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Common Grant Mechanisms






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  • Only included to say that NCI doesn’t accept unsolicited R03s/R21s;This is the end of my first main point, which is that there are mechanisms specifically for or friendly to, new investigators. My second main point is that there are resources to help.
  • Ex – here’s the problem I’m trying to solve. Here’s why I’m trying to solve it. Here are the other ways that people have worked on this problem before. Here’s why my methods are better.

Common Grant Mechanisms Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Grant Opportunities for New Researchers
    Michelle Dunn
    Program Director
    National Cancer Institute
    Email: dunnm3@mail.nih.gov
  • 2. Reasons to Apply Statistics to Health Research
    An important problem
    Do the Methodological Work that you love
    Get funding
  • 3. NCI/DCCPS Statistical Methodology Portfolio
    Large statistical methodology portfolio
    Wide range of applications across the cancer control continuum
    Prevention, Detection, Diagnosis, Treatment, Survival
    Wide range of methodologies
  • 4. Reasons to Apply Statistics to Health Research
    An important problem
    Do the Methodological Work that you love
    Get funding
  • 5. New Investigator Definition
    Has not previously received a significant award from NIH (R01, Challenge Grant, etc.)
    Examples of awards you could have successfully competed for: R03, R15, R21, F awards, K awards, L awards
    Complete list at:
  • 6. New Investigator Benefits
    Grouped at review and taken into account
    investigator’s experience and training rather than accomplishments
    focus on proposed approach rather than track record
    expect less preliminary data
    Has a special payline for R01s
    2008: 14% R01 vs 19% *R01
  • 7. Early Stage Investigator
    New category to replace New Investigator
    Has additional requirement of being <10 years out from terminal degree or medical residency
    To ensure appropriate consideration for ESI eligibility, NIs must update eRA Commons profiles, and will see eligibility displayed
  • 8. Goals of NI/ESI Designation
    Encourage transition to independence
    Counter trend of increasing time spent in training phase of career
    Strongly encourage NIs/ESIs, to apply for R01 grants when seeking first-time NIH funding 
    See NIH website for NIs and ESIs
  • 9. NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award
    Must be within 5 years of terminal degree
    ≤ 5 yrs, with 2 phases
    Phase 1: mentored support, 1-2 years (e.g. post-doc)
    Phase 2: independent support, 3 yrs; contingent on securing independent research position (e.g. assistant professor)
    Work towards preparing an R01 application
  • 10. Other Mechanisms
    R03 Small Research grant
    R21 Exploratory/Development grant
    R15 AREA grant
  • 11. Preparing Your Application
    • How will your research have the greatest impact?
    Think about software, dissemination
    Will you hire programming assistance?
    • Motivate the methodology with science
  • Preparing Your Application
    • Read instructions and guidelines!
    • 12. Cover letter
    • 13. Can request IC and Study Section
    • 14. Cannot request a PD
    • 15. Budget
    • 16. Direct, indirect costs
    • 17. Modular for under $250K
    • 18. Rules for salary caps, renewals
    • 19. Length
    • 20. Currently 25 pages for an R01; will be 12 next year; other mechanisms different
    • 21. Write on all levels, motivate work with science
    • 22. Other
    • 23. Introduction for amended applications, responding to critiques
    • 24. IRB approval (if already available) or correct claims for human involvement
    • 25. Biosketch, including public access information
    • 26. Online submission requires both a grants.gov and ERA commons account
    • 27. Talk to your business manager about deadlines, budget advice
    • 28. Technically, the institution is applying for the grant, not the investigator
  • What does the study section look for?
    significance, investigator, innovation, approach, and environment
    Is there enough preliminary work to show that there is a high probability of success?
    If this research is successful, how will it change the state of science?
    Is this approach reasonable and innovative?
  • 29. Now what?
    • Wait, wait, wait
    • 30. Summary statement could take months
    • 31. Funding decisions could take even longer
    • 32. Council for second level of review
    • 33. Payline
    • 34. Debate whether to submit an amended application
    • 35. only one amended application allowed
  • Once Funded
    JIT – updated other support, IRB
    Progress Reports
    Supplements (administrative, competitive, minority, re-integration, etc)
    Competitive Renewal (every 3-5 years)
  • 36. Prior to Submission, a Program Director can
    Help you navigate funding announcements and match your goal to a mechanism
    Clarify funding announcements and help you decide whether your idea is responsive to a particular announcement
    Provide guidance on pre-submission policies
    Conference grants, large grants, salary limitations, receipt dates, competing continuation budget caps, amended applications
  • 37. Post Application, a Program Director
    Attends the study section review and can help put the summary statements in context
    Inform you of paylines, if available
    For scores within the payline, a PD can guide you through JIT info and post award requirements
    For scores outside the payline, a PD can provide guidance on improving an application
    For scores near the payline, a PD can keep you updated
  • 38. More Information
    NIH funding policies, rules, and opportunities change rapidly
    Go to an NIH website to find the most current information
  • 39. NCI/DCCPS Contact Information
    Michelle C. Dunn – dunnm3@mail.nih.gov
    Program Director for Statistical Methodology Grants
    Eric J. (Rocky) Feuer – feuerr@mail.nih.gov
    Program Director for CISNET Grants
    Denise Lewis – lewisde@mail.nih.gov
    Program Director for GIS/Spatial Applications Grants
    Program Director in Statistical Genetics