsheets I’m talking about:

Mouseter said

January 9, 2012 @ 5:16 pm ·

Thanks! This is much helpful.

Carlos said

January 10, 2012 @ 1:54 pm ·

Any news on NCI 2012 paylines? I received for R15 A0 a score of 25 and was asked for JIT information late in december. Yet, no actual news of whether this will be funded or not.

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:42 pm ·

In the past 90 days, NCI has funded 7 new R01s (plus 15 competing renewals), 1 R03, 2 R21s, and 2 R13s (conference). They have not funded any new R15s but have funded 2 competing renewal R15s (both the last week of Dec). No paylines other than the 7th percentile R01 benchmark, and awards are barely trickling out.

J said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:49 pm ·

So that would be roughly 28 R01 per year if it continues like that (pure speculation and projection) – how much was it lets say in 2010?

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:53 pm ·

Oh, of course you cannot extrapolate the total number of awards based on what has been handed out thus far. All the ICs are way behind (well, with the possible exception of NIAID) since they were waiting for their final appropriation numbers. And they make a flurry of awards in late summer, once they see how much they have to spend down before the FY closes out (Sept 30).

J said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:58 pm ·

I am pretty sure I have read it somewhere but that would make Cycle III the best time to submit, right?

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 5:06 pm ·

You might have read it here:

Or at NIAID:

And yes, the last cycle is the best cycle in terms of finding out “on time” whether you will be funded (whether by payline or end-of-FY select pay) … applications submitted to the earlier deadlines are usually put on hold or are awarded under conservative paylines that (usually) loosen up later in the FY.

imho said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:58 pm ·

Hi writedit, how do one access information on what has been funded in the last 90 days etc? Is it in the NIH Reporter?

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 5:08 pm ·

The first Excel spreadsheet on the RePORT Budget & Spending page: (lots of other interesting spreadsheet data here, too)

J said

January 10, 2012 @ 1:56 pm ·

What Institute? Last time I checked with NCI and NIBIB they both did not have there actual budget figured out far enough to give a pay line, especially with the changes within NIH. NCI though said 7% for all, NI/ESI or established. My grant had a 15% (NI)

Hopeful said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:25 pm ·

Have you had any word from anyone at NCI lately about your 15% ? Is it A1 or A0?

J said

January 10, 2012 @ 4:29 pm ·

Its A0 but at NIBIB as primary institute. They don’t know yet, last year (FY 2011) the line was at 16% for NI… The PO likes it and is helpful though. NCI told me 7% for all, no NI bonus, discussions for exemptions only of A1 applications up to ca. 15%

tara said

January 10, 2012 @ 5:30 pm ·

I recently changed institutions but had a K23 already submitted (lots of drama in the move…). I see that my application was scored (27) and I don’t have high hopes it will be funded given the current $$ situation. But, if it does get funded, has anyone successfully transferred a mentored career award like this? My new institution is very supportive, co-mentor of the application was long-distance anyway so that doesn’t change. Thanks for a great forum.

writedit said

January 10, 2012 @ 5:39 pm ·

Not to worry – the award would go with you (or just be made to your new institution, since it sounds like you are there) … assuming you have a suitable mentor team (aside from distant co-mentor) and an appropriate (& sufficient for sample size) patient population at the new institution. If the new institution is significantly stronger (resources, faculty expertise & funding), then you should talk with your PO about this, in case the change of environment might strengthen your case when funding decisions are made. Either way, if you have not already talked with the PO about changing institutions since the application was submitted, you need to.

Megan said

January 12, 2012 @ 5:20 pm ·

Any idea how many K99 NHLBI will be funding this year? How does this compare to previous years?

Luka64 said

January 12, 2012 @ 5:28 pm ·

Hi Megan,

2012 paylines for NHLBI are here:

It doesn’t look very optimistic comparing to previous years, but I’m not sure if they’re going to be modified somehow considering that budget appropriation has been recently passed.

hung said

January 12, 2012 @ 9:42 pm ·

When are NCI council meetings, I received 7th percentile on my R21 and am eating to hear after council meeting

writedit said

January 12, 2012 @ 9:58 pm ·

Congrats – you should be waiting for good news, at least. Feb 27-29.

OMT said

January 14, 2012 @ 10:33 pm ·

I received a 21st percentile on an R01, NIGMS is the IC. As an ESI, should I be optimistic that this could get funded?

writedit said

January 15, 2012 @ 1:58 am ·

NIGMS does not go by percentile, so you could be optimistic if you PO is enthusiastic about your application and is willing to advocate for having it funded.

imho said

January 15, 2012 @ 3:40 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

I applied for a K with the NICHD as primary and NIGMS as secondary. So, I have a NICHD PO and an NIGMS PO assigned.

I got a score of 29 and very strong summary statement back. The perceived weaknesses are easily addressed. My NICHD PO was confident that I narrowly missed the NICHD payline although she felt it was a great application. She encouraged me to check with NIGMS. I talked to the “assigned” NIGMS PO and he was uninterested. This “assigned PO” is only remotely linked to my research area.

However, a different PO at NIGMS whom I talked to is very enthusiastic and sounded very encouraging especially since there is a close match in research areas. She did say it fit with the mission quite well and that I was the kind of candidate they have in mind etc.

How do I get my application into the hands of this other PO different from the CSR assigned PO. Can any PO in NIGMS pick my application?

writedit said

January 15, 2012 @ 3:46 pm ·

Thanks for sharing all the details of your story, which I hope has a happy ending (great news that the NICHD PO and the one NIGMS PO are so enthusiastic). Applications can be moved among POs, so you should be able to ask the second NIGMS PO if she would take whatever administrative steps are needed to have the application assigned to her portfolio. Please give us an update of how this works out – in the near-term with PO assignment and in the long-term with funding decisions.

mph said

January 15, 2012 @ 4:51 pm ·

imho, when did you hear about the nichd payline for Ks? i contacted my po this week, who said nothing had really moved forward since the budget had passed.

imho said

January 15, 2012 @ 5:00 pm ·

hi mph, it is true that nichd payline for Ks is not set. However, POs can tell based on last years payline, the rough payline for this year and whether an application has a chance. It turns out that my application is definitely not going to be considered given that it has a score of 29. I remember PO saying that everything in low 20′s has a chance.

Mouseter said

January 16, 2012 @ 1:35 am ·

@imho. I’m intrigued by the comment “a different PO at NIGMS whom I talked to”…how the heck does one go about “talking to” random POs about their enthusiasm for a particular application?

Second question: which K? As far as I understand, different K mechanisms have different paylines…No?

old grantee said

January 16, 2012 @ 2:02 am ·


It might have to do with the diversity of existing research portfolios at a specific IC that applicants should be knowledgeable in order to find own research niche with a mutual interest (investigator and IC). All this info should be available on ICs websites and PO/applicant dialogue encouraged prior and after designing and submitting a research proposal.

The idea of “talking to random POs” doesn’t sound right to me. My two cents.

imho said

January 16, 2012 @ 2:15 am ·

Mouseter: the PO I referred above was from an earlier unsuccessful F application and the current K application. I happen to discuss my K application with the two POs around the same time. Talking to random POs is not the idea…

Mouseter said

January 16, 2012 @ 2:29 am ·

@imho. Thanks. I’m new to grant writing and I always worry about missing a trick or two that experienced grant writers may know about.

@old grantee. Tweaking a grant according to the interests of specific portfolios is a good suggestion. Where can one find this info?

writedit said

January 16, 2012 @ 9:28 am ·

If you look at the IC’s list of research programs (or organizational listing), you can see the areas of interest to each PO and figure out whom to contact about your research and how you could fine-tune it to fill a gap in their portfolio. I have links to such contacts for each IC in the listing of pay line information above.

nanoparticle said

January 17, 2012 @ 2:55 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

Is it OK for NI/ESI to send emails to the NCI director to request a payline break (even a very small break) for NI/ESI? NCI is still using the same payline for all applicants.

writedit said

January 17, 2012 @ 3:06 pm ·

It certainly is not against the rules to contact him. It could be they just have not yet figured out how much of a break they can give ESI/NI applicants. If he were to respond (or someone from his office), I expect Harold would say NCI will meet its ESI/NI quota by individually selecting applications within a competitive percentile range that address programmatic priorities. The NIH cares that established and ESI/NI applicants have the same success rate, they don’t care how NCI achieves this.

nanoparticle said

January 17, 2012 @ 3:25 pm ·

thanks very much for your prompt reply.

Laolu said

January 18, 2012 @ 5:23 pm ·

NIAAA, R21 submitted last Feburary, PS 24. FY11 payline 26, under Continuing Resolution payline 18, but unknown for FY12. Waiting.

If not awarded, thinking about revision for March deadline, or inspired by above discussion, preparing for R01 for June or October deadline. Suggestion?

writedit said

January 19, 2012 @ 4:45 pm ·

Congrats on the nice R21 score. Do you have enough data and publications to support an R01 application? Enough more to the research to expand to an R01? If you are new/ESI, you would get a break during the review process and possibly in payline for the R01 (not available for any other mechanism). If there is something clearly addressable/fixable from the summary statement that would drop your score 10 pts, then the resubmission might be worth considering. Your PO should have some insight as to which direction would be best from a programmatic standpoint.

Richard said

January 20, 2012 @ 12:24 pm ·

Where do you find these payline? As I know, NIAAA has never published its payline.

Do you know the NIAAA’s payline for RO1? Thanks

writedit said

January 20, 2012 @ 2:33 pm ·

A lot of ICs do not make their paylines public – they use them internally, though, to various degrees (guidance vs numeric thresholds).

KC said

January 20, 2012 @ 1:44 pm ·


The NHLBI 2012 funding guidelines site is temporarily unavailable. An indication of pay line changes? Do you have any idea ?


j said

January 20, 2012 @ 1:56 pm ·

Maybe they are about to meet or did so. I know that the council meting of NIBIB should be today. Keep your fingers crossed, my R01 A0 has a 15% and would just hav ben funded last year (NI)… They do not know yet their exact paylines.

writedit said

January 20, 2012 @ 3:47 pm ·

Just posted this on the Discussion page & thought it might be useful here, too …

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

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 = competing 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.

Fiscal policy:

Salary cap:

T/F stipends etc.:

Legislative mandates:

waitingforgrant said

January 20, 2012 @ 3:52 pm ·

a question about my R21.

Dear Writedit, I have a pending R21 grant with NIAID received a score of 19 (Submitted March 2011 as an A1 application, reviewed last June); The AC meeting was last Sep. I received the JIT email last Dec asking for IACUC protocol and other support, which both had been approved by our institute. Since then, I have not heard anything about the grant. I am now desperately needing this grant. Do you think I should send my PO or the grant specialist an email to follow up?

The final R21 payline has not come out yet but the interim payline is 20. Since NIAID recently released the final Ro1 payline which is 2% higher than the interim payline (increased from 8% (interim) to 10% (final), I assume the final R21 payline should also be higher. Any thoughts?

writedit said

January 20, 2012 @ 4:00 pm ·

Yes, you can and should contact the PO and/or GMS to find out what is happening with your application. They can tell you if an award is being processed or going to be processed. As long as you are within the interim payline, your are fine. NIAID has been making awards, so your PO or GMS can tell you where you are in the queue.

KC said

January 20, 2012 @ 5:29 pm ·

Thanks for the update. The NIH fiscal policy says NI preference and does not distinguish between NI and ESI. Do you think NHLBI will give break for NI or it is up to the ICs?

Thanks once again for the great job.

writedit said

January 20, 2012 @ 5:36 pm ·

Nope. NHLBI does not recognize NI status and does not need to under NIH policy. They can give all the breaks to ESI applicants – their choice as an institute. I believe NINDS is moving in that direction as well … others are likely to follow as a way to keep experienced “new” investigators (e.g., former intramural NIH, recent transplants from foreign research institutes, etc.) from competing with those genuinely new to the game.

Mouseter said

January 20, 2012 @ 5:47 pm ·

@writedit, in today’s research environment of protracted postdoc training periods before securing PI positions, and then the time needed to generate enough preliminary data to be competitive for an R01, does NIH give a break to those genuine ESI’s that happen to cross the 10 year threshold after their doctorate degrees?

writedit said

January 21, 2012 @ 3:09 pm ·

There is a form with which you can request an extension of ESI status (, so you can check there to see if any of the extenuating circumstances apply to your situation. I assume the NIH felt that allowing 10 years after completion of the PhD/residency was sufficient to get your feet on the ground, barring any of the issues that are permissible reasons for extending this time period. Given that they have less money (relatively speaking) and more applications to consider, I doubt they will adjust the length of time that defines ESI status.

KC said

January 21, 2012 @ 9:36 am ·

Good Point. I started my lab 3 yrs ago but crossed 10 yrs threshold. I got 12 percentile on my R01 but NHLBI would not give break. So, waiting anxiously for increase in the pay line.

Hope it will happen.

relieved said

January 23, 2012 @ 11:52 am ·

NIAMS FY2012 funding levels:

After 9+ months waiting, waiting, waiting, looks like my F32 squeaks by. Think I learned my lesson on April deadlines though…

zestyw said

January 24, 2012 @ 11:44 am ·

I’m a little bit worried. I applied for an R03 through NCI and received a score of 22 back in July 2011. Council review was fine and occurred in September 2011. They requested JIT in November and I submitted the JIT information then. The requested start date is February 2012, but I haven’t heard anything yet from NCI. I wrote to the PO and GMS yesterday via email and haven’t heard from either of them. Does anyone have any thoughts about this? Needing some reassurance here!

GMD said

January 24, 2012 @ 12:09 pm ·

I hear you. I am in the same situation, where I submitted a R21 last Feb which received a score well within the fundable range (1%), and I am anxiously waiting for the activation of this grant. My PO is not listed in the my commons website anymore (has this ever happened to anyone?), but my GMS told me last week that at that time, all new NCI grants were on hold, until the final funding plan for FY2012 is established. Does anyone know when this could happen? I am at the point where I may have to let poeple go if this grant does not start soon. Thank you.

writedit said

January 24, 2012 @ 12:17 pm ·

You can start spending 90 days in advance of the award, if your institution will set up the account for you. I would imagine NCI will get the cycle 1 awards out well within that time frame. Congrats on the exceptional score & best wishes for success with the research.

writedit said

January 24, 2012 @ 12:13 pm ·

They are just getting around to making awards for projects that should have started last Dec, so you shouldn’t worry too much … but you also shouldn’t count on an award by Feb 1.

zestyw said

January 25, 2012 @ 11:46 am ·

Ok, I just heard that NCI OGA is awaiting funding appropriation so once that comes through they will have a “better estimated start date for this pending project”. Sounds promising I think.

J said

January 24, 2012 @ 12:14 pm ·

Kind of insane situation. Nobody seems to know any real pay lines, NCI says 7% (R01) with no ESI/NI bonus (but only via the phone, not in an email), NIBIB had the first council meeting but still no official pay line… My R01 would have just been inside the pay line for 2011

luka64 said

January 24, 2012 @ 3:55 pm ·

Got a personal JIT request for my K99 2 days after Council Meeting! Should I be cautiously optimistic?

writedit said

January 24, 2012 @ 4:10 pm ·

Certainly. A JIT does not guarantee an award, but they don’t do this after Council unless an award is slated to be processed (no use creating extra work at that point). Your PO should be able to give you even more reassurance at this point.

luka64 said

January 24, 2012 @ 6:26 pm ·

Thanks Writedit! This site is a source of great support!

adfasdfasd said

January 24, 2012 @ 5:49 pm ·

HEY LUKA64 are you NIMH?

luka64 said

January 24, 2012 @ 6:10 pm ·

Yes, NIMH!

mysterysciencetheater said

January 24, 2012 @ 4:28 pm ·

My PO keeps saying “cautiously optimistic” I know what that technically means….but, what does it REALLY mean in NIH terms? Should I hold on to a sliver of hope?

writedit said

January 24, 2012 @ 4:34 pm ·

My favorite (mystery science theater). POs do not use the term “cautiously optimistic” unless they are confident optimism is warranted. This is not a guarantee, but they are usually as noncommittal and closed mouthed as possible and avoid at all costs giving anyone false hope, knowing careers, jobs, etc. are on the line.

hopefullyso said

January 24, 2012 @ 6:05 pm ·

thanks for the reply….”mystery science theater” is how I refer to my Dept Faculty meetings!!

Curious said

January 24, 2012 @ 6:31 pm ·


do you mind sharing your priority score

luka said

January 25, 2012 @ 3:05 pm ·

24, first submission.

Curious said

January 29, 2012 @ 1:00 am ·

Congrats and thanks for sharing you score!!!!

occam’s beard said

January 25, 2012 @ 5:02 pm ·

hi all,

i am now due to submit a progress report for my first year of K01 support. I am having trouble finding templates or clear instruction as to format, content and submission. As I understand it progress reports are done via eSNAP, but beyond that I am a bit lost.

Any suggestions for where to find templates and/or clear instructions?


writedit said

January 25, 2012 @ 7:50 pm ·

With eSNAP, you do not use fillable form pages, but the 2590 instructions still apply and are pretty straightforward: Your sponsored programs/research office (signing official=SO) will submit the report, but you give them the files to upload, and they should be able to tell you what they want & how they want it. A lot of Universities have customized documents (PDF or PPT or online tutorials) that walk their investigators through the process. If there is a CTSA at your institution, usually this includes some sort of office or resource to help investigators figure out how to manage their awards.

occam’s beard said

January 31, 2012 @ 4:55 pm ·

Thanks. Helpful as always!

J said

January 25, 2012 @ 9:16 pm ·


I submitted an F32 (scored in the 12th percentile) and was asked for JIT info in early Aug. 2011. Unfortunately, because I was receiving funding from another fellowship, my grants management office stated that I wanted to defer my fellowship until late 2012. Before I go on, I have to say that my PO has been as fantastically supportive and transparent as possible, given the nature of these grants. In Aug. 2011, words like “optimistic” were used, in Dec. the phrase “well within the historical payline” was said. I heard back from my PO that due to the current uncertainty regarding the budget, that my fellowship would not be funded for this review period. All the evidence leading up would suggest that my application would be funded. Is there reason to hope that in the next council session that the payline will return to around the historical average? Or should I expect the worst and start working on a K award?

writedit said

January 25, 2012 @ 9:28 pm ·

Hmm. Your PO clearly thought you were likely to be funded. Which IC is this? Your application could get picked up at any point before the end of the FY (i.e., before Sept 30), but you could specifically ask your PO if he/she meant your application would not be funded with the Cycle 1 awards or if it would not be funded at all in FY12. It could be that your PO has now seen that more applications are coming in with lower scores than yours, which would tighten the payline for the rest of the year … or it could be the IC is keeping a very conservative payline for the first cycle, since Cycle 3 still has not been reviewed. Depending on how long you’ve been a postdoc, starting to develop a K mechanism application could be a good idea in any case (particularly if you were thinking K99/R00).

J said

January 25, 2012 @ 10:12 pm ·


I sent my application to NIMH. My PO still made it clear that my percentile score is “very good” and will be considered in the next cycle. The PO also states that the due to the uncertain budget, the payline cannot be predicted. What does this “PO Speak” translate to? I assume if more applications are coming in with lower scores, then my score would not still be considered “very good.”

Thanks in advance!

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 9:41 am ·

This doesn’t require a lot of translation. Your PO seems optimistic but genuinely does not know what will happen with the payline this year. NIMH (& the other ICs) apply very conservative paylines during the first cycle until they know exactly how much money they have to spend and a better idea of the number of applications at various score/percentile levels. More applications from the first cycle will be picked up later then. NIMH has traditionally done what NCI is doing now – use a hard payline (NIMH has been the 10th percentile, but that might be too high now) and then discuss & consider applications in the 11-20th percentile ranging for award based on programmatic priority etc.

J said

January 25, 2012 @ 9:41 pm ·

How many I wonder have the same issue? My R01 A0 got a 15%, which would have been funded at NIBIB last fiscal year (I am NI). Now, NIBIB had the 1st council meeting in FY 2012 already but there is still no pay line, the A1 is up for review in 8 days. The PO is fantastic but of course he doesn’t know much more at this stage than anyone else. Anybody have any idea where to get possibly more information, i.e. what was funded recently by that institute? My institution is holding a town hall meeting soon to discuss the funding situation, something unheard of before. And I am afraid since this is an election year not much will happen… Bad times to be a NI (see NCI without a NI bonus)

J said

January 25, 2012 @ 9:44 pm ·

I should also mentioned that the A0 was conflicted out in a special study section (I had a letter of a member of that section, we did not think that that would throw it out completely) and the new round has only one of the reviewers of the prior round in it so chances to get the same reviewers are nearly nil…

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 8:43 am ·

Most applicants do not know the funding status of their FY12 proposals at this point. If you go to, you can look at the first Excel report listed, Notices of grant awards issued in the last 90 days. Don’t worry about your A1 being reviewed soon. You may still have the A0 funded, regardless of the A1 outcome.

old grantee said

January 26, 2012 @ 5:24 am ·

“I had a letter of a member of that section, we did not think that would throw it out”,

J, was this a spam message? or i did not understand?. how could a member of that section (study section?) get in contact with you?

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 8:45 am ·

I believe he/she is saying that his/her proposal included a letter of support from someone on the study section. Usually this person just leaves the room when the application is discussed, but in this case, a SEP (special emphasis panel) was formed. Most PIs are happier with their chances on an SEP, since they can be more focused on the PI’s area of research, but some SEPs are just as broad (& set up to review a number of conflicted applications).

J said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:12 am ·

It means as writedit says – I got a letter of collaboration from a colleague who is also a member of the study section. He is not listed as key personal so we assumed that he would leave the room, which he would have needed to do even without a letter as we are from the same institution. But the grant was conflicted out and is in a study section for conflicted grants. Expertise is there but certainly not the same reviewers bare one (which may not even had my grant previously).

So, how good is a response to reviews (four of them) if it doesn’t answer to the same people…? I can see it already that it will end up like “yes he responded to THAT but I NOW see an issue here…(new reviewer with new opinion).

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:30 am ·

Even prior reviewers could identify new problems they didn’t notice before or that arise in conjunction with the changes made. When you first saw the SEP roster, you could have asked the SRO to ensure that your application was reviewed by one of the prior reviewers, though the SRO would realize this would be important, so perhaps you can assume the one overlapping member did review your application the last time (hope it is someone who would be excited by your research).

OMT said

January 26, 2012 @ 10:54 am ·

My status in eracommons has changed from council review pending to council review completed. does this mean that the grant is likely to be funded?

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:16 am ·

No, it just means Council met. You will not be told if your application is not going to be funded, so you need to check with your PO to find out its status.

J said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:19 am ·

I think the big problem here is that they also do not know IF it will be funded unless you are below 5th percentile or so…

J said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:34 am ·

THere were all pretty much excited – should I still ask the SRO? Roster only came out last week but review is in about a month…

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:45 am ·

The assignments have been made, but you could still contact the SRO with your concern (brief polite note that does not demand any action, just noting that there does not seem to be any overlap save the one reviewer, and you as a new investigator are concerned about this). Please also note the first comment on this page, which is from an SRO:

Julia said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:15 pm ·

Who select the grant applications to be reviewed by SEP (special emphasis panel)? How can we increase our chance of getting our grant applications reviewed by SEP? Thanks.

writedit said

January 26, 2012 @ 11:57 pm ·

You don’t do anything to have your application sent to a SEP. That happens if one of your collaborators is on the study section. Applications submitted in response to RFAs and special mechanisms have their own special panels set up as well.

abcd said

January 27, 2012 @ 12:19 am ·

My K application to NICHD went to an SEP inside NICHD although I asked for a CSR study section in my cover letter.

writedit said

January 27, 2012 @ 12:32 am ·

Ah – Ks are reviewed by each IC, not through CSR. Fs go to CSR, but not Ks. This is what I meant about ICs setting up SEPs for certain mechanisms (also Ps, Ts, R13s, and some others).

David Hecht said

January 27, 2012 @ 12:12 pm ·

I submitted my first NIH proposal and the current status is ‘Council Review Completed’. While I understand it will be a month or two until recieving notification of award (if it is selected), I would like to know if the proposal is ‘still alive’ – e.g. if it made it through the Council Review. Will this information be available – and if so, how soon after the Council Review mtg?

writedit said

January 27, 2012 @ 12:21 pm ·

You will never be told (i.e., your commons status will not change) if your application is not going to be funded. At this point, you should check in with your PO about the likelihood of funding and next steps.

Tessema said

January 27, 2012 @ 2:09 pm ·

My first R21 application (primary NCI) was scored 13% and with the current R01 7% payline 10% (NI/ESI) it is not outomatically funded. What is the NCI payline for R21 and does my eligiblity to both NI and ESI help in the discussion for funding?

writedit said

January 27, 2012 @ 2:20 pm ·

You do not get an NI/ESI break for R21s (at any IC). Only the R01 mechanism gets a payline break. The R21 payline at NCI is usually the same as for R01 (or lower), so yours would need to be selected for payment via the internal review process there. You can check with your PO, especially if you have any publications or posters/presentations on this work since the application was reviewed (anything that might make the case for selecting your application for an award).

1stTimer said

January 27, 2012 @ 2:17 pm ·

Just submitted a K23. eRA status says “pending IRG review” – but I think that the meeting already took place. How long after the meeting do we receive our “impact score and percentile?” How about the summary statement, how long for this? Also, what does the “snap indicator code” mean? Just anxious these days… Hopefully, someone can help calm me down!!!

writedit said

January 27, 2012 @ 2:24 pm ·

This is pretty early for a study section meeting, so you might want to check the review date again. Once the study section meets, it usually takes the SRO a few days to get the scores up (this is also when you would find out if you had been triaged) and then anywhere up to 6 weeks, I think, to get the summary statements posted (but it is usually a lot faster, depending on the number of applications involved). You’ve got an even longer wait ahead, unless your score is exceptional (or the application is unscored), before you know anything about funding.

1stTimer said

January 27, 2012 @ 3:29 pm ·

Thanks writedit! Under “Advisory Council,” the meeting date was earlier this month. Just nervous because it has been a week since the meeting ended. Appreciate your feedback.

OMT said

January 28, 2012 @ 9:20 pm ·

My PO has told me that given my score, it is unlikely that a funding decision will be made on my grant until the end of the fiscal year (July-August). I have submitted an A1 already in anticipation that the A0 will not get funded. Based on the PO’s comments, should I just give up on the A0 and hope for a lower score on the A1? When the A1 goes for review, will the A0 be administratively removed?

writedit said

January 28, 2012 @ 10:31 pm ·

Your A0 will remain under consideration even after the A1 is reviewed. Either could be funded … sounds like your PO thinks the A0 score is good enough that it might get picked up at the end of the FY when they need to quickly spend remaining funds (which they’ve held on to conservatively in case Cycle 3 had an abundance of exceptional applications). Good luck with both applications – you shouldn’t give up on either yet.

fingerscrossed said

January 29, 2012 @ 5:02 pm ·

Got a question about my SC1 A1 submit to NIGMS…got a score of 28, and the council met on the 19th. Still don’t see any change on eRA commons…had spoken to my PO before the council meeting and was told to cautiously optimistic….dont know how much to read into it….what should be my next step…should I wait another week…should I contact my PO now…please advise on how to go about…

writedit said

January 29, 2012 @ 10:10 pm ·

I think you would be okay (not pestering) to send your PO a brief polite message asking when he will have an update on the likelihood of your application being funded. It could be you will need to wait until the end of the FY, when the ICs make all their last-minute decisions on borderline applications (based on how much money they still need to spend before Sept 30).

Diabetes researcher said

January 31, 2012 @ 7:33 pm ·

My R15 application to NIGMS has a score of 16. The commons says council review completed and my po does not say anything about the likelihood of funding. The application has triple assignment to NIGMS (primary) and NIDDK and NIHLB. Do you know about the likelihood of funding by NIGMS and if not does other institutes are likely to fund this application?


writedit said

January 31, 2012 @ 10:10 pm ·

I have no information on what scores NIGMS might fund, but I would think an R15 with a score of 16 would be quite competitive. The other ICs won’t consider it until NIGMS turns it down, but you could contact those POs to gauge their interest in the meantime – always good to make the connection in any case, especially with a nice score like that. Good luck.

SF said

February 1, 2012 @ 10:59 am ·

It is possible to modify a submitted budget on a R15 resubmission that could be funded ?


writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 11:11 am ·

You cannot ask for more money, if that is what you are wondering. If the dollar amount is the same, you don’t need to submit a new budget unless you are changing key personnel. If you suddenly realized you need to buy a piece of equipment, you’ll need to renegotiate the budget since that would change the F&A costs (you would not get more $ – just reallocate what was approved by the SRG & available from the IC). You should talk with your institution’s sponsored research or grants & contracts office about this.

luka said

February 1, 2012 @ 1:28 pm ·

I modified the budget for K99 after submission because financial people from my institution submitted my grant without one full salary included. I explained the situation to my PO and I was allowed to re-submit modified budget before Advisory Council 3 months after original submission.

SF said

February 1, 2012 @ 11:14 am ·


fundinghopeful said

February 1, 2012 @ 12:21 pm ·

Has anyone received notification of NICHD funding since the council meeting last week? There have relatively few grants funded in the last 90 days and I’m wondering what is going on. MY PO said that grant decisions will be made after the council meeting. However, there have been no dates on NIH’s funding page (grants funded in last 90 days).

Mph said

February 1, 2012 @ 1:55 pm ·

My k was recommended for funding by council last june, and I still don’t have a finding decision. At last communication with my po in early January, they were still waiting for NIH to tell them how far down they could go on the different awards.

J said

February 1, 2012 @ 2:00 pm ·

How do you know it was recommended…? Commons only says Council review completed.

nanoparticle said

February 1, 2012 @ 1:59 pm ·


Do you know why NIH only funded a very few new grants in last 90 days?

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 2:05 pm ·

I do not know why, but the last 90 days includes the whole period of uncertainty while the appropriations bill was stil being negotiated. Even now, ICs need to assess their actual appropriation (after deducting any internal non-research activities that might be required, such as program evaluation), look at the number of applications received (which went up dramatically in FY11 and probably remains high in FY12), consider how many long-term commitments they can responsbily make in view of the significant cuts anticipated for FY13 (based on debt deal), and so on. My assumption is that awards will pick up in February, but perhaps ICs will indeed wait for the cycle 3 reviews to come in before making commitments beyond the lowest scoring applications. Really hard to say, especially with an unknown (and unpromising) budget horizon looming in the years ahead.

nanoparticle said

February 1, 2012 @ 2:15 pm ·


GNP said

February 1, 2012 @ 12:52 pm ·

I just received an impact/priority score of 10 for an R03. Am I correct in thinking that this is essentially a “perfect” score?

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 12:55 pm ·

Absolutely – congratulations! Even NCI would fund that, no questions asked. Best wishes for success with the research – hope it gets you the data you need for a competitive R01.

KC said

February 1, 2012 @ 1:37 pm ·

I can not believe that NHLBI did not increase payline for R01 (just updated). This is too bad for NI like me with 12 percentile (who never held an independent position before and crossed 10 yr of ESI requirement). Any idea if they change it later in FY.

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 1:42 pm ·

Keep in touch with your PO. He or she can keep you updated as to whether the payline might accommodate your score later in the FY or whether your application might be funded through select pay.

JustMissed said

February 1, 2012 @ 3:08 pm ·

Kinda in the same boat here as you, got a 26 on an R44 and the payline is still 25. It didn’t change after they put their website up. Crossing my fingers that after the Feb council, there will be some movement…

pluto said

February 2, 2012 @ 4:14 pm ·

I am in similar boat as well; ESI with RO1 A0 at 21 percentile at NHLBI (current payline 20 for ESI). I have been speaking with PO and he has indicated:

1. NHLBI tends to really stick closely to payline rather than doing much special consideration funding

2. I got the sense that Council meeting in Feb not likely to result in change in payline; that council more focused on ok’ing grants under payline and not changing payline again right now (this is just reading the tea leaves of discussion, he did not say this directly)

3. I do get the sense that payline may very well move later in the year; lots of references to the payline being 10/20 “right now”. Again, there was no direct reference to payline moving, just the sense I got.

Dunno if that is at all helpful, but thought I would share.

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 5:55 pm ·

Thanks so much – every bit of shared intel helps!

JustMissed said

February 7, 2012 @ 1:27 pm ·

Pluto, what is your resubmission strategy? Are you going to resubmit next cycle? For us on the R44s, it is either the April or August cycles and I am debating between the two at the moment for a resubmission. If the paylines do go up, if I do the August, I may avoid unnecessary effort, but it is very unclear if they will go up. Thoughts?

writedit said

February 7, 2012 @ 1:33 pm ·

Submissions this year (2012) are for FY13 … and who knows what pay lines will do next year, especially with the looming 7% budget cut. Rushing to get in for Cycle 1 doesn’t make a lot of sense, since you probably wouldn’t know about an award until about the same time as Cycle 2 applications are up for funding decisions.

Pluto said

February 7, 2012 @ 2:01 pm ·

I am resubmitting for March 5 deadline. In my case, I’m not going to be collecting any additional specific prelim data, don’t have any seminal new publications coming out, most identified concerns seem addressable, and it’s fresher in my mind and will get it off my plate. Plus the PO has encouraged me to put it right back in and I want to stay in his good graces.

However, if any of the above don’t apply to you (e.g., you can get more prelim data or just really need more time), seems like there are good arguments for waiting.

writedit said

February 7, 2012 @ 2:08 pm ·

Great response.

KC said

February 1, 2012 @ 2:11 pm ·


jupiter said

February 1, 2012 @ 3:45 pm ·

Can anyone tell what “priority score” means? Does it mean your proposal is on top 30%, or something else? Thanks in advance!

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 3:59 pm ·

The priority score, now called an overall impact score, is just that – a numeric rating of your application assigned by reviewers (& calculated by the SRO) based on a scale of 1-9 (1 being the best). Percentile is completely different. You can learn about the difference between priority scores and percentiles and paylines and success rates at NIAID:

How applications are scored: Percentiles vs paylines:

Richard said

February 1, 2012 @ 3:49 pm ·

Just received a score of 29 and 15% for my RO1 (A0) application. I was told that a summary statement can be received in 10 days. Based on the score, I expect that there are no major weakness in my A0 application. With the progress we made in the last 4 months after we submit the A0, we should be able to address reviewers’ concerns and resubmit A1 at March 5 deadline. However, a senior colleague in my department suggests me not to submit at March 5 deadline. Instead, submit it at July 5 deadline. He told me it would be the last chance for me to submit this promised application and I should try to submit the best resubmission rather than to submit it earlier.

Your advice, please. Thank you in advance.

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 3:55 pm ·

I agree with your senior colleague. If you have ESI/NI status, you will be given an extension on when you can resubmit (& receive your summary statement sooner), but even then, you do not want to rush anything in. Also, with a score of 29, you will have concerns to address – and there could be weaknesses not cited in this summary statement that might be picked up by the next reviewers. In addition to incorporating the progress you have made, you will want someone unfamiliar with your proposal to review it and identify what jumps out at them as unclear, not well explained or justified, etc.

Richard said

February 1, 2012 @ 4:19 pm ·

Writedit, Thank you so much for your advice. I am not ESI/NI. Your reply indicates to me that, in the resubmission, I should not only address reviewers’ concerns but should also try to identify and fix the potential concerns that might be picked up by the new reviewers. One advice that I have received is that, for resubmission, we should address ALL reviewers’ concerns, but not more than that. If we provide something new, the reviewers may raise new concerns, including some major concerns. Do you agree with this advice?

writedit said

February 1, 2012 @ 4:26 pm ·

In the Introduction (response to reveiwers), you only address the stated concerns – probably just those raised in the Resume & Summary of Discussion (given that you only have one page). You should update the science based on how the field has progressed in the intervening year or so (especially incorporating your own progress appropriately). You should then have someone look at it to be sure none of your changes either introduced or perhaps highlighted other weaknesses not previously noticed (or perhaps not there before, depending on what you add, if anything). What can happen is that PIs tweak a few isolated components of the application in response to the prior review and then fail to note that something later and possibly conditional on what was there initially also needs to be tweaked.

Richard said

February 1, 2012 @ 4:33 pm ·

writedit, thank you again for your great advice. Really appreciate it.

sine said

February 1, 2012 @ 8:31 pm ·

Any idea when NINDS will release their payline for this year? Just got my RO1 score/percent (13%) back for my A0 application. Last year they were at 14%. Any chances it will stay the same given that it is much higher than that of other institutes?

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 7:38 am ·

No idea – either when they will decide on a payline or whether it will be the same as last year. Your PO should have an idea on both accounts. My guess is that paylines will be worked out in the next month or so (waiting for cycle 3) and that the payline should be about the same as last year … but these are just guesses.

Julia said

February 2, 2012 @ 1:04 am ·

Someone mentioned earlier that NCI would only fund R01 to the 7%tile for the time being… “The time being until they sorted out their budget apparently. Exemptions on a case-by-case basis up to 15% but preferentially for A1 applications.”

Any reasons why they’d prefer A1 applications? My R01 A0 received a 15%tile. I have ESI/NI status.

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 7:43 am ·

NCI will only fund applications up to the 7th percentile with certainty. PIs with applications in the 8th through 15th percentile range should assume they will not be funded until they learn otherwise. It is not a matter of sorting out the budget – this is normally operating procedure … how Harold is running the show. If your PO is not energetically advocating for your application and asking you for more information, a rebuttal to the summary statement, etc., you should start working on the A1 (and should be doing so anyway). The A1s get extra consideration since it is their last shot, but they too need a PO pushing for their consideration by the SPL.

J said

February 2, 2012 @ 8:17 am ·

According to a PO at NCI A1 because they do not have another chance while A0 have a last chance. Incidentally I think the most harmful rule they did, eliminating A2. Now you have 15% which doesn’t cut it and than you get to 10% – and out

Julia said

February 2, 2012 @ 10:19 am ·

It is crazy that they think A0 has less priority than A1s, and they assume that your A1 would definitely scored better than the A0. I have had A1 that scored worse than A0. I think many here told of similar stores. If they think A1 is the last chance for many of the grants, think about the people who are going up for tenure and are holding A0 in the 8-15%tile. They may never have the chance to apply for an A1 (not to mention the long wait from submitting to actually getting an NOA if we were lucky). Tums for breakfast anyone?

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 11:31 am ·

While the NIH wants ICs to give priority to A0s over A1s (NHLBI used to have specific paylines for each), I just checked and see for FY 11, the success rate for A0s went down (14% in FY10 to 12.2% in FY11) while the success rate for A1s went up (34.5% in FY10 to 39.5% in FY11). There were still A2s in FY11 (29.9% succcess rate, down from 44.9% in FY10), so we’ll see what happens as they wash completely out of the system.

Because the NCI process is so specialized, I suspect they will look at things like whether the A1 scored better or worse and so on – not just automatically give A1s extra consideration. However, I just looked around again and do not see an official NCI policy statement about A1s getting extra consideration (well, no updated funding policy for FY12 at all – still just FY11). If someone heard this from their PO, please confirm. Thanks.

Jane said

February 16, 2012 @ 10:06 pm ·

I have a similar story. My A0 got 12%tile but was not funded in NCI. I submitted A1 last July following the PO suggestion but received 20%tile. The only suggestion I got from the PO this time is to submit it as a new grant. It’s really frustrating and I really don’t know what I should do next….

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 9:09 am ·

I assume the A0 was considered in FY11 and is no longer under consideration for funding, so you really have no choice but to submit a new application. You will need to change it significantly or as a different mechanism or submitted to a different RFA. NIAID has a great summary of “repurposing” a grant application:

J said

February 2, 2012 @ 10:22 am ·

Tums don’t cut it anymore, need Zantac and from time to time (e.g. come Friday) Prilosec…

J said

February 2, 2012 @ 11:36 am ·

I heard this from a very friendly and open PO at NCI. Everything took place over the phone.

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 11:39 am ·

Great – thanks for confirming this was mentioned by an NCI PO.

jupiter said

February 2, 2012 @ 2:10 pm ·

I was told to send the post-submission materials to Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). I am wondering if AOR is the same person as PO (program official)? Thank you in advance!

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 2:19 pm ·

No, this is the person at your institution who signs off on all grant application submissions (head of sponsored research or grants & contracts office usually). Your dept grant administrator can tell you.

BJM said

February 2, 2012 @ 3:42 pm ·

Does anyone know the payline for NICHD? My status has changed to “council review completed” but I have not heard about funding. Percentile at 5%. Thanks.

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 3:46 pm ·

No info about the payline, but I would certainly hope a 5th percentile application can be assured an award. Did you check with your PO?

MDH said

February 3, 2012 @ 4:04 pm ·

I just heard from my NICHD PO that their interim payline is 10%.

writedit said

February 3, 2012 @ 4:07 pm ·

Oof. Thanks for sharing the intel …

naskosirakov said

February 2, 2012 @ 4:19 pm ·

I got a score of 26 and 12th percentile on an R01 submitted to the NCI. I am not a new or ESI. I was wondering if anyone had any input on my chances of getting funded.

J said

February 2, 2012 @ 5:02 pm ·

It appears that you need 7th percentile as a non-ESI/NI and if you are lucky and after A1 and ESI/NI some money is left at the end of FY 2012…

writedit said

February 2, 2012 @ 5:56 pm ·

No one here can say … it will be up to how well your PO advocates for your proposal and whether Harold likes it. You might want to ask your PO if you should prepare a brief response to the concerns raised in the summary statement, and if you have any new publications/data related to the proposed work, be sure to let your PO know.

concerned said

February 2, 2012 @ 7:14 pm ·

I received an impact score of 20 on a K submission to NHLBI, and the most recent payline is still set at 19. Not getting much info from the PO, and not sure I can do anything but wait it out like everyone else. Any suggestions re: how i can be my own best advocate?


writedit said

February 3, 2012 @ 8:25 am ·

If you have any new accomplishments (manuscripts/abstracts accepted, awards, etc.) or data, you can let the PO know, in case there is a chance you could be funded as select pay. If this was an A0, of course work on the A1. If this was the A1, start working on an R01.

concerned said

February 3, 2012 @ 11:13 am ·

Thanks for your input. What exactly does select pay mean?

writedit said

February 3, 2012 @ 11:16 am ·

It means being selected for an award despite being outside the payline. Discretionary award decisions based on programmatic priorities and project merit.

concerned said

February 3, 2012 @ 11:31 am ·

OK thanks again

SomeHope said

February 3, 2012 @ 2:14 pm ·

Writedit, thank you for all of this helpful information. The A1 application of my R21 was recently scored a 23 (13%), which according to my PO is likely to not be within NIBIB’s payline. However, the application was also assigned to NHLBI and NIAID as secondary institutes and according to NIAIDs newly published paylines, I am within their fundable range. Do you have any advice on how to proceed? Should I discuss this with my NIBIB PO or someone at NIAID? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

writedit said

February 3, 2012 @ 9:20 pm ·

You should talk first with the NIBIB PO, to see if he/she knows when a final decision will be made and if he/she is willing to recommend the transfer. You will also want to contact the POs at NIAID and NHLBI about their interest in the application for consideration as part of their portfolios. The secondary ICs will wait for the primary IC to pass on making an award, but you can talk with all of them to see what options you have and what your best strategy is. If you have not communicated with the secondary IC POs before, introduce yourself and your situation and send the specific aims and summary statement for their consideration.

SomeHope said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:20 pm ·

Ok, thanks. I have not communicated with secondary IC POs. One more question: is it appropriate to ask the SRO of the study section to help identify who would be the right PO to contact?

writedit said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:27 pm ·

You can check their lists of program contacts for the individuals whose portfolios best match your research (I have links above with the payline info – haven’t checked the links lately though). The SRO may know the appropriate POs (depends on how long he/she has run your SRG, where else he/she has worked at the NIH, etc.), so you could ask, but you should probably familiarize yourself with program folks in both ICs in any case (browsing their Websites).

Hopeful said

February 3, 2012 @ 11:13 pm ·

Anybody heard about the payline for K in NICHD?

xyz said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:33 am ·

25 confirmed by PO

A said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:45 pm ·

Confirmed recently?

Jerry said

February 4, 2012 @ 1:15 am ·

Anybody heard about the payline for R01 in NCCAM?

My R01 was scored a 32 (15%).

fundinghopeful said

February 4, 2012 @ 9:23 am ·

Does anyone know if the R03 payline the same as for R01′s….specifically, NICHD?

naskosirakov said

February 4, 2012 @ 9:30 am ·

Thanks J and writeit. I will let you know how it turns out.

J said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:30 pm ·

My R01 A0 is”unter administrative review”, status changed from “Council completed” to “pending”. It was at NIBIB with 15 %ile What does that mean>? I can need some hope after my other R01 was just not even discussed. Why don’t they just write you a l;etter stating “You suck”? Rightaway and the mail men punches you in the stomach??

writedit said

February 4, 2012 @ 12:39 pm ·

Well, maybe you don’t. If you have not been in touch with your PO, you should contact him/her now to get an update on the status of your application. Usually, the status simply remains “completed” with no further changes, so something is going on. You won’t be told it has been declined for funding, so you will only find out if you ask.

J said

February 4, 2012 @ 1:04 pm ·

Thanks. I am in pretty close contact with him and just emailed him, just changed today I think… Would be nice to get something for a change, sorry for being dramatic but had a bad week… Did I mention reviewer 3?

writedit said

February 4, 2012 @ 1:08 pm ·

Understood … all too well.

drivewin said

February 4, 2012 @ 1:22 pm ·

I have just noticed the same on my 6% R21 at NIBIB – status changed from “Council Review Completed” to “Pending”. I suspect that this is a good sign.

writedit said

February 4, 2012 @ 1:25 pm ·

As I mentioned above, I think so, since otherwise the status just stays “completed” forever. Especially with a 6th percentile application at NIBIB. You can check with your PO for an update on what to expect when.

Julia said

February 4, 2012 @ 3:37 pm ·

LOL, I think you can save the proilosec and the zantac and crack open a bottle… Congrats! There were lots of discussion from last year that status change from “completed” to “admin review” to “pending” is almost a sure sign for a funded grant. Now if you can spare me your zantac that would be great!

waiting said

February 4, 2012 @ 3:49 pm ·

wait doesnt “pending” mean that you are going to be funded?? congrats !!

btw were you a new investigator? the nibib paylines were 16% for NI and 11% for established. Looks like the NIBIB paylines havent changed for 2012.

J said

February 4, 2012 @ 3:58 pm ·

NI – how fast does the status change if it is true what I hope, so that I can throw yet another R01 in since my other one wasn’t even discussed (and I have a pretty good idea why).

waiting said

February 4, 2012 @ 3:53 pm ·

by the way my reply was about J’s R01 not drivewin’s R21

anxious said

February 4, 2012 @ 6:53 pm ·


I want to share this litte story of….waiting!!; applied for R15 NCI grant Feb 2011, council met Sep 2012; on December 23th 2011 I was asked to submitt JIT; one week later the grants manager officer (GMO) asked whether I can accept the grant starting Jan 1, 2012. Since them….a long silence. I asked the GMO and he said everything is on hold on the NCI budget office. This was an A0 submitted almost a year ago. Should I consider the grant will be funded anytime soon? It is taking forever…

writedit said

February 5, 2012 @ 1:04 am ·

Everyone is wondering where the NCI awards are. Hopefully you will be funded soon, but none of us can say when. Since they are committed to funding your application, yours will be among the first once the bottleneck is relieved … others are waiting to hear the funding status of their applications (also submitted in Feb).

nanoparticle said

February 4, 2012 @ 7:47 pm ·

Does anyone know the R01 payline for NIAAA and NIDDK this year? Just got 16%tile. NIAAA is the primary institute, and NIDDK is the secondary institute. I am an ESI.


MKIM said

February 4, 2012 @ 11:31 pm ·

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

February 5, 2012 @ 12:54 am ·

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:

J said

February 5, 2012 @ 12:16 am ·

When does the status change away from NI/ESI – and I mean in detail, not just after the 1st R01 is funded. When exactly? When the money is there? I.e. until when can I still submit a new submission still as ESI/NI status when another R01 is under consideration (as I hope mine now is).


writedit said

February 5, 2012 @ 12:46 am ·

It lasts until you have an appropriate NoA.

J said

February 5, 2012 @ 1:05 am ·

NoA being…Notice of Award? I got an email of the PO stating that the change in status is normal after council mets and doesn’t mean anything. Bummer.

Jerry said

February 5, 2012 @ 9:15 am ·

Does anyone know the R01 payline for NCCAM this year? Just got 15% percentile. I am a NI.


Jerry said

February 9, 2012 @ 8:05 am ·


My R01 (neurologic disease related) was not assigned to NINDS as a secondary, if it is not funded by NCCAM this year but under NINDS’s payline (20% for NI, last year), is there any possibility that NINDS can pick it up? Should I contact my PO at NINDS for this possibility?

Many thanks

writedit said

February 9, 2012 @ 8:14 am ·

Has it already been reviewed? The time to request changes to your IC assignment is at the time of referral (best to include all requests in cover letter). If you did not include a cover letter, it could be that CSR asked NINDS if they wanted secondary assignment & they declined. You can certainly talk with your PO.

Jerry said

February 9, 2012 @ 10:05 am ·

Unfortunately, it has been reviewed, I got 15% percentile. I am not sure if it is under NCCAM’s payline this year. I am a NI. I contacted my PO, he did not say anything and only asked me to send him the summary statement when it is available.


writedit said

February 9, 2012 @ 11:11 am ·

Nice that he asked to see the summary statement … maybe he can (& is interested to) make a case for selective pay if need be.

fundinghopeful said

February 6, 2012 @ 5:54 pm ·

I’m a funding noob….and had a clarification question. Are percentile among grants in your group (R03) or are they among ALL grants (R01′s, R03′s, R21s, etc)? I assumed they were among ALL grants in a particular cycle. But, just wanted to make sure!

writedit said

February 6, 2012 @ 6:24 pm ·

Percentiles are by mechanism for a specific SRG for the last 3 cycles of review: (this explanation is for unsolicited R01s)

fundinghopeful said

February 10, 2012 @ 9:33 am ·


TCGirl said

February 7, 2012 @ 10:41 am ·

What is the deal with NCI? We are waiting for our NOA on Y3 of our R01- start date *was* Feb 1, 2012. We spoke to GMS last week noticing that that our NOAs come around the 3rd week in January and we had none yet. Wanted to make sure there was no problem with our ESNAP report. He said no problem on our end, and the award would be likely be issued late. How late?! We will followup again on Friday, but wonder if folks here have any insights as to what is going on with NCI?

writedit said

February 7, 2012 @ 10:48 am ·

Wow – if they’re late even with their noncompeting renewals, they must be having some serious administrative issues. Unfortunately, I can provide no intel into what might be going on though.

TCGirl said

February 7, 2012 @ 11:06 am ·

…sigh… it makes me very twitchy not to have the NOA even though the GMS assured us there was no issue on my end..

mysterysciencetheater said

February 7, 2012 @ 1:36 pm ·

Does anyone know if NICHD uses select pay? I’m in the “gray area” (one percentile below the payline) and I’m losing hope that my A1 will be funded.

Anyone with prior experience?

nanoparticle said

February 7, 2012 @ 4:46 pm ·

NIDDK FY 2012 funding policy has been posted

Established investigator: 13%tile

ESI: 18%tile

writedit said

February 8, 2012 @ 9:58 am ·

Thanks for the heads up. I haven’t had a chance to go through the ICs to see who is updating what. NIDDK has dropped mention of new investigators from their policy, so I guess this means they only count ESI applications now.

yeahscience said

February 8, 2012 @ 3:46 pm ·

Just checked my eRA Commons and noticed a change to ‘pending’ for a K23. I contacted my PO, who indicated the grant will be awarded, but that I should wait for the NGA. I am a bit nervous because I saw an earlier post that indicated the information she got from the PO was incorrect, and that she received later notice that her grant was *not* awarded. When is the expected time to receive the email with NGA from the time the eRA Commons status is updated to ‘pending.’ Thanks!

writedit said

February 8, 2012 @ 4:16 pm ·

No PO will ever actually say an application will be awarded if he or she does not know this to be true. In this case, it is not speculation on future likelihood (as in the example you cite, at least the one I recall) but a confirmation of a process in motion. However, nothing is final until the NoA arrives, and things beyond your PO’s control could intervene. Extremely unlikely, but he/she needs that qualifier. If you have had a GMS assigned, you can contact this individual for an idea of timing. And the timing is variable – from a few days to weeks. Depends on the IC and how backed up they are. At NCI, it does not sound as though anything is happening, but I am guessing you are not at NCI.

abcd said

February 8, 2012 @ 4:07 pm ·

do you mind telling us your priority score and the institute?

DreamingTT said

February 8, 2012 @ 8:51 pm ·

I am writing regarding an A1 SBIR that received a priority score of 27 (NIAMS). The current CR payline is 23, and it seems unlikely that it will rise high enough to cover the grant. The secondary IC is NIA.

Two questions:

1) I don’t see a payline published for NIA, where can I find payline information for their SBIRs? How likely is it that if indeed the proposal is indeed under the NIA payline that NIA will fund it?

2) Since this proposal is regarding a diagnostic device (as opposed to a therapeutic), a colleague suggested investigating the possibility of getting reassigned to either NIGMS (where some of the the development work for this system has been funded in the past) or NIBIB — is this procedurally possible and can other ICs pick up this proposal at this point?

a) I can’t seem to find the paylines for NIGMS — does anyone have an inkling as to what they are?

writedit said

February 8, 2012 @ 10:35 pm ·

1. NIA doesn’t publish paylines for all the mechanisms (most ICs don’t) … and they are extremely conservative with their paylines, so if 27 is too high for NIAMS, it probably is too high for NIA, but you can ask the NIA PO for your application.

2. You can’t get the application reassigned now, and NIGMS does not use a payline (see for an explanation of how NIGMS selects applications for funding).

DreamingTT said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:43 am ·

writeedit — thanks for the fantastic suggestion! Turns out that the NIA SBIRs have been funded at mid-30s and the NIA PO sounds enthusiastic about the reassignment to NIA (pending an evaluation that indeed the project objectives are aligned with the NIA mission).

I suppose I assumed that the secondary IC would automatically “pick up” an application if the primary IC passes on it — is this not the case? More specifically, can you shed some light as to how the primary/secondary ICs communicate with each other regarding applications that might fall between paylines? Is there an automated mechanism by which applications are shifted? Or are the requests initiated by the investigator?


writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:49 am ·

I am not sure if POs ever move applications from primary to secondary behind the scenes, without the PI’s involvement, and I do not believe there is an “automated” process … but I would be happy to be corrected by someone at the NIH on this if need be. I have heard many times of POs a the primary IC telling the PI to inquire about having the application transferred to the secondary IC and then helping with this process (contacting secondary IC PO etc.) … and I have heard of PIs talking with the secondary IC POs, who, when they take a look, become interested in the application and ask for the transfer. These folks have a lot on their plate (desk), so nudging them to look at an application with a nice score often helps. I am glad this was the case for you.

bioengineer said

February 8, 2012 @ 10:43 pm ·

Does anyone know of any recent awards being made by NIBIB for grants at or around 8%?

We have a R21 at NIBIB with 8% — the status says Council Review Completed since 1/20/2012 — that remark hasn’t budged yet!!. Ordinarily we would have been assured success with this % at NIBIB but the program director mentioned that there were a whole bunch of NCRR proposals that needed to be funded, which may strain the paylines this year.

Thanks for any insights.

writedit said

February 8, 2012 @ 11:06 pm ·

Wow … 8th percentile at NIBIB should be pretty secure. Unfortunately, your PO is the best source of intel, and it sounds like he/she is being straight with you … I think most ICs are waiting for the cycle 3 scores to come in before making decisions. They need to be thinking ahead to what they can support in the years ahead and don’t want to overcommit now. It’s really rough not knowing what the budget will do from year to year.

J said

February 8, 2012 @ 10:50 pm ·

Got an encouraging development. My PO send me an email inquiring if he status had changed. I checked immediately and it is still listed as pending. He replied “oh well, maybe tomorrow  ” and in the PS that his shows a status change but nothing is certain until I get a NOA! So while it is still pending I am more on the positive side. It is a R01 A0, NIBIB, 15 percentile, 24 IS. Was a nice communication, liked that.

J said

February 8, 2012 @ 10:51 pm ·

I may add that he also said that they have a backlog of applications to fund and working through there.

writedit said

February 8, 2012 @ 11:03 pm ·

What a great e-mail! Thanks for sharing all these details and the wonderfully encouraging news. Only a matter of time now it seems … best wishes for success with the research and your career!

J said

March 19, 2012 @ 11:19 am ·

It happened – I finally got the Award notice – and NIH withdrew within 2 days my NI status. So, I got it.

Great web page, great advice. Keep it up.

writedit said

March 19, 2012 @ 11:31 am ·

Woohoo! Congratulations & best wishes for success with the research!

waiting said

February 9, 2012 @ 2:49 pm ·


I had a question about F32. I am an investigator who needs to hire a post-doc. I have identified a good candidate but do not have the funds. Is it possible for the potential candidate to apply for an F32 with my institution?

I felt that this might be considered as a weak since my hiring this candidate is conditional upon the success F32.

But as I see it this could be a great way since the candidate would have thought through the project in detail and will have a clear focus, if funded.

Thanks for any input!


abcd said

February 9, 2012 @ 3:19 pm ·

My experience has been that reviewers will definitely pick on you for not having sufficient financial resources. Reviewers check if the lab has sufficient resources for the mentorship period without the F32 award.

The candidate only has 2 attempts to obtain an F32 fellowship and has a high chance of not getting it for the above reason.

How is it fair for the candidate to spend 1-2 months to write a rigorous fellowship application, not get selected, and then not get a position?

writedit said

February 9, 2012 @ 5:21 pm ·

DreamingTT and abcd make excellent points. More practically, if you cannot hire this individual until the F32 is awarded, where is this candidate working in the meantime – especially since “the meantime” could mean up to 2 years (if the A0 is not funded and an A1 must be submitted)? If this person is good, why wouldn’t they find a job in a lab with money to support them? I guess I am confused as to why your candidate would go along with this plan at all. And, I agree that reviewers would not either. If you need to hire a postdoc, you need to secure R01 or other funding (I assume you are not faculty on a T32 that could provide a year or two of support), which would be important for the success of any F32 application in any case (funded mentor).

DreamingTT said

February 9, 2012 @ 3:02 pm ·

My understanding is that the applicant can apply for the F32 before arriving to the respective institution and the project if funded will be specifically tied to the institution, mentor, and scientific project.

But if you describe the conditions of the appointment as contingent on the F32, there may be a perceived lack of commitment and support to the candidate. The better way to approach this may be come to an understanding with the candidate with respect to funding, but at least demonstrate on paper that it is possible support the candidate through at least one revision of the F32 application.

waiting said

February 9, 2012 @ 8:47 pm ·

Thanks for all your comments. I do have an R01 for which there is already a post-doc. The reason for my question is that I had an excellent candidate in my interviews and was looking for ways to support him.

He is already working in a lab and is interested in transitioning to my field. So there wouldn’t be an issue of support till the F32 gets funded.

But I agree that in today’s competitive funding scenario, this would be tough to convince, given other candidates already have preliminary data !

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:25 am ·

Your having an R01 would help the F32 application, but there is still the issue of timing if he cannot join your lab without an F32 in hand. Submitted in April, not funded until next year … or maybe not funded and then another year delay for the A1. For the candidate, there must be better options than waiting 1-2 years for F32 funding that might never arrive … i.e., there must be someone else in your field with R01 or T32 funding for an excellent postdoc. I’m sorry you can’t snap him up now – I know how you feel.

J said

February 9, 2012 @ 11:57 pm ·

Does any body know what happens in this scenario: If a R01 is funded between the resubmission of another, what status has the A1. So: R01a submitted as NI than R01b submitted as NI. a gets a good score but b needs to go into A1. In the meantime R01a gets funded (I hope) -what status will the A1 of R01b get?

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:21 am ·

Depends on the timing and the IC … and I am assuming these are completely distinct R01s with no overlap. If first R01 is awarded before the second A1 is reviewed, the A1 still may be reviewed in the pile of NI applications, but I believe the IC will consider you an established PI when making funding decisions (i.e., no payline break for those that use a strict payline), since that will be months later. At an IC that doesn’t offer NI special status (just ESI), it doesn’t matter no matter what. And if you are in the pile of applications that get discussed by program (e.g., most of NCI, NIGMS, et al.), then your whole situation is considered.

mycell said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:38 am ·

The council meeting at NIGMS was done on Jan 19th. Does anyone hear anything about the funding likelihood of R15 proposal? Is there any payline determined? Or paylist has been generated? Thanks!

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:40 am ·

There is no payline at NIGMS, but you should be able to check with your PO as to whether you are on the paylist.

Fatemeh Akhlaghi said

February 21, 2012 @ 7:45 am ·

Mycell, Did you hear anything from NIGMS regarding the actual funding yet? I am in the same situation waiting to hear from NIGMS.

ultras said

February 10, 2012 @ 11:54 am ·

Do NCI POs ask people in the gray for rebuttal statements to help push for the application to get funded? Is it normally done at NCI?

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:11 pm ·

Yes, this is their new SOP. If you have been asked, be sure to respond quickly (also with any new publications etc. related to the research).

nanoparticle said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:23 pm ·

Do you mind to share your percentile and NI status? thanks.

TCGirl said

February 10, 2012 @ 12:12 pm ·

last year a NCI program officer requested a response in writing to a colleague’s summary statement so that they could help make the case and respond appropriately. she ended up getting the award.. mind you it was 8th percentile on a R21 A0 – and she waited a long long time for it..

ultras said

February 10, 2012 @ 5:36 pm ·

No, unfortunately I have not been asked. I have a 14% R01, but my PO never mentioned anything about rebuttal and it seems that a number of people here mentioned they had rebuttal request from other IC (thus the question about NCI’s practice). Should I ask my PO about it? It is very frustrating when you see other PO seems to do everything to help push a grant and my PO is sitting on his hands.

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 5:38 pm ·

Yes, you can certainly ask – you will at least alert the PO to the fact you are aware of how applications above the payline are selected for funding and perhaps inspire a little advocacy.

J said

February 10, 2012 @ 6:52 pm ·

We got contacted by a grants management specialist from NIH assigned to review grant. He wanted our institution’s most recent F&A Rate agreement. What does that mean (I know what he wanters) but does it indicate imminent funding?

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 7:01 pm ·

Yep. Congratulations & best wishes for success with the research!

J said

February 10, 2012 @ 7:05 pm ·

Thanks. And btw thanks for the webpage, one of the most valuable sources for us!

earl_grey said

February 10, 2012 @ 7:38 pm ·

Writedit….I was contacted before the holidays from the grants management specialist for a revised F & A agreement….but, I am one percentile below the interim payline (as I found out this week). Does this suggest that I’m targeted for select pay? I’m in the gray area. But, I was excited about the request (meaning it was likely to be funded) and the more I hear, the less optimistic I am.

writedit said

February 10, 2012 @ 10:21 pm ·

Let’s just say these folks don’t go looking for busy work to keep themselves occupied. Although some ICs still send out the blanket JIT requests for all applications below, say, the 20th percentile, no GMS asks about F&A rates on an individual application just for kicks.

Waiting said

February 11, 2012 @ 9:13 pm ·

Hi all, does anyone know if any funding decisions are going on at NCI right now? I also got asked by my PO to prepare a one page summary in support of my R01 A1 application (13%ile submitted in July 2011). I am wondering if funding decisions are being discussed now, perhaps?

writedit said

February 12, 2012 @ 1:09 am ·

This is the lead-up to the funding decisions, where Divisions decide what applications to send up the line to the scientific leadership to review and ultimately to Harold. Your PO has to make your case to his/her boss first (and your rebuttal goes on up the line with the application, so put some thought into the response). One PI here (application submitted last June) was told to check back with his PO in March … so probably no imminent decisions yet.

Waiting said

February 12, 2012 @ 9:39 am ·

Thanks! Hopefully there will be good news in the next few months or so!

jacob said

February 12, 2012 @ 3:58 am ·

Anybody heard about the payline for R01 in NIAAA?

My R01 was scored a 22 (10%) and I am a NI. Thanks much.

writedit said

February 12, 2012 @ 10:35 am ·

I would hope NIAAA is paying to the 10th percentile for NI … if your PO has not given you any insight on funding likelihood, hopefully someone monitoring the program can share their experience.

Florian said

February 12, 2012 @ 3:25 pm ·

I received a 22 for my R21.NIAID posts final paylines of 28. My question:

How final are “final” paylines?

writedit said

February 12, 2012 @ 3:34 pm ·

Congratulations – you are all set to get an award, assuming their are no regulatory or administrative issues. Best wishes for success with the research!

Florian said

February 12, 2012 @ 4:26 pm ·

Thank you! I am puzzled how NIAID decides prior to the review what the final payline would be, since no percentile ranking is being used. Couldn’t multiple study sections be using extremely generous scoring and thus lead to an inflation in the number of fundable applications?

writedit said

February 12, 2012 @ 4:35 pm ·

NIAID knows how many applications have been assigned to them for each mechanism, and the SRGs do not vary significantly in their scoring trends from meeting to meeting. Apparently they are quite confident about their prognostication skills based on prior years.

abcd said

February 12, 2012 @ 10:01 pm ·

Congratulations free science

concerned said

February 13, 2012 @ 2:38 pm ·

In regards to earl grey’s comment, i also had been asked to submit JIT information before the holidays, including F&A agreements, etc.

i am a point above the payline, which does not seem to be budging and may never do so. this is for a k award through NHLBI, and i applied last march. it’s hard to know what to make of that request. I was optimistic but am not anymore.

writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 2:42 pm ·

Hmm. Well, it could be that last Dec, they thought the payline might be higher, but there is still the final round of reviews to come in before they know exactly what is what.

Arnold said

February 13, 2012 @ 2:49 pm ·


Do you know if exception pay decisions by the SPL at NCI have to go through the next council meeting or not?


writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 3:07 pm ·

I assume Council approves a larger list of potentially fundable applications (since their approval must be on the books prior to an award being made), and then the SPL can select which of these to recommend to Harold for awards. However, I am not certain, and it could be that the SPLs will send their list to the NCAB in late February versus the other way around. Any one with better intel – please chime in.

lucky9 said

February 13, 2012 @ 3:43 pm ·

My current status is “Pending administrative review” and the PO asked me to provide budget details on first year non-domestic activities. Good sign?

writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 3:48 pm ·

Yes. This process will be faster/smoother if your international collaborators work in countries that are allies of the US (State Dept gets involved with vetting international sites).

lucky9 said

February 13, 2012 @ 5:08 pm ·

Many thanks writedit. My collaborator is in England, presumably an ally of the US? : )

writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 5:09 pm ·

J said

February 13, 2012 @ 5:11 pm ·

Ah, new Europe as opposed to Rummy’s old Europe…

Neuropod said

February 13, 2012 @ 5:37 pm ·

Hey writedit, do you know if it is possible to submit a research plan, which was initially described in a K award, as an R21? I have a K99/R00 (A1) application that was scored (34). Based on previous discussions, I am not optimistic. My mentoring team recommended that I submit the research plan as an R21. But, after talking with my grant manager, she was worried that the R21 would violate the NIH policy regarding “Similar, Essentially Identical, or Identical Applications.” I did see an exception for K02 applications, which would send their research plan as an R application, but I did not see anything about the K99. I sent an e-mail to my PO for clarification. Any suggestions?

writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 5:53 pm ·

You can “repurpose” the research for a different mechanism (, which will also likely involve changes to the research strategy that further differentiate it from the original R00 component.

earl_grey said

February 13, 2012 @ 6:42 pm ·

writedit….Can you speculate (if you want,that is) about the implications of the 2013 budget (see article)? The way this article is framed suggests minimal cuts for 2013.


writedit said

February 13, 2012 @ 7:09 pm ·

I will try to get a post up about this when I have time … but this is the President’s request, which rarely maps to the final appropriation bills – especially in an election year. Per earlier suggestions (, the NIH will eek out additional proposals by trimming here and there to save money (no inflationary increases, limiting $ amount per PI, cutting budgets, lowering salary cap, etc.). Of course, if the number of applications submitted remains high (or continues to escalate), the success rate will not improve.

earl_grey said

February 14, 2012 @ 1:51 pm ·

Thanks! This site has provided so much information about the process!

J said

February 14, 2012 @ 6:24 pm ·

Hm, thanks for all the encouraging words – but so far no development, still “pending” and under administrative review… How long does that take, its killing me…

sine said

February 15, 2012 @ 1:44 am ·

I have an RO1 that just started this past summer. One of my collaborators was getting roughly a module to help me with some analysis he is an expert on. This collaborator told me yesterday he might be leaving! He wanted to know if I could do a subcontract and continue to work with him if he left. He said the overhead would be higher (~8% higher). Would NIH readjust the overhead or would I have to pay the 8% out of my direct? I hate to lose that money. Also, would doing the subcontract be easy after the fact? Thanks!

D said

February 15, 2012 @ 8:04 am ·

The good news is having a sub move to a new institution is not a problem. Although it will entail a lot of paperwork. The bad news is that the extra 8% will have to come out of your direct cost budget.

My question to you is why isn’t the sub taking the direct cost hit out of his/her module (lower percent salary for example)? Or see if the new school will grandfather in the lower overhead cost rate.

The other question is how long will it take the sub to get a new lab up and running? Will it delay your work?

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 8:06 am ·

This happens all the time. Your institution (the grant awardee for your R01) will negotiate this with the NIH and your collaborator’s new institution, but I suspect he will only take the amount budgeted for him originally and will need to give up some of his own direct costs to make up for the higher F&A rate. Talk with your grants & contracts administrator (at your university) and your PO.

sine said

February 15, 2012 @ 4:51 pm ·

Thank you both! I guess the way he said it it sounded that the the extra indirect would come from my budget. But, maybe I just misunderstood. It makes sense it would come from his budget and not mine. His part of the grant was really to help is analyze and characterize our tissue slides and figure out better ways to assess wound healing rates. I think he can do that even if his lab is not completely up and running. It is kind of sad to see him go! He says it is not completely decided, so I hope it does not happen!

Dim said

February 15, 2012 @ 11:26 am ·

I just received a score of 40 on an SBIR application, which has NHLBI as primary and NCRR, NINR, NIGMS and NIBIB as secondary. I know that I will have to resubmit, but the problem is that I don’t have a PO assigned in eRA commons (under PO it just says NHLBI). My question is how I can find which of these institutes will be most interested in the proposal, and then find a PO that I can talk with about the re-submission. Also is there any explanation, why the application has been assigned to so many ICs?

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 11:39 am ·

ICs have SBIR-specific POs. At NHLBI, I just see a generic e-mail as the point of contact (, which is where you should start. If you did not include a cover letter requesting assignment to various ICs, then the CSR referral officer contacted the SBIR POs at any IC he/she felt might be interested in your proposal based on the abstract. It just means they all felt it was within their programmatic interests, so you should also touch base with the SBIR PO/contacts at each of these ICs to gauge their level of interest and to solicit guidance for your A1.

2laroc said

February 15, 2012 @ 4:28 pm ·

Has anyone received their non-competing award from NCI this year (since Jan)?. Mine was cut an additional 10% for no reason. This is in addition to the 17% that was cut across all 5 years originally. I would like to know if this occurred for all NCI grants or if mine is somehow unusual. The grants manager only specified that the award was made prior to their agreeing on the final NIH budget. I have to say I have no confidence that they will send the rest. It amounts to about half of a salary so I would have to maybe cut someone to part time.

TCGirl said

February 15, 2012 @ 4:37 pm ·

My NCI R01 was cut last year- 10% because the CR process was still ongoing.. in May i got some of the cut restored.

I’m STILL waiting on my non-competing award- my start date for YR3 was Feb 1.

David_OR said

February 16, 2012 @ 4:35 pm ·

Hi, my year#3 R01 (non-competing renewal) was supposed to start feb 1st. So far I am still waiting the NGA, and neither the PO nor the financial specialist has answered my emails. In the past two years, there were cuts, but at least on time. Don’t know what is going on at NCI.

2laroc said

February 17, 2012 @ 1:01 pm ·

Sorry you are both still waiting for non-competing funds! Mine started Jan 1 and I received the money Jan 9 (well most of it) – am worried about the extra 10% – but it looks like there is hope to get that restored. NCI is a mess I agree. I have virtually no contact with the PO – gone are the days of having any kind of repertoire with these folks. Hope you get your money soon!

dnana said

February 15, 2012 @ 6:35 pm ·

I was part of a NCI program project that overall scored pretty badly (40). However, my individual project scored OK (20). Is it possible to have my project pulled and funded as an RO1? Is that every done?

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 7:01 pm ·

Did you submit it separately as an R01? You should have been encouraged to do so by the P01 PI (& NCI PO). It is the one time you can submit duplicate applications (project on P01 and stand-alone R01). I assume from your query that you did not, so at this point (unless your NCI PO indicates otherwise), you would need to submit it as a new R01 for the next cycle (June). At least you will benefit from whatever comments might be useful on the summary statement.

AVK said

February 15, 2012 @ 7:48 pm ·

Hi , I have submitted a RO1 grant on 5th Feb, apparently till today there has been no SRO and PO assigned to my grant. Does any one know after the submission by when the assignments are made.

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 7:56 pm ·

Assignments are still being made – not to worry. Did you request an IC and SRG in your cover letter (which is what you should have done)? These applications usually get assigned faster since the referral office need only confirm that the PO and SRO concur with the request (versus having to read the abstract and specific aims to figure out the best place for the application).

AVK said

February 15, 2012 @ 9:06 pm ·

Thank you. I did not requested an IC and SRG can i do so now.

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 9:10 pm ·

No, but you still want to research the various study sections ( and identify the best one for your application. If your application is sent somewhere else, you can ask about having it moved to the more appropriate SRG.

MKIM said

February 15, 2012 @ 7:53 pm ·

For YI / ESI in a RO1 grant how much score /percentile should be in order to get funded.

Are the applications from Y1/ESI reviewed separately from the ones by established investigator.

What is the funding score /percentile for a established versus YI/ESI in a NINDS grant

writedit said

February 15, 2012 @ 11:56 pm ·

For FY11, the payline was the 14th percentile, and NI/ESI applications were funded above the payline on a case-by-case basis (not an across the board higher percentile – ICs that do give a standard percentile break usually offer up to 5% higher payline for NI/ESI applications). Council meets tomorrow and Friday, so some indication of the FY12 payline could come out of that, or NINDS might wait until after the Cycle 3 applications have been reviewed. Your PO would offer the best guidance, particularly if you also have questions about whether to resubmit. Separate from the NINDS (or any IC), study sections do review NI/ESI applications separately from those from established PIs, with the exception of SEPs (most if not all, depending on the number of applications they are handling).

Waiting_for_a_year said

February 16, 2012 @ 1:48 pm ·

I am a NI/ESI with a R01 in at the NCI. PO suggested that I wait and see, Commons shows council meeting in 1/2012 but “Pending Council Review”. I am going to resubmit an A1 but feel frustrated that they can’t give me a straight answer. Also, what’s the etiquette on contacting POs? How often is too often?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 9:02 am ·

You can certainly submit your A1 in March while the A0 remains under consideration. You don’t need to wait for your eRA status to change. And you can contact your PO as often as you need information. Pestering several times a day, not so good. But a brief respectful request for an update at their convenience (especially if you also have anything to convey, such as a new abstract accepted or manuscript submitted), fine – realizing there may be no new news to offer.

Waiting_for_a_year said

February 17, 2012 @ 2:48 pm ·

Thanks for the reply. The A0 was percentiled at 19, which I was initially told was good for the study section I went into. The main criticism was that it was too ambitious, so I now have to give up certain experiments that I really liked  My only concern is that in the next round, the reviewers may have really liked the experiments I took out. But I guess my best bet is to address every concern that was expressed and hope for the best.

My PO finally got back to me after 3 phone calls and 2 emails, spread out over 3 weeks or so. He said that I should be “focused on getting my resubmission in”, which I am. It would just be nice to have one completed before another one is in. Paranthetically, one would think that these borderline cases take up a lot of administrative time and resources that could be better spent if the funding decisions occurred more definitively and quickly. (Probably not a very original thought!)

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 3:44 pm ·

Thanks for sharing your experience. You can always submit the A1 while the A0 is still actively under consideration – you do not need to wait for a final decision on the A0 first. Given the lag time in funding, it is worth the time spent on the A1 to not lose too many cycles, even if the A0 is eventually funded in the meantime.

KB said

February 16, 2012 @ 11:36 pm ·

I am an ESI/NI. My R01 (first submission) scored 22 and 16%. It was reviewed by III, but was assigned to two centers, NIAID (primary) and NIMH. The payline for ESI is 14% for NIAID but it is 18% for NIMH. Any chance to get funded?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 9:17 am ·

You can talk with the PO at NIMH about whether they would accept the application and fund it.

KB said

February 17, 2012 @ 10:57 am ·

Writedit, thanks for this helpful website.

More question here: I am still waiting for the comments. I assume that my current PO is with NIAID. Should I talk to him/her first before talking to PO at NIMH? Will there be a chance that they will communicate?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 11:03 am ·

Yes, if you haven’t communicated with the NIAID PO, please start there (I thought perhaps you had). The PO listed on the summary statement should be at NIAID. You can check their Website to confirm he/she is appropriate for your science, but I assume so. He/she should be willing to help talk with NIMH about transferring the application to them and probably knows the appropriate NIMH PO (otherwise, you should check their Website for an appropriate program contact).

Jeff said

February 17, 2012 @ 12:29 pm ·

Hi, I submitted a K23 to NHLBI and just received a priority score of 20 (first submission). Spoke with the PO and he was surprisingly forthcoming and said that he thought that the payline of 19 was a “very conservative” number and he thought that they would likely be funding above this. Any suggestions about what I should be doing at this point aside from waiting?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 12:33 pm ·

Congratulations on the nice score. I hope it does prove to be fundable. When you receive your summary statement, you can draft a response to the critique, which will be useful no matter what in case you need to resubmit. If you have any other progress or accomplishments to share in the meantime (publications, abstracts, key data, etc.), this might be useful to the PO if he needs to push for your application. Mostly, though, you just hurry up & wait.

Jeff said

February 17, 2012 @ 1:02 pm ·

Thanks so much for the response. Should I wait until the summary statement before updating the PO with recent accomplishments or do that now?

Also, I have been doing some searching around to try to reassure myself that the PO’s prediction will come true. I have seen multiple people report that 20 often falls around the 9-13th percentile at various different IC’s and across different funding mechanisms (obviously totally depends on the specific SRG but probability would suggest it will be in this ballpark). Since there is usually a reasonable size clustering around 20 (i.e. 3%) this would indicate that a score of 19 or less would probably translate to a percentile less than 10%. I know that 10% is not incredibly high for many funding mechanisms, but for a K one would assume that they would be funding a larger percentage than late stage investigator RO1′s (which NHLBI is funding 10% for F12). Is this thinking flawed?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 1:48 pm ·

Ks aren’t percentiled, so you gauge your likelihood of funding based on the overall impact score alone. It won’t map to trends with RPGs, so don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out. You can’t. Yes, you should wait for the summary statement, at which point you could also point out some easily addressed concerns. Hang in there.

Brandon said

February 17, 2012 @ 1:14 pm ·

Hi, I have a question. My PO just notified me that I am on the ‘funding list’. It sounds good; but I don’t want to get to excited if that isn’t a big thing. So what do they mean by ‘funding list’?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 1:46 pm ·

It means your application has been recommended to the IC director for funding (and are likely to be funded). Is this at NIGMS or NCI? Congratulations!

Brandon said

February 17, 2012 @ 3:12 pm ·

It is at NIDA for a F32 postdoc fellowship.

mmm said

February 17, 2012 @ 3:48 pm ·

I am ESI and NI. I got score of 28 and percentile of 15 on my R01 to NINDS. What is the likelyhood that this will get funded?

writedit said

February 17, 2012 @ 7:22 pm ·

Congratuations – you should have a reasonable shot at funding, since they are willing to consider (on a case-by-case basis) ESI applications up to 10 percentile points above the payline, which was the 14th percentile last year. Ask your PO about your chances and whether you can help him/her in any way position your application to be selected for funding above the payline (prepare response to critique etc.).

mmm said

February 18, 2012 @ 1:02 pm ·

Thanks. I am waiting for the summary statement so I can have specific things to discuss with my PO instead of just calling and getting general responses. I have been told that this year they will lower the pay line. When ICs do so, do they lower by 5 or more points in a given year?

J said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:04 am ·

Anybody had that happening: my R01 A1 (of the A0 discussed above that shows still pending after Council Review and under administrative review, NIH asked for our indirect rates) was apparently reviewed yesterday and is shown as “not discussed”. The A0 was called an excellent proposal, highly innovative, clever idea – and now after responding to the critique (in a a conflicted study section consisting except for one person out of entirely different people but from the same field) it is not even discussed? Could it be that they took it out and show it not discussed for that reason – or is the NIH review system so unreproducible that one group can praise a grant and another group can shoot the A1 after that down? I don’t get it.

writedit said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:20 am ·

Happens all too often – your A0 is still active, and the administrative review suggests it will be funded, so you are fortunate. Many who resubmit assuming the A1 score will at worse stay the same but would be expected to improve (having addressed the prior issues raised) are disappointed by higher scores or, in some cases, triaged proposals.

J said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:32 am ·

Can they be influenced in their funding decision of the A0 by the review of the A1, i.e. excellent + below mediocre is mediocre, lets not fund it on second thought?

writedit said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:37 am ·

Not to the best of my knowledge – the qualities of the first version have not changed since you wrote it (A1 was a different application).

J said

February 18, 2012 @ 12:31 pm ·

If it happens all the time – its difficult to get a feel what “flies” in these study section (even though this was a ad hoc section). After the A0 I thought hey, I am on to something – now I am not sure again if it works in terms if getting (future) grants…

Julia said

February 18, 2012 @ 11:01 am ·

Could it be that their system is showing your A0 is being funded so they didn’t put your grant forward for discussion?

I wonder if NIH’s stat of “most” grant resubmissions got better claim is legit or not. Could that be that the “most” improved grant scores from A2 when A2 was still available?

J said

February 18, 2012 @ 12:17 pm ·

Might be – the PO told me it changed in his system… But why then showing the heard sinking ND? Take another phrase. Also strange that yesterday evening it showed not discussed under the score once you clicked on the application while in the overview list it showed pending IRG review (that changed though now to not discussed as well).

Julia said

February 18, 2012 @ 2:26 pm ·

Please update us on that when you have your summary statement. It would be interesting to see if the reviewers’ initial score justify the ND or it is only a result of the SRA finding out your A0 got funded.

J said

February 19, 2012 @ 1:22 am ·

The A0 review stated: “The reviewers uniformly agreed that this is an important project worth pursuing as its outcomes could prove to be valuable for future translational endeavors” And the second round completely seems to disagree with it (it still stands as unscored in the system). Why in the world are we than actually responding to the critique if its going to another bunch of reviewers who don’t even take the initial review into account. If papers were reviewed like that nothing would get published. Just deeply frustrated in spite of hoping that they fund the A0 (still pending and under admin review). I still think killing the A2 possibility was the worst mistake ever and have yet to see an convincing argument for it.

batter_up said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:18 am ·

Does anyone know if NICHD does select pay? I would assume that all Institutes do. However, I wanted to know if anyone had any experience with this. My grant is one percentile above the payline and I wanted to get a sense of whether it might be picked for select pay.

writedit said

February 18, 2012 @ 10:21 am ·

They all do, so be in touch with your PO about what, if anything, you can do to help yours be selected.

batter_up said

February 18, 2012 @ 12:30 pm ·

My PO, though very helpful, hasn’t mentioned that possibility, yet. Do you know if it’s likely that the interim will increase? I submitted June 2011 (went to council in Sept/Oct).

dragon said

February 18, 2012 @ 1:01 pm ·

Does anybody have an idea about the fundable score of K99 at NIAID FY2012? They didn’t publish their payline for K99.

abcd said

February 18, 2012 @ 3:25 pm ·

no select pay for NICHD on K grants. Strict paylines. Not sure if that extends to R grants as well.

nanoparticle said

February 18, 2012 @ 5:30 pm ·

NCI FY12 funding policy was posted.

Click to access FinalFundLtr.pdf

7th percentile for all investigators. Even the 8-15% grey zone was not mentioned this time.

TCGirl said

February 18, 2012 @ 5:47 pm ·

while a range for the grey zone isn’t mentioned, it is implied, and perhaps gives more latitude for applications just beyond the 15%tile.

CD0 said

February 19, 2012 @ 8:40 am ·

In an informal conversation, I was commented a few days ago that NCI is considering funding RO1s from established investigators up to the 15 percentile.

How many grants in the grey zone they will be able to fund depends on a quote for new investigators, number of additional grants by the PI, of course priority score, etc.

On the bubble said

February 19, 2012 @ 2:24 pm ·

Is that 8-15% “grey zone” for established investigators only? Last year, up to 25% was possible for NI/ESI. Has anyone heard whether they’ll cut back on the NI/ESI “grey zone” range?

lub said

February 20, 2012 @ 10:34 am ·

8-15% case-by-case consideration for all (NI/ESI/established). Didn’t hear anything about special considerations for ESI/NI this time. Sux for us.

nanoparticle said

March 5, 2012 @ 1:48 pm ·

The current NCI payline doesn’t give any break to NI/ESI although their funding policy mentions “the SPL will give special consideration for NI, particularly those who are in an early stage of their careers.”

It is very sad for NI, especially ESI who just start their career in cancer research. I believe this policy will force new scientists away from cancer research.

Julia said

February 18, 2012 @ 6:39 pm ·

Was the 8-15% published somewhere before? Or was it only mentioned by the POs (private conversation)?

nanoparticle said

February 18, 2012 @ 7:21 pm ·

8-15% was mentioned by my PO over the phone last month.

Julia said

February 18, 2012 @ 7:47 pm ·

My PO said the same thing a little less than a month ago. I wonder if it is still the same after this policy came out.

Jsaid said

February 19, 2012 @ 2:18 am ·

I received a notice from NICHD saying “We expect to be able to fund you”. However I still need to wait for the final notice of award. Does anybody know how long it will take to get the final notice?

KB said

February 19, 2012 @ 10:52 am ·

I am still waiting for the summary comments. Will it appear in the “Additions for review” section when I click the specific application ID?

Also, my PO said my current application (ESI, R01 A0, scored 22 and 16%) is close for both institutes that it was assigned to (NIAID at 14% and NIMH projected at 15%), and there are a few months to work on it. Does this mean that my A0 will be recommended for funding, and at the same time I should work on my A1?

J said

February 19, 2012 @ 3:02 pm ·

Work on your A1 with the comments you get and submit it. If they fund the A0 even better – if not you have not lost time. Of course as you can see from the above the A1 doesn’t necessarily mean the score will get better, in my case it went apparently from 15%ile to not discussed. I have herad from a colleague that his went from 30%ile to – 30%ile.

J said

February 19, 2012 @ 7:51 pm ·

Any idea how long the “pending”status will be until it will change to funded…?

m said

February 19, 2012 @ 10:28 pm ·

j, i’m in the same boat. status changed about 2 weeks ago

Luka said

February 20, 2012 @ 4:28 pm ·

My K status changed to ‘pending’ 4 weeks ago.. and I’m still waiting. I received an e-mail from my PO that my grant has ‘to be paid’ status. He also mentioned that he will call me to talk about where I am currently in my career development and research.. because many applicants make substantial progress between submission and actual funding. Any idea what he wants to hear from me?

writedit said

February 20, 2012 @ 4:38 pm ·

I suspect he mainly wants to know if you have a faculty position, if you did not when you applied (some K applicants are postdocs or non-tenure faculty when they apply), since the salary you requested on the application may no longer be appropriate. He might want to hear if you have published or presented more data since the application (especially if this covers some of the research project described) and/or if you have completed any of the training described in the proposal. Given the funding climate, I am not sure if substantial progress made might affect the duration of funding, but it could be you will be able to renegotiate to apply this to new milestones. If anyone else has insight, please do share it.

Luka said

February 20, 2012 @ 6:55 pm ·

Thanks Writedit! I haven’t made tremendous progress since of course I need K money to do that. I wonder whether I should say that or rather try to show off some progress that I’ve made. Thanks again!

writedit said

February 20, 2012 @ 7:28 pm ·

Oh – no need to try to show off, and you certainly won’t be dinged for no progress. You have the award. The PO is just trying to determine if anything might need to be adjusted to accommodate your current status.

Luka said

February 21, 2012 @ 12:26 am ·

Thank you Writedit! I am so excited this is happening but considering budget situation I’m being little paranoid too. Thanks for the great website!

sdfds said

February 21, 2012 @ 10:03 pm ·

hey luka i got the exact same message from my PO. did u update with timeline

Luka said

February 22, 2012 @ 12:32 pm ·

No, I haven’t really updated my timeline since submission. What IC are U in?

ultras said

February 20, 2012 @ 4:48 pm ·

I received an automated e-mail asking us to submit the JIT. Looks like anyone received a <20% gets an email like that. Do I have to send in the JIT or wait for a personal email? My IC is NCI. I do not have an GMS. Do you only get a GMS in the eCommon when your grant is funded (or to be funded) with NCI?

writedit said

February 20, 2012 @ 4:51 pm ·

You should send the JIT, since it could be required before you would be considered for funding in the “gray zone” (they don’t want to expend time on applications that have administrative issues or financial overlap with other awards).

zestyw said

February 21, 2012 @ 10:00 am ·

Given that NCI has released the following statement does anyone know when am I likely to hear about my R03 which scored a 22 back in July (and for which I completed JIT info in December)?

writedit said

February 21, 2012 @ 10:55 am ·

NCI is behind on paying out everything, including noncompeting renewals, so you shouldn’t take the delay as a sign that you are one of the rare applications below a priority score of 25 not to get funded. If you haven’t been assigned a GMS, you can check with the PO on the time frame.

zestyw said

February 21, 2012 @ 12:30 pm ·

So does the assignment of GMS signify a greater possibiility of funding then?

writedit said

February 21, 2012 @ 2:59 pm ·

Well, having a GMS means you are receiving an award (only reason they are assigned) … but they often do not appear on the scene until shortly before the notice goes out, so a delay in having one assigned shouldn’t be taken as a bad sign.

DrugMonkey said

February 22, 2012 @ 12:48 pm ·

having a GMS means you are receiving an award (only reason they are assigned)

This is incorrect. I have always had a GMS assigned to my applications, usually during receipt and referral. Often prior to a PO being assigned.

writedit said

February 22, 2012 @ 4:29 pm ·

I am responding quickly via email (where I can’t see the thread) and have not been chosing my words carefully, so I apologize for the confusion (& thanks for the correction DM). I was thinking of “assign” in terms of program telling a GMS to start processing award (versus when one is generically linked to the grant number at referral). So, like a “real” JIT request, “real” GMS involvement begins only when an award is going to be made and the GMS makes contact to request, well, JIT if needed and other administrative info.

aamin said

February 22, 2012 @ 10:19 am ·

I am in the same boat like you. My R03 (reviewed in July 2011) has a PS 25. In nov. it was assinged a GSM and JIT was requested. I submitted the JIT in Jan 12. The GSM informed me that they are currently funding upto PS 25 and my one was selected for funding. After receiving JIT, she asked me whether 2/1 start date is OK for me. After that no news. Even the status is Council review completed. As per my query, the GSM said that they are waiting for appropriation from NIH.

naive question said

February 21, 2012 @ 12:26 pm ·

Is NCI leadership behind in getting paid as well?

J said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:13 pm ·

GMS on the grant meaning its paid – are you sure? I have a R01 that in the A0 was not even scored and that has a GMS on it… The assignment of GMS puzzled me for a time…

lub said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:15 pm ·

NCI’s GMS are more superior. LOL

writedit said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:20 pm ·

Hmm. I guess I am not so sure. Has the GMS been listed since the beginning (like the generic JIT request)? Or added at some point along the way? I do not think they are officially/actively assigned to an application until it has been tapped for funding.

Luka said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:36 pm ·

My GMS was automatically assigned even before a study section.

lub said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:49 pm ·

Luka, do you have NCI grants?

DrugMonkey said

February 22, 2012 @ 12:51 pm ·

I do not think they are officially/actively assigned to an application until it has been tapped for funding.

While this may vary by IC my experience with several of them is that GMS’s are assigned during receipt and referral. It has nothing whatsoever to do with intent to fund the application.

ds said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:13 pm ·

NIBIB payline is 10%ile this year (2012). I would like to know whether NIBIB will consider “select pay” for 11%ile. I am not NI. Also, based on the previous year, how many grants beyond the payline were funded with “select pay”. Thanks.

writedit said

February 22, 2012 @ 12:02 am ·

You need to see if your PO would advocate for select pay. Most ICs don’t release stats on how many grants they pay out at what score or percentile (NIGMS is an exception). This is definitely in the minority of awards made though – they are exceptions, not the rule.

J said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:19 pm ·

Where do you got that information re NIBIB from? Do you have a link? What is the NI bonus? Tx

J said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:20 pm ·

Hah – maybe they like the grant so much for programmatic relevance that they will… never mind. Did that actually ever happen, can it even?

writedit said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:25 pm ·

No, to the best of my knowledge, at least in recent times, program does not (& perhaps cannot) select applications for funding that have not been discussed in study section.

DrugMonkey said

February 22, 2012 @ 12:54 pm ·

I have always been under the impression that the only outcome of peer review that categorically prevents the NIH from funding an app is the NRF. So triaged applications could, in theory, be picked up.

I imagine that this happens so vanishingly rarely as to be effectively the same as “never” in the current budget environment.

True said

February 21, 2012 @ 3:58 pm ·

Hi – I had a K01 that received an impact score of 24 from NIA. I was assigned a GMS after I got the pink sheets. Council met 10/2010 and I was denied  Maybe you get a GMS when they THINK you might get funding?

writedit said

February 21, 2012 @ 4:06 pm ·

Perhaps GMS assignment is evolving in parallel with JIT requests … that is, it only becomes “real” closer to the award notice when funding is assured. Also, different ICs do things differently.

jupiter said

February 22, 2012 @ 4:04 pm ·

Hi, The status of my A1 resubmitted K01 proposal is still “Pending IRG Review”, and more than three months have passed since submission. I am wondering what this means. Thank you in advance!

writedit said

February 22, 2012 @ 4:10 pm ·

When is your study section scheduled to meet? I assume it hasn’t met yet or has just met recently, hence the pending IRG (integrated review group, which is how the scientific review groups, SRGs, or study sections are organized) status.

J said

February 22, 2012 @ 4:10 pm ·

It should say in Commons when the study section meets. Apparently not yet. If you submitted around fall last year this would be in February or March.

Mouseter said

February 22, 2012 @ 5:31 pm ·

I just found out that my NCI K22-A1 got an improved score of 21. A0 had a 28. I suppose this is a significant improvement? But I have no idea what this would mean in terms of funding. While I’ll drop an email to the PO, are there other K awardees here who tell from experience what my chances could be? Thanks a lot.

I think I’ll have a better sleep tonight…

writedit said

February 22, 2012 @ 5:38 pm ·

Congratulations on the improved score! I would hope both the score and the improvement from the A0 are enough to get you on Harold’s paylist, but it will be interesting to see what feedback we get here. Hopefully encouraging news …

jupiter said

February 22, 2012 @ 5:41 pm ·

Thanks for response. It looks like A1 review is a little different than A0 review, because the latter was faster.

Can you say me, is resubmitted A1 proposal is sent to the same reviewers as was for A0?

Also, my priority score was 30, it was in “gray zone”. Reviewer comments were very minor and were carefully addressed. Do you think I have reason to be optimistic?

TimLim said

February 22, 2012 @ 6:46 pm ·

I am a ESI/NI and recently submitted a RO1 grant. Apparently my budget was over the limit (500 K /year) and I did not seek prior approval from the agency.Also i provided a total year budget intead of providing each year budget.

Would the budget affect in the review process or in referral.

Please suggest how best i can go about it

writedit said

February 23, 2012 @ 12:49 am ·

The NIH will not accept your application for review without prior approval. You will need to submit the application again (still an A0) in the next cycle (June 5), assuming you either reduce your budget or obtain permission from your target IC to submit an application with a budget exceeding $500K. You will have to talk with your PO if you want to seek permission for the big budget submission. It seems as though your institution should have caught the budget issues before submitting the application.


February 23, 2012 @ 6:00 pm ·

Thanks Writedit, actually my budget was less than 500K however there was some error during submission which we could not rectify. after submission the system showed a warning that our budget has exceeded the limit. When we called the ERA they said it it is warning and that should not affect the referral. Now the dicing of referral is saying the budget is exceeding the limit and they cannot make the assignments. On the top now they are also saying about formatting issues on the research strategy such as the font size and etc.

I am not sure what going on, any guidance will be helpful.

EAMSU said

February 22, 2012 @ 11:50 pm ·

I’m a NI/ESI and my A1 to the NCI just got a 17%ile. Will talk to my PO ASAP but is there hope for this or should I tear it apart and turn it into something completely new?

writedit said

February 23, 2012 @ 12:53 am ·

Your PO can let you know about how this application might fare as part of gray zone discussions (if they are even considering anything above the 15th percentile for NI/ESI still) … but you should still start working on a whole new application, both in case this application is not funded and to have a second line of work under consideration. Developing multiple ideas that preferably can be submitted to different ICs is the optimal strategy for maintaining independent research funding (plus going to the NSF, DoD, and other sponsors as appropriate).

KL said

February 23, 2012 @ 6:40 pm ·

Thanks for all the valuable information. can you please share the information/experiences that anybody have received Notice of Award for R01 (new) from NIGMS after recent council meeting (Jan 19-20).

Thanks for sharing any information and experience.


February 23, 2012 @ 8:33 pm ·

Thanks Writedit, actually my budget was less than 500K however there was some error during submission which we could not rectify. after submission the system showed a warning that our budget has exceeded the limit. When we called the ERA they said it it is warning and that should not affect the referral. Now the dicing of referral is saying the budget is exceeding the limit and they cannot make the assignments. On the top now they are also saying about formatting issues on the research strategy such as the font size and etc.

I am not sure what going on, any guidance will be helpful.

writedit said

February 26, 2012 @ 12:01 am ·

The NIH administratively rejects any application that does not conform to the font size, line spacing, page limit, etc. in the SF424 instructions. It is your responsibility to read these carefully and apply them to your application (the same is true for the budget – you need to be sure it complies with all instructions/restrictions prior to submission). While it is generally true warnings should be ignored – ignoring them should not be universal. I rescued an application that had a warning that seemed benign but would have been fatal for an F32 application. In this case, because pre- and post-doctoral fellowships share the same electronic application, the section for describing “doctoral research” is not required, so when this field is left empty, there is just a warning. But, of course, for any post-doc applicant, it is required for review. In this case, when corrected & resubmitted at my insistence, the F32 scored a 14 and was awarded – which would not have happened if the warning had been ignored. So, moral of the story – don’t ignore warnings … most should not be fixed, but some may need to be attended to. I expect in your case, you had a budget, so it was not an error, but there was a warning that would have told you the $ total problem.

TCGirl said

February 23, 2012 @ 10:29 pm ·

It sounds like your best bet — even if you could get receipt and referral to move it on, is to pull it back and submit it as a new A0 in June – too many red flags..

i’m rather blunt in saying that reviewers dont generally tolerate not following rules about page limit, formating, font size etc.. combined with the issue of a total budget vs. a single year budget – i’d be concerned that reviewers will write you off as a noob who didnt know what they were doing (or your institution for that matter- how did a grants office let this go out?) and this perception of inexperience will stick with them as they read the science. the reviewers expect the rules to be followed by all, and are reviewing sometimes 10-15 applications for a review cycle. you dont want to irritate them.

fingerscrossed said

February 24, 2012 @ 3:59 am ·

Got a quick question…I had submitted a grant to the NIGMS under the SCORE program which got a score of 28. There wasnt much going on these past couple of months, but I just noticed today that my grant ID number had changed to a CA### (I am guessing that it is an NCI code), the primary center assignment changed from NIGMS to NCI and my PO had also changed. Does this mean anything? The last I heard from my previous PO was that I could be cautiously optimistic, but there was nothing that could be said….any insight would be really helpful…

DrugMonkey said

February 24, 2012 @ 8:49 am ·

Yes it means your primary assignment has changed ICs.

Any chance this is part of a the reorganization NIGMS went through as they absorbed parts of NCRR?

DrugMonkey said

February 24, 2012 @ 8:50 am ·

Yes it means your primary assignment has changed ICs.

Any chance this is part of the reorganization NIGMS went through as they absorbed parts of NCRR?

writedit said

February 24, 2012 @ 9:15 am ·

No, several ICs participate in the SCORE program (for MSIs) mechanisms (i.e., not run by NCRR, like RCMI (G12) used to be) …

But the switch from NIGMS to NCI is interesting. Certainly fingers crossed should contact the NCI PO to see if they picked it up specifically to fund it and what the timeframe might be.

fingerscrossed said

February 24, 2012 @ 12:48 pm ·

Thank you for the replies, Drug Monkey and Writedit. Just spoke to my PO today morning, and was informed that my grant was selected to be funded through the NIGMS! Since it was a cancer-related grant, it will be administered and managed through the NCI (my era Commons page still shows Council Completed – am assuming that it will change once NIGMS actually gets the money appropriated). My new PO was just fabulous to talk to, and basically told me that I would need to wait for both the NIGMS to receive its monies, and wait for the NCI council meeting (might take at least a couple of months). I guess nothing is assured just yet, but speaking to my PO, seems like it will be funded if NIGMS receives money for the SCORE program.

This brings me to my next question. Assuming NIGMS has a cut in its appropriation for the SCORE program, what are the chances that they might NOT fund my grant, as opposed to awarding me the grant but cutting my budget. In other words, now that the NIGMS wants to fund my grant and wants NCI to manage it, what is more likely in the event of a budget cut…having my grant awarded but with less money or outright rejection of the grant?

Lastly, I cannot express enough my appreciation for the unbelievable resource that this website has provided. I have closely followed this website over the past few months, and have got some really useful insight into the workings of the NIH. Kudos to Writedit and all the participating researchers!!

writedit said

February 25, 2012 @ 11:54 pm ·

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing all this – quite an interesting arrangement. This is a program NIGMS has long participated in as a funding IC, so I would assume the amount appropriated is known. NIGMS is taking a significant hit in the FY13 budget that, if enacted, would require a lot of creative accounting to maintain all the commitments made in FY12; NIGMS was given extra $ to spend on the formerly NCRR IDeA program (which helps underfunded states, like Montana, the home state of the Republican chair of the appropriations committee in the House) … but these awards are multiyear, so if the increased funding is not maintained for the appropriate number of out-years, NIGMS will need to make cuts in its own programs to support commitments made to the lucky FY12 IDeA awardees. I am not sure if that means NIGMS might be more conservative with all its awards as a result or not. I suspect Congress will restore the $, but this is hardly a guarantee. But – back to your SCORE application – your PO would not be so optimistic and enthusiastic if he/she thought you might not get funded (or explain the unusual funding-administrative arrangement in such detail), so you can assume the award is secure. There will be a cut to your budget no matter what, though. This you can take to the bank. Or not.

J said

February 25, 2012 @ 11:26 pm ·

To Writedit and any others who may be able to help:

I am preparing to submit a NIDA K application (A1) for the March review cycle deadline. The NIH website states the approximate study section date is June/July, the Council review date is September/October, and the earliest start date is December. Given all of the uncertainty about the federal budget, how realistic is this potential start date (assuming all goes well in the review process)? If not realistic, what would be your best estimate? And, what start date should I list on my application?

Thanks – your suggestions will be very helpful in my attempts to manage my other commitments in the coming year.

writedit said

February 25, 2012 @ 11:42 pm ·

You always list Dec 1 (or whatever the FOA lists as the official “start date”, if you are not submitting to during one of the 3 standard cycles). In the last 90 days, NIDA issued one each of a K01, K08, and K23 in Feb – all of which I am guessing were submitted the prior Feb. For FY12, there was a budget by late December. I would not expect this to be the case for FY13. I think you would be safe to assume your start date would not be until next Feb, perhaps later. You do have the option of starting to spend $ 90 days prior to receiving the NoA, assuming the PO has given you solid assurance of funding and a reasonable estimate of the award date.

HW said

February 26, 2012 @ 3:08 pm ·

NINDS just posted their FY12 paylines.

R21 said

February 26, 2012 @ 6:58 pm ·

What about R21 payline for NINDS?

Y said

February 26, 2012 @ 7:02 pm ·

I heard from my PO that it’s also 14%

writedit said

February 26, 2012 @ 7:14 pm ·

Yes, the R21 payline is often about the same as the R01 payline (or lower) for those ICs that accept R21 applications.

Jonathan Sachs said

March 13, 2012 @ 6:53 pm ·

Any idea about F31 NINDS payline?

J said

February 26, 2012 @ 3:32 pm ·

My R01 A0 is still showing as pending and under administrative review, any ideas how long until I really can pop open the champagne?

BTW – the A1 of that grant was not discussed and based on the comments the reviewers were not experts on the field at all but rather (self-censored explicit). One reviewer claimed as a major flaw that no one will inject radioactivity for surgery. Well, its done routinely for sentinel nodes in clinic. I was asked the same question in the first review of the A0 and I answered accordingly in my introduction page. So, the reviewers were not the same, did not read the prior review and my response nor did they have a clue what they were talking about… (end of rant)

writedit said

February 26, 2012 @ 3:42 pm ·

I have no idea what is going on at NCI – everything is delayed, so no need to feel special. At least now you know what happened with the A1 … sorry about that, too.

J said

February 26, 2012 @ 3:47 pm ·

Its not NCI but NIBIB… But they may have the same problems.

K said

February 27, 2012 @ 9:27 am ·

I had submitted a K99 application to NICHD in October 2011. I received an impact score of 30. Is there any hope?

abcd said

February 27, 2012 @ 9:39 am ·

Great score! but no hope in this economy. 25 is the cut-off. Work on the resubmission.

buddy_holly said

February 27, 2012 @ 10:14 am ·

@writedit—Do you know the cut-off for R03s and R21s at NICHD?

writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 10:33 am ·

I am afraid I do not, but perhaps someone who has received word from their program officer will chime in. You could always check with your PO as well, whether it is in regard to a specific application or to planning your grant submission strategy.

writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 10:34 am ·


K said

February 27, 2012 @ 10:48 am ·

Thanks abcd and writedit. This site has been an amazing resource!

The silver lining I guess is that atleast I got scored! As for resubmission, I don’t think i will be able to because I will be past the 5 year mark whenever the decision is made

Another question I have is that since K99s are not percentiled, does the council make a funding decision based purely on the impact score i.e. 25 cut off or do they actually calculate percentile based on specific SRGs to make a decision?

Also in SRGs are scores evenly distributed between 10 and 90 or is there usually clustering around the 20 and 30 mark?

K2 said

February 27, 2012 @ 12:41 pm ·

K– Check with your PO, but I think the 5 year cutoff applies to the submission date, not the award date. It’s definitely worth resubmitting if you can since you got a good score on your first submission and are close to the payline!!

abcd said

February 27, 2012 @ 12:48 pm ·

K – I got a similar score from NICHD on my K application. They are not percentiled and funding decision is purely on impact score and cut-off. My PO said that they are strict about it. Have no clue about the distributions. Will be nice to have that information.

writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 1:11 pm ·

The IC director makes all final funding decisions. Some ICs only fund 1-3 K99 applications each year, so they wait until all 3 cycles have been reviewed to pick the lucky recipient(s) based on score (not percentile) and programmatic priorities. NICHD doesn’t fund many applications (10-17), so I expect they wait to make funding decisions except for exceptionally scored applications (i.e., ~10). NICHD has only funded 2 applications thus far, one at the end of Dec and one last week. Certainly talk with your PO about next steps strategies, whether a K99 resubmission (you only need to be eligible at the time of resubmission, not at the time of review/award) or a different mechanism (which might make more sense depending on what you plan to do in the next year). Regarding the scoring patterns, reviewers evaluate each application on its own scientific merit, not in relation to other applications under review. Often scores do start to cluster and skew percentiles, as explained best by NIAID (

Casmock said

February 27, 2012 @ 1:31 pm ·

The NIBIB FY12 paylines need to be updated as per the following link:

writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 1:39 pm ·

Thanks to everyone who points out updates on payllines – I do a quick check once a month or so, but your input ensures the updates are more timely, so, again, thanks for helping make this a great resource for everyone!

Casmock said

February 28, 2012 @ 2:22 pm ·

You have the correct paylines for NIBIB FY12, but you still need to change FY11 to FY12.

K99-hopeful said

February 27, 2012 @ 1:55 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

Can you please post the link to the website that lists the recently funded grants by IC? I know it’s been posted on the site before, but I can’t find it.


Not Writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 2:17 pm ·

Go here

and pick the appropriate report.

K99-hopeful said

February 27, 2012 @ 2:49 pm ·

Great, thanks!

lily said

February 27, 2012 @ 2:44 pm ·

Hi Writedit,

Do you think 19 percentile (score 25) could be funded at NIA for R03? thanks a lot.

writedit said

February 27, 2012 @ 11:56 pm ·

Hmm. NIA is tight. That probably wouldn’t be good enough for an R21, but R03s are different animals and usually have higher pay lines. Did your PO give you any sort of suggestion as to what they are funding to?

ultras said

February 27, 2012 @ 2:49 pm ·

I am curious to know if NCI is still only looking at R01 at 8 – 15% for selective funding or have they broaden it since their announcement of their payline policy? I contacted my PO last week but have not heard back.

DA said

February 29, 2012 @ 11:51 am ·

What kind of reasons allow a PO to recommend an application not included in the payline cutoff? My PO suggested he could for an R15, but was wondering as to what could be his argument? Anything I can suggest/provide to help him?

writedit said

February 29, 2012 @ 12:14 pm ·

The PO can argue the research is of high programmatic priority – essentially, he wants to see this project in his portfolio and is willing to make a case for paying by exception. Although there is no formal NI/ESI break for any mechanism except the R01, if you fall in one of these categories, this would be another point he could make in your favor (this R15 could lead to your first R01). If you have any new data, abstracts, manuscripts, etc. that show you are making progress on this research, you could let the PO know. I assume he asked for your rebuttal to the summary statement, which he could also use to demonstrate that you could make tweaks to the existing research plan to satisfy reviewer concerns (versus needing to make more fundamental design changes). But if he needs any “ammunition”, he won’t hesitate to ask.

whimple said

February 29, 2012 @ 8:41 pm ·

If your PO suggests he could do it for your R15, why don’t you ask your PO directly what it is about your application specifically that excites him, and what he’d like/need to get from you that would help him make his case?

nidcd said

March 1, 2012 @ 12:50 am ·

I got priority score of 30 (NIDCD). Anyone has any guess if this is fundable score?

nidcd said

March 1, 2012 @ 12:51 am ·

I got priority score of 30 K99/R00 (NIDCD). Anyone has any guess if this is fundable score?

writedit said

March 1, 2012 @ 8:09 am ·

Possibly a chance – your PO would be the best source of intel in terms of where your score would have landed you last year (or this year, now that all scores are known). Last year, they funded 16 of 57 applications, the year before, 17 of 44 applications.

R21 said

March 1, 2012 @ 7:18 pm ·

We got a score for R21 last week.

I think we are above their payline.

When do they usually announce an official confirmation email (or letter) to PI?

writedit said

March 1, 2012 @ 7:21 pm ·

They never contact you if you are not going to receive an award. You should contact the PO listed on the summary statement to inquire whether your score will be considered for funding.

R21 said

March 1, 2012 @ 9:06 pm ·

Sorry.. I mean a percentile lower than the payline.

Do we get funded for sure?

Plus, when do we know?

writedit said

March 1, 2012 @ 10:49 pm ·

Ah, congratulations and best wishes for success with the research! If you applied in October and were just scored, then their award will be processed later this summer. If you applied in June, then in a couple of months. And if you are waiting for NCI, who knows how long you will wait. They are quite late on everything.

ariadne said

March 2, 2012 @ 11:46 am ·

NINDS at least appears to be sending emails if you’re not going to be funded. I got mine 12 days after council (R21, priority score 30, A0 submission). Email was from the grants management branch, not the PO.

writedit said

March 2, 2012 @ 11:50 am ·

Very interesting – thank you for sharing this. I doubt there are plans to provide such notification globally through eRA commons, but I am glad some ICs are doing so on their own … I wonder if just for those within spitting distance of the payline or anyone who was scored. If anyone else has had a similar experience, please do post what you’ve received.

Y said

March 2, 2012 @ 6:25 pm ·

ariadne, can I ask what’s your percentile? I got a score of 26 and percentile of 12%, and the NINDS PO seems very optimistic.

ariadne said

March 2, 2012 @ 8:06 pm ·

Y — no percentile (PAR).

abcd said

March 2, 2012 @ 11:57 am ·

I got a letter in the mail from PO at NICHD saying K grant won’t be funded. I had 29 as priority score.

K said

March 2, 2012 @ 4:13 pm ·

@ abcd – when did you get this letter? I didn’t think PO’s contacted anyone unless the grant is to be funded….

Comradde PhysioProffe said

March 2, 2012 @ 12:00 pm ·

NINDS has always sent one of three “Dear PI” letters soon after grant scoring: “The score for your application is in a range where funding is unlikely. The status of your application is not expected to change.”, or “The score for your application is in a range where funding appears highly likely. However, no obligations or announcements should be made until you receive the Notice of Grant Award.”, or “The score for the application referenced above is in a range where funding is uncertain at this time. Only a small number of applications in this range may be funded, depending on budgetary and programmatic considerations. If your application is selected for funding, you will be notified.”

writedit said

March 2, 2012 @ 12:09 pm ·

But then after this generic note, have you had a personalized – unsolicited – message, after Council meets, that your application will not be funded? This is what I am curious about … not the PO responses to specific queries or the generic letters at the outset. The generic messages like yours indicate PIs are only contacted again if their application has been selected for funding … not that their R21 with a score of 30 or whatever will not be funded (as was reported by ariadne).

ariadne said

March 2, 2012 @ 2:02 pm ·

writedit: That is correct. Here is the text:

Dear Applicant:

This letter is to inform you that the above-referenced application was reviewed by the National Advisory Neurological Disorders and Stroke Council at its recent meeting. I regret to inform you that this application was not selected for funding.

Please be assured that this decision will not affect our consideration of any of your subsequent applications. If you have any questions, please contact your Program Director, whose contact information appears in your eRA Commons file.

R21 said

March 2, 2012 @ 2:23 pm ·

Ariadne, Can I ask your percentile?

gin_rummy said

March 2, 2012 @ 12:12 pm ·

Has anyone who has received “a grey area” letter (Nov/Dec 2011) been notified of funding status yet? I’m assuming ICs are waiting to make decisions after Funding Cycle 2?

ariadne said

March 2, 2012 @ 8:03 pm ·

@R21 — there was no percentile given. It was submitted in response to a PAR, and I guess there are no percentiles.

Dave said

March 2, 2012 @ 2:07 pm ·

Hi all, first post here. Thanks for all your efforts writedit, this site has been magnificent. I have a K99 in at the NIDDK, which was just reviewed. I am waiting for my priority score, which should appear online either today or tomorrow, but i wanted to share some useful/alarming info with everyone.

The PO at NIDDK who oversees these grants has just sent an email to all the applicants stating, and I quote directly: “Due to the current NIH budget constraints, it is anticipated that priority/impact scores of 10 -15 will be in the competitive range for funding.”

My interpretation: even if you have a score of 15, don’t count your chickens. He also makes a point in the email to push everyone towards the K01 awards on resubmission, which are currently less competitive but have citizen requirements. Of course, they wont be less competitive much longer if the K99 continues down this path.

I am also taking this email as an indication that none of us have achieved the required score in this round. I could be over-interpreting this, but the tone of the message definitely indicates that.

It’s kind of ridiculous. The drop in K funding is far, far worse than R01′s. Not more than 2 – 3 years ago, a score in the high 20′s, even low 30′s was competitive at the NIDDK.

writedit said

March 2, 2012 @ 4:45 pm ·

If you don’t have your score, neither does your PO, so he cannot possibly know if you are within the 10-15 range. He is simply telling all K99 applicants what the likely funding range will be. While there is no guarantee for those scoring a 15, I doubt he would include such a specific range unless it was highly likely scores up through 15 would be funded. I would think some K99 applicants might also pursue the K08 mechanism, so I am surprised about the emphasis on K01s, which are a tougher row to hoe (though not as tough as K99). Good luck with your own score …

Dave said

March 2, 2012 @ 5:13 pm ·

Thanks! Isn’t the PO sitting in on the review panel meetings? If so, would he not know (roughly) the range of scores received?

The overwhelming majority of K99 applicants to NIDDK are PhDs doing basic research and the K08 is for those with a clinical doctorate, unfortunately. The PO in question has always directed applicants to the K01 if they are a permanent resident (most K99′s are not). I certainly would have applied for a K01 initially had I been closer to my green card at the time of submission. Will keep you posted.

Dave said

March 2, 2012 @ 6:06 pm ·

It’s moot now anyway. just got my score of 42. Sucks!!!!

JaneyC said

March 2, 2012 @ 3:12 pm ·

My NIH R15 grant proposal got a score of 20 recently. I called the PO at NICHD and was told that the payline was 24 in the September 2011 and January 2012. She was very positive that I will be awarded the R15 in the summer. The problem for me is that I accepted a job offer from a top research one university in the Midwest in middle Feb. My last day of employment is late August at the present institution. I have a Co-PI for this proposal. What should I do next? Inform the PO right away and get the suggestions? Or wait till the money is released to the institution and then tell NIH regarding my leave and switch PI?

My new chair at the top research one university told me that “R15 is meant to support an institution with limited resources, but I heard U of Michigan School of Kinesiology justified by presenting some data.” He suggested me to try to bring the money to the new school by provide justifications and then sign a subcontract to my present institution. Is this possible? Any thoughts?

writedit said

March 2, 2012 @ 4:31 pm ·

At some large universities, certain individual schools are eligible, whereas others are not (e.g., School of Pharmacy but not the School of Medicine). Look the list of ineligible schools to see if the school at the University you are moving to is listed: However, the award is made to your current institution, not to you. If the school to which you are moving is not eligible, your co-PI (I assume you mean part of a Multiple PI submission) will take over the award at your current institution, and some of the work may be allowed to be subcontracted to you after you move (though I am not sure about this). If the school to which you are moving is eligible to receive an R15 award, then part of the award will move with you, depending on how much needs to stay at your current institution to cover the working being done by your collaborator there. This is all negotiated between the NIH and the two institutions involved and is based on what work is done where (your new institution would need to have the appropriate resources, for example). So, yes, check whether your new institution is eligible or not and then contact the PO (and your sponsored research/grants & contracts office).

Hopeful said

March 2, 2012 @ 5:29 pm ·

Things are moving a little bit at NCI. I just heard from my PO that my R01 would be funded, and that an NGA was on the way. I was slightly outside the 7% as an NI/ESI.

writedit said

March 2, 2012 @ 5:33 pm ·

Congratulations and best wishes for success with the research! Thanks for posting the update and details on your situation.

ultras said

March 2, 2012 @ 6:18 pm ·

Congrats! Do you mind sharing when you submitted the grant? Just want to know if NCI is working on cycle 1 or 2 grants..

Hopeful said

March 2, 2012 @ 6:44 pm ·

It was a long time ago. March 2011.

hw said

March 2, 2012 @ 10:01 pm ·


Conratulations! Do you mind sharing your exacr percentile? Knowing it will help me greatly in assessing my chance of getting funded as a ESI. Thanks.

Hopeful said

March 4, 2012 @ 7:27 pm ·

13th % – My PO indicated that while I was outside the pay line, my proposed research was underrepresented in the NCI portfolio.

luka said

March 2, 2012 @ 7:05 pm ·

Just got NGA for my K99 (NIMH) with an effective start day March 1st! Everything was on plan or even earlier than that (I requested April 1st). Thanks again for very supportive website!

Hopeful said

March 2, 2012 @ 7:17 pm ·

Congrats! And yes, many thanks to this community and Writedit!

Vera said

March 2, 2012 @ 7:49 pm ·

Does anyone know what the current payline is for K awards at the NIA?

Dave said

March 2, 2012 @ 9:35 pm ·

Not sure on the NIA, but see my post above about the NIDDK for the K99. Traditionally, the NIA is tougher than the NIDDK, so read into it what you will.

AZA said

March 3, 2012 @ 2:27 pm ·

How long after council review NIH notifies to the PIs about there decision because at eCOMMMONS they do not mentioned any thing what was the result of council meeting.

writedit said

March 4, 2012 @ 12:11 am ·

We’ve been discussing this very issue, actually. The eRA commons status won’t indicate that you have been declined funding (& it can take months between Council and an award), but it seems some ICs are now sending out e-mail to this effect for those close to the payline. Your best approach is to ask the PO … otherwise, if you haven’t been funded by September, you probably aren’t receiving an award (i.e., you probably don’t want to wait that long to find out so should ask).

ys said

March 4, 2012 @ 2:24 pm ·

Somebody mentioned before: the percentile of one application is effective for three council cycles. That is, if those three council cycles span over two fiscal years, the application could have chance to be funded if the payline in the second fiscal year is improved. Is this right?

writedit said

March 4, 2012 @ 4:38 pm ·

Percentiles place your application in context of the past 3 cycles – the shelf life is forever, and the FY to which your percentile is applied is based on your submission date. NIAID has a nice explanation of how percentiles are calculated and what they mean:

ariadne said

March 5, 2012 @ 2:20 pm ·

writedit — Regarding these notification emails: I’m not sure it matters whether you’re close to the payline. I had also received a “this application was not selected for funding” email from NINDS following an A1 R01 submission scored in the mid-30′s%ile, about 2 weeks after the Sept 2011 council meeting.

writedit said

March 5, 2012 @ 2:24 pm ·

Cool – thanks for sharing your experience … and good on NINDS for being informative about application status.

Waiting_for_a_year said

March 5, 2012 @ 1:53 pm ·

I submitted my NCI R01 A1 for the March deadline and in a curious coincidence, the status of my A0 changed to “Council Review Completed”. I think it happened the very same day! In any case, hoping for a better review on my A1, although it has been pointed out in this blog that the scores don’t always change for the better. Keeping my fingers crossed and going to wait another few months to see what happens!

Also, I’ve been following what’s been funded in terms of A0 R01s at the NCI– it’s remarkable, only 18 new ones funded in the past 90 days! At this rate, 72 per year?! Maybe this is the point in the financial year when things are usually slow?

writedit said

March 5, 2012 @ 2:09 pm ·

You were right to get an A1 in, even if the A0 is picked up for funding. No one seems to be quite sure what the funding hold up at NCI is, but they will eventually make a boatload of awards all at once – they have to spend their appropriation by the end of September. It’s a shame applications submitted last February remain in limbo, though an excellent example of why cycle 1 has become the worst cycle to submit in this era of partisanship & a consistent inability of the legislative & executive branches to agree on appropriation levels.

Waiting_for_a_year said

March 5, 2012 @ 2:48 pm ·

Thanks for your insights on this. Had I realized how bad submititng in cycle 1 is, I would’ve submitted my A1 in December– but thought better of trying to rush and submit something prematurely… I guess I will try cycle 3 in the future.

writedit said

March 5, 2012 @ 2:59 pm ·

You want to submit when the application is ready (strong/competitive), though for tenure, lab/personnel continuation, etc. purposes, you often don’t have a choice (you will at least have a score sooner, if you need to convince someone of your contributions, likelihood of funding, etc.). If your timing is flexible and the application isn’t quite there yet, though, the second or third cycles will be less frustrating for the foreseeable future anyway. NIAID has nice resources on the budget-related timeline & consideration of when to submit your application:

ys said

March 6, 2012 @ 3:36 pm ·

> Percentiles place your application in context of the past 3 cycles – the shelf life is forever, and the FY to which your percentile is applied is based on your submission date.


My previous question seems not clear. My question is if my application got 11.0 percentile and cannot be founded in this FY since payline is 10.0 percentile, is it possible to get funded in the next FY if the payline in the next FY is improved to 10.0 percentile or below. Thanks.

writedit said

March 6, 2012 @ 3:56 pm ·

No, you cannot have your application considered for funding in a future FY. It is only considered during the FY in which Council reviewed your application.

anxious said

March 6, 2012 @ 4:21 pm ·

Any idea of what it is going on in NCI? I have an R15 score 25 submitted Feb 2011; the grant was assigned a GMS back in December 2011, who indicated my grant was selected for potential funding; I am still waiting whether or not a NoA would be issued. Any suggestion?

writedit said

March 6, 2012 @ 4:26 pm ·

If you read through comments here and on the Discussion page, you will see lots of frustrated NCI applicants – even the non-competing renewals are being held up. No idea why. It seems your only recourse is patience.

Hopeful said

March 7, 2012 @ 1:06 pm ·

It’s funny, my R01 that I was told would be funded still doesn’t have a GMS assigned. Also from NCI, and was submitted for March 2011 deadline.

whattodo said

March 6, 2012 @ 6:01 pm ·

My R01 is assigned to NIGMS as a secondary IC, but no PO is assigned. My score falls into the “gray zone” with the primary. How do I get a PO from NIGMS? Since both the primary and secondary hold their council meeting in May, my understanding is that if I missed this chance to talk to NIGMS to persuade them to pick up my grant, I will have no other chance, because this is the last cycle of the FY?

writedit said

March 6, 2012 @ 6:46 pm ·

Wait – was your application just reviewed (and not yet gone to Council)? In that case, you don’t contact NIGMS yet since the primary IC (assuming it wasn’t NCRR) needs to decline an award. You can ask your primary IC PO who at NIGMS is handling your application, or you can check the NIGMS contact list ( for the person who looks most appropriate (and contact them) … or you can ask the NIGMS extramural office ( which PO is assigned to your application. However, you should talk with the primary IC PO first, both to confirm they don’t plan to make an award and to seek advice on transferring the application to the secondary IC (as appropriate).

apolipo said

March 6, 2012 @ 9:07 pm ·

My R01 A1 got 18 percentile with NHLBI as the primary IC (last October cycle). I am a ESI. I have not been contacted by the PO for the JIT. Should I worry about this or be patient and wait to hear from the PO?


writedit said

March 6, 2012 @ 9:18 pm ·

Contratulations! If you submitted last October and were just reviewed, you will have a bit of a wait before activity on your award begins, but you can certainly touch base with your PO for a projected timeline. If you were reviewed last October, then definitely contact the PO for a status check.

GMD said

March 7, 2012 @ 9:59 am ·

I have a question regarding the budget cuts on my R01 from NCI: The budget was originally cut by 17% on year 1. Then, beginning on year 2 (this past January), another 10% cut on top of the 17%. Although I am very glad I have this grant, it makes it difficult to balance supplies, mice, salaries, etc…I was told that I may get back some of the 10%, but do any of you have any clue if and when this may happen. I have to start thinking about letting someone go if things don’t change soon.

Thanks in advance for any answer (and especially to writedit for this fantastic resource, that has kept me informed regarding the NIH grants system for the last couple of years when no one else could give me a straight answer).

nanoparticle said

March 7, 2012 @ 11:26 am ·

I had a NIC R21 before. They did return some money (not much) at the end of the first year, but not the second year.

nanoparticle said

March 7, 2012 @ 11:27 am ·

Sorry, it’s NCI, not NIC.

writedit said

March 7, 2012 @ 5:40 pm ·

This is really tough, I know. At least one PI here was also told that his PO would try to get some of the 20% cut he took reduced (esp since he is NI), but he hasn’t heard any more either. Since even non-competing renewals seem to be delayed at NCI, budget adjustments will also likely take quite a while, too. No idea what is going on at NCI … I think you can certainly check with your PO about both the timing (and likelihood) of having some $ restored to your budget levels and whether you can/should rework your aims to reflect the lower budget (i.e., you should not be expected, when it comes time to renew, to achieve everything if you don’t have the money – and might lose lab personnel as a result). Some Universities offer bridge funding (BICO emphasizes supporting trainees & maintaining difficult-to-replace resources, like a special animal colony or continuing ongoing data collection in a longitudinal cohort study), so you might check around there.

Jane said

March 9, 2012 @ 1:01 am ·

may i ask how much you have for year 2 (direct costs of course)

GMD said

March 9, 2012 @ 12:08 pm ·

For Yr 2, it is 250K -(17%+10%). Ends up being 186K.

Jane said

March 11, 2012 @ 6:29 pm ·

Sorry for this additional cut, GMD. I had a colleague who is dealing with a similar situation as yours but his direct costs are around 300K after the first 17% reduction. Thus, I thought NCI may only make some action on the “large grants”, but your case tells me otherwise. It’s so frustration and depressing.

Smith said

March 7, 2012 @ 12:41 pm ·

I was told that unfunded A1 application can be repurposed and submitted (e.g. Respond to an RFA after unsuccessfully submitting an investigator-initiated application). I am wondering whether we can also response to another program announcement (e.g. PA-10–085) which also use RO1 mechanism after unsuccessfully submitting an investigator-initiated application (RO1) (PA-10-067).

Thank you for your input.

writedit said

March 7, 2012 @ 5:51 pm ·

No, unless the aims have been substantially changed (2/3rds new), you cannot submit the same application as an A0 to a different PA. RFAs are one-time solicitations for which there is no A1 application, so by definition, every application is new. PAs accept A0s and A1s on the regular cycles or, in the case of PARs, on special submission dates (but they do accept A1s). Since you are going from the parent announcement to a focused IC announcement, it seems as though you might be able to modify your application sufficiently – but be sure to check with your PO about your new aims (because the application will be returned if it is not sufficiently “new”).

mmm said

March 8, 2012 @ 9:35 pm ·

I am an ESI and NI and I got 15% for R01, A0, at NINDS. My summary statement was generally very positive except one reviewer mentioned that my aim 4 was ” a bit overly ambitious”. The PO told me that it is highly likely that my grant would be funded since the cut off for established PIs is at 14% and NINDS goes above that percentile for ESI and NI.

However my PO told me also that my grant would probably be for 4 years instead of 5 if it does because that comment from the reviewer and NINDS is obligated to have grants on average funded for 4 years.

My question is whether there is anything I can do if my granted is funded for 4 year. I feel that I should first know that it is for sure getting funded before anything else, but my PO asked me to be thinking about which aim to cut while waiting. How much power does the PO has in deciding whether a grant is funded for 4 or 5 years? My PO seems to be determined to see that my grant is funded for 4 years. This is all new to me and I did not want to say something that might jeopardize my chances now. In fact the whole issue was a surprise to me since I thought NINDS excludes ESI and NI from the one year reduction. It feels strange to think about cuts when I do not even know that I would get funded.



SG said

March 9, 2012 @ 8:12 am ·

The good news is that they wouldn’t discuss cuts unless they are nearly positive that they will fund you. The decrease to 4 years from 5 years is probably less your PI’s doing than a general policy of NINDS. You are probably not the only one getting a year chopped off.

Did any of the reviewers suggest that the length of the grant be decreased to 4 years? That is, did the reviewer who didn’t like Aim 4 also say that if AIM 4 is excluded then this is a 4 year grant? If that is the case then the PO is likely to be following that advice.

You can try to argue against the cut. If you are professional and pleasant about it it won’t hurt your chances for funding. If you call the PO and start screaming like a raving maniac the PO is unlikely to put his/her energy into arguing for you to get funded. Keep in mind that you are still outside the payline and you need the support of the PO to get any funding at all.

Good luck.

PS. If it makes you feel better I know of PIs who are cut to 4 years then have that budget cut 10%-20%. Ouch!

mmm said

March 9, 2012 @ 12:23 pm ·

Thanks and I have no plans to screaming at the PO. I have been extremely nice to the PO.

No the reviewer actually did not mention a cut to 4 year, but instead agreed all on the budget and duration. In fact, the issue is that the reviewer think that while the aims is ok as a NI I might not get all done.

According to the PO what makes my summary statement unclear is that the score got better after the discussion. According to the PO, reviewers probably changed their comments.

SG said

March 9, 2012 @ 1:24 pm ·

It is great that the score got better after the discussion. It means that someone on the SS was very supportive of your work. In the end I think that NINDS just doesn’t have the money to pay for all of the great grants they get. This is one way to spread the money out more. Hopefully things will be better in a few years when you go up for a renewal.

new@grants said

March 9, 2012 @ 2:09 pm ·

I have a R01 that went through council meeting in Feb 2012 at NHGRI. Just got cc’ed on an email from the Grant Management Specialist to my university’s grant manager. The email requested updated F&A rate agreement etc. Should I be optimistic about the chance of funding? The email did say the grant is “under consideration for possible funding”. Given the “possible”, I suspect it is still not 100% guaranteed? Thanks for any comments.

writedit said

March 10, 2012 @ 1:46 am ·

This is promising, since they don’t usually look for extra work to do in the absence of a likely NoA, but, truly, nothing is assured until the NoA is issued. You could check in with your PO.

Christy said

March 11, 2012 @ 3:33 am ·

Anyone heard anything about k99 funding at the nci? Council met at end of February and I’m curious if anyone has heard anything.

omt said

March 11, 2012 @ 10:00 am ·

My A1 scored in the 10%. The summary statements have not been released. Should I wait for the summary statements before contacting my PO about a funding decision? The A0 scored in the 21% and was still being considered. Given the score on the A1, am I safe to assume that the grant will be funded? I am an ESI and the primary institute is GM.

writedit said

March 11, 2012 @ 10:06 am ·

Congratulations on the improvement in score! I would say this improvement plus your ESI status should lead to an award from NIGMS. The summary statement probably won’t be critical to address at this point (were you asked by your PO to write a brief rebuttal to the A0 concerns, separate from the A1 Introduction?), so it’s up to you whether you want to wait to contact the PO.

Sunny said

March 12, 2012 @ 1:03 pm ·

I got k 99 grant impact score 25 from NIDDK, is it fundable

writedit said

March 12, 2012 @ 1:18 pm ·

This is a question for the PO, since there is no set payline. Last year, NIDDK only funded 7 K99 awards, in FY10, 12. Whether your score is fundable depends on the total pool of applications and whether your project is of particular interest.

Dave said

March 12, 2012 @ 4:01 pm ·

PO told me they will fund only grants with scores <15.

writedit said

March 12, 2012 @ 4:09 pm ·

Oof. Sounds about right. Thanks for sharing this bit of intel.

Curious said

March 12, 2012 @ 2:35 pm ·

I got news from PO that K99 (A1) with score 13 will be funded by NIA. My A0 was scored 34 back in June of 2010. I resubmitted in July 2011. My PO has been incredibly helpful throughout the entire process from A0 to the present. Best of luck to all!

writedit said

March 12, 2012 @ 2:45 pm ·

Congratulations and best wishes for success with your project and career in academic research! Thank you so much for sharing the details of your experience – your contributions make this a great resource for all.

Curious said

March 12, 2012 @ 2:59 pm ·

Thank you for all you do, this website has been such a huge help over the past two years!

Sunny said

March 12, 2012 @ 2:53 pm ·

Thank you I will find out with PO. What is the usual funding range in NIDDK

parrot_head said

March 12, 2012 @ 5:17 pm ·

Given that funding decisions are behind this year, when would ICs make the decision to fund beyond the initial payline (if they will do so)? I submitted in June 2011 (council: Sept/Oct 2011). However, I am slightly above the interim payline. Will I have to wait until Sept/Oct 2012 for a decision (after all 3 cycles)? Or, do POs make select funding decisions throughout each cycle? I noticed that R01s, R21s, and R03s have picked up within the last 2 weeks. So, I’m assuming they’re funding everything below the payline and then dealing with things slightly above the payline. My IC is NICHD.

writedit said

March 12, 2012 @ 11:20 pm ·

Most ICs will be making their final decisions before Sept, since that is cutting it a little close to the end of the FY. Except for some RFAs/PARs, the ICs should have all the scores for the FY in hand and be able to gauge what they can fund … though they will make last-minute decisions up until late summer. You are correct in noting they will now clear all the definitely fundable applications off the books and see how much $ they have left to play with, but your PO should be able to give you an idea whether your application is likely to keep floating to the top of the pile for consideration in the beyond payline category (based on programmatic interest in the science). Just above the payline is such a killer …

Sunny said

March 12, 2012 @ 6:37 pm ·

After I spent couple of hours on this forum, i think my score 25 (NIDDK) is not funded. Am I right, Please your experience

writedit said

March 12, 2012 @ 6:43 pm ·

Probably not, but you should check with the PO directly, in case there is any special interest in your application and for advice on preparing the A1, if you can resubmit.

Jane said

March 13, 2012 @ 12:56 am ·

I just saw the following e-mail and would like to share with you all:

There’s a petition before the White House asking them to increase support to NIH. If they get 25,000 signatures by March 18, 2012, the White House will review and respond. The petition reads:

“Increase NIH spending to $33 billion! The proposed flat NIH budget will close labs nationwide, kill good-paying jobs, damage our worldwide medical research dominance, and hurt state economies. NIH jobs cannot be outsourced. NIH funding created 350,000 jobs and contributed $50 billion to the national economy in 2007! Insource our jobs!”

Go here to sign the petition:

AH said

March 13, 2012 @ 9:46 am ·

To sign up one needs to create an account. The problem is that the security text you are given to type is absolutely unreadable. Have tried twice. I guess that people will get discouraged and won’t continue unless the problem is solved

Sunny said

March 13, 2012 @ 10:04 am ·

I got following email from my PO

Scores below 25 are likely to be supported, but final funding decisions for K awards will not be made until mid-April. Scores between 25 and 35 are in a gray zone and will need to be evaluated against the entirety of 2012 submissions and our remaining available funds. Above 35 are not considered,

What is my chances, i got 25 on NIDDK K99. I am safe or not . I Cannot do revision.

writedit said

March 13, 2012 @ 10:13 am ·

The PO is pretty clear. You are in the gray zone – maybe you will get funding, maybe not. You won’t know if they are going to select your application until early summer, probably. You should start working on a research grant if you cannot apply for another K mechanism (due to citizenship issues). In the meantime, if your job situation is a concern, be sure your boss and anywhere you are applying knows the score you received on the K99, which provides confirmation that you will be a competitve applicant for grant funding.

Dave said

March 13, 2012 @ 1:19 pm ·

Do you have any specific advice regarding resubmitting to the K99 or going for a K01, for example? The reason I ask is that I now have my green card and am more tempted to try for the K01 using my K99 and the reviewer comments as the starting point. However, I will only have one shot at the K01 since I am close to the 5-year limit.

On the flip side though, I am skeptical that I will be able to get my K99 A0 score of 42 into the competitive range (probably below 20) on resubmission. But it does seem like some on here are getting much improved A1 scores, so it at least seems possible. I guess the summary statement will reveal all.

So, resubmit K99 or new one-shot K01 submission?

writedit said

March 15, 2012 @ 10:42 am ·

The success rate for K99s is plunging at NIDDK (32% in FY09, 29% in FY10, 15% in FY11), while the K01s have been stable the last 2 years at least (44% in FY09, 34% in FY10 & FY11). However, what made you an attractive candidate for the K99 might not transfer to the K01. Your PO should be able to provide some guidance on your application strategy, and whether jumping mechanisms versus taking a chance on improving your score with the A1. Any insight from the study section discussion might help (e.g., what were they most hung up on while talking among themselves, what might have triggered a drop in enthusiasm). You can also ask the PO about a waiver on the 5-y limit for their K01 PA, especially if you had any downtime in your training period (not an absolute restriction as with the K99 timing, and the PO I know there has been pretty flexible).

Dave said

March 13, 2012 @ 1:12 pm ·

Wow, this is pretty interesting and the wording from the PO is much more relaxed than it was before the impact scores came out (I’m assuming it is the same PO). Perhaps they will make more awards at the NIDDK this year having been so tight last year. I know personally people who have had scores of 23 and not got funded and this was a couple of years back when things were better.

I wish you the best of luck though. A 25 is a great score in the current climate. I only managed a 42!! You will also have a great chance on resubmission should you choose to go that route.

Sunny said

March 14, 2012 @ 11:17 am ·

Thank you but I cannot resubmit, because I just 5 yrs post PhD. i will wait for the outcome, they take a decision in mid of april

K2 said

March 19, 2012 @ 10:32 am ·

I received a similar stock email from one of the NIDDK PO’s last year after my K99 A1 submission, but I think the scores described (25-35 as gray zone) were really in reference to the K01. My K99 that scored a 22 was not even close to being funded (FY11 payline). However, I did revise the K99 application and submit it as a K01 instead, and that is now pending (fingers crossed for a NOA soon). Dave, the K01 does not have a 5 year limit like the K99 does. You could go ahead with the K99 resubmission if you think you can make significant revisions to bring the score down and then still apply for the K01. The difference will be in your “independence.” The K99 allows for more postdoc time, but for the K01 it will be important to have institutional commitment stating that you will be promoted to a more independent status (asst prof / instructor / etc) and provided with adequate time and resources.

Dave said

March 22, 2012 @ 2:06 pm ·

@K2 – I agree with you. I think you have zero chance at a K99 unless your score is below 15. I, too, have known many who have received scores in the low 20s and not gotten close. As writedit said, they are squeezing the K99 big time, especially at the NIDDK. I honestly can’t see it being around in a few years.

You are also right in that the K01 does not have an official 5-year limit, but the damn NIDDK has recently added language to their FOA which makes it clear that if you are beyond 5-years, it will be an issue and that you should discuss with your PO blah blah blah. I am already an instructor and have been for almost two years now and my chair has already stated in his support letter that he is willing to put me on to TT. I suspect this was a major issue when my K99 was reviewed (i.e. too senior, maybe?). No way of knowing until summary statements are available. The upshot is that I’m actually in a much better position for a K01 now and it probably “fits” my circumstances much better. But due to the green card issue, I was not in a position to apply for it a year ago.

The great thing is that the two grants are quite similar in terms of their structure and focus so it wont be too much trouble to re-write and I have the added advantage of NIH reviewer comments.

Hagancr said

March 13, 2012 @ 10:44 am ·

I submitted a K99 to the NCI in June 2011, it was reviewed in October and received a 25 score. Council met at the end of February 2012, but I haven’t heard anything. How long should I expect this process to take?

writedit said

March 13, 2012 @ 10:48 am ·

NCI is way behind on awards for applications submitted last February (for Sept/Oct 2011 council), so don’t expect anything soon. If you want to know the likelihood of funding, you should touch base with your PO. At this point, they’ll have an idea of the range of scores from which awards will be selected.

Matt said

March 14, 2012 @ 3:15 pm ·

I am also in the same cycle for a K99 from the NCI (submitted June 2011). I had a priority score of 26. My PO said that the “NCI, Cancer Training Branch still does not have a budget”. This encompasses all the K awards, as well as the F32s. However, she said for the K99, a 26 was an “outstanding score”. I hope this is helpful.

Hagancr said

March 14, 2012 @ 3:42 pm ·

Did your PO communicate that to you in an email recently, or was that from the email she sent out just after the scientific review in the fall?

Matt said

March 15, 2012 @ 11:19 am ·

This was communicated directly in an e-mail yesterday (3/14/12).

Jun Wang said

March 17, 2012 @ 2:25 pm ·

My RO1 is scored 23 with a percentile is 10. I am now applying for an AP position. An University that I just visited aksed me to email them the summary statement. I was wondering if this is appropriated?

I understand that there is no problem to share the summary statement when the RO1 is funded, or not funded but the applicant is not moving.

My RO1 is currently pending and the council meeting will be in May. If another university, not my current institution, contacts my program officer, it will mean that I am leaving from my current institution. The score of a RO1 is based on the environment of applicant’s current institution. Will leaving this environment be considered a negative factor by the council meeting and the program officer, and thus influence their decision on whether they would like to fund my RO1 or not?

Thanks much

ultras said

March 17, 2012 @ 3:34 pm ·

It is the first time I hear a prospective university ask for the summery statement. I don’t think they will contact your PO, b/c it is confidential info and the PO would not communicate with them. The PO would only communicate the info with you and your current university. Have you finished an interview with them, or you just applied for the job? Are you an assistant professor at your current university?

Jun Wang said

March 17, 2012 @ 4:04 pm ·

Thanks much ultras. I just had the first onsite-interview with them. I am not an tenured-tracked AP at my current institution. What is the purpose for asking the summary statement if the PO will not communicate with other person or university? Thanks.

DrugMonkey said

March 17, 2012 @ 10:49 pm ·

The prospective University is asking because they want to know you aren’t shining them on with your score. It may also make the Department’s job easier with the Dean level approvals. There are some unstated (and stated) policies about no hires w/o money, this could help with that.

I see very little downside to handing the SS over…all else equal, the PO is going to be happier about you having a real position with good institutional support (read, startup package).

writedit said

March 18, 2012 @ 12:00 am ·

They should only need the first page in that case. If you are sure this is where you want to be, that’s a different matter … but you are now very competitive & attractive on the job market, so don’t settle for anything without negotiating – and don’t hesitate to contact universities where you would really like to work, since they will all be interested in you & your R01.

writedit said

March 17, 2012 @ 4:45 pm ·

If your current institution has equipment or facilities essential to your research that may not be available at other universities, then the NIH will take this into consideration – you might need to subcontract the work that requires any specialized equipment back to someone at your current institution. If the facilities & resources are comparable, it shouldn’t matter, though you would still subcontract back to co-investigators named/budgeted in the proposal at your current institution. The request for the summary statement is not appropriate, especially so early in the application/interview stage. No one at the new university should need to know the details of the application or its criticisms – the score and percentile reflect well on your ability to secure grant funding. As an applicant, though, I can imagine you feel quite vulnerable about being sent this request (which is why it is inappropriate). You could ask your PO about the likelihood of funding (you do not say which IC this is) and pass this along to the new university (but not the summary statement itself). All they should be interested in is the likelihood of funding, and their reading your summary statement won’t tell them anything in that regard.

Jun Wang said

March 18, 2012 @ 1:58 am ·

Thanks DrugMonkey and Writedit. What you said is very helpful. I probably will send them the first page of the SS, but will mask the confidential information, such as the PO contact information and my application ID. This might offend the prospective univeristy, to avoid this, I may call them first to let them know my concern. Thanks.

Finally_TT said

March 18, 2012 @ 2:11 am ·

I don’t think the PO contact info and application ID are the source of concern — since they know that the PO will not talk with them regarding this application. Nevertheless it can’t hurt mask these fields.

The bigger concern is perhaps that there may specific criticisms regarding you, your team, and the institution. There may be comments in SS that highlight any weaknesses that are really not the business of the perspective institution. I think you may also lose negotiation leverage if the institution gets an idea of what is “covered” on the grant, either personnel or equipment wise, and they decide they will not fund anything that is funded by the grant.

So, send the first page, so that they know it’s real, but I wouldn’t show the specific comments by reviewers.

DrugMonkey said

March 18, 2012 @ 12:04 pm ·

I see no point of masking any information. All it is going to do is make people wonder what in the heck is wrong with you. Way over thinking this…

Ask the person who requested the SS why they want it. This should help assuage your fears.

DrugMonkey said

March 18, 2012 @ 12:11 pm ·


Did you miss the part where person without an Assistant Professor appointment managed to get a flipping ten-percentile score??!!??

Dudes. This is GOOD. The guy should be sending that SS to anyone who asks!!! Take some pride in this accomplishment.

writedit said

March 18, 2012 @ 11:11 pm ·

Word from the PO about funding likelihood would/should be of more interest than the individual critiques, and if there are detailed suggestions on improving study design or whatnot, well, that is confidential information for the PI to use. Unless this is their standard approach to reviewing candidates (i.e., everyone please send any SSs for recent grant applications, no matter the score), it still does not seem appropriate to me. They should be excited at the score/percentile and be happy they have such an excellent job candidate lined up based on that alone … even more so if PO can provide reassurance on funding likelihood (which would be more informative than the SS in the case of non-guaranteed funding, such at NCI.

$tuck said

March 17, 2012 @ 2:51 pm ·

Hi all, does anyone know if salary support from a K01 can be partially rebudgeted to supplies/research? I’m considering a tenure-track position that already comes with salary support. The chair’s solution is to have Univ. pay a little less to save them money, and have me rebudget K so I can use some of the “extra” salary on supplies. I’m pretty sure this is absolutely not allowed but NIH, but wanted to hear other opinions. Thanks.

writedit said

March 17, 2012 @ 4:50 pm ·

You can ask your PO or GMS – I know some re-budgeting is allowed, though the details depend on the IC. I assume your % effort would not change. Seems odd that the university would want to pay spend hard money on your salary and shift supplies to the NIH ledger. The indirects (such that they are for a K) should be the same either way.

J said

March 18, 2012 @ 8:21 pm ·

writedit: do you think it would be worthwhile for someone who receives a K award to shop themselves around in the job market as well, in the way you suggested for this person who has a newly awarded R01?

writedit said

March 18, 2012 @ 11:01 pm ·

Oh yes, if you are interested in looking. As far as I can tell, universities are now letting study sections serve as their surrogate search committees. A K doesn’t mean as much as an R01 (minimal indirects, non-renewable, no guarantee of R01 success), but it still gets everyone in the door for an interview here at BICO anyway, and I imagine most places. The funding plus excellent productivity (publications) would make for a competitive applicant.

parrot_head said

March 19, 2012 @ 11:00 am ·

Is there a certain number of R03′s or R01′s that are funded by each IC? Specifically, is there a general number of R03′s (percentage-wise) that IC’s aim for? Yes, I know percentiles won’t always allow for that. However, I wanted to get a better picture of how many new R03′s or R01′s they fund each year. I went to e-reporter and about 75 R03′s were funded in 2011. So, it seems like 25 R03′s per funding cycle. Is this a correct assessment?

writedit said

March 19, 2012 @ 11:14 am ·

There are no quotas, though Congress sets a target number of R01s to be funded (NIH-wide). Each IC decides how many of other mechanisms they want to fund – many ICs do not participate in the parent R03 announcement so only fund those submitted in response to PARs or RFAs. You can gauge the number funded for your IC by looking at the appropriate spreadsheets under success rates, but there is no blanket answer to this sort of question. If you are trying to figure out if your score is fundable, easiest just to ask the PO … or if you are trying to decide about submission strategy (i.e., R03 vs R01), again, the PO can provide guidance – but each mechanism is so different that you should not be trying to decide between them (R03 used to collect pilot data for R01 submission, essentially).

ALV said

March 20, 2012 @ 11:50 pm ·

I want to submit to submit 2 SBIR grants as a PI. Does 2 submissions affect the chances of the application to be successful during evaluation/review. I am assuming that my both applications will be submitted to the same study section. Are there chances that these applications may compete or is there a likelihood either one of them would be picked up for discussion but certainly not both ?

What would be the best strategy

SG said

March 21, 2012 @ 7:09 am ·

Technically, no application “competes” against another in a study section. They are evaluated on their own merits. But, practically, yes having 2 applications in the same study section at the same time can affect your score. In my experience it is usually subtle and will only hurt you if one or both grants are in the grey zone for funding.

Of course there is no data to back this up. Just anecdotal evidence. My advice would be to submit them both and see what happens. The one that gets the best score resubmit (if necessary)as soon as you are ready. Hold the other other one until another review cycle.

QQ said

March 21, 2012 @ 12:59 pm ·

I got a priority score of 36 (37%) for my R01-A0 grant recently. How likely is it for the A1 to get a fundable score next time? The grant was reviewed at HLBI. Any comments/suggestions would be appreciated.

writedit said

March 21, 2012 @ 2:30 pm ·

Are you saying that an NHLBI (vs CSR) study section reviewed your application? (seems unlikely unless this was a NHLBI-specific RFA or PAR) Or is NHLBI the primary IC assigned? If so, the IC assignment is not important at this juncture – the SRG is. Often (but by no means always) applications with scores in the 30s have weaknesses that are not fundamental to the science but that can be clearly addressed in the resubmission, which should (should – by no means always!) lead to lower score. Plenty of folks report that their A1 went unscored after the A0 had received a score in the 20s with only minor quibbles in the summary statement. So, it’s a crap shoot, but certainly one worth taking, since that would be easier and take less time than coming up with an entirely new R01 and have a better chance at funding. If your PO went to the SRG meeting, he/she would have some insight as to how enthusiastic the group was about the science and your approach and whether they would like to see it back revised (and often have advice on how).

QQ said

March 21, 2012 @ 3:20 pm ·

Thanks so much for your advice. The grant was actually reviewed at the CICS section and NHLBI was the primary IC asigned. I will contact my OP after the summary statement comes out in eCommons.

DrugMonkey said

March 21, 2012 @ 5:21 pm ·

How likely is it for the A1 to get a fundable score next time?

38.417% (+/- 0.56%)

whimple said

March 21, 2012 @ 7:13 pm ·

In any event, the probability your A1 might achieve a fundable score is certainly higher than the probability that your 37th percentile grant achieved a fundable score. Revise and resubmit.

QQ said

March 21, 2012 @ 9:03 pm ·

Thanks for the encouragement. I will revise and resubmit the grant.

zestyw said

March 22, 2012 @ 9:23 am ·

Does anyone have any new info about NCI?? All I hear is crickets right now.

Hopeful said

March 22, 2012 @ 11:17 am ·

I spoke with my PO at NCI the other day. He mentioned that things were “moving slowly.” However, I did notice this week that my grant now has a Grants Management Specialist assigned to it. That happened about a month after I received an email from my PO that my grant would be funded.

zestyw said

March 22, 2012 @ 11:51 am ·

That’s cool to hear. I had a GMS assigned ages ago and JIT stuff submitted last November. It was called “pending” by the GMS recently, so I know these are all good signs, but it’s still hard to wait when my poor department is carrying me for part of my salary.

Hopeful said

March 22, 2012 @ 5:47 pm ·

Ah, you shouldn’t feel bad… think of all the indirects they may be enjoying soon

IndianMDPhD said

March 22, 2012 @ 12:39 pm ·

Petition to increase NIH funding (read: explain the importance of Science to our political “leaders” – at least TRY to). Will take a few minutes but likely worth it. Needs many signatures before April 15th.

IndianMDPhD said

March 22, 2012 @ 12:42 pm ·

Petition to increase NIH funding (read: explain the importance of Science to our political “leaders” – at least TRY to). Will take a few minutes but likely worth it. Needs many signatures before April 15th.

Mouseter said

March 22, 2012 @ 2:24 pm ·

Hello everyone,

I need some help. I recently got 21 on my NCI K22, and I have reasons to believe that it has a very good chance of getting funded. I’m going on a few interviews for TT faculty positions, and currently preparing for the chalk talks.

My question: How do I respond to the question “what is your first R01 going to be?” What I’m not clear on is how a K grant can be parlayed into an R01? More specifically, does the R01 have to be a totally different grant, or can it be an extension of the K work, so that I can use the K funds to gather preliminary data for an R01?

I’d appreciate if past K grant recipients on this forum could shed light on how their first R01 was related to their K grant. Thanks much.

SG said

March 22, 2012 @ 5:34 pm ·

Your first R01 should be an extension/expansion of your K22. Your second R01 needs to be something different.

Mouseter said

March 23, 2012 @ 11:15 am ·

Thanks, SG!

WomanInScience said

March 23, 2012 @ 2:48 pm ·

Has anyone applied for Advancing Novel Science in Women’s Health Research (ANSWHR) (R21) grant before? Is it difficult to get the funding?

Drago said

March 23, 2012 @ 8:04 pm ·

How come Council review completed before the scheduled meeting date?I applied a K grant in Oct, 2011 and got a not bad score. The council meeting is scheduled in May, but I found my era commons status changed to “council review completed”. Any thought?good sign or not?Thanks!

writedit said

March 23, 2012 @ 10:56 pm ·

Which IC and what sort of score? Some business is taken care of electronically before the Council meeting, but this would be pretty early.

Drago said

March 24, 2012 @ 9:32 am ·

It is Niaid. The score is around 20 for a k99.

writedit said

March 25, 2012 @ 9:14 pm ·

Writedit will be offline for about a week, so please help each other out here & try not to trash the place (or at least put all the furniture back where it belongs & look up to see if the ceiling needs cleaning when you’re done) …

AH said

March 26, 2012 @ 1:30 am ·

We’ll do. Have a great break!

Sam said

March 26, 2012 @ 9:44 am ·


I just got a priority score of 29 on my F32. I was curious if the readers here have any sense of how likely this will be funded by NIGMS? PO says below 20 is highly likely, 20-30 somewhat likely, 30+ very unlikely.

I had a grad school labmate that got funded with a score of 32 a couple cycles earlier, so I know it’s not impossible.

If anyone has any sense of these things please let me know!



Immunologist said

April 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm ·

I received a score of 24 from NIGMS for my Dec. 8th 2011 submission. My PO said that applications with that score were recommended for funding during the previous cycle, but that each cycle is dependent on the quality and number of applications that they received compared to their available budget. So no guarantees. Just have to wait to hear after council meeting. Fingers crossed.

KR said

March 28, 2012 @ 5:59 pm ·


My NIAID resubmitted R01 (submitted in Nov 2011 review cycle) status update also 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.

writedit said

April 2, 2012 @ 1:09 pm ·

If you are 10 percentile points above the NI/ESI payline, I expect – but do not know for a fact – that your application won’t be sent to Council for review (i.e., not be considered for funding), so the status reflects this. You can ask for PO for clarification though.

Justice said

March 29, 2012 @ 8:30 pm ·

Does anyone know if NIH allows appeal for A1 grant application?

writedit said

April 2, 2012 @ 1:14 pm ·

Yes, you can appeal, but this is never the recommended route of action (pisses everyone off, and you don’t want to create bad blood between you and the study section to whom you will likely send future applications for review). First talk with your PO informally (do not mention the word “appeal”) if you can point to scientific errors in the summary statement (especially as reflected in the discussion) that could have affected your score. Differences in opinion or interpretation cannot be used to appeal the outcome of peer review. You need to be able to objectively document that the reviewers were in error.

Justice said

April 2, 2012 @ 6:02 pm ·

Thank you so much writedit. Among three reviewers, two loved the revised proposal (A1) and gave outstanding scores (1 or 2), but one simply did not like it (rated 4). It seems to me that this reviewer also reviewed the A0 proposal. He/she copied many comments from previous A0 review, most from his/her own and some from other reviewers (the sentences were EXACTLY the same!). Becasue of this reviewer, my A1 grant got 22 percentile. I did talk to my PO last week and she said she needs to talk to colleages about this and will be in touch with me this week. She did mention about “appeal”, but said that it usually takes a year to get this resolved. Is it worth it to appeal?

writedit said

April 2, 2012 @ 8:06 pm ·

This is an interesting case. The SRO should not have been happy about a reviewer recycling text from the prior summary statement for a revised application, and I would guess your PO is communicating with the SRO about this now (to see if anything can/should be resolved without a formal appeal). Which reviewer # (1, 2, or 3), and was it the same # in both summary statements? One would think this reviewer could have not swayed the rest of the panel to submit higher scores if the other 2 reviewers were happy and if the unhappy reviewer’s complaints were the same as in the prior review (which I assume you addressed in the revision – your response to the prior review would have been discussed briefly). The discussion is a puzzle. Did the resume & summary of discussion include all the unhappy reviewer’s concerns and/or any suggestions of disagreement among members as to whether these concerns were sufficient to alter the score? If your PO attended the session, she might have some insight on this.

Appeals do take a year, and the SRG sees your complaint. The IC Council decides whether to accept your institution’s appeal (your AOR/office of sponsored programs director submits a signed formal appeal, not you – remember, the institution is the applicant) – to the best of my knowledge, most appeals are not accepted by Council, though I have no data on this (anecdotal PO comments). If your appeal is accepted, your A1 application (the same electronic files reviewed previously – no changes allowed) is re-reviewed as part of the next review cycle by different members of the same study section or to a different study section (which could be less appropriate to review your science). Then, like everyone else, you wait another cycle to find out what the score of your second A1 review is, and if it is within the funding range, you wait for the next Council meeting (so now Council knows you have formally appealed as well). It’s not like the IC folks review your appeal and make a decision themselves – you are simply appealing for a second chance to have your A1 application reviewed again. In your case, the time isn’t an issue (since you won’t get funded otherwise & need to work on a new R01 in any case), and your complaint is reasonably neutral (one reviewer got caught cutting corners vs calling one or more reviewers wrong or biased).

Justice said

April 2, 2012 @ 9:49 pm ·

“Which reviewer # (1, 2, or 3), and was it the same # in both summary statements?”

– Reviewer #1 in A0 and reviewer #2 in A1.

“(which I assume you addressed in the revision – your response to the prior review would have been discussed briefly).”

– Yes, I did.

“Did the resume & summary of discussion include all the unhappy reviewer’s concerns and/or any suggestions of disagreement among members as to whether these concerns were sufficient to alter the score?”

– Not all but only one major concern of the unhappy reviewer. There was no suggestion of disagreement among members in the resume and summary of discussion.

writedit said

April 2, 2012 @ 10:21 pm ·

Hmm – the primary reviewer the first time and the secondary reviewer the second time. This person clearly directed the discussion and cannot be accused of not having read the application, so I’m a little less sure of your appeal case. As you said, he or she just did not like the application and ably convinced the rest of the panel to like it less as well. Did you have any direct competitors listed on both panels?

Justice said

April 3, 2012 @ 9:08 am ·

Oh yes. As you know, this is a small world. I will let you know what the PO says in a few days. Thanks so much for your inputs. I will keep you updated.

AH said

March 30, 2012 @ 11:08 am ·

Yes, why not?. A different thing is if your PO considers it advisable and/or worthy under your circumstances, whichever they might be. I believe NIH have recently revised a little bit some of the procedures. You might want to check CRS website for the latest.

Justice said

March 30, 2012 @ 1:27 pm ·

Thank you AH.

wondering said

April 2, 2012 @ 4:48 pm ·

I received a 13 on K A1 submission at NIMH, and am hoping it will be funded at this point. I am soft money faculty and a colleague has recommended that I discuss this with PO in order to facilitate timeliness, ie for the project to start as I have requested this summer. My salary depends on it. Please advise – any experience with this and/or thoughts about how best to bring it up with my PO? Thanks.

writedit said

April 2, 2012 @ 4:56 pm ·

Depending on the K mechanism, that score should be fundable (K08 was tough last year – just 2 of 9 applications funded). You can simply ask your PO both about the funding likelihood and the start date, mentioning your need to maintain salary support on July 1. You won’t endanger your chances of funding by doing so, if that is your concern. This situation comes up all the time, as you can well imagine. You can start spending the $ up to 90 days in advance of the award, though your institution would want an NoA guarantee.

wondering said

April 2, 2012 @ 5:06 pm ·

Thanks. It’s a K01.

KC said

April 3, 2012 @ 2:30 pm ·


I am a new investigator with 12 percentile for my A1 R01 @ NHLBI. My PO is not giving any hopes. Should I keep my hopes alive until Sept or forget about this?


writedit said

April 3, 2012 @ 2:48 pm ·

Unfortunately, NHLBI does not recognize NI as a priviledged status any longer, and I assume your PO would say if he/she was advocating that you be considered for a select pay award. You won’t know for sure until Sept, but in the meantime, you will need to work on a new R01. Everyone here should be working up ideas for 2-3 different R01s … not just counting on one proposal to fund your lab (& waiting until that one isn’t funded before starting another).

Anonymouse said

April 3, 2012 @ 11:46 pm ·

If I may chime in – this is definitely a correct strategy, but there are problems with it. Some people consider it slightly unethical to multiply their proposals. They want to send one good proposal, and in return receive honest, quality critiques.

This latter part is the nexus of several problems. As much as people subscribe to the mantra “the peer review process at NIH is fair and meritorious”, this is not true. Reviewers write whatever garbage they please, the applicants take the clue, pay no attention to this garbage and keep resubmitting. This, in turn, creates the artificial flood of proposals. Want to fix the peer review process at NIH? Here are some suggestions:

1. Get rid of -A1. This will decrease the panels’ workload, and remove one uncertainty for the applicants, who simply don’t know if the proposal is really unpopular, or rather the reviewers just “want to initiate a discussion” (these were the exact words of my PO).

2. Devote the resources saved by eliminating -A1 to eliminating triage. Every proposal should be discussed, to help eliminate nonsensical critiques. Writing negative, biased BS on a piece of paper is relatively easy and painless. Presenting it before the panel is another matter.

3. Treat particularly substandard critiques as scientific misconduct (nothing really novel, NSF has such a policy).

4. Make the review process as blind as possible. For example, through a two-stage process, where the panel members evaluate and score the scientific idea (and nothing else), and then the PO verifies if the potential grantee has the necessary resources and expertise.

drugmonkey said

April 6, 2012 @ 3:12 pm ·

Some people consider it slightly unethical to multiply their proposals. They want to send one good proposal, and in return receive honest, quality critiques.

are deranged? “unethical”? What a joke. What you mean is that people think they should be able to ride the one idea they had as an Assistant Professor through -30 renewal and then retire, right? And clearly anyone who has more than one idea is “unethical”.

Anonymouse said

April 6, 2012 @ 9:43 pm ·

…simultaneously. Happy?

johnson said

April 3, 2012 @ 5:35 pm ·


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!!!

abcd said

April 3, 2012 @ 5:52 pm ·

Talk to POs of both institutes and check how popular your proposal is in either institute. Even though it may be acceptable to both places, if your work is a bit alien in one institute, then the chance of your proposal meeting inappropriate reviewers is higher. Ultimately, it comes down to scores and getting the best reviewers is most important for that.

CD0 said

April 4, 2012 @ 5:04 pm ·

Does somebody have any idea about what’s going on with NCI’s RFA on “Provocative Questions”?

Apparently, they got >750 applications and they plan to make it a recurrent mechanism, but I have never seen such an obscure review process. If any of the 750 applicants is better informed than I am, please, help.

I know that there were at least 3 different levels of review, plus the upcoming programmatic one (meaning Varmus examining face to face a stressed program staff). Criteria for selecting finalists, how the process specifically worked, etc is a mystery without solution in Google…

Arnold said

April 4, 2012 @ 8:49 pm ·

Are percentiles given for grants responding the the Provocative Questions RFA? Or just Impact Scores?

writedit said

April 5, 2012 @ 5:51 am ·

No percentiles (these are linked to a specific SRG, which does not exist for this RFA), just scores.

wg said

April 4, 2012 @ 6:48 pm ·

My PO at NCI told me my R01 is in the gray and advised me to resubmit since it is hard to tell whether my grant would be picked up or not. The PO did not mention anything about having me contact my secondary IC. I am worried that if I request to have the grant transfer to the secondary my PO would dropped my grant at NCI (s/he did not ask me to write a rebuttal). My NCI PO is acting pretty lukewarm about my grant (I don’t know if that’s what they suppose to show, but from reading here, I know some PO are very enthusiastic about the applicant’s science).

Should I contact a PO at the secondary IC (by selecting a PO whose profile closest to my research) and see what s/he says?

writedit said

April 5, 2012 @ 5:53 am ·

Your NCI PO probably can’t do anything more at this point, though he/she might be contacted again for details if your application is given some consideration by the SPLs. If your score/percentile is competitive at the secondary IC, by all means, identify the appropriate PO and ask whether your application would be of interest there.

VVictory said

April 5, 2012 @ 10:30 pm ·

Hi, I am a first time investigator Today i submitted my grants in few min before the deadline, i had few errors in my application and after the time lapsed (5 pm deadline) i corrected them. Would my application be considered late even though i submitted on time in Will it affect the processing

Also in case my application gets through, in my 2 days of window, what sort of changes I can make in the application.

writedit said

April 5, 2012 @ 11:25 pm ·

The 2-day window no longer extends beyond the deadline – you have 2 days to correct errors, assuming the application was submitted at least 2 days before the application receipt date/time. You cannot change your application again … and if your corrections today were not made until after the deadline, it may not be accepted.

JaneyC said

April 6, 2012 @ 8:52 pm ·

My NIH R15 grant proposal got a score of 20 recently. The payline was 24 in the September 2011 and January 2012. The PO was very positive that I will be awarded the R15 in June. The problem for me is that I have accepted a job offer from a top research one university which is not eligible for R15. My last day of employment is late August at the present institution. I met the grant officer in the current institution, and she suggested me not to inform NIH at this moment. Rather she will contact NIH after the council meeting for funding in June, and try to switch PI for this grant. Should I contact the PO in June and explain my situation? I just want to make good connection with the PO for future funding opportunities. Thanks a lot.

writedit said

April 7, 2012 @ 8:07 am ·

Is there anyone else at your current institution who could take over this research? The NIH must approve any change in PI, so if there is no one qualified, waiting until after Council won’t change anything – your current institution would still not receive the award. However, if there is someone who could take over as PI (or if your institution is recruiting someone who will be hired this summer), then, as jk notes, your ideas will be pursued by this investigator, perhaps with a subcontract to you at your new institution. In the meantime, you will need to rework your project for an R01 (& it may not be as competitive for this mechanism, though it seems your PO is enthusiastic about your science, which is good).

JaneyC said

April 7, 2012 @ 6:38 pm ·

Thans for your timely reply. I really appreciate it.

JaneyC said

April 7, 2012 @ 6:40 pm ·

Another question: Should I contact the PO in June and explain my changes? Or the university do this work? I just want to make good connection with the PO for future funding opportunities. Thanks a lot.

writedit said

April 8, 2012 @ 8:29 am ·

You haven’t said whether someone else at your institution could take over the project (that is, the NIH would approve their taking it over) – and whether this person would collaborate with you after you leave, such that you would benefit from the data for your own grant applications and be on publications. If your institution accepts the award knowing they cannot replace you with a qualified PI, your PO would not be happy. If you let the institution accept the award and replace you as PI (with someone qualified & approved by the NIH), you should feel comfortable that you will still benefit from this work after moving – unless you do not plan to pursue this line of research at your new institution.

JaneyC said

April 8, 2012 @ 9:54 am ·

I have a Co-PI and a Co-I on this proposal. So I should be able to switch the PI to either of them.

Do I contact the PO and tell her this change after the council meeting for funding? Or my current university contact NIH and inform this change? Thanks.

writedit said

April 8, 2012 @ 10:05 am ·

You can just sit tight. Your institution will negotiate with the IC to change the PI when the time comes. If your institution were trying to keep the award when they really shouldn’t, you would have wanted to talk with your PO, but this is a legitimate situation in which to make the award despite your transition. You could still talk with the PO about your strategy at the new institution (e.g., start working on an R01 – or do you need preliminary data, either through this R15 or through your own R03 or R21 first?). You should be thinking about this now so you can submit in October, after you move.

JaneyC said

April 10, 2012 @ 6:01 pm ·

Thanks for your insighful comments. I should be able to be switched to the Co-I with 20% FTE and continue to work on the project, although I need to travel back and forth in the summer. I got another question regarding the indirect costs. I will get a subcontract from my current institution to my new institution. Is all the costs in the subcontract included in the direct costs category of my current institution? In other words, my new institution will charge indirect costs for my sharing. Will my current institution again charge indirect costs on top of the subcontract? Thanks.

writedit said

April 10, 2012 @ 6:07 pm ·

This will all be negotiated between the two institutions and the NIH when you move. You will take the appropriate direct costs for your salary and travel and any supplies etc. that you might need, and indirect costs will be added based on the F&A rate at your new institution. Your current institution will subcontract enough $ for both direct and indirect costs, though there will likely be negotiations since the budget might be cut and your new institution’s F&A rate is probably higher than your current institution. You won’t need to worry about that now, though … especially since the award has not been made yet.

jk said

April 7, 2012 @ 12:19 am ·

I know you can’t transfer an R15. If they get a new PI for this grant that means you helped yourself created a competitor. Unless you have a change of research direction and no longer working on the R15 area.

confused said

April 9, 2012 @ 4:45 pm ·

Is PA-11-260 same as PA-10-067? With 11-260 for R01 grants submitted after Aug 2011?

writedit said

April 9, 2012 @ 4:52 pm ·

Correct. You apply to the PA-11-260 for the parent R01 mechanism. Do not use the electronic application package from PA-10-067.

confused said

April 9, 2012 @ 5:22 pm ·

Thanks writedit.

Jerry said

April 10, 2012 @ 2:41 pm ·

For a resubmission, is it possible to change the primary institute? My first submission was assigned to NCCAM, I want to switch it to the NINDS which has a higher payline. My application fits both institutes.


writedit said

April 10, 2012 @ 2:59 pm ·

You can request the change in your cover letter. You should talk with POs at both ICs, especially NINDS, to be sure they are willing to accept primary assignment. You can then mention in the letter that you discussed the change with the NINDS PO (named), which will make life easier for the referral officer (knows who to contact for confirmation).

Jerry said

April 12, 2012 @ 5:19 pm ·


waiting… said

April 16, 2012 @ 3:28 pm ·

I wonder if I can get some advice in the ways to communicate with POs. I have a grant that was recently reviewed (scored 23, no percentile due to RFA) and the summary statement was released a week ago. Reviewer comments are highly positive. I emailed the PO after seeing the summary statement and asked about the likelihood of getting funding, but received no reply. I wonder if I should wait till some better time (e.g. after council) or just call. Being a new investigator myself, I am quite intimidated to just call the PO without a prior appointment and afraid to leave a bad impression. Any suggestions on what I should do? (There is no resubmission for the RFA) Thank you very much!

writedit said

April 16, 2012 @ 6:10 pm ·

Congratulations on the excellent score. You can just call – this is his/her job, and your e-mail might have gotten buried. You have a legitimate query and one that the PO can answer relatively quickly, at least in terms of gauging your likelihood of funding (no promises will be made certainly). Just be polite and professional in asking about where your score ranks. If you want to know whether you should rework this project as an application in response to a different program announcement or the parent announcement, you could also ask about this strategy, especially if this individual would be your PO for any other applications (based on the science versus the RFA assignment). If you call, leave a message, and get no response, you could wait another week or so before e-mailing again – or, if you work with a different PO usually, or if you have a mentor who has a PO in the same IC, you could ask this person for advice (& possible contact with the RFA PO).

waiting… said

April 17, 2012 @ 1:21 pm ·

Thank you, writedit!

Oriade said

April 19, 2012 @ 12:30 pm ·

Hi guys. I am an NI and ESI. My R01 (A01) was reviewed in February and got a score of 23 and 13% with NHLBI. I received an electronic JIT request late Feb but I have not heard anything since. Council is in first week in June. Is it customary to receive a JIT before council meeting? What does it mean if we did not hear anything after we submitted JIT? Should I think about doing a resubmission (I have heard all the horror stories of A1 not scoring as well well.) I have only had email contact with my PO in the first week of getting my score and his email said to wait for JIT and nothing more. I did not contact him after we got and submitted the JIT. Is there any information to be gained from contacting the PO before council meeting? Any advice you can give would be appreciated.

JaneyC said

April 19, 2012 @ 1:21 pm ·

Congrats. Just wait. I believe you will be awarded in June. 20% for ESI with NHLBI in 2012.

writedit said

April 19, 2012 @ 1:34 pm ·

Ditto on the congrats and the advice. You are below the 15th percentile, so you don’t need to address anything in your summary statement (& you don’t need to think about a resubmission at that percentile as an ESI). It’s okay that you didn’t hear anything about your JIT, and you won’t officially hear anything until after Council – at which point it will be related to your award notice. If you want a little contact, you can check in with your PO to confirm the JIT was complete and acceptable for Council Review … and/or you could ask how soon after Council meets you should expect to hear about your award. Best wishes for success with the research and your career!

Oriade said

April 19, 2012 @ 4:52 pm ·

Thank you for the advice! I was very nervous because a few people have mentioned that a PO may choose not to fund a grant even with scores that are below the payline if the PO feels it does not fit its portfolio.

writedit said

April 19, 2012 @ 4:57 pm ·

I am not sure I have heard of this at NHLBI, but perhaps if anyone has has this experience, they will share it. I think it would be less likely to happen for ESI (POs want ESIs in their portfolio).

Anna said

April 21, 2012 @ 9:34 am ·

Can you apply for a R21 along with a freshly awarded K08 grant?

writedit said

April 21, 2012 @ 11:02 am ·

You can certainly apply (the NIH recognizes you need to start early to receive an RPG award prior to the end of your K support), and you will need a letter from your Department chair as described in the NIH Notice about concurrent support from career development and research project awards:

You can only reduce your effort on the K to 50% during the last 2 years of K funding. If you are 100% research, I believe the R21 can be used to make up salary above 75% effort, but you can talk with your K PO about this (and any other questions about how salary support would be handled in the even of dual awards).

BOB said

April 23, 2012 @ 3:04 am ·

Is it ok to change PO for the A1 within the same IC? My current PO is not helpful at all. A friend of mine also have the same PO and we both agree that he is pretty lousy. How do I initiate the change of PO with the potential PO and not upsetting the current PO?

writedit said

April 23, 2012 @ 7:43 am ·

You can look for other POs with similar scientific interests (check the links for staff areas of expertise/interest by program or division/branch) and ask if your project (cite the grant #, attach the project summary & specific aims) would fit in their portfolio. You don’t need to mention your current PO or what the issue is – the potential new PO should understand (if your PO is uniformly unhelpful, his colleagues will be aware). Now, unless your application clearly fits well and appropriately in another PO’s portfolio, you likely will not be able to move the application, since better POs cannot take on all of this individual’s workload, but at least you will have found a contact who can help a bit in the silent periods.

D said

April 23, 2012 @ 7:55 am ·

There are several possible risks though. 1) You WILL upset someone. Probably several someones. Imagine if your post-doc or grad student decided to switch to another faculty member’s lab? 2) You will get a reputation of being “the whiny PI”. Only “Dr. Famous (” can get away with that. 3) Talking to other POs is fine but having one PO “poach” a grant from another PO’s portfolio is generally frowned upon by POs. 4). Their is no easy administrative way to do it. You will have to write letters and make a strong case,

So, to sum up, you better have a really really good, specific reason(s) to start the process and have another PO who is willing to fight to takeover your grant. Good luck.

D said

April 23, 2012 @ 7:57 am ·

Arghhhed. I meant “Their is no easy administrative way to do it.”

D said

April 23, 2012 @ 7:59 am ·

What the hell is wrong with my fingers this morning. I meant,

“There is no easy administrative way to do it.”

Old Grantee said

April 23, 2012 @ 1:35 pm ·

I totally agree with D. On the other hand it is sad that an investigator, on top of having to deal with the difficulties and uncertainties of grant funding, have also to face the challenge of an unhelpful PO. The PO’s role is rather critical in guiding an applicant to success. Since unhelpful and/or lousy professionals exist everywhere and NIH is no exception, there should be options in place (alternatives) openly accepted- within each Institute- for when these situations arise. I imagine that POs within an IC have in their portfolios common and crosstalk areas of interest, Best POs are those able to productively interact with investigators whose research is within and/or beyond the specificity of PO’s portfolio. And investigators should have the freedom to look for the PO able to best respond to his/her research interests and success.

Of course, it is expected that some POs would get overloaded and some might end up having little demand. Here is a question of performance to be taken into consideration by PO’s supervisors. And there might be (with time) a “PO natural selection process”. Isn’t this what is happening at grant funding levels as well?.

IndianMDPhD said

May 18, 2012 @ 11:52 am ·

My PO is very helpful – essentially helping me craft my resubmission – but I can totally see a jerky PO make life more miserable than necessary…is there a “whistleblower” type mechanism? Who is the PO’s boss?

writedit said

May 19, 2012 @ 9:28 am ·

I’m not sure I’ve heard of any POs making life difficult, but some are unresponsive and less than helpful. You could contact the appropriate program, branch, or division head (depending on how the IC is organized) to ask questions and solicit help and, if you are referred back to the PO, indicate that you have not received any feedback and are looking for guidance. However, if this PO is the person in whose portfolio your science belongs, you will not be able to switch, so be tactful in any concerns raised.

Eric said

April 23, 2012 @ 5:19 pm ·

Will you get a notice if your grant will not be funded? Or you get a notice only when they decide to fund your grant?

writedit said

April 23, 2012 @ 5:24 pm ·

We’ve had some discussion on this before. I believe in general, the answer is no, but some POs do provide this courtesy. Your best course of action is to contact your PO directly.

Jerry said

April 24, 2012 @ 9:44 am ·

Dear writedit,

I have an R21 application which will be reviewed in June, I plan to submit another R21, should I suggest another study section? It is not good that my two R21s will be reviewed by the same study section, right?


writedit said

April 24, 2012 @ 9:53 am ·

You want the study section that will be most appropriate to review and will be most excited by your science. You should not have two applications reviewed by the same study section at the same time, but in different cycles, this is okay and often unavoidable. However, if you can find a different but appropriate study section for your second R21, this would be even better – it’s always best to have multiple paths to funding (different ideas, different SRGs, different ICs, different agencies/sponsors).

ultras said

April 28, 2012 @ 4:31 pm ·

Has NCI started working on cycle 3 grants yet? Anyone in the 8-15% been contacted by their PO? I haven’t heard anything about mine other than my PO told me to consider resubmission couple weeks ago.

RGDOC said

May 1, 2012 @ 2:46 pm ·

Heard from my PO (about my grey zone) that I should know this week if it will be funded.

ultras said

May 1, 2012 @ 4:10 pm ·

can you tell me when you submitted your grant?

RGDOC said

May 1, 2012 @ 4:59 pm ·

Submitted it in Fall of 2011(A1)

ultras said

May 1, 2012 @ 5:11 pm ·

Thanks. Nov 2011 right? Then we are in the same cycle.

I thought they wouldn’t make a decision until after council (June 2012).

Acetylcholine said

April 29, 2012 @ 2:28 pm ·

Another grant-transfer question. I currently have two R-series grants that are pending (both are likely to be funded I believe). However, the timing of the potential awards is interesting because I am considering a position at another institutiion that could accept both awards. What is the best strategy? If I decide to accept the new position, do I tell the PO about the move prior to the grants being funded. My worry is that NIH will decide not to fund the projects because of the potential disruption. Or, do I let the grants fund out to my current institution and then move the grants? It is a tough call because clearly the pending grants are attractive to the new school, and clearly I want to do the science. I am assuming this is fairly common, but I have been in my current position for a couple of decades and haven’t moved previously. Any advice?

writedit said

April 29, 2012 @ 10:19 pm ·

Grants are awarded to the institution, not the PI. These are not your grants, though an institution will almost always allow a PI to move a grant if he/she takes a new job (minus whatever was committed to collaborators at the current institution). You will certainly need to talk with the PO if you want the NoA to go to the new institution rather than the old one, and the NIH will need to formally approve this (based on the new institution being able to provide an appropriate scientific environment for the research proposed etc.). If you had $ going to collaborators at your current institution, this would need to be negotiated as a subcontract. These sorts of moves happen all the time, so as long as the new institution is as good or better than your current institution in terms of supporting your research, there shouldn’t be a problem.

RGDOC said

May 1, 2012 @ 5:51 pm ·

I assume that he means it will be recommended for funding pending the council’s final say

AZC said

May 3, 2012 @ 11:25 am ·

Hi everybody – Just a report: I submitted a K01 to NIDDK that was scored in Feb 2012. I received a score in the low 30s. The PO said that fundable projects will likely be in the 10-20 range this cycle. Just FYI!

writedit said

May 3, 2012 @ 11:32 am ·

Thanks for sharing the intel … sorry it is not better news for you. Hopefully you still have the A1 to submit and get down into funding range.

AZC said

May 3, 2012 @ 10:20 pm ·

Yup! The reviewers were extremely constructive and we’re looking forward to the resubmission

AZC said

June 7, 2012 @ 8:23 am ·

I’m pleased (who am I kidding? I’m psyched) to report that I received word from NIDDK that my K01 will be funded. They cut a year off the budget, but I hear through the grapevine that this is becoming more common as the congressional spending cuts loom. Anyways, best of luck to everybody!

writedit said

June 7, 2012 @ 8:34 am ·

Congratulations! Best wishes for success with your project and career in academic research.

hagancr said

May 3, 2012 @ 12:10 pm ·

Has anyone heard about paylines for K99 grants to NCI?

JustMissed said

May 3, 2012 @ 7:20 pm ·

Just an update: NHLBI just raised their R43/44 paylines from 25 to 35. Recall, I was the person who got a 26 and decided not to resubmit in April and wanted to wait and see what happened to the paylines. Lengthy process of checking the NHLBI paylines daily….

writedit said

May 4, 2012 @ 7:08 am ·

Congratulations on slipping within the payline! Best wishes for success with the project.

KC said

May 4, 2012 @ 1:18 pm ·


I heard NHLBI also planning to increase paylines for R01. Is this true?


ac said

May 10, 2012 @ 9:53 am ·

I emailed my PO there and she just said as of today they have not increased. I hope they will, too!!!!

dancing_machine said

May 5, 2012 @ 1:14 am ·

Does anyone know whether NICHD’s payline is likely (even remotely) to increase? I can’t get any straight answers from my PO. Do they wait until June to decide or would they have decided this already?

writedit said

May 5, 2012 @ 8:12 am ·

Your PO probably doesn’t know – but it is good you haven’t been told definitely no yet. The ICs can decide to fund applications up until the end of the FY and often do so to the very end, as they figure out how much $ they need to obligate before Sept 30.

J said

May 5, 2012 @ 5:40 pm ·

Do PO’s ever co-author papers with researchers whose grants are in their portfolio, particluarly when the PO has research interests that closely match the science of the PI? If so, who usually initiates the co-authorship (PO or PI?), and when is the most appropriate time to do so?

writedit said

May 5, 2012 @ 5:47 pm ·

In the ideal world, authorship discussions occur at the outset of a project, including who is first & last and how current people leaving & new people arriving are handled. POs, of course, do not have any hands in the research, so would not be considered for authorship in that regard. If you plan to ask the PO for substantial help with data analysis-interpretation, the authorship discussion occurs when you talk about the PO’s role in this regard & the preparation of the manuscript. If you want to add the PO because he/she has been helpful, supportive, etc., you might want to rethink that idea. Now, if this is something like an invited review and you want to invite the PO to co-author, that discussion starts as soon as you explain what you have in mind for the article and why the PO would be an appropriate co-author.

Mouseter said

May 5, 2012 @ 5:54 pm ·

Wouldn’t co-authorship of PO create a huge conflict of interest issue?

writedit said

May 5, 2012 @ 6:01 pm ·

NIH employees do collaborate on research that is reported with them as co-authors. This is usually intramural folks – as I said, I can’t imagine a situation where the PO actually contributes anything substantial deserving of co-authorship, even for those with involvement on U-type awards (consortiums, collaborative programs). However, I am unsure of any COI restrictions and hope someone from inside might enlighten us.

anonymous said

May 7, 2012 @ 7:28 am ·

From the NIH Manual,

“H. NIH Staff (Co-)Authorship of Publications from NIH Extramural Awards: Responsibilities of program officials and project officers include providing suggestions and critiques to awardee investigators and other staff — for example, developing or negotiating acceptable project direction or budget; monitoring extramural awards; or commenting on research design or conduct, draft manuscripts and other awardee presentations. To merit approval for (co-)authorships on publications from extramural awards (including grants, contracts, and other award mechanisms), NIH staff must have played a substantial role, such as contributing intellectually to the concept, design, conduct and/or analysis of the results of the research.

The conditions allowing NIH staff to be (co-)authors of publications under NIH extramural awards ordinarily arise only from contracts and cooperative agreements, where, by definition, there is substantial programmatic, i.e., scientific-technical, staff involvement. Deviations from these provisions must be approved by IC directors, and only when justified under special circumstances. NIH staff should work with supervisors when seeking approval of activities as official duties. Review and clearance according to applicable IC procedures is required. ”


WFE said

May 6, 2012 @ 7:39 am ·

Dear Writeedit

I have an RO1 pending (NI) and my PO told me that they will provide me a bridge fund for 1 year. I need to apply again after this 1 year support. I wonder whether the NI status will hold for my re-application. Also, is there any chance of extension of this bridge fund if they find some additional funds before Sept.

writedit said

May 6, 2012 @ 8:07 am ·

Your award will be a 1-year R56, which will not disqualify you as a new investigator, and which cannot be renewed. (So, no, do not count on more time or $ – work on getting your R01 funded before the R56 runs out)

WFE said

May 6, 2012 @ 9:57 am ·

Dear Writedit

Thank you for the information and your great work.

WFE said

September 10, 2012 @ 9:53 am ·

Dear Writedit,

How often NIH gives an RO1 for 1 year? I (NI) just got an RO1 from NIMH for I year. I confirmed from PO that it is an RO1 not R56.

writedit said

September 10, 2012 @ 10:10 am ·

Well, not that often, that I am aware of, but I suspect they awarded the funds under the R01 mechanism specifically to give you a chance to renewal the grant competitively, an option not available with R56 funding (the more typical mechanism for short-term awards). So, a sort of bridge funding that can be continued if you demonstrate good progress, which I wish you the best in doing.

disgruntledNI said

May 7, 2012 @ 5:47 pm ·

Dear Writedit:

I submitted an NCI grant and requested one of two specific study sections. I found out that it was assigned to a study section different than what I requested. I wrote the SRO from the study section requesting a different study section listing my reasons. The SRO wanted to speak on the phone and the SRO kept reiterating that this was the best study section and that the SRO had discussed with the SROs of the other study sections and they all concurred in the decision. I didn’t want to push the issue as I felt that I would upset the SRO more and could hurt my application, but I still feel that this is not the right study section for my grant. Moreover, now that the complete listing for the study section members has come out, it is clear that they didn’t pull any specific expertise in my area to review the grant. As a new investigator, I sort of feel I am getting the short end of the stick and am a victim of the system. Luckily, this is an A0 application. If it doesn’t do well, do I have any recourse to try to get it into my desired study section the next time? Thanks

writedit said

May 7, 2012 @ 11:51 pm ·

It is not impossible to switch study sections, but if you are scored and discussed, you probably want to sit tight. Your PO can provide some insight as to whether to move. In your cover letter, you can indicate that you communicated with your PO with regard to selecting a study section, and you could have asked your PO to call the SRO of the study section you wanted & the one to which you were assigned.

Jay said

May 8, 2012 @ 1:10 pm ·

I wouldn’t be too upset with the SS assignment, especially if the SROs went through the hassle to assign it to where it ended up. My RO1 went to a SS that I never mentioned on my cover letter. The reviewer roster didn’t even look particularly relevant. After getting a borderline score on my first try (which was still my best score yet), my revision got a low single digit percentile. My past proposals that went to my favorite SS by description hardly ever got even scored.

writedit said

May 9, 2012 @ 6:24 am ·

Thanks so much for sharing your experience – posts like these are what make the site so useful for the whole community. It takes a village …

Oriade said

May 7, 2012 @ 5:51 pm ·

In my experience it has been difficult to switch study sections after an A0 review. I tried this a couple of time and the A1 app was always sent back to the same study section as A0.

disgruntledNI said

May 7, 2012 @ 6:26 pm ·

Yeah, that was what I was afraid of. I am not sure if the program officials have any pull in this regard. I do have the documented e-mails and correspondences but not sure if that will help.

rohsikm said

May 7, 2012 @ 9:13 pm ·

Can you not go back and specifically ask the SRO about the lack of expertise on the roster. I did that for a previous grant. I first sent an email to my PO who asked me to talk to the SRO. I emailed the SRO and did not get a response. I sent follow-up email and eventually called this person. Initially the SRO said all the necessary expertise was available but I described the contents of my application by listing out different areas of expertise and described work in that area and the different category of researchers etc. Finally, she told me that she will look into it and ended up inviting special reviewers and mail-in reviewers. Thanks to that, my application got a good review.

SG said

May 8, 2012 @ 7:20 am ·

It also depends on exactly what you mean by, “expertise in my area to review.” For instance, if you submitted a virology basic science grant and the panel was a bunch of human research bacteriologists then you might have a case. If your concern is that none of the three experts in the world on motif Y in gene X in organism Z were on the panel then you do not have a case.

You need to find out out if your PO agrees with you or the SRO. If they agree with you then they can make a good tie-breaker.

My question to you is “why did the referral officer and SRO believe that your grant should go to this panel?” There must be something in your abstract or Aims that suggests that this study section does have the appropriate expertise.

disgruntledNI said

May 8, 2012 @ 11:46 am ·

So to not go into too much detail (I am not sure if SROs look at this site too and my grant has not been reviewed yet so don’t want to give too much specifics in case it upsets the SRO), the basic issue in terms of the study section is that the main topic of the grant doesn’t fit in the purview of the study section. The scenario is similar to if a grant dealt with therapeutics and went to an basic biology/etiology study section. The obvious question of the reviewers would be “why didn’t you look at etiology”, for example, killing the grant. It was placed in this study section because some of the reviewers in the panel study the same cellular pathway, but in an entirely different context. In terms of expertise, I asked for expertise in the cancer we are studying (which is a relatively common cancer). The SRO did not pull any reviewers with this expertise. This was important as the ideas we were proposing were paradigm shifting with regards to the cancer we are studying, which may not be recognized by scientists who study other cancers. I tried to fight this, but the SRO was very vociferous and I didn’t want to kill my chances at another study section, too (they are all colleagues, after all). I thought at least they would honor my request with respect to reviewers to be fair to my application, but they did not do this either. So, I am not quite sure what to do other than talk to the PO if my grant does not do well. I am hoping the system works for me somehow, but I have to say I am skeptical that it will at this point.

SG said

May 8, 2012 @ 4:41 pm ·

It sounds like you have done that you can at this point. You’ve rolled the dice, let’s see where they fall. Good luck.


As you surmise, some SROs and POs do follow this site.

SnowballChance? said

May 9, 2012 @ 3:59 am ·

Hi, I got a 20 impact score in response to a multi-IC/cross-NIH/OppNet RFA (RFA-HL-12-037). The RFA indicates funds for 2-4 awards are anticipated. On my Commons, NHBLI is shown as having the primary assignment. The application shows JIT now (of course). Thoughts on my chances?

writedit said

May 9, 2012 @ 6:23 am ·

Your score is promising, though RFA awards are made based on the programmatic interest in the science as well as the score. You should check with the PO as to the enthusiasm at NHLBI for your work – the reviewers seemed enthusiastic, which is good news.

Arnold said

May 10, 2012 @ 8:18 pm ·

Have there been any notices of award for the Provocative Questions RFA from the NCI?

CD0 said

May 11, 2012 @ 7:13 am ·

Not that I know of…In fact I think that only grants that underwent the second cycle of review have got a summary statement so far.

In theory, decisions should be taken this month. However, because this program is Varmus’ most precious jewel, I suspect that he will add extra layers of personal scrutiny and significant delays.

Arnold said

May 12, 2012 @ 9:52 pm ·

Thanks, CD0. Does that mean that one’s grant was not considered for the second round if no summary statement has been received yet? Also, do you know if each of the PQs will have at least one grant (responding to that PQ) funded? Or will some PQs not have any funded grants?

CD0 said

May 11, 2012 @ 10:29 am ·

Update: Applications will be considered by the National Cancer Advisory Board at the June 25-26, 2012 Council meeting

goggu said

May 11, 2012 @ 3:24 am ·

Hello. My K99 application was reviewed on March and got a score a couple of points outside of the current NHLBI pay line. We received an e-mail from a GMS today. He was asking about a discrepancy he found between the total budget requested in my application and the total expected cost in the summary statement. He wanted to confirm the direct cost and total cost for my application. The discrepancy was due simply to a calculation mistake from the NIH side. Though… I am still wondering what this activity means to me. Is it simply an error correction process? or Is it a positive sign for my application? From above discussions, it seems the GMS requesting the F&A rate agreement before the counsel review is a very positive activity for applicants. But I am not sure about my case. It looks a little different than the F&A solicitation.

writedit said

May 11, 2012 @ 8:17 am ·

GMSs are not usually looking for busywork to do on applications that won’t be funded. You should check with your PO to see what might be going on with your application.

ChrisB said

May 11, 2012 @ 11:37 am ·

Goggu….may I ask what your Impact Score was? I also received a score a couple of points outside the pay line (35), but my PO said I should start looking for other funding mechanisms.

goggu said

May 11, 2012 @ 1:06 pm ·

Hello ChrisB. Mine is a little better than yours (literarily a couple of points above the current pay line -

My PO suggested resubmitting my application when I spoke to her about a month ago.

perhaps overly optimistic said

May 11, 2012 @ 9:34 am ·

Several people have posted recent increased paylines for some funding mechanisms at NHLBI–has anyone heard whether RO1 paylines are likely to increase? My PO replied to my inquiry with words to the effect of at that time (earlier this week) paylines have not increased–no word about whether they are likely to or not–I imagine payline increase for RO1would involve a lot more money than for the smaller awards such as K99 or R43/44, but that’s just a guess.

Waiting said

May 11, 2012 @ 9:48 am ·

I haven’t heard about NHLBI paylines improving, but when I asked my PO about my R01 that was just above the payline, he said that he wouldn’t “write it off yet” but he did suggest that I continue to submit new applications.

perhaps overly optimistic said

May 11, 2012 @ 10:12 am ·

thanks–i’m 2%ile above ESI payline (i’m ESI). Good luck with yours. I’ll keep hoping (and have resubmitted a ‘new’ proposal on the same project, that my SRO said indeed qualifies as ‘new’–whew!).

writedit said

May 11, 2012 @ 11:55 am ·

SBIR/STTR has a formulaic amount of $ set aside for awards, so their paylines tend to go higher once the full FY of applications & their scores are in. Some ICs only fund 1-3 K99 applications – definitely not a lot more money for these, depending (I suspect) on whether the IC likes the mechanism or not.

Dim said

May 11, 2012 @ 11:37 am ·

Hi, I have a pending SBIR grant, and I just heard from my PO. He wants me to respond to issues with the protection of human subjects section, which should be fairly straightforward. Is this a promising sign, especially given that the council review is in a month.

writedit said

May 11, 2012 @ 11:49 am ·

Potentially promising. Council will only consider approving applications that do not have any administrative issues, so at least you are on that list. Whether the Director will select your application for funding is another matter. Have you asked your PO how your application stands in terms of funding likelihood? (also, did you find him, or was he finally assigned?)

Dim said

May 11, 2012 @ 12:02 pm ·

Thanks for the advice. The PO was assigned to the grant. I talked with him a month ago and he said that the grant has good chances. I was hoping that his request for info means that this chances have increased even further.

writedit said

May 11, 2012 @ 12:08 pm ·

I would say your conclusion is correct and wish you the best possible outcome.

mmm said

May 11, 2012 @ 4:47 pm ·

I heard that NINDs is improving payline by at least 1%. My application was scored at 15% and old payline was 14. But now I was told am within payline.

Also, I agree with earlier comments that NIH does not ask for info unless there is likelyhood of getting funded. I was asked to revised animal section and JIT before I fgured ou about the increased payline.

Y said

May 11, 2012 @ 5:04 pm ·

Do you know if this applies to both R01 and R21?

finally… said

May 11, 2012 @ 10:38 pm ·

I just received my NOA for a SBIR Phase I to NIGMS (score 23) submitted in April 2011. The gears at NIH are turning, albeit slowly. I hope someone finds another sparse SBIR data point useful.

writedit said

May 11, 2012 @ 11:58 pm ·

Congratulations and thank you for sharing your info and experience! Best wishes for success with the research & development – hope the work & Phase II application succeeds as well.

Monica said

May 13, 2012 @ 8:35 pm ·

I just got my critiques back for the K99. I got an excellent criterion score of less than 2 (so in between “exceptional” and “outstanding”) but my application was triaged and not even discussed at the committee meeting. One of the reviewers gave me an “unacceptable” evaluation for the responsible conduct in science, while all others agreed on “acceptable.” I think this was a simple mistake. There is no reason for this. I am wondering if my application can be re-reviewed. Do I have to write an appeal letter?

writedit said

May 13, 2012 @ 11:26 pm ·

The criterion scores have nothing to do with whether your application is discussed & given an overall impact/priority score. Quite often the summary statements of triaged applications include low criterion scores. Whether your RCR plan was acceptable or not would have been discussed at study section, had the application been discussed. Again, one reviewer may see a problem the others missed. You cannot appeal on the basis of criterion scores or the fact that only one of the three reviewers found your RCR plan unacceptable. You cannot and should not ask about appealing unless there were gross errors (objective, based on the literature) in the scientific review, which you do not mention. Instead, you should talk with your PO about how best to revise the application (or whether to try a different mechanism).

Monica said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:03 pm ·

Then what is the purpose of the criterion scores? I thought that it was to make the initial selection of what applications to be triaged.

My score definitely put me in to top half, yet my application was not discussed and given an impact score.

writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:19 pm ·

Not at all. Reviewers submit a preliminary impact score that you never see, and it does not need to reflect the criterion scores (just as the impact score for discussed applications may not reflect the criterion scores in the summary statement). The SRO ranks the applications in order of preliminary impact score (average of all reviewers, not by the best assigned), and the SRG discusses applications either up to a preset threshold score or until time runs out. You do not know what impact score each of your reviewers gave your application or how much better the preliminary impact scores were for other applications. Talk with your PO about strategies to revise the application so it is discussed and (hopefully) funded next time.

JaneyC said

May 13, 2012 @ 11:24 pm ·

Dear writedit: I just learned that NIH does not allow personnel salary annual raise from this year. Specifically, for a 3- or 5- year project, we should set the same salary for several years. It is true? Thanks.

writedit said

May 13, 2012 @ 11:32 pm ·

The NIH is not allowing any inflationary increases, so if you want to accommodate salary increases, you will need to cut spending elsewhere in each subsequent year so the direct/total costs remain the same each year:

gugugaga said

May 14, 2012 @ 3:11 pm ·

can anyone provide some clarity about the review process for grants that fall within the 8-15% range?

writedit said

May 14, 2012 @ 3:27 pm ·

Assuming you mean at NCI, POs recommend applications for further consideration at the Division level, where those identified as highest priority and most meritorious are sent to the Scientific Program Leaders for consideration as described in the NCI funding strategy:

“In FY 2012, individual consideration of a broad range of competing applications will be the hallmark of NCI’s selection process. Peer review evaluation of scientific merit will remain the primary consideration in these funding decisions, which will be made by NCI Scientific Program Leaders (SPL) following discussions with Program Staff. The NCI SPL will give special consideration to applications that fill a significant gap in the cancer research portfolio or propose an especially novel or promising scientific approach.”

You can find several comments about the process on this page. Some PIs are asked by their PO for a brief rebuttal to their summary statement, which indicates their PO intends to advocate for their proposal as it goes up the chain. If you have new publications or important new data related to the proposed research, you should let your PO know.

wondering said

May 14, 2012 @ 10:43 pm ·

Dear Writedit: generally speaking (i.e., for any NIH IC), is there any other information a PI can provide that might be helpful to the PO at the time of decision for select pay? e.g., new or updated letters of support from proposed collaborators; or from individuals/organizations who might benefit from implementation of the PI’s science or who would like to see the research move forward? Or, anything else? Thanks!

writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 6:50 am ·

If the PO has discussed the possibility of your application being selected for pay by exception, he/she should have let you know if he/she needs anything, such as a brief rebuttal to the summary statement. New letters would only be relevant if you had changed institutions or collaborators (& you would have discussed all this in terms of the need & how the science is impacted with the PO). If you have a new manuscript accepted for publication since the application was reviewed or an abstract accepted at a scientific meeting, this would important to tell the PO about. But, in general, just ask the PO what, if anything, might be useful to provide at this stage.

EH504 said

May 15, 2012 @ 12:43 pm ·

Hello there,

Does anyone have the payline information for NHBIB K25? There is no fixed payline. I could not find much information in this forum. Anyone has any experience with this type of grant?


EH504 said

May 15, 2012 @ 12:54 pm ·

sorry, it’s NIBIB.

rohsikm said

May 15, 2012 @ 12:57 pm ·

Not sure about NIBIB but I would think the payline is the same across all K’s given the same study section is involved.

writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 2:14 pm ·

No, each IC has its own payline (whether or not this is made public). Percentiles are tied to the study section, but in fact career development applications (Ks) are reviewed by IC study sections, not CSR study sections (so everything is IC-specific). Each K mechanism is different as well – some are very competitive, others less so (again, depends on the IC).

EH504 should just ask his/her PO if the impact/priority score is in the NIBIB funding range for that particular mechanism..

rohsikm said

May 15, 2012 @ 12:54 pm ·


EH504 said

May 15, 2012 @ 5:12 pm ·

Thank you for your replies, writedit and rohsikm!

I have contacted my PO. The first submission was not able to be funded. So I resubmitted it in March. It goes to NIBIB (primary) and NHLBI (secondary? not sure). I just found out that NHLBI gave a payline of 25 (it was 19 when I checked it out before). My previous score was not too far from it. I have no information about the K award payline at NIBIB, but I guess that it may be much worse than that at NHLBI. Is it possible for me to change the primary center to NHLBI?


writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:31 pm ·

Did you also talk with a PO at NIBIB? He/she can let you know how your A0 score would have fared at NIBIB. Your A0 is still fair game, too, though I guess NHLBI probably won’t be going above the 25 payline for additional applications, since they waited to change it until they knew what they could afford based on application scores. If the NIBIB PO thinks you will might do better at NHLBI, you can ask both POs about flipping the primary-secondary assignments. I assume you requested NIBIB as the primary IC in your cover letter for the A1. If not, it could be NIBIB really wants the application … but you can ask the POs how this change in IC assignment occurred.

Jeff said

May 15, 2012 @ 1:37 pm ·

I have a k-23 application in at NHLBI which received a 20 (payline is listed at 25). The PO told me that I will likely be funded. Unfortunately the council does not meet until June 13th. I have a really great opportunity to leave the institution where I applied for the K (new opportunity>>>>>current institution). The sooner I leave the better, but don’t want to do anything to jeopardize the K. A few questions 1) how do I go about attempting to transfer the K to my new institution 2) when is the best timing (i.e. after council meets, after award letter in hand) 3) should I discuss this with the PO and if so when would be the best timing?

Thanks so much!

writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:26 pm ·

Assuming the new institution has the required scientific infrastructure to support your proposed work and a suitable mentor for your research (I assume you would not be anxious to go there if it did not), you should be fine. Awards get moved all the time, and of course POs know that K awards make junior faculty attractive recruitment candidates. I would recommend you talk with the PO now. What would be easiest is if you move before the award is made to your current institution – you can also ask them not to activate it if the NoA must be made before you move. With a K23, I assume you do not have any budgetary commitments that would need to stay with your current institution, which is even better (RPGs with multiple collaborators need to be split up between the two institutions). Now, on the odd chance that you are going somewhere that might not be able to support your proposed research or that does not have a suitable mentor, then you would need to negotiate with the PO about how to overcome these new weaknesses. But, again, I am guessing this is not your situation.

Jeff said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:34 pm ·

Thanks so much Writedit!

The new institution will have equal if not superior mentorship and has existing infrastructure and expertise to facilitate my proposed research. Additionally, the offer comes with a generous startup package to get things off the ground. Both in real life and on paper it will be easier for me to carry out the proposed research at the new institution. So in your experience there is limited risk approaching the PO prior to the award begin issued (I had been told horror stories about being told to re-submit from the new institution)?

Thanks again

writedit said

May 15, 2012 @ 7:53 pm ·

Hmm. I have not heard of folks being told to resubmit on Ks, but my experience is limited to a few institutions and POs/ICs and K mechanisms other than the K23. If your current mentor knows you are leaving, you could ask him/her. If not, you could ask your future mentor at the new institution. The NIH wants to support the best research & researchers, so it seems counterproductive to make you wait until the award is set before moving (if everything else is in place to relocate). The sooner you go, the sooner you will be ready to accept and start your K23 career development & research plan (though, I guess you don’t need to move a lab, which is what usually causes delays in getting research programs going again after a move – if your target patient population is in place there, then you should be all set). On the other hand, I don’t want to give you bad advice if the funding situation is so desperate that competitive, fundable applicants might be asked to start over at their new institution. Hopefully someone with more recent experience will chime in.

SI said

May 16, 2012 @ 10:22 am ·

I received a score of 24 on my April 2012 Phase I SBIR submission to NCI. Does anyone know if this will get funded?

writedit said

May 16, 2012 @ 10:53 am ·

Do you mean an application that was just reviewed in April or one that should have had a start date in April? In either case, your PO will be the best source of information. The score is good (excellent), though.

SI said

May 16, 2012 @ 11:28 am ·

Thanks for your reply. The Phase I was submitted in April 2012. Do you know when NCI council meets?

writedit said

May 16, 2012 @ 11:39 am ·

You must mean April 2011. Applications submitted in April 2012 (for funding in FY13) will not be reviewed until this summer. NCAB meets in June.

SCD said

May 16, 2012 @ 11:53 am ·

sorry for the confusion. NCI application submitted in December 2011. Council meeting on era commons says may 2012, but i can’t find an exact date anywhere

writedit said

May 16, 2012 @ 11:59 am ·

Ah. Website says June 25-26 for NCAB. Most IC councils meet in May-June.

SCD said

May 16, 2012 @ 11:30 am ·

We received a score of 36 for our August Phase II SBIR submission (submitted Aug 1) to NHLBI. Payline is at 35, but our application is for sickle cell disease (a high priority area). Do you know how we can request programmatic priority or something to help us get funded? I am an early stage investigator

writedit said

May 16, 2012 @ 12:01 pm ·

You should talk with the PO. He/she may ask you to write a short rebuttal to the summary statement and provide a progress update – but don’t do any of this until you ask about the possibility of select pay (pay by exception) first.

smithr said

May 18, 2012 @ 5:56 pm ·

writedit, do you know anybody who was asked by PO to write a rebuttal to the summary statement did not get funding?

writedit said

May 19, 2012 @ 12:08 am ·

Yes, lots of NCI hopefuls do not get funded after giving their PO the rebuttal and other updates/information. Not sure about other ICs.

WFE said

May 19, 2012 @ 9:20 am ·

Yes, it happened with me last year, provided the rebuttal for an RO1 (NIMH, ESI), but no funding. I have to say that the rebuttal should be very good, you might need as much work you did for your application.

waiting again said

May 22, 2012 @ 10:13 am ·

Where can I find council dates? The link above doesn’t work. On my commons account it says (NEI) council will meet in May of 2012, but no dates. I found something about a council meeting in June on the NEI website, but I’m not sure if it is the same thing.

writedit said

May 22, 2012 @ 10:36 am ·

Thanks for the heads up – I thought I had corrected that link earlier, which is now ( Yes, the June 14-15 date is for the NEI Council.

waiting again said

May 22, 2012 @ 2:15 pm ·

Thanks–any thoughts on why the date is different on my commons account?

writedit said

May 22, 2012 @ 2:23 pm ·

Is it an actual date or just the May council meeting? The IC councils start to meet in May, so eRA commons would just use that as a generic reference for this round of meetings.

waiting again said

May 22, 2012 @ 2:46 pm ·

I see–thanks again. Yes, it just says 2012/05, so that must refer to the round rather than the date. I guess I’ll just have to wait another month.

SCD said

May 24, 2012 @ 10:29 am ·

Writedit- Is there an official process for requesting select pay, or should I just email the program officer? Is there a way to help them facilitate the process or is it simply a numbers game based on budget?

writedit said

May 24, 2012 @ 10:37 am ·

The PO must decide whether to push for this – it is nothing you can request officially, though you could ask your PO if he/she would consider your application for select pay (PO does not make decision – just recommends which applications should be considered). If your PO does not want to do this, there is nothing else you can do. And yes, the select pay decisions depend on remaining $ available and programmatic priorities that still need to be met.

rohsikm said

May 24, 2012 @ 10:40 am ·

Are there some statistics showing the average increase in scores upon resubmission for any of the mechanisms

writedit said

May 24, 2012 @ 10:46 am ·

There is no “average increase”. Some applications score well as A0 are triaged as A1.

SAM said

May 24, 2012 @ 1:00 pm ·


I was planning to resubmit my K99 application this summer.

I just found out that there will be an important change in our research program – our clinical trial plan may have a big change at the end of this summer-.

A significant portion of my training plan is developed based on this plan and I had good scores from the reviewers.

I am not sure whether I should change my training plan according to the expected change?

I am having mixed opinions from people around me. Majority is advising me to focus on the reviewers comments only.

Any experience on this kind of issues?

This change will not be “official” until the time I submit my application but It is likely that at least one reviewer would know it by the time when my re-submission is reviewed.

I can not discuss it with my PO because it is confidential.

writedit said

May 25, 2012 @ 6:42 pm ·

It’s a little hard to give advice based on a clinical trial plan having a “big change” that could not be accommodated in your training plan … unless the big change is to not conduct the arm of the intervention in which you had planned to participate. The K99 part is training (via participating in the conduct of whatever trial is implemented), and I assume you did not base your projected R00 plan on this particular clinical trial since the idea is you will activate the R00 wherever you receive a faculty appointment (which may not be at your current institution). If this is a big consortium trial (well known to reviewers), you could note the potential need for your training plan to be modified (in partnership with your mentor) to accommodate any changes to the trial over which you do not have control. Surely even the modified trial will still provide a suitable training platform for your career goals.

KB said

May 24, 2012 @ 1:27 pm ·

My R01 re-submission will be reviewed in June. My PO told me that the original application (reviewed in Feb., 2% above the payline) may have a chance of getting funded for one year or probably more. Is selective pay always shorter than five years? Will the selective pay decision affect the funding chance of my resubmission? Or it works as an insurance just in case my A1 is scored worse than A0? How does the timing work?


writedit said

May 24, 2012 @ 2:54 pm ·

It depends on whether your R01 is funded by exception (in which case most of the award will be made – say 4 of 5 years with budget reductions) or you are awarded R56 bridge/short-term funding, which only lasts a year and cannot be renewed. The select pay will probably only come into play when your resubmission is reveiwed. If your score is as good or better, you will likely have the A0 funded, probably with budget modifications (less so if you are ESI). If the score is worse, then maybe just the R56 to give you time to work on a new application … or maybe still the reduced R01 award. Congratulations at being considered for select pay/pay by exception – good luck.

KB said

May 24, 2012 @ 4:15 pm ·

Thanks a lot, writedit!

m.f.l. said

May 25, 2012 @ 5:34 pm ·

I’m a new investigator and have not participated in a study review group yet. If I understand correctly the chair of the SRG can have an influence on encouraging the reviewers to “spread the score” and using the whole range for scoring. Is this true and something that actually does happen every once in a while?

I’m asking because I’m wondering if just a few points difference in the score can result in a big difference in percentile, i.e. is it out of the ordinary that a score difference of 6 points results in a 20% difference in the percentile ranking (the grants i’m referring to were in the same study section but in different cycles)?

The percentile is based on scores of the whole year not just your particular group, correct?

Is it ok to ask the PO of your assigned study section about the score distribution?

I’m sorry if these are really naive questions, any comments would be appreciated

writedit said

May 25, 2012 @ 6:51 pm ·

Reviewers are always encouraged when reviewing individual applications to use the whole range for scoring. Once an application is up for discussion, scores by the three (or whatever number) assigned reviewers set the spread within which other SRG members must register their impact score for the application. If an unassigned SRG member wishes to give a score that is outside this spread, he or she must speak up and give the rationale for the outlier score. I doubt there are any data on how often unassigned SRG members ask to score outside the range. (if so, someone please speak up). While you are correct that a point or two on the impact score can make a difference on percentile, it is hard to compare applications scored in different rounds since they would be averaged with different pools of applications. So, you are suggesting one application received a score of 20 that translated to say the 15th percentile while another application in a different round received a score of 26 that translated to the 35th percentile?

m.f.l. said

May 25, 2012 @ 9:37 pm ·

Thanks for your quick and insightful reply!

Re. the score and percentile: yes, it’s almost exactly the scenario you’re describing. is that rather uncommon?

writedit said

May 26, 2012 @ 12:20 am ·

Well, I hardly know all the scoring/percentile trends for each SRG, but I have seen such a swing – though I cannot imagine it is common. My guess is that this is probably most likely to occur between FYs (esp after SRG members see what scores are getting funded) and with turnover on the SRG. Other input welcome.

DrugMonkey said

May 26, 2012 @ 11:41 pm ·

I suspect it is the tied score issue. Uneven distribution of 20, 30, 40 scores due to no range in post discussion scores. reviewers assign 1, 2, 3….. And so it is not uncommon to have perfect post-discussion agreement leading to more 20s than 19s or 21s. There were data issued a while back showing exactly this outcome. I don’t know how the percentiling works in terms of using the top, middle or worst percentile of the range described by the multiple 20 scored apps. One would assume the middle, thereby leaving a big percentile gap between 20 and 21.

KB said

May 27, 2012 @ 5:29 pm ·

If the council meeting takes place on May 14, approximately when will I know the decision of the select pay?

writedit said

May 27, 2012 @ 5:41 pm ·

Not right away, but you should check in with your PO, who will have an idea about the timing if not an inkling as to whether you might be funded.

pluto said

May 29, 2012 @ 2:35 pm ·


I am an ESI and just got 13th percentile for an R01 to NHLBI. Current payline cutoff is 20th percentile for ESI @NHLBI. But…Council meeting is Oct 30 (next fiscal year, right?), when budgets might be even tighter. Am I in the clear?

writedit said

May 29, 2012 @ 2:44 pm ·

If you just had your February submission reviewed, then yes, you will be considered for funding in FY13, and all bets are off with regard to paylines. However, it seems the big crunch will be in FY14 (if the automatic debt reduction cuts are not forestalled), so you may be okay for FY13 with that score. Absolutely no way to say for sure, but you can talk with your PO later this summer about whether you should consider a resubmission, if this was an A0. Hopefully we’ll have an idea where Congress might go with the NIH appropriation and you won’t need to do the A1.

pluto said

May 29, 2012 @ 3:03 pm ·

Many thanks. It was an A1 (A0 was 21st percentile and I am still hoping that will get funded since last years ESI payline was 26th percentile for ESI and they have not moved it from initial 20th yet this year). Thanks again for your reply and your great work with this site!

AZC said

May 29, 2012 @ 3:23 pm ·

Is there any data on how often a person receives a JIT request (in my case, for a K01 from NIDDK) and then *doesn’t* get funded? Everybody’s response has been “Congratulations!” but I’m very hesitant to get my hopes up lol

writedit said

May 29, 2012 @ 3:28 pm ·

It’s great news but not a guarantee, though you can certainly ask your PO what your status is, especially having received the JIT request. Perfectly appropriate to ask.

PUI Researcher said

May 30, 2012 @ 5:24 pm ·

Great Blog! I have been following it for a few years after I first received my score for an R15 and had no idea what it meant. My A1 submitted in June 2011 was just outside the fundable range for NHLBI, but luckily it sounds like NIDDK was able to pick it up. I just heard from the director yesterday.

writedit said

May 31, 2012 @ 12:27 pm ·

Wow – congratulations on this change in fortune. I hope it works out for you. Thanks so much for sharing your experience – everyone here appreciates learning everything and anything that might be going on in terms of funding.

ST said

May 30, 2012 @ 9:56 pm ·


I had a score of 30 and got JIT but didnt get funded as the payline was 25. I was told, they ask scores till 30-40 for JIT for K grants. I would be cautious….

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