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RESEARCH GRANTS FORUM 23 RD November 2005 . NH&MRC PROJECT GRANTS. Speaker: Associate Professor Janet Keast. NH&MRC Project Grants. Procedural changes Deciding whether to apply or not Features of competitive applications How to respond to panel feedback. Procedural changes.

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nh mrc project grants1
NH&MRC Project Grants
  • Procedural changes
  • Deciding whether to apply or not
  • Features of competitive applications
  • How to respond to panel feedback
procedural changes
Procedural changes
  • “Intent to Apply”: only to construct panels
  • Increased number of panels
  • Similar style of research plan as 2005
  • 3 spokespersons per grant, but all panel members score
  • No rejoinders but (eventually) iterative grant application process and two rounds/year
deciding whether to apply or not
Deciding whether to apply or not
  • Novel, interesting idea on important area
  • Supported by convincing pilot data, other indicators of project feasibility
  • Well-designed research plan
  • Quality track record (relative to opportunity)
  • Do you need more time to establish techniques, pilot data, collaborations, publications?
2 deciding whether to apply or not cont d
2. Deciding whether to apply or not (cont’d)
  • Discuss whether or not to apply with experienced colleagues - do this before drafting detailed application
  • Allow time to get feedbackon detailed research plan
  • Consider timing of any additional competing applications
features of competitive applications
Features of competitive applications
  • Significance and innovation: why your specific questions are important and interesting (= likely impact)
  • Quality of research: demonstrate excellent design and why you are capable of completing the work
  • Track record: quality, relevant to application, outcomes of relevant collaborations
features of competitive applications cont d
Features of competitive applications(cont’d)
  • Balance between background, preliminary data and research plan
  • Demonstrated feasibility
  • Interesting, clear, focused story - avoid large slabs of text
  • Simple hypotheses - convince reader that either a positive or negative result will be important
features of competitive applications cont d1
Features of competitive applications(cont’d)
  • Get the reader’s attention early - don’t waste the early paragraphs on platitudes
  • Predict possible pitfalls: have fallback position
  • Do not have everything dependent on Aim 1
  • Estimate realistic achievements within grant period
features of competitive applications cont d2
Features of competitive applications(cont’d)
  • CIs and AIs: clear role of each
  • Over- and under-commitments
  • Clarify any potential overlaps between projects
  • Stick to guidelines (don’t push the envelope)
  • CI publications:
    • published or “in press” only for appropriate years
    • journal quality, senior authorship, citations
features of competitive applications cont d3
Features of competitive applications(cont’d)
  • Budget
  • Realistic justified personnel numbers, seniority (unnamed PSP4/5?)
  • Project-specific equipment
  • Make some effort justifying DRCs
new investigators
New Investigators
  • Assessed and scored with other grants using identical procedures
  • Consider feasibility of project, environment
  • Project distinct from recent mentor’s work
  • Track record must be excellent (relative to opportunity) - importance of senior authorship
  • Prepare to accept criticism and to respond positively in a re-submission
4 how to respond to panel feedback
4. How to respond to panel feedback
  • Ask experienced colleagues for opinion
  • Be brutal: cull experiments that were clearly not supported
  • Genuinely re-assess track record (quality of publications, position in author list)
  • Delay re-application if necessary
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