pearls to get your grants funded

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pearls to get your grants funded

  1. 1. Pearls to get your grants funded Steven Kornblau
  2. 2. NCI Grant Allocations 2011 Career Awards $74 million Research Awards $1.63 Billion 62% 10% 9% 0% 4% 0% 4% 3% 8% RO1 P01 RFA R03 R21 R33 SBIR/STTR Program Evaluation Other $414 to new grants
  3. 3. 2012 Data • Funding applications up, # funded way down • Success rate • P01 21 of 96 awarded 22% 43 mil • R01 661 of 4583 14% 256 mil • R21 228 of 2322 10% 46 mil • U01 29 of 243 16% 29 mil – RO1 7% or better all funded. Virtually none >18% – R21 8% all -12% down to 50% get funded • What is currently funded – 1711 RO1 – 52 P01 – 41 U01 – U54 24
  4. 4. How does the NCI Score ? • 9 point scale 1= outstanding….9 Abysmal • 5 factors, all not weighted equally • 2012 range for funded – Significance 1.4-3.6 – Investigator 1.4-2.5 – Approach 2-3.3 – Innovation 2.4-4.8 – Environment 1.4-2.1
  5. 5. What score do I need to get funded? • RO1 – 7% or lower all got funded. – 8% or higher, 60, 40, 20% virtually none >18% • R21 – 8% or lower all got funded – Down to 12%, 50% get funded, nil >12%
  6. 6. Significance • Must be relevant to Human cancers • Will it advance the field ?
  7. 7. Investigator • Not much variation among the funded grants, so it can’t help but can hurt you • Use the personal statement in the Biosketch to really sell yourself – Why you are the right person for this research – That you have enough (unique!) expertise
  8. 8. Approach • They like hypothesis driven – They hate Fishing expeditions • Must have supporting preliminary data • How will you verify? • Include “enough” methodology details – The goldilocks point is hard to define – Just because a method is standard they need to see that • YOU can do it • It works in your setting • Address pitfalls – Don’t assume it will work – What will you do if it doesn’t work? • Maintain FOCUS • Include a timeline
  9. 9. Innovation • Novel technology? – Novel application of existing technology? • Conceptually novel? • Novel reagents? • Check the literature to make sure that what you are proposing wasn’t already published – If it was, then you better have a really convincing argument of why your study is needed • Check the NCI website to make sure that they have not already funded something similar
  10. 10. Environment • There is not a lot of variation in the environment score among funded grants – It can’t help you but it can sure hurt you! • Make sure you have letters of support from your : – Institution – document that you have resources – Collaborators, Consultants
  11. 11. Write for your reviewers • Assume they know very little about your area • Think about when they will read your grant – After hours, weekends, on the plane to a conference, distracted by family, TV etc, • They are tired, possibly ignorant & maybe had a drink or two – Guess what will happen if you try to make them read something scientifically obtuse! • Therefore – Use simple sentence structure – GRAMMAR COUNTS in exceedingly large amounts – Make ideas clear and easy to absorb – Tell then clearly what you want them to learn form each sentence or figure, don’t make (let) them draw the conclusions for themselves – Figures must be SIMPLE, CLEAR, READABLE don’t use tiny fonts – afa
  12. 12. Some strategies • Only 1 resubmit- so don’t submit prematurely • Local review – Bounce the ideas off others in your dept or area. – Show them prelim data and Specific aims before you write. – Take their advice • If they see holes, so will the reviewer • If they say an aim is weak, believe them • Follow all rules – Page limits: Write as much as you need first. Make sure you get all the ideas down, then trim to fit. Otherwise you will omit key details. – Dates: Make sure you leave enough time for your institution to process it. Don’t wait until the last • Grammar and style review – Does your institution provide it? If not pay for one. • Local peer review- preferably someone unfamiliar with your area. – If they can’t understand it you are in trouble • Don’t fall in love with what you wrote, be willing to accept criticism m e
  13. 13. Pre-Contact with the NCI/NIH • Pick a study section that you think is right for your grant – DO NOT GO IN BLIND – Look at what they are funding, does yours fit? – Look at the SS roster. Do you know people on it? • looking for experts in your arena • Not looking for friends, they will have to leave anyway. – NIH/NCI will usually honor your request • Call the program officer or science officer when you have the idea – Is this the right SS for you? – Do they have suggestions?
  14. 14. Cover letter • Suggest the center/institute • Identify – Any conflicts in the study section roster – Areas of expertise needed by the reviewer for a fair review of your grant – Special situations • DO NOT suggest who should review your grant

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