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What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant Amy D. Waterman, PhD K01 Recipient “Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed” Ralph Waldo Emerson Mentorship Grants Why Should I Get a K-Grant?

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what you need to know winning a k grant

What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant

Amy D. Waterman, PhD

K01 Recipient

mentorship grants why should i get a k grant
Mentorship GrantsWhy Should I Get a K-Grant?
  • Easier NIH grants to get: ~50% chance of success. 65 WUSM or BJH K awardees in 2002.
  • Guarantees 3-5 years of salary support & research money.
  • Shows your “promise” as an independent investigator, as a scientist and grant-winner.
  • Can lead to promotion at WUSM.
what people think you need to win a k grant
What People Think you Need to Win a K-Grant

Promise as a researcher

A Great Research Idea

Strong Mentor and Institution

director of nimh thomas insel
Director of NIMH, Thomas Insel-

"There is often a sense in the academic community that they think of NIMH as a source of support, whereas we look at the academic community as a source of answers," he said. "We are looking for areas where people can complete a study and go on—not just add a brick to the wall, but start a new wall and finish it."

what you really need the full picture
What you Really Need: The Full Picture
  • NIH Knowledge
  • A Well Prepared K-Grant
  • Knowledge of Internal WUSM Grants and Contracts Requirements

A Grant-Winning Strategy!

what you need to know

What you Need to Know

NIH K-Grant Knowledge

purpose of a k grant
Purpose of a K-Grant

To provide support for supervised study

and research for professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, independent clinical investigators.

specifics of k awards
Specifics of K Awards
  • Health professionals who have completed training and are seeking 3-5 years of salary and research support for a full-time supervised career development experience
  • $75,000-$85,000 for 75%-100% effort.
  • ~$25,000 - $50,000 per year allowed for:
    • tuition, fees, and books
    • research expenses: supplies, equipment, and staff
    • travel
    • statistical services
  • Linked to you, not institution – can take it with you.
learning about k grants
Learning about K-Grants
  • Review Career Wizard – Grant Application Decision Tool

http://grants1.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm

  • Talk to your mentors
  • Review funded K-Grants in your area
  • Talk to your NIH K-Representative
  • Review NIH Website: www.nih.gov or http://www.csr.nih.gov/review/policy.asp
grants for early stage phds
Grants for Early Stage PhDs

As a research Ph.D., have you successfully competed for independent research funding?

NO

YES

K02

Do you need 3-5 years of mentoring?

  • NO:
  • K22
  • R03
  • R21
  • YES:
  • KO1, K18
  • K22, K23, K25
  • F32
health professional degree m d
HEALTH PROFESSIONAL DEGREEM.D.

As a health professional M.D, have you successfully

competed for independent research funding?

YES

NO

K08

K23

K02

K12 K18

K23 K25

what you need to know17

What you Need to Know

Well Prepared K-Grant

OTHERS

YOU

slide18

The Hidden Question:

Why should the NIH give YOU ~$500,000?

slide19

The Answer to the Hidden Question

  • Prove:
  • WUSM supports you as a researcher.
  • Your mentors and references are strong.
  • You are a promising researcher with a good idea and back-up plans.
  • Your research will answer important questions that the NIH values.
environmental commitment
Environmental Commitment
  • WUSM commitment to you as a researcher – even if you DON’T

win the grant, Protected time

  • Availability of Research Resources needed
    • lab space, computers, staff, core facilities
strong mentor s
Strong Mentor(s)
  • Expertise and Resources needed for project
  • Time and commitment to train you for 3-5 years
  • Availability to help with grant editing
  • Can have several mentors to strengthen grant
  • Past record of mentoring others
  • Share our stories…
strong references
Strong References
  • 3 well-known senior researchers
  • Researchers who know you: advisor, collaborators on past research, past employers
  • Also helpful if from different department or institution
what you need to know23

What you Need to Know

Your Attributes

a strong applicant
A Strong Applicant
  • A Promising Beginner:Great Education, Experience, Commitment, & Productivity, so why do you still need mentoring?
  • 75%-100% Protected Time for Research? If not, don’t apply
  • Previous pilot data
getting for pilot data
Getting $ for Pilot Data

Seed Grant Money ($25-$100K/year) from:

  • Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation
  • Foundations in your research area (i.e. National Kidney Foundation, American Society of Transplantation)

Finding Grant Sources:

  • Community of Science (www.cos.com)
  • Private foundations contact:
    • http://privatefundingsources.wustl.edu/
    • http://internalcompetitions.wustl.edu
    • Jessica Indrigo,(indrigoj@msnotes.wustl.edu; 286-0009)
what to prepare
What to Prepare

GRANT SECTIONS

  • Non-Research Plan
  • Research Plan – “the science”
  • Abstract

STRONG IDEA + GOOD WRITING = FUNDING

STRONG IDEA + POOR WRITING = ? ? ?

non research plan sections take this seriously
Non-Research Plan Sections(Take This Seriously!)
  • Candidate Background
  • Career Goals & Objectives
  • Career Development Plan
  • Mentor’s Statement
  • Environment & Institutional Commitment
  • Budget
  • Collaborators
candidate background
Candidate Background

Your “resume” to this point:

  • Education & Training
  • Research Experience
  • Research Accomplishments so far
  • Commitment to a Research Career
  • Previous collaborations
  • Academic position.

…Present evidence to show you are a promising researcher

career goals objectives
Career Goals & Objectives
  • Short- & Long-term Career Goals
  • What you have done
  • Need for additional training
  • What you intend to do & how winning this grant will lead to reaching these goals
career development plan
Career Development Plan
  • Plan to be an independent investigator in your area
    • Specific skills & knowledge plan to learn
    • Plan to work with mentors
  • Plan to help you be a better scientist generally
    • Ethics training
    • Personnel & lab management training
    • Experience presenting at meetings
  • Coursework proposed should make sense with your science and goals.
mentor s statement
Mentor’s Statement
  • Mentor’s research qualifications & previous mentoring experience
  • Mentor’s plan to mentor YOU (meetings, supervision, resources provided)
  • Recommendation of you as a K-grant recipient
other non research plan sections
Other Non-Research Plan Sections
  • Environment and Institutional Commitment: quality of institution in general, support for your type of research, support of you specifically
  • Budget: PHS 398 form budgeting forms (filled out by WUSM Budgets people)
  • Collaborators: Letter of Support
slide33

Research Plan:

“The Science”

25 Pages

Sections:

  • Specific Aims
  • Background
  • Significance
  • Preliminary Studies and Results
  • Research Design and Methods
slide34

Points to keep in mind

  • State the questions that are clearly understandable, EXCITING, and worthwhile pursuing.
  • Explain the experiment and analysis so that a non-expert can follow what you are doing.
  • Interpret the results so reviewer can see the impact of your experiments
  • Convince them that the results are worth obtaining & worth the money to fund.
the important first page
The Important First Page
  • Setup (importance of medical problem, give them a flavor of the theme of your lab)
  • Hypothesis (points to a specific problem leading to a statement of your hypothesis)
  • Specific Aims (list these & approach used, what will be accomplished)
set up
Set-Up

Discuss:

  • Your model system or disease, your theme (2-3 sentences)
  • Important unanswered questions (2-3 sentences)
  • Potential impact of the results; why it is worth pursuing these questions

…Summarize your background and significance

hypotheses
Hypotheses

Discuss:

  • From your setup it should be clear that what you propose is the next logical step to pursue
  • Clear and Simple
  • Conclude how proposed aims would help to test your hypotheses
specific aims
Specific Aims
  • Make each aim independent, focused
  • Briefly mention: What approach you will be taking to investigate the aim, and the impact of this new knowledge
  • Explain what you expect to find
  • DON’T STATE TOO MUCH. There are no bonus points. It has got to be practical.

...Are the experiments appropriate & doable, to support/refute hypotheses? Do they advance knowledge?

hypotheses aims
Hypotheses & Aims

Approach

Question

  • To conduct a group-randomized controlled trial of 225 potential recipientsto compare the effectiveness of (two) educational approaches compared to standard-of-care on three important outcomes: recipient comfort asking, number of living donors evaluated, and number of recipients transplanted.Hypothesis: Improved recipient health education will significantly increase recipient comfort asking and the number of living donors evaluated, and number of recipients transplanted compared with receiving standard-of-care.
background and significance
Background and Significance
  • Don’t assume reviewers will read literature, cite relevant findings in grant.
  • Not a comprehensive review of the literature, pertinent literature relevant to your study
  • Identify gaps that your research will fill. You are directing them towards your Research Plan
  • State your research’s importance and health relevance
  • 2 – 3 pages recommended.
preliminary studies and results
Preliminary Studies and Results
  • Establish your (or mentor’s) experience and competence
  • Prove you have resources to execute what is proposed
  • Choose figures that emphasize key findings
  • Describe published and unpublished results
  • 4-6 pages
research design and methods
Research Design and Methods
  • Describe research design and procedures in detail. USE SUBHEADINGS.
  • Describe how data will be successfully collected, analyzed and interpreted (power, statistical analysis, how others will help accomplish research, controls).
  • Discuss how potential difficulties and limitations will be overcome (i.e., interpret failures, alternatives, if negative results are important).
  • Include a timetable.
  • Human subjects and Animal studies (IRB approval))
  • No specific number of pages.
abstract
Abstract
  • your goals as a scientist
  • your excellent mentors and proposed training.
  • your study aims and hypotheses.
  • future career goals (i.e. RO1 funding) after this project.

**Model abstracts of funded K recipients on CRISP database:http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/

slide44

Writing Timeline

3-6 months in advance:

  • Idea formulated, Aims and Abstract Written, Mentors onboard

2-3 months:

  • Grant Written, Work with WUSM Budget and Grant People, letters of support obtained

Final Month:

  • Revise Proposal after critiques, prepare submission packet
k grant due dates
K-Grant Due Dates

Feb 1

June 1

October 1

what you need to know46

What you Need to Know

Internal WUSM Grant Requirements

budget grants
Budget & Grants
  • 1-2 months in advance, notify Division Administrator of intent to submit grant
  • 1 month in advance: submit draft budget and budget justification for internal approval
grants contracts
Grants & Contracts
  • Have to receive WUSM Grants & Contracts approval before mailing grant- 1 week before due date
  • Reviews budget, financial disclosure, and institutional legal assurances- NOT SCIENCE.
  • G&C is swamped during NIH guidelines- leave time for review!
grading your grant
Grading your Grant

Candidate: Quality of past research, potential to develop into an independent researcher

Career Development Plan: Appropriateness and clarity of plan, likelihood that plan will contribute to the field

Training in Responsible Conduct of research: Training in research ethics

Research Plan: Scientific merit of research question, design, and methodology

Mentor: Expertise of mentor

Institutional Commitment: Institution’s commitment to your success

Budget: Appropriate budget for career goals

nih grant evaluation
NIH Grant Evaluation
  • Grant assigned to an Integrated Review Group (IRG) study section and NIH institute.
  • Request an IRG! http://www.csr.nih.gov/events/studysectionservice.htm
  • 4 IRG members review entire grant, while other IRG members review your abstract. Group discussion occurs.
  • IRB members give your grant a priority score from 100 (best) -500 (worst). 100-225 is possibly fundable.
  • Each NIH Division funds ~20 % of the ‘approved for funding’ grants.
communicating with nih
Communicating with NIH

NIH Mails Communication:

  • That grant is received
  • Which IRG your grant is assigned to
  • Priority Score of your grant
  • “Pink Sheets” – reviews of your grant

Follow-up online or email your K-grant contact if you need an update.

3 outcomes
3 Outcomes

Priority score:

  • In fundable range: 100-175
  • Maybe in fundable range: 176-250
    • Send additional information to NIH about WU, IRB approval
    • Wait for official announcement
  • Not in fundable range: prepare resubmission: >250
all you need to win a k the full picture
All You Need To Win a K : The Full Picture

A Grant-Winning Strategy

  • NIH Knowledge
  • A Well-Prepared K-Grant
  • Knowledge of Internal WUSM Grants and Contracts Requirements