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First-Time Investigators and the NIH

First-Time Investigators and the NIH

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First-Time Investigators and the NIH

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  1. First-Time Investigators and the NIH Special Rules Apply for New Investigators (NI) & Early Stage Investigators (ESI)

  2. New Investigators and Early Stage Investigators Defined • New Investigator (NI) - An NIH research grant Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has not yet competed successfully for a substantial, competing NIH research grant.  • Early Stage Investigator (ESI) - An individual who is classified as a New or First-Time Investigator and is within 10 years of completing his/her terminal research degree or is within 10 years of completing medical residency (or the equivalent).

  3. New Investigator and Early Stage Investigator Policies Effective Feb 5, 2009 review cycles beginning for May 2009 • The NIH will support applications from NIs at success rates comparable to those for new applications submitted by established investigators. • To ensure consideration, all NIs will need to update their eRA Commons profiles. • Beginning with the traditional R01 grant applications received for the February 5, 2009 submission dates, NIH will identify grant applications from ESIs, and where possible, these applications will be clustered for review.


  5. Getting Started • What Award Mechanism is best for me? • Which Institute is best for me?

  6. What Award Mechanism is right for me? • Investigator Initiated or respond to a Program Announcement (PA), Request for Award (RFA) or Request for Proposal (RFP) • R01 or another award mechanism? • Other alternatives: • R03 Small Research Grant • R21 Exploratory Research Grant • Mentored K awards: • DP2 - NIH Director's New Innovator Award Program • New Investigator website resources for details:

  7. Consult the New and Early Stage Investigator Website:

  8. Advantages in applying for the R01 • Eligible for: • Higher payline – funding cutoff point for grant applications set at the beginning of a fiscal year • Clustered in review • R56 eligibility if you are close to the payline • Eligible for Selective Pay from some institutes • Up to 5 years of funding

  9. How is New Investigator(NI) Status lost? • Once you receive an award in which you are: • PI on a R01 or U Mechanism • Co-PI on a R01 or U Mechanism • PD of a Core/ Project on a P Award • Note: Recovery Challenge Grants and Grand Opportunity Grants support is short (two years) and you lose your NI status if you receive any of these awards

  10. DP2: NIH Director’s New Innovator Award Program • A roadmap initiative award for junior scientists who must qualify as New Investigator according to NIH definition • Does not allow for multiple investigators • PA Number RFA-RM-09-003 • Expires May 28, 2009

  11. Which Institute is best for me? • Review Council-approved concepts • Check the initiative list to see advertised areas of high priority or • Call a program officer for your area of science • Assess what is already funded to unearth gaps in your field using the CRISP funded grants database • Use a funding database like SPIN to search for programs and opportunities matching your research interests and/or sign up for an alert service. Contact Research Services Office of Research Education for assistance in identifying funding opportunities (x69431).

  12. Applying for Funding NIH

  13. It is not the will to win that’s important. Everyone wants to win! It is the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.Bobby Knight

  14. Grant writing is a learned skill • Writing manuscripts that get published in peer reviewed journals is a learned skill. • Writing grant applications, is also a learned skills. Grantsmanship is a full time job…. Knowing the Science is not enough!

  15. Common Problems with Applications • Overly ambitious • Lack of innovation • Lack of linkage to human health problem • Lack of focused/mechanistic hypothesis • Lack of focused aims that will prove and only prove the hypothesis

  16. Common Problems with Applications • Unfocused research plan that does not test feasibility • Questionable reasoning in approach • Lack of experimental detail • Lack of experience with methods

  17. What to do….. • Start early! • Learn to move from lab experiments to the big picture. • Learn to think in terms of hypotheses to test and how to test them….even in everyday lab work. • Develop a specific niche research area of your own…you need to be known as an expert in a specific area…think long term not just one application.

  18. What to do….. • Focus on specific aims page. • Think salesmanship = grantsmanship. • Get help reviewing drafts and working through the entire process ( Mentor and Granting Organization).

  19. Start Planning Early!!!!! Planning Schedule…..

  20. Build a Grant Writing Timeline T – 6 moSpecific Aims: drafted and reviewed T – 4 moBackground: drafted T – 3 moMethods: drafted T – 2 moPrelim studies: completed and written up T – 1 moDraft to internal reviewers T – 14 dFinal draft T – 10 dFinal to Sponsored Programs D-DAY SUBMISSION DEADLINE

  21. Prepare for applying: • Take the NIH online Tutorials: New Investigator Guide to NIH Funding • Contact OSP (x69400) to find out about procedures and timelines for electronic application. • See Pre-Award Toolkit and Proposal Help on the Research Services website for UTMB contacts, procedures, and sample language: 4/03/2009