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NIH Grant Mechanisms and Funding Process. Misrak Gezmu, Ph.D. NIH, NIAID ASA Caucus of Academic representatives For Chairs of Programs in Statistics/ Biostatistics August 1, 2009 ASA, Alexandria, VA. Outline. Overview of NIH extramural activities.

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Nih grant mechanisms and funding process

NIH Grant Mechanisms and Funding Process

Misrak Gezmu, Ph.D.


ASA Caucus of Academic representatives

For Chairs of Programs in Statistics/ Biostatistics

August 1, 2009

ASA, Alexandria, VA


  • Overview of NIH extramural activities.

  • NIH Funding mechanisms and Activity codes.

  • Funding Opportunity Announcements.

  • New Investigators

  • Application submission and where to get help

  • Review and Funding process.

  • Contact information.

National institute of health nih
National Institute of Health (NIH)

  • 27 institutes and centers

  • Most institutes are disease specific.

    • Eg. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Cancer Institute (NCI).

      • Each institute has different programs, Eg. Statistical methods research for infectious diseases at NIAID.

  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS). General Biomedical Research.

  • Center for Scientific Review.

Nih extramural activity
NIH Extramural activity

  • NIH funds the best scientific research projects to improve the public health.

  • Approximately 80% of NIH’s budget is allocated for funding research projects.

  • The merit of each application is reviewed by NIH’s peer review system

Funding mechanisms
Funding mechanisms

  • Grants

    • Investigator(s) responsible for developing the concepts, methods, and approach for a research project.

  • Contracts

    • The Institute is responsible for establishing the detailed requirements.

  • Cooperative Agreement

    • Both the awarding unit and the recipient have substantial responsibility.

Research grants
Research Grants.

  • Unsolicited:

    • Principal Investigator initiated. The researcher works in the research interest of an Institute.

  • Solicited

    • Request for Application (RFA):

      • Initiative sponsored by one or more Institutes requesting application in a well defined area.

    • Program Announcement (PA):

      • Announcement in stated scientific area, one or more ICs.

Nih extramural activity codes
NIH Extramural Activity Codes

  • Fellowship programs (F).

  • Research career programs (K).

  • Research program projects and centers (P).

  • Research projects (R).

  • Training programs (T)

  • Cooperative agreement (U)

Fellowship programs f
Fellowship Programs (F)

  • Provides individual grants to students and scientists to develop careers in biomedical research.

    • F31: provides supervised individual predoctoral fellowship to promote diversity.

    • F32: provides postdoctoral research training to broaden background or extend research.

    • F33: provide opportunities for experienced scientists to take time from regular duties and to engage in health- related research.

Research career programs k
Research Career Programs (K).

  • Biomedical research career development.

    • K01: Mentored research scientist development award.

    • K07: Academic career award. Develop research expertise and to improve the curricula and enhance the research capacity.

    • K25: Mentored quantitative research career development award. Supports investigators with quantitative background to focus on biomedical research.

Research program projects and centers p
Research Program Projects and Centers (P).

  • P01: Research Program Project.

    • Provides an institution with support for a multidisciplinary, long-term research program with an objective or theme involving groups of investigators.

  • P30: Center Core Grants

    • Support shared resources and facilities for a multidisciplinary research team or a group of investigators focusing on a common research topic.

Research project
Research Project

  • R01: Discrete, specified project to be performed by the Principal Investigator.

  • R03: Provides support for preliminary short-term projects in response to RFA,PA.

  • R13: Provide funding for conferences to exchange and disseminate information related to program interests.

Research project contd
Research Project Contd.

R15:Academic Research Enhancement Award. To support research projects from institutions that have not been major recipients of NIH research grant funds

R21 Exploratory/Developmental Grants, submitted in response to RFA, PA .

R21/R33(new): phase/phase II for research begun as an R21 award.

R34 u01 clinical trial planning implementation
R34/U01(Clinical Trial)Planning /implementation

  • R34 (new): support initial development of clinical trial.

    • eg. Establish research team, developing tools for managing data and overseeing the research, developing trial designs, recruitment strategies, and procedure manuals.

    • Successful R34 can apply for Cooperative agreement.

  • U01 clinical trial implementation

Small business grants
Small Business Grants

  • R41(phase I)/R42 (phase II): Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR).

    • Support cooperative research projects between small business and research institutions. To Establish merit and feasibility ideas with potential for commercialization.

  • R43 (phase I)/R44 (phase II): Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR).

    • Support projects to establish technical merit and feasibility which lead to commercial products and services

Training programs t
Training programs (T)

  • T15: Short courses.

  • T32: fund academic institutions for training pre-doctoral and postdoctoral candidates.

  • T35: provide research training during off-quarters or summer periods.

Activity codes and parent announcements
Activity codes and Parent Announcements

  • NIH activity codes (R01, R03, etc..)


  • Guide for parent proposals


Check ics requirement for activity codes
Check ICs requirement for activity codes

  • NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs) may vary in the way they use activity codes; look closely at Funding Opportunity Announcement (FAOS) to determine which ICs participate and the specifics of eligibility.

    • Funding Opportunity and notices weekly


    • Subscribe to newsletters


Examples of funding opportunity announcements relevant to statisticians
Examples of Funding Opportunity Announcements relevant to statisticians.

  • R25: Education projects

  • PA: Short Courses on Mathematical, Statistical, and Computational Tools for Studying Biological Systems (NIGMS and other ICs)


    • Eg. 3 weeks summer Institute in statistics and modeling of infectious diseases training (University of Washington).

Examples of faos relevant to statisticians contd
Examples of FAOs relevant to statisticians contd… statisticians.

  • T15: Short term courses

  • The Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics I and II (NHLBI and NCRR).


    • Eg. A comprehensive six-week summer training course on. Designed to address a growing imbalance between the demand and supply for biostatisticians. (Boston University, NC State, University of Wisconsin)

Examples of faos relevant to statisticians contd this week
Examples of FAOs relevant to statisticians contd… statisticians. (this week)

R01, R21: Research project, Exploratory

Research to advance vaccine safety:

creation/evaluation of statistical methodologies for analyzing data on vaccine safety, including data available from existing data sources such as passive reporting systems

New investigator ni and early stage investigators esi
New Investigator (NI) and Early Stage Investigators (ESI) statisticians.

  • NI: Has not previously received a significant award from NIH (R01, Challenge grant etc.)

  • ESI: With in 10 years of completion of terminal degree.

  • Has special payline for R01s

    • NIAID 2008: 12% R01 vs 16% *R01

  • NIH website for Nis and ESIs.


Nih pathway to independence k99 r00 award
NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) award statisticians.

  • Must be within 5 years of terminal degree.

    • Phase I: mentored support, 1-2 years fellowship (K99).

    • Phase II: Independent research (R00).

  • Work towards preparing an R01 application

Application submission
Application submission statisticians.

  • NIH website on grants process is a useful resource


  • Submit electronically through using the SF424 (R&R) application

  • You also must register with the eRA Commons(your institution must do this for you).

    • eRA Commons: NIH Electronic Research Administration website:

Where to get help
Where to get help? statisticians.

  • Center for Scientific Review.

    • Questions about application process and study section assignment.

    • Questions about the merit review process: Scientific Review Officer.


Where to get help contd
Where to get help? Contd… statisticians.

  • Program Contact: Program Officer(Visit institute website to find contact person)

    • Gives advice on research interest of the program to researchers before application is submitted.

    • Attends grant peer reviews.

    • Sends cover letter with the summary statement from the review.

Examples of sample proposals and funded grant abstracts
Examples of sample proposals and funded grant abstracts. statisticians.

  • R01: Research project proposals, NIAID


  • K 25: Quantitative career development, NHLBI


  • Funded grants:


Selected statistical topics from niaid statistical methods portfolio
Selected Statistical Topics from NIAID Statistical Methods Portfolio

  • Mathematical and experimental models for HIV dynamics.

  • Stat methods for evaluating vaccine efficacy.

  • Data-driven computational modeling of the growth and spread of viruses

  • Nonparametric modeling of long-term HIV/Cell dynamics.

Review of grant applications r01 eg niaid statistical methods
Review of grant applications (R01) PortfolioEg. NIAID statistical methods.

  • NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

    • Receives applications and gives ID number.

    • Assigns each application to

      • An NIH Institute through the referral guide line

      • One of the integrated review groups (IRG), study sections (for scientific merit review).

Study sections relevant to statisticians
Study sections relevant to Statisticians Portfolio

  • Biostatistical Methods and Research Design (BMRD)

  • AIDS Clinical Studies and Epidemiology (ACE; statistical methods relevant to HIV research)

  • Modeling and Analysis of Biological Systems (MABS; modeling complex biological systems)

1 st level peer review scientific merit study section responsibilities
1 Portfoliost Level Peer Review, Scientific Merit(Study Section Responsibilities)

  • ~ 20 independent reviewers in each study sections. (Each application will have 3/4 reviewers).

  • Actions

    • Approval: Sufficient merit to be worthy of support and will receive priority score (1.0 - 9.0 with 1 being the best).

    • Disapproval: No sufficient merit, no priority score.

    • Deferral: Cannot make recommendation without additional information.

Most common reasons for proposal to be not highly meritorious
Most common Reasons for proposal to be not-highly-meritorious

  • Lack of new or original ideas,

  • Unfocused Research Plan,

  • Lack of experience in the biology/methodology,

  • Lack of knowledge of Published relevant work,

  • Uncertainty concerning the future directions,

  • Unrealistically large amount of work,

  • Lack of experience/expertise in the biology*,

  • Not readable to clinicians*.

    • *common reasons on statistical methods grants.

Pay line
Pay Line not-highly-meritorious

  • Depending on the budget, a pay line will be determined for each of the institutes.

    • NIAID 2008 FY pay line (percentile or score).

      • R01:12 %; 16% for new investigators

      • F31: 144, K: 154, R41/R42: 187

National advisory council second level peer review funding recommendation
National Advisory Council not-highly-meritorious(Second level-Peer Review, Funding Recommendation)

  • National Advisory Allergy and Infectious Disease Council.

    • Diverse group that performs several key functions for the institute.

    • Council members consist of Scientific experts, Division Directors and Advocacy organization representatives.

    • Makes funding recommendations to NIAID Director based on program priorities and policy issues.

What determines which awards are funded
What determines which awards are funded? not-highly-meritorious

  • Scientific Merit (Study section result).

  • Program and/or Policy considerations

  • Availability of funds

Important dates for r01
Important dates for R01 not-highly-meritorious

Important web sites
Important web sites not-highly-meritorious

  • General information NIH


  • Center for Scientific Review


  • Tutorial about grant application process at NIAID.


Important website contd
Important website contd. not-highly-meritorious

  • Subscribe to NIAID News letter.


  • Program contact NIAID, Biostatistics program

    • Misrak Gezmu,

Nih grant mechanisms and funding process

Thank You. not-highly-meritorious