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NIH 101: What You Need to Know! Daniel Sklare, PhD & Lana Shekim, PhD, NIDCD Peggy McCardle, PhD, NICHD ASHA LfS ’08 Conference Outline Introduction to NIH 101 (Sklare) Recent Research Training/Career Development Initiatives: K99/R00; LRP; NIDCD Outreach to the Health Professions (Sklare)

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NIH 101: What You Need to Know!Daniel Sklare, PhD & Lana Shekim, PhD, NIDCDPeggy McCardle, PhD, NICHDASHA LfS ’08 Conference

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  • Introduction to NIH 101 (Sklare)

  • Recent Research Training/Career Development Initiatives: K99/R00; LRP; NIDCD Outreach to the Health Professions (Sklare)

  • NIDCD Mission in Research on Human Communication; Brief Orientation to NIH Research Project Grant Programs (R03, R21, R01) & the People Behind Them (Program, Review, Grants Management)(Shekim)

  • NICHD Mission in Research on Human Communication; NIH Two-Tiered Review Operations: Who are your reviewers and what transpires at study section? The Funding Decision: How Does it Happen?(McCardle):

  • Q&As

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The Facts of Life for Academic Researchers Funding

  • Increasingly keen competition for grant support

  • Resources constant or diminishing; NIH FY08 Budget ($29.2 billion; 1% over FY07 funding) will have net effect of decreasing our “research purchasing power” from FY07

  • Extramural research funding is an increasingly important litmus test for academic recruitment, promotion & tenure

  • Grantwriting skills & thorough understanding of the review & funding process essential for an academic research career

  • Like Navy pilots, best prepared applicants will compete successfully, even in the toughest times

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A Darwinian Approach to Casting an Academic Research Career Funding

  • Survival of the fittest for research

  • Situate the individual in a supportive environment with just enough pressures for success….

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Your Keys to Success Funding

  • Your research idea/proposal

  • Your ability to stay focused on short-term & long-term research & career goals

  • If at the training stage, your training & mentorship plan

  • Your commitment to/passion with research & tenacity

  • Your grant writing skills

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Winning the Big Prize- Your First NIH Grant FundingWhat the instructions won’t tell you, but the sages will…

  • Grants are won or lost on the first page- ENGENDER ENTHUSIASM!

  • Make your message significant & memorable; keep it focused, yet simple

  • Leave visual space throughout the application

  • On the first page, present a significant problem that you attack with a directional, main hypothesis, sub-hypotheses testing the main, & supported by your novel observations

  • Introduce a conceptual model, followed with your more formal model, each grounded in evidence; identify the component you now address

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Winning the Big Prize- Your First NIH Grant FundingWhat the instructions won’t tell you, but the sages will… (cont.)

  • Constitute a research team high on: commitment, targeted expertise, & (ideally) track record with NIH

  • Alternative explanations for expected/possible findings are intriguing opportunities

  • Your program officer is your friend, but respect the “tight-rope” s/he walks

  • While locking-in focus on your research program, regularly rethink your scientific journey

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What is the National Institutes of Health (NIH)? Funding

  • The steward of biomedical and behavioral research for the Nation

  • Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers (24 awarding components)

  • NIH Mission: Promote & support fundamental and clinical/applied research on the nature and behavior of living systems & the application of that knowledge to extend healthy life & reduce the burdens of illness & disability.

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Where is this research conducted? Funding

  • Extramural Research

    • Conducted by nonFederal scientists in ~2000 academic & nonacademic research institutions in the USA & abroad

    • ~90% of NIH funds are extramural

  • Intramural Research

    • Conducted mainly in NIH laboratories

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NIH Extramural Staff Funding





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Find the Funding Agency/Component Funding(i.e., NIH Institute) Whose Scientific Mission & Funding Priorities Fit Your Proposal

  • Consult relevant program officerbefore crafting an application (missions & funding priorities evolve over time)

  • Frame research plan to help funding agency achieve its mission

  • Know the right grant program or mechanism & how your funding source uses it (e.g., Institute-specific provisions)

  • Stay informed on Federal Funding Opportunities Announcements [(FOAs) (PA, RFA, RFP)] & Notices (NIH GUIDE,

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NIH Research Training & Career Development Awards: Goals & Expectations

  • Identify & support those candidates from a diverse pool with highest potential to advance Nation’s health

  • Support research training, not clinical training(except for med students in integrated MD/PhD dual-track)

  • Facilitate the transition of such individuals from research training stage to independent investigator stage

  • Underlying expectation from this support, if fruitful, is a fundable full-scale research grant, typically, a New Investigator R01

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NIH Research Training and Career Development Awards Expectations

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSAs)

    • Individual Fellowships (F30, F31, F32, F33)

    • Traineeships on Institutional Training Grants (T32, T35)

  • Career Development (K-)Awards

    • Mentored Junior Clinician-Investigator Awards (K08, K23)

    • Early-Stage Career Transition Awards (K99/R00)

    • Junior-Midcareer Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)

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NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00) Expectations

  • Nurture highly promising investigators to secure tenured research position & R01 grant earlier in their careers: mentored postdoctoral phase (K99) & independent investigator phase (R00)(aggregate of up to 5 yrs of support); both phases require 75% effort

  • Typically for seasoned postdocs with up to 5 years experience

  • K99 Phase (1-2 yrs): Provides a level of salary support comparable with other junior-level K-awards (NIDCD: up to $105k/yr) plus an allowance for research costs (NIDCD: $25k/yr)

  • R00 Phase (up to 3 yrs): Provides up to $249k TC/yr

  • US citizens & non-citizens, including postdoc fellows in Federal agencies (e.g., Intramural NIH research fellows) eligible to apply

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NIH Pathways to Independence Award (K99/R00) Expectations-cont-

  • Transition to the R00 phase contingent on securing an appropriate extramural tenure-track junior-level faculty (or equivalent) position & NIH administrative review

  • Application Receipt Dates: June 12, Oct 12, Feb 12

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Guidance for Crafting a Successful K99/R00 Application Expectations

  • Justify need for further mentoring(particularly if staying in same department & lab as current postdoc experience)

  • K99 Research Plan distinct/dissociable from mentor’s research program

  • Show productivity(first-authored research pubs)to date & high promise as an independent investigator

  • Requisite plan for evaluating/monitoring candidate’s progress toward independence

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Guidance for Crafting a Successful K99/R00 Application (cont.)

  • Career Development Plan well laid-out, fits candidate’s career goals & facilitates transition to independence

  • K99/R00 Research Plan adequately detailed for reviewers to fully evaluate, well-integrated, laying out a programmatic line of research

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NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) (cont.)


Provide an incentive for “health professionals” (broadly defined) to proactively integrate clinical research, pediatric research and other targeted research areas into their career trajectories

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Two NIH-wide Extramural Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) (cont.)

  • Clinical Research LRP

    Defined by the NIH as “Patient-Oriented Research”

  • Pediatric Research LRP

    Research directly related to diseases, disorders, &/or other conditions in children

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NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) (cont.)

  • Must be a US citizen or permanent resident

  • Doctoral degree holders engaged in clinical research or pediatric research for two years from the LRP award date for at least 50% effort

  • Qualifying research funding source: nonprofit institution/agency (including a university) or governmental agency

  • Educational debt must equal at least 20% of institutional base salary

  • Provides up to $35k (plus associated Federal taxes) per year for up to two years (aggregate of up to $70k+); renewable

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NIDCD vs. NIH-wide Success Rates for FY07 LRP Applications Awarded NIH-wide

  • NIDCD Success Rate ~74% (35/47 applications assigned to & reviewed by NIDCD)

  • NIH-wide Success Rate ~52% (1,292/2,504 applications)

  • Of the 35 NIDCD LRP awards:

    • 40% are renewal awards

    • 27 PhDs (15 SLPs & Audiols); 8 MDs & MD/PhDs (4 ORLs)

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LRP Application Submission & Information Resources Awarded NIH-wide

On-line application process ( Sept 1 - Dec 1

Check NIH GUIDE or LRP homepage in summer

NIH Office of Loan Repayment

LRP Help Line: (866) 849-4047

Daniel A. Sklare, Ph.D.

NIDCD LRP Coordinator

Tel: 301-496-1804

Email: [email protected]

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Funding Rates of NIDCD R01 & Awarded NIH-wideNew Investigator R01 ApplicationsDuring FYs 02-06 by PI Specialty

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NIDCD Initiatives for Facilitating Emergence of Independent Clinician-Investigators

  • Now provides up to $80k per year for research-related costs (“research development support”) for new K08/K23 awards (NOT-DC-08-002;

  • Partnering with leadership of Audiology to develop research vision/culture encouraging AuD students to pursue training in clinical & translational auditory research

    • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grants (T35) (06/03/05);

  • Seeking to partner with professional societies to develop national mentoring networks

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Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grants (T35) for AuD Students

  • Developing Research Careers in the Hearing Sciences; Dept of Hearing & Speech Sciences, Bill Wilkerson Center, Vanderbilt University; Program Director: Linda Hood, PhD

  • Short-Term Research Training for AuD Students; Boys Town National Research Hospital; Program Director: Walt Jesteadt, PhD

  • Predoctoral Summer Training Program in Auditory Research; National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR); Portland VA Research Foundation; Program Director: Marjorie Leek, PhD

    The Academy and Audiologists in Academia (AAA); Vol 4; Issue 2

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NIDCD Initiatives for Facilitating Emergence of Independent Clinician-Investigators

  • NIDCD Administrative Research Supplements to Promote Emergence of Independent Otolaryngologist-Investigators [two-year administrative supplement awards to active NIDCD R01s and P50s for junior (ass’t prof) clinical faculty in otolaryngology]

    • Awardee works within research scope of parent grant

    • Awardee submits follow-up K08/K23 or R03 application in Yr 2

    • Up to $100K per year for 50% commitment of effort

    • Application Dates: May 1 & Nov 1, ’08 (one-time issuance with two receipt dates)

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Benchmarks for success: High but reachable Clinician-Investigators

R01 funding


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NIDCD Extramural Research Training Program Contact Clinician-Investigators(Across NIDCD Scientific Program Areas)

Daniel A. Sklare, Ph.D.

Research Training Officer

Tel: 301-496-1804

Email: [email protected]

NIH Research Training website:

NIH New Investigator website: