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  • 1. Carol M. Mangione, MD, MSPH Barbara A. Levy and Gerald S. Levey Professor of Medicine and Public Health Associate Director, UCLA CTSI David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, UCLA Fielding School of Public Health How to anticipate and plan for an R grant application
  • 2. Outline   •  Strategies  for  making  the  most  of  the  research  you   conduct  during  the  K  award   •  The  importance  of  rela:onship  building  at  the  NIH   •  Keep  an  eye  out  for  the  FOAs  and  RFAs  that  are  the   best  fit  for  your  work     •  GeDng  Organized:   –  Your  results   –  Your  team   –  Your  :meline  
  • 3. Making  the  most  of  the  K  research   •  Early  on,  try  to  iden:fy  at  least  one  research   ques:on  and  testable  hypothesis  that  is   important  regardless  of  the  direc:on  or   significance  of  your  findings.     •  If  you  can  link  the  K  research  to  the  first  R  grant   this  will  help  you  have  strong  preliminary  studies   and  it  will  be  easier  to  defend  why  the  work   proposed  in  the  R  is  the  most  important  and   logical  next  step  and  why  you  are  the  best  PI  to   do  this  work      
  • 4. Making  the  most  of  the  K  research   •  Get  out  front  with  your  research  findings  so  that   you  start  to  develop  a  name  and  iden:ty  in  your   field   –  Present  your  work  at  the  most  important  mee:ngs   –  Take  advantage  of  opportuni:es  to  par:cipate  in  NIH   conferences  and  other  symposia  in  your  field   –  Get  to  know  the  most  prominent  scien:sts  in  your   field  so  that  you  can  get  their  input  on  your  work   –  Publish…  try  not  to  get  scooped!   –  Time  is  your  most  precious  commodity,  don’t  waste  it   on  low  yield  ac:vi:es  –  If  you  are  not  sure  which  ones   fall  in  this  category,  talk  to  your  mentor  
  • 5. Be  aware  of  who  else  is  working  in   your  area  of  research!   •  Literature  search      -­‐  Pubmed:  what  has  been  published)    -­‐  Google  scholar  (may  pick  up  abstracts                presented  at  mee:ngs)   •  NIH  reporter  (grants  that  have  been  funded   already)    -­‐  hYp://  
  • 6. Making  the  most  of  the  K  research   •  Look  for  opportuni:es  to  be  independent  of  your   mentor   –  In  some  fields  this  is  accomplished  by  working  and   publishing  with  more  than  one  senior  researcher   –  Or,  you  may  have  the  opportunity  to  “PI”  a  smaller   founda:on  grant  in  your  field  that  is  related  to  or  is  an   extension  of  your  main  work   –  Early  on,  talk  to  your  mentor  about  what  you  should   do  now  or  in  the  next  couple  of  years  so  that  when   the  first  R  goes  in  with  you  as  PI  there  will  not  be   ques:ons  about  your  independence.  
  • 7. Rela:onship  Building  at  the  NIH   •  Establish  rela:onships  with  the  program  officers   at  the  ins:tute(s)  in  your  research  area   •  Know  the  ins:tute’s  priority  areas  in  your  field   •  Each  Ins:tute  handles  grants  in  slightly  different   ways   •  2  parts:   –  Program-­‐  Includes  the  Ins:tutes  that  set  the  research   priori:es  –  get  to  know  your  ins:tute’s  priori:es!   –  Review  -­‐  CSR  or  Center  for  Scien:fic  Review     •  Evaluates  the  scien:fic  merits  of  the  proposals   •  hYp://  
  • 8.  Sign  up  for  the  NIH  GUIDE  ListServe   hYp://   once a week receive a Table of Contents with ‘links’ to PAs, Notices, FOAs and RFAs The  best  way  to  know  your  ins:tute  
  • 9. Resources   •  NIH  Guide  for  Grants  and  Contracts   •  Ins:tute  web  pages   •  Grants  Net  (hYp://   •  Mentors  and  colleagues   •  NIH  staff  
  • 10. NIH  Program  staff   ! Program  Director/ Administrator  or   ‘Project  Officer’   ! Work  for  an  Ins:tute  or   Center   ! Handle  pre-­‐applica:on   ques:ons   ! Manage  grant  poreolios   ! Develop  RFAs  and  PAs   ! Observers  at  study   sec:on  mee:ngs   ! Handle  post-­‐review   issues   ! Send  out  summary   statements   ! Ini:ate  funding  plans   ! Review  yearly  progress   reports  
  • 11. Governmental  Alphabet  Soup   •  NIH  -­‐  Na:onal  Ins:tutes  of  Health   •  AHRQ  -­‐  Agency  for  Healthcare  Research  and   Quality   •  PCORI  –  Pa:ent  Centered  Outcomes  Research   Ins:tute   •  RFA  -­‐  Request  for  applica:on   •  RFP  -­‐  Request  for  proposals   •  PA  -­‐  Program  announcement   •  FOA  –  Funding  opportunity  announcement  
  • 12. Funding  the  transi:on  from  K  to  R   •  Look  for  funding  announcements,  preferably  RFAs   or  FOAs  that  have  specific  dollars  allocated  to   your  area   •  What  if  there  aren’t  any  or  what  if  the  pay  lines   are  unrealis:cally  low?       –  Consider  founda:ons,  professional  organiza:ons,   industry,  or  ins:tu:onal  grants  to  :de  you  over   –  Awards  from  these  sources  can  keep  you  working,   publishing,  and  staying  ac:ve  in  the  field  and  can   strengthen  your  poreolio  while  you  try  to  iden:fy  the   best  opportunity  at  NIH  
  • 13. First  steps  in  R  proposal  prepara:on   •  Take  a  hard  look  at  what  you  have  published  and  try   to  build  the  R  around  your  most  significant  research   findings  –  this  may  or  may  not  be  your  K  funded   research   •  Decide  where  will  it  go  and/or  who  your  audience  is   •  Check  NIH  Reporter  to  make  sure  that  the  study  isn’t   already  underway   •  Requires  several  months  of  reading,  organizing,   wri:ng,  and  revising  
  • 14. Review  and  Award  Cycles   Cycle I   Cycle II   Cycle III   Scien)fic   Merit   Review   June – July October – November February - March Advisory   Council   Round   August or October * January May Earliest  Start   Date   September or December * April July * Advisory Council Round for Cycle I applications may be August or October, and their earliest project start date may be September or December respectively.
  • 15. First  steps  in  proposal  prepara:on   •  EARLY  ON  talk  to  the  scien:fic  administrator!   •  Follow  the  wriYen  guidelines  from  the  funder  carefully   – Outline  of  the  structure   – Page  limits   – Font  sizes   – Funding  limits   – Elements  that  must  be  included   – Priority  areas  
  • 16. Get  Organized   •  Work  from  an  outline   •  Establish  a  :meline  for  comple:ng  the  proposal  -­‐  make   :me  to  work  on  this   •  Have  the  project  team  meet  periodically   •  Give  assignments  with  deadlines   •  Make  deadlines  for  yourself   •  Find  a  model  proposal   –  recently  funded  by  the  same  agency   –  look  over  the  reviews  if  you  can  get  a  hold  of  them   •  REVIEW,  PRETEST,  REVISE  REPEATEBLY  
  • 17. Summary   •  Things  won’t  go  as  smoothly  as  this  talk   sounds   •  Be  flexible,  take  advantage  of  unexpected   opportuni:es  when  they  come  your  way   •  Be  very  protec:ve  of  your  :me   •  The  drought  at  NIH  won’t  last  forever,  so  be   strategic,  keep  doing  the  research  you  love   and  you  will  be  in  the  strongest  posi:on  to   compete  when  the  :me  is  right  to  submit  an  R  
  • 18. NIH  Award  Success