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Review of the New NIH Application Format What Applicants Need to Know Now January 13, 2010 Bruce Elliott Director, OSR-C PowerPoint Presentation
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Review of the New NIH Application Format What Applicants Need to Know Now January 13, 2010 Bruce Elliott Director, OSR-Chicago. Goals of this Presentation. Describe the major application changes for due dates on or after January 25, 2010

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Review of the New NIH Application FormatWhat Applicants Need to Know NowJanuary 13, 2010Bruce ElliottDirector, OSR-Chicago
goals of this presentation
Goals of this Presentation
  • Describe the major application changes for due dates on or after January 25, 2010
  • Applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2010 require use of new forms and new instructions.
    • the forms have been restructured
    • shorter page limits!
  • The changes apply to all competing applications: new, renewal, resubmission and revision
  • Electronic and paper
why is nih restructuring the application packages
Why is NIH Restructuring the Application Packages?
  • The new application forms incorporate the enhanced peer review criteria for research grants that was announced in NOT-OD-09-025.
  • NIH is restructuring the applications to align application structure and content with new review criteria.
  • This alignment will help ensure that both reviewer and applicant expectations coincide for a more transparent application process. 
enhancing peer review timeline
Enhancing Peer Review Timeline
  • Phase out of A2 applications
  • Identification of Early Stage Investigator (ESI) R01 applications
  • Enhanced review criteria
  • New scoring system
  • Criterion scoring
  • Structured critiques
  • Score order review
  • Clustering of New Inv. Applications
  • Restructured Applications
  • Shorter Page Limits and New Instructions

4

how did nih make the decision to shorten applications
How Did NIH Make the Decision to Shorten Applications?
  • Overwhelming opinion from working groups was that significant reduction was necessary to achieve enhancement (to 7-15 pages).
  • RFI: 70% respondents preferred applications shorter than 25 pages
    • Would not compromise ability to present scientific ideas and would probably enhance
    • Would take less time to prepare
why is the length changing
Why is the Length Changing?
  • Focus applicants and reviewers on the essentials of the science that are needed for a fair and comprehensive review of the application.
  • To reduce the administrative burden placed upon applicants and reviewers.
  • Shorter applications may have additional benefits for reviewers such as enabling a larger number of reviewers to read each application and participate in review in a more informed manner.  
new 1 9 scoring system
New 1-9 Scoring System
  • Reviewers are now using new scoring scale of 1 to 9 for impact/priority score

1=exceptional; 9=poor

  • New concept: Reviewers will begin scoring the applications on five individual core criteria, using the same 9-point scale: significance, investigator, innovation, approach and environment
not discussed label
“Not Discussed” Label
  • Reviewers no longer provide non-numerical scores, e.g., Unscored or Not Recommended for Further Consideration
  • All proposals now receive impact scores
  • New terminology: a ‘Not Discussed’ label will replace the existing term ‘Unscored’
structured templates for critiques
Structured Templates For Critiques

Reviewers will use templates to list strengths and weaknesses

  • For each of the individual core criteria (which correspond to the new application)
  • For the overall impact
  • For any other relevant review consideration for any particular application, e.g., protection of human subjects or resource sharing
effective date for new application packages
Effective Date for New Application Packages

Major changes to application forms due on or after January 25, 2010:

  • Restructured Application Forms
    • Require the downloading of new forms (paper and electronic)
  • Shorter Page Limits
    • for ALL competing applications:

New, Renewal (type 2) , Resubmission (A1)

(For AIDS applications submitted by PIs eligible for continuous submission, date is February 7)

what are the implications for resubmissions
What are the implications for resubmissions?
  • Only 1 resubmission A1
  • New page limits must be followed for A1 resubmissions
    • No grandparenting of page limits
    • All activity codes! No exceptions!
  • Applicants need to download the new forms and follow the new instructions

Reminder: An A2 application is allowed until January 7, 2011 if the A0 was submitted before January 25, 2009

pop quiz
Pop Quiz
  • Can you submit a new R01 application on January 24 for the February 5 deadline and be able to use the old 25-page limit for the research plan?
pop quiz1
Pop Quiz

Can you submit a new R01 application on January 24 for the February 5 deadline and be able to use the 25-page limit for the research plan?

NO!

Changes apply to ALL applications intended for the January 25, 2010 due date and beyond

  • Applications submitted early must use the new forms and follow the new instructions including shorter page limits
how are application being restructured
How Are Application Being Restructured?

Application are revised in three sections:

  • Research Plan
  • Resources and Facilities
  • Biographical Sketch
major changes to the research plan
Major Changes to the Research Plan
  • Introduction – now 1 page for resubmissions
  • Specific Aims is a separate page and will include new language about the impact of the proposed research on the research field.
  • Research Strategywill be created as a new section and will include 3 of the current sections in a restructured format
    • Background and Significance
    • Preliminary Studies/Progress Report
    • Research Design and Methods
new research strategy preparation
New Research Strategy Preparation
  • A single attachment for the Research Strategy (previously 3 files) increases your control over the look and feel of your application.
    • Simpler preparation
    • Easier reading for reviewers
    • Electronic validation of page limits for Research Strategy
section page lengths are rigid
Section Page Lengths Are Rigid
  • Cannot blend sections or continue from one section to another
  • E.g., Cannot continue writing Specific Aims on first page of Research Strategy
revisions to address environment
Revisions to Address Environment

Provide description of how the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of success of the project

Special facilities for working with biohazards

For Early Stage Investigators (ESIs), includes institutional commitment and support; investment in the success of the investigator

For Select Agents Research, in addition to Resources and Select Agents sections, in the Approach describe materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised

Better reflects new Environmental scoring criterion

revisions to biographical sketch
Revisions to Biographical Sketch
  • Personal Statement added:
    • Briefly describe why your experience and qualifications make you particularly well-suited for your role in the project
  • Publications revised:
    • Limit the list of publications or manuscripts to no more than 15 based on recency, importance to the field, or relevance to the application
    • Do not include submitted or in preparation
what are the changes for ts fs and ks
What are the changes for Ts, Fs, and Ks?
  • Training (T) applications
    • Now transitioning to G.g electronic applications
    • Page limit remains at 25
    • Biosketch and Resources changes apply
  • Career Development (K) applications
    • Page limit decreases to 12 pages
    • Research Strategy changes apply
    • Biosketch and Resources changes apply
  • Fellowship (F) applications
    • Page limit decreases to 6 pages
    • Research Strategy changes apply
    • Biosketch and Resources changes apply

Check table of page limits for exceptions

overview of shorter page limits
Overview of Shorter Page Limits

Note: Follow FOA page limit requirements if different from the application instructions.

Full table of page limits available at:

http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/page_limits.html

table of page limits part ii
Table of Page Limits (Part II)

**Each project or core will follow the page limit of the equivalent activity code. 

steps for success
Steps for Success
  • Read about the upcoming requirement changes nowso that you can begin writing your Research Strategy
  • Information available on the Enhancing Peer Review website

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

here are the most important references
Here are the Most Important References
  • Details of changes: http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/docs/application_changes.pdf
  • Details of changes for K awards: http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/docs/Details_of_Career_Development_Application_Changes.pdf
  • Enlightening FAQs: http://enhancing-peer-review.nih.gov/faqs.html
steps for success1
Steps for Success
  • Return to updated FOA or new parent announcement to download new forms
  • Choose the correct forms. Applications intended for due dates of January 25 or beyond require new forms.
    • For Electronic SF 424 (R&R):  ADOBE_FORMS_B
    • For Paper PHS 398: Revision date “June 2009”
  • Read new instructions and FOA carefully because applications submitted with incorrect forms will be delayed and may not be reviewed!
once you ve submitted
Once you’ve submitted…

Applicants, do not just submit and walk away from your electronic application submissions. You must:

  • Check eRA Commons for errors and warnings
  • Promptly address any issues identified
  • Check your application one more time!

Failure to follow instructions will NOT be an acceptable reason for a late application.