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Your NIH Grant Application. 2009 MORE Program Directors Meeting June 10-12, 2009 – Colorado Springs, CO. Paul Sheehy, Ph.D. Deputy Associate Director National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). ABSTRACT.

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your nih grant application

Your NIH Grant Application

2009 MORE Program Directors Meeting

June 10-12, 2009 – Colorado Springs, CO

Paul Sheehy, Ph.D.

Deputy Associate Director

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)

abstract
ABSTRACT
  • The NIH has introduced major changes in processes and policies relating to grant application (submission and review) and award management. This presentation reviews the changes in grant submission (transition of various grant activities to electronic submission and migration of applications forms from PureEdge to Adobe software), grant review (new scoring system, limited resubmission, designation of New Investigator status, reformatted Critique template), and the upcoming changes to grant application forms (page limits decreased, , reformatted Critique template), and the upcoming changes to grant application forms (page limits decreased, sections aligned to review criteria, reformatted biosketch). The legal requirement to submit an electronic version of every peer-reviewed taxpayer-supported manuscript to PubMed Central (Public Access policy) is also presented. Finally, NIH and NIGMS have developed new communications vehicles to better communicate funding data and policies to the public.
agenda
Agenda
  • Enhancing Peer Review
    • Changes so far / ongoing / yet to come
    • Implications for training applications
  • eSubmission
    • Forms Changes
    • Upcoming transitions
  • Policies
    • What’s new
    • What to look for
  • Information Resources
    • What’s new
    • Where to look
receipt and referral of applications
Receipt and Referral of Applications

Electronic (SF424 R&R) submitted through Grants.gov

Paper (PHS 398) direct to CSR

to an NIH Institute

CSR Referral Office assigns the application…

a unique identifier (application number)

to Integrated Review Group (IRG) and then a study section (SRG)

Application assessed for completeness & eligibility

Notice of assignment available in eRA Commons in 4 weeks.

1st Month

2nd Month

review system for grant applications
Review System for Grant Applications

Advisory Council

Assess quality of SRG process

Offers recommendation to Institute Staff

Evaluates program priorities and relevance

Advises on policy

  • Scientific Review Group (SRG)
    • Independent outside review
    • Evaluate scientific merit, significance
    • Recommend length and level of funding

1st level

Output: Priority Score and Summary Statement

2nd level

3 - 7 months

Output: Funding Recommendations

1 - 3 months

  • Institute Director
      • Makes final decision based on Council input, programmatic priorities
      • Must also Pass Administrative Review

Output: Awards or Resubmission

enhancing peer review at nih
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

NIH Peer Review

Virtues

  • Cornerstone of the NIH extramural mission
  • Standard of excellence worldwide
  • Collaboration between NIH extramural staff and scientific community

Complaints

  • Overly burdensome
      • Applications too long
      • Process too long
  • Disproportionate effect of negatives
  • Uneven quality of reviews and reviewers
enhancing peer review at nih1
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

Purpose

  • Facilitate changing nature of science
    • Interdisciplinary and team science
    • Recognizes and utilizes new sources of information
  • Encourage New and Early Stage Investigators
  • Ease burden on research enterprise
  • Streamline time to award
  • Fund the best science, by the best scientists, with the least amount of administrative burden
enhancing peer review key recommendations
Enhancing Peer ReviewKey Recommendations

More at:http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov

enhancing peer review1
Enhancing Peer Review

Primary Implementation Actions

  • Reduce Resubmissions
    • Phase out second revisions
  • Identify and cluster New Investigator and Clinical applications
  • Improve Scoring
    • Compress the range of possible scores (10-90)
    • Report percentiles in whole numbers.
  • Improve Critiques
    • Shorten and focus critiques.
    • ALL applications receive feedback.
  • Enhance ReviewCriteria
    • Core Review Criteria – Score individual criteria.
    • Additional Review Criteria (scored) and Considerations (not) – reviewed as applicable
  • Shorten Research Plans

More at: http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/

enhancing peer review at nih2
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

Timeline

Changes

SO FAR

Changes

NOW

Changes

LATER

January 2009

May/June 2009

January 2010 Submissions

  • Phase out of
  • A2 applications
  • Identification of
  • Early Stage
  • Investigator (ESI) applications
  • Enhanced review criteria
  • New scoring system
  • Criterion scoring
  • Structured critiques
  • Clustering Applications
  • Score order review
  • Alignment of applications & review criteria
  • Shorter Research Plans

11

enhancing peer review at nih3
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

Changes Happening So Far

  • Phase out of A2 applications
  • Identification of Early Stage Investigator (ESI) applications
changes so far
NIH limiting all original new (i.e. never submitted) and competing renewal applications to only one resubmission.

Applies to all applications submitted for January 25, 2009 due date and beyond.

Previously submitted applications will be allowed two resubmissions (“grandfathered”) until January 7, 2011.

Based on recommendations from the Peer Review Oversight Committee to increase the number of high quality and first resubmissions that can be funded earlier.

Reduces applicant burden of multiple resubmissions.

Removes delays in funding for meritorious science.

More at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-003.html

Changes So Far

Phase Out of A2 Applications

changes so far limited resubmission of applications
Changes So Far:Limited Resubmission of Applications

Criteria for a New Application

  • Not a New Issue
  • Substantially different in content and scope
    • Fundamental changes in questions and/or outcomes
    • Rewording of the Title and Specific Aims or incorporating minor changes in response to reviewer comments does not constitute substantial change
    • Request for a different review committee or a different IC are not sufficient
    • Important implications for training , policies have not yet been worked out
  • Applications changing activity codes are new submissions
    • Change in activity code
    • Applications to RFAs (usually) including ARRA
changes so far new early stage investigators

Expectations for preliminary data or track record should not be the same as for established investigators

Encourage earlier transition to research independence

Strongly encourage New Investigators, particularly ESIs, to apply for R01 grants when seeking first-time NIH funding 

Clustering facilitates consistency

Changes So Far:New/Early Stage Investigators

Purpose

changes so far new early stage investigators1
Changes So Far:New/Early Stage Investigators

Definitions

  • New Investigator (NI) is a PD/PI who has not yet competed successfully for a substantial NIH research grant
    • Receipt of the following awards does not remove new investigator status: R00, R03, R15, R21, R34, R36, R41, R42, R55, R56, SC2, SC3, all Fs, most Ks, all Loan Repayment contracts, G07, G08, G11, G13, G20, S10, S15, S21, S22.
  • Early Stage Investigator is NI who is within 10 years of completing the terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or equivalent)
  • Both eligible for the Shortened Review Cycle option
  • Status applies only to R01s
  • For multiple PD/PIs: all PD/PIs must meet definition
enhancing peer review at nih4
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

Changes Happening NOW

  • Enhanced review criteria
  • New scoring system
  • Criterion scoring
  • Structured critiques
  • Clustering of New Investigator applications
  • Score order of review
  • Implemented for applications submitted:
    • for Fiscal Year 2010 funding consideration
    • for Recovery Act (ARRA) RFAs
changes happening now enhanced review criteria
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Overall Impact/PriorityScore

Reflects the reviewers’ assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved

  • In consideration of:
    • Core criteria
    • Additional review criteria (RFA or PAR)
    • Additional review criteria (scored) – as applicable
    • Additional review considerations (not scored)
changes happening now enhanced review criteria1
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Overall Impact  Overall Impact/Priority Score

  • Core criteria order:
    • Significance*
    • Investigator(s)*
    • Innovation*
    • Approach*
    • Environment*
  • Additional review criteria
    • Protections for Human Subjects
    • Inclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children
    • Vertebrate Animals
    • Resubmission Applications
    • Renewal Applications
    • Biohazards

*Will receive individual criterion scores

Side-by-side comparison http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer_review_process.htm

changes happening now enhanced review criteria2
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Significance

  • Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field?
  • If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved?
  • How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?
changes happening now enhanced review criteria3
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Investigator

  • Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project?
  • If Early Stage Investigators or New Investigators, do they have appropriate experience and training?
  • If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)?
  • If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project*? (*Moved from Approach)
changes happening now enhanced review criteria4
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Innovation

  • Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
  • Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense?
  • Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
changes happening now enhanced review criteria5
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Approach

  • Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
  • Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense?
  • Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
  • Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project?
  • Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?
  • If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
  • If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
changes happening now enhanced review criteria6
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Environment

  • Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success?
  • Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed?
  • Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?
changes happening now enhanced review criteria7
Changes Happening NOW:Enhanced Review Criteria

Additional Review Considerations

  • As applicable for the project proposed
  • Reviewers will address each item
  • Reviewers will not give scores for these items should not consider them in providing an overall impact score.
  • Budget and Period Support
  • Select Agent Research
  • Applications from Foreign Organizations
  • Resource Sharing Plans
changes happening now new scoring system
Changes Happening NOW: New Scoring System

9-Point Scale

    • Reduces number of rating discriminations
  • Provides rating descriptors
    • To improve reliability
    • To encourage use of the entire range
  • Will be used for:
    • Overall impact/priority scores
    • Individual criterion scores
  • Will be implemented for applications submitted for:
    • FY2010 funding consideration and beyond
    • Recovery Act funding opportunity announcements
enhancing peer review at nih5
Enhancing Peer Review at NIH

Structured Critiques

  • Decrease variability
  • Increase quality of information in critiques
  • More succinct, better organized
  • Encourage evaluative statements
  • Ensure that reviewers address all review criteria and considerations
changes happening now structured critiques

Phases of Process

Changes Happening NOW: Structured Critiques

Critique Templates

  • Bulleted comments
  • Scores for five review criteria
  • Required comments:
    • Protections for Human Subjects
    • Inclusion Plans
    • Vertebrate Animal Welfare
    • Biohazards
    • Budget

Links to

definitions

of review

criteria

changes happening now score order review
Changes Happening NOW:Score Order Review

Order of Discussion

Where feasible, discussion order based on:

  • Clustering of New Investigator applications
  • Clustering of clinical applications
  • Clustering of similar activity codes
  • Preliminary overall impact/priority scores
changes happening now
Changes Happening NOW

Additional Information

  • Enhancing Peer Review Website:
    • (http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/index.html)
  • NOT-OD-09-025:
    • http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-025.html
  • Side-by-side comparison of enhanced and former review criteria
    • http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer_review_process.htm
  • Guidelines for Reviewers
    • http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/reviewer_guidelines.htm
happening later
Happening LATER:

Application Changes

Beginning with Jan 2010 Submissions

  • Alignment of applications & review criteria
  • Shorter Research/Research Training Plans

*NIH Plans a Fall Release of new Forms

happening later application changes
Happening LATER:Application Changes

Alignment of Applications and Review Criteria

Changes to three parts of application:

  • Biographical sketch
  • Research/Research Training Plan
  • Resources
happening later application changes1
Happening LATER:Application Changes

Biographical Sketch

  • Personal Statement – why experience and qualifications make the applicant particularly well-suited for role in the project
  • Publications limited to 15
    • 5 most recent
    • 5 best
    • 5 most relevant to the application
happening later application changes2
Happening LATER:Application Changes

Restructured Research Plan

Introduction (amended appls only)

Specific Aims

Background and Significance

Preliminary Studies/Progress Report

Research/Research Training Design and Methods

Inclusion Enrollment Report (as applicable)

Progress Report Publication List

Human Subjects Sections….

protections, women/minorities, enrollment, children

Other Research Plan Sections….

animals, select agent, MPI, consortium, support, sharing

Appendix

Research

Strategy

happening later application changes3
Happening LATER:Application Changes

Current Application

New Application

happening later application changes4
Happening LATER:Application Changes

Facilities and Other Resources

(in 424 part of the R&R Other Project Information; in 398 the Resources Format Page)

Environment - New instruction to address how scientific/training environment will contribute to probability of success, unique features of environment, etc. For ESIs, provide description of institutional investment in success of the investigator.

happening later alignment of application with review criteria
Happening LATER: Alignment of Application with Review Criteria

Core Review Criteria

Application

adobe application forms and electronic submission

Adobe Application Forms and Electronic Submission

Changes to electronic applications are on the way.

Learn how this affects YOU today!

adobe not very different
Adobe: Not very different…
  • The new Adobe forms look very similar to PureEdge forms -- Changes are cosmetic and navigational (see comparison at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/files/PureEdge_v_Adobe.pdf
  • Overall electronic submission process remains the same:
    • Find opportunity
    • Download application package
    • Develop research plan and other PDF attachments
    • Complete forms
    • Submit application
    • Check assembled application in eRA Commons

Works on both Macs and PCs

but follow these important tips to ensure success
… but follow these important tips to ensure success
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.3 or 9.0 requiredtoopen forms
    • Stay tuned to Grants.gov’sDownload Software page for changes (http://www.grants.gov/help/download_software.jsp)
    • A pop-up usually warns if you have a wrong version
  • If using an Adobe Acrobat product to create PDFs, check Grants.gov’s Web site for help on settings
    • To ensure the application reader opens in the correct version of Adobe
reminder avoid common esubmission errors
Reminder: Avoid Common eSubmission Errors
  • Use PDF format for text attachments and do not embed movies or other materials in PDF attachments.
  • R&R Senior/Key Person Profile(s) form
    • Include eRA Commons Username in the ‘Credential, e.g., agency login’ field for all individuals assigned a PD/PI role.
    • Include the Organization Name for all Senior/Key Persons listed.
  • R&R Budget form - Senior/Key Person effort must be greater than zero.
  • http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/app_help.htm

Clicking ‘Submit’ is not the last step. Remember. . . if you can’t view it (in Commons), we can’t review it !

More at: http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/avoiding_errors.htm

electronic submission update
Electronic Submission: Update
  • Adobe-based grant application forms are now available for all FOAs requiring eSubmission.
  • Career Development Awards (Ks) transitioned to electronic submission.
  • Next set of transitions:
    • New PHS 398 and SF 424 (R&R) Application forms expected in Fall, 2009
    • Fellowship (F): August 8, 2009 (forms soon to be released )
    • Training (T & K12): January 25, 2010 (Tentative)
support
Support

Resources & Help Desks

  • Contact Grants.gov Contact Center for questions on form functionality or submission of the forms to Grants.gov. 
    • http://grants.gov/applicants/app_help_reso.jsp
  • Contact the eRA Help Desk at NIH for technical issues that threaten NIH’s timely receipt of your application.
    • Work with the Grants.gov Contact Center and be sure to document the issue and provide NIH with the tracking number received from Grants.gov Contact Center.
    • http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/
    • http://era.nih.gov/ElectronicReceipt/app_help.htm
public access policy
Compliance mandated by Law

Applicable to peer-reviewed articles accepted for publication on or after 4/7/08

Submission of articles to NIH: Deposit final manuscript in NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system. Many journals will submit articles on behalf of author. Articles must be publicly available on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after date of publication

Citing Articles in Applications & Progress Reports: Beginning with 5/25/08 submission date, use the PubMed Central ID or NIH MS ID number for each article.

More at: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-071.html

Public Access Policy

“All investigators funded by NIH must submit to PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication.”

new tool to search nih funding
New reports, data and analyses website released in March, 2008 and expanded significantly in January, 2009 with addition of RCDC data (Research, Condition and Disease Categorization process)

Replaces the current Award Information and Data web pages (including CRISP) and will provide:

Quick access to “Frequently Requested Reports”

FAQs on how success rates are computed and questions on the NIH budget

Search tools for locating data and reports quickly and easily

Links to funding estimates for certain research areas, conditions, and diseases.

Foundation for broader NIH-wide Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT)

http://report.nih.gov/

More at:http://report.nih.gov

New Tool to Search NIH Funding
nigms feedback loop
Weekly Updates from NIGMS

Funding Opportunities

Meetings

Resources

Other useful information

Interactive

Community discussion is encouraged through comments

Sample Content

Early Notice: New Microbial-Host Interactions Grants (Upcoming RFA)

Discussion of the Scientific Workforce

FY 2010 NIGMS Budget Request

FAQs

Available via email, web and RSS

More at:http://loop.nigms.nih.gov

NIGMS Feedback Loop
thank you

Thank You!

Any Questions?

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