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Fundamentals of NLM Grants . National Library of Medicine Extramural Programs Updated Dec 2009. Contents of this slide set. NLM grant programs overview Grant review & approval process Tips for successful applications Electronic Grants Administration Contact information.

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fundamentals of nlm grants

Fundamentals of NLM Grants

National Library of Medicine Extramural Programs

Updated Dec 2009

contents of this slide set
Contents of this slide set
  • NLM grant programs overview
  • Grant review & approval process
  • Tips for successful applications
  • Electronic Grants Administration
  • Contact information
informatics funding at nih
Informatics Funding at NIH
  • Informatics is NLM’s research domain
    • Computer/information sciences applied to medicine, biology/biochemistry or public health domain
    • Basic & applied research
    • NLM grants & training $66 million in FY2005
  • Other NIH institutes also support biomedical informatics, e.g., NIBIB, NCRR, NIGMS, NHGRI, NIMH, NCI
types of nlm grant programs
Types of NLM Grant Programs
  • Research grants – investigator initiated research
  • Resource grants – infrastructure & applied informatics
  • Training support – informatics research training at academic centers
  • Career development support – career support and educational loan repayment
  • Grants for small businesses – commercialize good ideas
research grants
Research Grants
  • Focus on research & development in biomedical or public health informatics, or bioinformatics
    • Traditional investigator-initiated research grants (R01)
    • Experimental/developmental research grants (R21)
    • Conference Grants (R13)
career support awards
Career Support Awards
  • Focus on building the supply of researcher investigators in biomedical/ public health informatics or bioinformatics
    • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)
    • Loan Repayment Program (L30) (restricted to biomedical informatics)
resource grants
Resource Grants
  • Focus on optimizing the management & use of health-related information
    • Knowledge Management & Applied Informatics Grants (G08)
    • Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine & Health (G13)
training fellowships
Training & Fellowships
  • 18 University-based medical Informatics research training programs
grants for small businesses
Grants for Small Businesses
  • SBIR phase 1 and 2 grants for companies that want to bring a product to market
  • Fast-track – combine phase 1 and 2 in a single application. Requires prior approval by NLM staff
  • Priorities are the same as for research grants in biomedical informatics
multi institute grant programs
Multi-Institute Grant Programs
  • NLM also partners with other NIH organizations on grant programs. Examples:
    • Innovations in Biomedical Science & Technology (BISTI)
    • Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy
  • See Grant Programs listing
nlm grant deadlines
NLM Grant Deadlines
  • Open programs are the same as for other NIH Research Grants
    • see for dates
  • RFA deadlines are published in the grant funding announcement, in the NIH Guide
peer review for nlm grants
Peer Review for NLM Grants
  • Center for Scientific Review (CSR) receives all applications, assigns them to a study section and a funding Institute
  • NLM study sections review most of NLM’s grants
    • Biomedical Library & Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC)
    • Special Emphasis Panels (SEP) for some NLM grants
  • Multi-Institute grants in which NLM is a participant, such as SBIR grants, are reviewed by CSR study sections
review steps for grants example

Received at CSR 

1st Review by BLIRC 

2nd Review by BOR 

Final Decision, NLM 


Feb 5

June – in NIH Commons

Priority scores @ 2 days

Summary statements @ 30 days


@ Nov (Apr, Aug)

Exact date varies

Review Steps for Grants - Example
grant review outcomes

10 -30 (most likely to be funded)

30-45 (sometimes funded, esp new investigator or early stage investigators R01, or K99 grants)

Greater than 45: rarely funded

Grant Review Outcomes
components of good proposals
Components of Good Proposals
  • Responsive to the program announcement and NLM stated priorities
  • Clearly-stated goals and methodology
  • A detailed work plan that fits the stated project goals
  • A timeline and milestones
  • References to publications, placing the work in context of other, similar work and state of the art
components of good proposals1
Components of Good Proposals
  • Evidence of advance planning, e.g., pilot data or user needs assessment
  • Key personnel with relevant expertise and adequate FTE dedicated to the work
  • Evidence that problems & contingencies have been considered
  • Letters of agreement from named collaborators & consultants
other helpful hints

Contact program officer with questions

Name the grant program (e.g., PAR 03-108 ) on box 2 of face page

Register with NIH Commons and

Use most recent application form & instructions – watch for transitions to electronic application!!!


Put information in appendix that is needed to judge merit

Request more than $500K/yr without prior written approval by NLM

Send the same application to 2 institutes

Send the same application at 2 different deadlines

Other Helpful Hints
electronic grants administration
Electronic Grants Administration
  • Register with the NIH eRA Commons for access to priority scores and summary statements
    • Register at
    • Both PI and Institutional Official need Commons accounts
    • eRA Commons registration is REQUIRED for electronic submissions through
  • All NIH grant programs are moving to electronic grant submission. Institution MUST register at at least 2 weeks before the grant deadline. The transition to online applications began in December 2005. Full details at
program points of contact
Program points of contact
  • Dr. Valerie Florance – General overall program directions, Informatics training programs and special initiatives.
  • Dr. Hua-Chuan Sim – Clinical and public health informatics in research grants (R01), exploratory/developmental grants (R21), conference grants, and Pathway to Independence grants (K99). Also responsible for Knowledge Management & Applied Informatics grants, Scholarly Works grants and the Loan Repayment Program.
  • Dr. Jane Ye – Bioinformatics and computational biology in research grants (R01), exploratory/developmental grants (R21), conference grants, and Pathway to Independence grants (K99). Also responsible for SBIR/STTR grants.
for more information
For more information
  • Program: 301-594-4882 for Sim, & Ye;301-496-4621 for Florance

program announcements, links to application forms

  • answers many specific questions
  • for list of funded projects
  • for electronic applications information