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Fundamentals of NLM Grants . National Library of Medicine Extramural Programs Updated Dec 2009. Contents of this slide set. NLM grant programs overview Grant review & approval process Tips for successful applications Electronic Grants Administration Contact information.

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Fundamentals of nlm grants

Fundamentals of NLM Grants

National Library of Medicine Extramural Programs

Updated Dec 2009

Contents of this slide set
Contents of this slide set

  • NLM grant programs overview

  • Grant review & approval process

  • Tips for successful applications

  • Electronic Grants Administration

  • Contact information

Informatics funding at nih
Informatics Funding at NIH

  • Informatics is NLM’s research domain

    • Computer/information sciences applied to medicine, biology/biochemistry or public health domain

    • Basic & applied research

    • NLM grants & training $66 million in FY2005

  • Other NIH institutes also support biomedical informatics, e.g., NIBIB, NCRR, NIGMS, NHGRI, NIMH, NCI

Types of nlm grant programs
Types of NLM Grant Programs

  • Research grants – investigator initiated research

  • Resource grants – infrastructure & applied informatics

  • Training support – informatics research training at academic centers

  • Career development support – career support and educational loan repayment

  • Grants for small businesses – commercialize good ideas

Research grants
Research Grants

  • Focus on research & development in biomedical or public health informatics, or bioinformatics

    • Traditional investigator-initiated research grants (R01)

    • Experimental/developmental research grants (R21)

    • Conference Grants (R13)

Career support awards
Career Support Awards

  • Focus on building the supply of researcher investigators in biomedical/ public health informatics or bioinformatics

    • NIH Pathway to Independence Award (K99/R00)

    • Loan Repayment Program (L30) (restricted to biomedical informatics)

Resource grants
Resource Grants

  • Focus on optimizing the management & use of health-related information

    • Knowledge Management & Applied Informatics Grants (G08)

    • Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine & Health (G13)

Training fellowships
Training & Fellowships

  • 18 University-based medical Informatics research training programs

Grants for small businesses
Grants for Small Businesses

  • SBIR phase 1 and 2 grants for companies that want to bring a product to market

  • Fast-track – combine phase 1 and 2 in a single application. Requires prior approval by NLM staff

  • Priorities are the same as for research grants in biomedical informatics

Multi institute grant programs
Multi-Institute Grant Programs

  • NLM also partners with other NIH organizations on grant programs. Examples:

    • Innovations in Biomedical Science & Technology (BISTI)

    • Understanding and Promoting Health Literacy

  • See Grant Programs listing

Nlm grant deadlines
NLM Grant Deadlines

  • Open programs are the same as for other NIH Research Grants

    • see for dates

  • RFA deadlines are published in the grant funding announcement, in the NIH Guide

Peer review for nlm grants
Peer Review for NLM Grants

  • Center for Scientific Review (CSR) receives all applications, assigns them to a study section and a funding Institute

  • NLM study sections review most of NLM’s grants

    • Biomedical Library & Informatics Review Committee (BLIRC)

    • Special Emphasis Panels (SEP) for some NLM grants

  • Multi-Institute grants in which NLM is a participant, such as SBIR grants, are reviewed by CSR study sections

Review steps for grants example


Received at CSR 

1st Review by BLIRC 

2nd Review by BOR 

Final Decision, NLM 


Feb 5

June – in NIH Commons

Priority scores @ 2 days

Summary statements @ 30 days


@ Nov (Apr, Aug)

Exact date varies

Review Steps for Grants - Example

Grant review outcomes


10 -30 (most likely to be funded)

30-45 (sometimes funded, esp new investigator or early stage investigators R01, or K99 grants)

Greater than 45: rarely funded

Grant Review Outcomes

Nih review criteria for research grants
NIH Review Criteria for Research Grants

Nih review criteria for resource grants
NIH Review Criteria for Resource Grants

Components of good proposals
Components of Good Proposals

  • Responsive to the program announcement and NLM stated priorities

  • Clearly-stated goals and methodology

  • A detailed work plan that fits the stated project goals

  • A timeline and milestones

  • References to publications, placing the work in context of other, similar work and state of the art

Components of good proposals1
Components of Good Proposals

  • Evidence of advance planning, e.g., pilot data or user needs assessment

  • Key personnel with relevant expertise and adequate FTE dedicated to the work

  • Evidence that problems & contingencies have been considered

  • Letters of agreement from named collaborators & consultants

Other helpful hints


Contact program officer with questions

Name the grant program (e.g., PAR 03-108 ) on box 2 of face page

Register with NIH Commons and

Use most recent application form & instructions – watch for transitions to electronic application!!!


Put information in appendix that is needed to judge merit

Request more than $500K/yr without prior written approval by NLM

Send the same application to 2 institutes

Send the same application at 2 different deadlines

Other Helpful Hints

Electronic grants administration
Electronic Grants Administration

  • Register with the NIH eRA Commons for access to priority scores and summary statements

    • Register at

    • Both PI and Institutional Official need Commons accounts

    • eRA Commons registration is REQUIRED for electronic submissions through

  • All NIH grant programs are moving to electronic grant submission. Institution MUST register at at least 2 weeks before the grant deadline. The transition to online applications began in December 2005. Full details at

Program points of contact
Program points of contact

  • Dr. Valerie Florance – General overall program directions, Informatics training programs and special initiatives.

  • Dr. Hua-Chuan Sim – Clinical and public health informatics in research grants (R01), exploratory/developmental grants (R21), conference grants, and Pathway to Independence grants (K99). Also responsible for Knowledge Management & Applied Informatics grants, Scholarly Works grants and the Loan Repayment Program.

  • Dr. Jane Ye – Bioinformatics and computational biology in research grants (R01), exploratory/developmental grants (R21), conference grants, and Pathway to Independence grants (K99). Also responsible for SBIR/STTR grants.

For more information
For more information

  • Program: 301-594-4882 for Sim, & Ye;301-496-4621 for Florance


    program announcements, links to application forms

  • answers many specific questions

  • for list of funded projects

  • for electronic applications information