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The review process A timetable for grant preparation Application form modules & components The research module The abstract The progress report The research proposal __________________________ The curriculum vitae module The budget module (as time allows). TOPICS TO BE COVERED.

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slide1
The review process

A timetable for grant preparation

Application form modules & components

The research module

The abstract

The progress report

The research proposal

__________________________

The curriculum vitae module

The budget module (as time allows)

TOPICS TO BE COVERED

grantsmanship

Grantsmanship…

…but it has also a great deal to

do with presentation

..has a lot to do with your past training, productivity, and scientific expertise and brilliance,

slide3

The CIHR Review Process

Upon receipt in Ottawa:

- application filed by CIHR staff

- checked for completeness (all modules, signatures)

- does it follows CIHR guidelines (length, etc)

Each application is assigned to:

- one primary internal reviewer

- one secondary internal reviewer

- one ‘reader’ (reads in any external reviewer comments)

slide4

The CIHR Review Panel

Chairman- responsible for all processes

Scientific officer (S.O.) delegates applications to panel reviewers

  • Reviewers often are not from in your sub-discipline
  • Some applications sent to alternate committees
  • Committees attempt to fill all functions (and reduce dependence on external reviewers [lack of participation])

Panel members (each one scores all applications)

- expertise designed to cover the breadth of the application pool

- 10-15 panel members

slide5

The review process

  • Before the review meeting in Ottawa
    • 1˚ and 2˚ review their assigned grants
      • Normally, each member is assigned perhaps 5 grants
      • as primary, 5 as secondary, and 5 as reader
      • 8 - 20 hr required to review each application
        • depending on how familiar you are with the area
  • At the meeting
    • First - all signed, scored & completed reviews are given to S.O.
    • Chairman reviews regulations of review panel, mandates,
    • guidelines, etc
  • •For each application
  • - the 1˚ & 2˚ reviewer’s scores are read out
    • Score range: 0-5 (few below 2.5, few above 4.5; ≤2.9 = triage)
    • 1˚ reads his review (5-10 min)
    • 2˚ adds any relevant comments (≈5 min)
the review process con t
The review process(con’t)
  • The panel asks any outstanding questions
  • Reader adds insights of externals
  • Consensus score is agreed upon by 1˚ and 2˚
  • Grant is scored secretly by each committee member
    • Scores must be +/- 0.5 from consensus, or dissent must be registered verbally and discussed by entire committee
  • At the end of the panel (dy 2 or 3), all scores turned into S.O.
    • Mean scores ranked from top to bottom
    • All funds available are distributed
      • Highest awardee first, then down the rankings until funds exhausted
      • Scores of 4.0 or less, generally don’t get funded directly by CIHR
the review process for 1 2 reviewers
The review process for 1˚ & 2˚ reviewers
  • Reviewers read your CV
    • Provides written comment on your training, productivity
      • Do you have the capacity to run & complete the project
      • Impact of articles on community, quality of articles/journals
  • Reads your responses to previous reviews (and may use them if the responses are appropriate)
      • Reviewers don’t have access to your previous application
  • Reviewers assess your research proposal (pg 12a-k)
    • Provides written summary of your proposal
      • Does it read well grammatically?
the review process for the 1 2 con t
The review process for the 1˚ & 2˚ (con’t)

What the reviewer is assessing(con’t)

  • Is the background literature appropriately covered (sufficient depth, balance & accuracy)?
    • Reviewer medline searches routine
  • Is the scientific approach sound? ..novel? ..the best one?
    • Is sufficient detail present to judge this?
      • Numbers of repeats, subjects, methods of analysis
    • Technical wizardry won’t cover up inappropriate use
      • Could more simple approaches answer the question better?
      • ..or more cheaply?
    • Have you lined up good quality collaborators for your technically weak areas
timetable for writing
Timetable for writing
  • One year in advance
    • Begin to think about the project
      • What experiments to do
      • What papers you need to publish
    • Write and submit papers (3 mnth)
  • Nine months
    • Begin preliminary experiments (3-5 mnth)
    • Line up collaborators, non-commercial reagents
timetable con t
Timetable (con’t)
  • Six months
    • Write a preliminary draft
    • Bounce ideas off knowledgeable colleagues

(not necessarily friends)

    • Fill in a CIHR common CV online
  • Four months
    • Submit ethics protocols (animal, human, biosafety)
    • Finalize the experimental plan
    • Complete a background literature search
timetable con t1
Timetable (con’t)
  • One month
    • Write a final version (with fig/tables)
    • Collate letters of support, collab., ms. status, etc
    • Check for literature updates & update CV
    • Confirm required signatories will be available
  • Two weeks
    • Print out final version of grant
    • Have two people proof-read it, then re-edit
  • One week
    • Obtain all signatures
    • Have all copies printed
  • Two days - courier the grant to Ottawa
    • thank your wife & kids for their understanding
the abstract
The Abstract
  • This should be, in effect, a very high quality one-page grant application
  • With the exception of the 1˚, 2˚ & reader, many panel members read only the abstract (then, if intrigued, some of the proposal proper)
  • The abstract should:
    • Include the rationale for the project
    • Touch on your background
    • State the hypothesis, objectives and general approaches in as much detail as space will allow
    • Summarize the significance of this work for CIHR, etc.
the research proposal appended pgs 12a k

General comments

  • Make it easy on the reviewer’s eyes & brains!
    • Reviewer fatigue is very real. Pay attention to:
    • Aesthetics, over-crowding, figure sizes & complexity
    • Use italics, etc, to highlight hypothesis & critical points;
    • separate & title sections (eg, Overview); use correct margins.
    • Don’t use overly complex sentences, or ‘micro-niche jargon’
The Research Proposal(appended pgs 12a - k)
  • ‘Should’ include the following sections: Rationale; Hypothesis & objectives; Background literature;

Preliminary data; Research Plan; & Significance.

the proposal hypothesis rationale
The Proposal - Hypothesis & rationale -
  • 1-2 ¶ overview to rationalize the project
    • Importance of the work
      • Succinct eloquence, not b.s.
  • State your hypothesis, objectives (Aims) & approaches
    • Is the hypothesis testable with the approaches selected?
      • Are these explicitly and plainly stated?
  • A strategy for the rank-order of the major aims?
    • You could work from the more theoretical (eg, Aim 1, in vitro)
    • to the more practical (eg, Aim 3, in vivo), applied, or risky.
    • Your rationale - if Aim 3 is risky, having it not work out wouldn’t jeopardize
    • the whole project, but then again…
the proposal background literature
The Proposal- Background literature -
  • Cover all RELEVANT background (3-5 pg)
    • Most reviewers won’t be ‘from’ your precise area
    • Use it to unequivocally rationalize project, hypothesis & approaches
    • Succinct, with great detail is good
      • doesn’t hurt to impress the review with the fact that you know EXACTLY what you are talking about (…but stay on track!)
  • Liberally reference this and other section(s)
    • 3-7 pg of citations not unusual or too much
      • References don’t count towards page limits
  • Use figures & tables as necessary
    • sub-discipline-specific names or terminologies
    • complex pathways
      • Figures and tables don’t count towards page limits,
      • but don’t use too many or the figures become the grant.
the proposal preliminary data
The Proposal- Preliminary data -
  • Critical for the success of most grants
    • Shows that you have relevant insights
    • And that, technically you CAN do the work
  • Use appended publications
    • Details of methods & discussion (esp. reviews)
  • Use simple graphs, figures(or lose the reviewer)
  • Appropriate amounts of preliminary data?
    • A balancing act: none or very little can kill the application, while too much makes it look like you’ve done much of the project already
the proposal the research plan
The Proposal- The research plan -
  • Lay it out Aim-by-Aim
    • Each aim very briefly rationalized again
    • Very detailed experiments, laid out one after another
      • Especially if you aren’t known to be highly experienced
      • Use appended papers for methods if available
      • Indicate numbers of subjects, reps, stats approaches, reagent sources,

cell numbers (are the numbers required realistic given your methods of

generation/purification), etc..

- Include expected results, interpretations

  • ***- Include potential pitfalls & how you will deal with them
    • If experiment 3.2.5, for example, doesn’t work the way it
    • is run, what will you do?
    • If Aim 1 fails completely, is the whole project lost?
    • Are the aims presented in an appropriate order?
the proposal significance and timelines
The Proposal - Significance and timelines -
  • How will all the experiments:
    • fit into the overall objectives of CIHR?
    • fulfill Canada’s (& international) health mandates?
    • will they be publishable and high impact?
  • What are the timelines for finishing each phase of

the project?

  • What is your long-term plan
    • When the project is completed, how do you envisage

taking the program forward?

your curriculum vitae
Your curriculum vitae
  • Filled out & maintained online (Common CV)
  • Follow directions precisely
  • Append summaries of grants
    • ‘applied for’ or ‘in hand’
    • indicate degrees of overlap with present application
      • unanswered questions, or suspect answers, can hold up

your funding, even if granted

  • Append “most significant contributions’
    • Significant to whom, and why? Impact on field?
  • Keep it ‘up to date’
your curriculum vitae con t
Your curriculum vitae(con’t)
  • List of professional activities (that occupy your time)
    • Committee activity (local, regional, national, int’l)
    • Journal/grant review
  • Append list of publications
    • Last five years only, in chronological order
      • Don’t include ‘submitted’ papers (unless they are appended and accompanied by letter of receipt from journal)
    • Include granting agency support & your contribution
    • Peer-reviewed research publications, books, chapters & reviews,
    • published abstracts
the budget
The Budget
  • Personnel
    • Staff (identify Res Assist, tech, consultants & rationalize pay-scale)
    • Trainees (PDFs, Grad & summer students; identify, if possible, and rationalize)
  • Materials & Supplies
    • Animals
      • Calculate numbers required (each strain), cost/animal, housing costs (watch for hidden costs, and don’t ‘pad’ the budget
    • Expendables
      • Break this down into categories (plasticwares, disposables, IHC reagents, molecular biology reagents & kits, etc..)
      • Calculate relatively carefully (within ≈$100-250 per item)
      • rule of thumb for some panels, $15,000 per worker- no more!
the budget con t
The budget(con’t)
  • Materials & Supplies (con’t)
    • Services
      • Glassware cleaning, equip maintenance, equip operators
        • Rationalize each item (# hours on FACS, cost/hr, etc)
        • Get quotes on particularly expensive items (eg, 400 hr of FACS @ $50/hr)
    • Other
      • Specialized expenses that may not fit into any category above
  • Travel
    • almostautomatically given to attend meetings, if requested,
    • @ ≈$2,000 - 2,500/yr
the budget con t1
The budget (con’t)
  • Equipment
    • Pay attention to rules on using special equipment grants
    • Thoroughly justify it’s requirement
      • Letters from the Dean or Dept head, etc
    • get two quotes
    • Small items (eg, pipettors) can be included in expendables
    • If others will use it, will they contribute to its cost? (why not?)
  • Taxes -- calculate these and include within the line items
cihr grants just touch the water that s it
CIHR Grants: “Just touch the water.. That’s it!”

...it really is easier than that!

British Navy photo taken during a military exercise off the coast of S.Africa.

Nominated by Nat’l Geographic as “Photo of the Year”.

John R. Gordon

Immunology Research Group

[email protected]; x7214

slide25

CIHR due-date, plus 6

CIHR due-date, minus 7

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