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FUNDING FOR JUNIOR INVESTIGATORS Climbing onto the Funding Bandwagon At the outset, apply for training grants other than the NIH K23 and K08 -- the “holy grails” NIH K23 and K08 grants come later, once data is in hand Pre-K Series PHASE

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Funding for junior investigators climbing onto the funding bandwagon l.jpg

FUNDING FOR JUNIOR INVESTIGATORSClimbing onto the Funding Bandwagon

  • At the outset, apply for training grants other than the NIH K23 and K08 -- the“holy grails”

  • NIH K23 and K08 grants come later, once data is in hand


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Pre-K Series PHASE

  • National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Training Grants (T32; predoctoral and postdoctoral)

  • NRSA Individual Postdoctoral Fellowships (F32)

  • Non-NIH Institutional Training Grants (federal; non-federal)

  • Foundation Grants

Apply for multiple grants in parallel


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INSTITUTIONAL GRANTS IN P&LM

  • NIH Institutional Training grants (9)

  • Cancer Center Training Grants (3)

  • Human Genetics Training Grant (1)

  • Wistar Measley Fellowship (1)

  • William Pepper Fellowship (4)


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FOUNDATION GRANTS IN P&LM

  • Howard Hughes (2)

  • National Blood Foundation (1)

  • College American Pathologists (1)

  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (1)

  • Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (1)

  • Leukemia Society (1)

  • Foundation Scholars Program (1)

  • Int Soc Heart and Lung Transplantation (1)

  • American Heart Association(2)


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NIH “K” GRANTS “Career Awards”

  • K12: Institutional K grant for mentored research training

  • K30: Institutional K grant analogous to K12, but specifically for clinical research

  • K01/K22 Special purpose mentored awards offered by some NIH institutes

  • K23: Individual K grant specifically for patient-oriented research (“Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award”)

  • K08: Individual K grant (“Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award”)


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NIH “K” GRANTS “Career Awards”

  • K12: Institutional K grant for mentored research training

  • K30: Institutional K grant analogous to K12, but specifically for clinical research

  • K01/K22 Special purpose mentored awards offered by some NIH institutes

  • K23: Individual K grant specifically for patient-oriented research (“Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award”)

  • K08: Individual K grant (“Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award”)


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NIH K12/K30: INSTITUTIONAL K GRANTS FOR MENTORED RESEARCH TRAINING

  • For recently graduated MD (or MD-PhD) residents/house officers who want research training

  • 75% effort towards research

  • K12 holders should consider applying for individual version of K12 (i.e., K08) early on, to free up K12 spot for someone else at the institution; total K12 + K08 time not to exceed 5 years total


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NIH “K” GRANTS “Career Awards”

  • K12: Institutional K grant for mentored research training

  • K30: Institutional K grant analogous to K12, but specifically for clinical research

  • K01/K22 Special purpose mentored awards offered by some NIH institutes

  • K23: Individual K grant specifically for patient-oriented research (“Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award”)

  • K08: Individual K grant (“Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award”)


Nih k grants career awards9 l.jpg

NIH “K” GRANTS “Career Awards”

  • K12: Institutional K grant for mentored research training

  • K30: Institutional K grant analogous to K12, but specifically for clinical research

  • K01/K22 Special purpose mentored awards offered by some NIH institutes

  • K23: Individual K grant specifically for patient-oriented research (“Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award”)

  • K08: Individual K grant (“Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award”)


Nih k grants career awards10 l.jpg

NIH “K” GRANTS “Career Awards”

  • K12: Institutional K grant for mentored research training

  • K30: Institutional K grant analogous to K12, but specifically for clinical research

  • K01/K22 Special purpose mentored awards offered by some NIH institutes

  • K23: Individual K grant specifically for patient-oriented research (“Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award”)

  • K08: Individual K grant (“Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award”)


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NIH K23/K08

  • First chance to be PI on a grant (although continuing to work closely with scientific mentor)

  • For recently graduated MD (or MD-PhD) residents/house officers with as little as 2 postgraduate years of clinical training, who want research training

  • At least 75% research effort, up to 5 years


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NIH K23: “PATIENT-ORIENTED RESEARCH”

  • Patient-oriented research is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: 1) mechanisms of human disease; 2) therapeutic interventions; 3) clinical trials, and; 4) the development of new technologies.

  • Application pool for K23 is smaller than for K08, since most lab research projects do not qualify as patient-oriented


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NIH K23: “PATIENT-ORIENTED RESEARCH”

  • Patient-oriented research is defined as research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects. This area of research includes: 1) mechanisms of human disease; 2) therapeutic interventions; 3) clinical trials, and; 4) the development of new technologies.

  • Application pool for K23 is smaller than for K08, since most lab research projects do not qualify as patient-oriented


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NIH GRANTS IN P&LM

  • NIH NRSA Individual Grants (2)

  • NIH NRSA Institutional Training Grants (12)

  • NIH K08 (15)


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #1

  • Apply for NIH K08 after 1-1.5 years in a mentor’s lab, to allow for familiarity with the project and generation of some data – since funding would then start about one year later, it would not be exhausted when applying for a faculty position


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #2

  • NIH K08 should be in an area distinct from previous work (i.e., Ph.D. thesis) – that is, NIH K08 should not simply be a continuation of work previously done, and instead, should represent a different/unique area of investigation; avoid appearing “too senior”


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #3

  • Coordinate NIH K08 specific aims with primary mentor, to assure “freedom-to-operate” down the road


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #4

  • Don’t shortchange environment, training, and committees; strong Chair’s letter is key


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #5

  • Consider multiple mentors to draw upon different and complementary expertises


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #6

  • Review model grants – many templates work, but many others don’t; NIH posts a model grant


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NIH K08 GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #7

  • Seek active input from senior investigators with significant NIH study section experience and multiple grants of their own – grantsmanship is not intuitive; it is learned, not inherited; “Advisory Committee” is encouraged


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #1

  • “Specific Aims section is the centerpiece”Build each specific aim upon at least one significant piece of preliminary data – craft aims with a basis in PI’s past experience


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #2

  • “Know thy reviewer”Gear text towards the “educated generalist,” an informed scientist who is not likely to know the subtleties of your field, conveying context, significance, and novelty within the field – convey a clear picture of the niche you are filling or extending, and make sure these are clear within the Title/Abstract/Specific Aims, which may be all the other study section members actually read


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #3

  • “Significance requires grounding”Convey the “practical” implications (diagnostic and/or therapeutic), even for most basic science studies


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #4

  • “Focus, focus, focus”Engender “focus,” with tight links to one or two clearly-stated hypotheses


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #5

  • “Spreading your wings”Clearly delineate points of departure from mentor’s research program – think of reviewers as detectives, so be proactive: anticipate misunderstandings and explain time gaps on CV’s and issues related to originality of ideas, lab space, and ancillary funding


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #6

  • “Grants are not manuscripts (Concept I)”Repetition of key points is OK – expect a single read-through at more than one sitting

  • “Grants are not manuscripts (Concept II)” Write the grant as if it’s the critique – identify the Achilles’ heels and tackle them head on


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GENERAL GRANTSMANSHIP TIPS Tip #7

  • “It’s the end of a long day, or football Sunday”Readability is essential – use wide margins, fewer pages than limit, bulleting, and ample font size


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