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Types of Awards Laurie Tompkins Swarthmore College May 14, 2012 NIH 101: Part 2.

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Presentation on theme: "Types of Awards Laurie Tompkins Swarthmore College May 14, 2012 NIH 101: Part 2."— Presentation transcript:

1 Types of Awards Laurie Tompkins Swarthmore College May 14, 2012 NIH 101: Part 2

2 Institutions represented here: Fiscal year 2011 (October 1, 2010 – September 30, 2012) Drexel: 248 applications and awards (ongoing and new), R01s and many other types Others: 20 applications and awards (ongoing and new), mostly R15s

3 R15 Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) Research grants for investigators at institutions that do not have a lot of NIH funding Term up to three years, direct costs requested up to $300K for entire project period Three application deadlines a year, can be revised and resubmitted (once) or renewed

4 R15s are competitive FY11: 1554 R15 applications submitted, 218 R15 applications funded (14%) Percent funded used to be higher Why? More institutions eligible, could request more money Consequence: more R15 applications, requesting more money Funds allotted to NIH institutes to fund R15s have not increased Institutes using different strategies to try to fund more R15s (e.g., budget cuts, transfer of funds from R01 pot)

5 How can I increase the probability that my R15 will be funded? Focus is primarily on the research project, NOT on undergraduate education Research project must be 21 st century (addressing important question, using modern approaches) If you don’t have the expertise or equipment required, collaborate with someone who does Scope should be appropriate for types of personnel and time available to work on project Publications important, but productivity may be slower, in comparison to research-intensive institution

6 Personnel on R15s Need not be undergraduates (at some R15- eligible institutions, no undergrads or not many) If undergrads involved, they should be actively involved in the experiments. Very difficult techniques or complex analyses may require personnel farther along career ladder. Track record for involving undergraduates in research (publications, presentations, awards) desirable. New faculty members should consider enlisting co-mentor at institution.

7 Institutional commitment: R15s Reduced teaching load, support for attendance at scientific conferences, frequent sabbaticals for PIs Housing (summer students), course credit/awards for independent research, seminar series for students doing research Institutional track record for students doing independent research, no matter what the funding source is, important to cite

8 Bottom line: R15 applications Research project paramount (well-trained PI who has opportunities to keep up to date and to collaborate, if necessary) If students involved, they should be doing real research and get support from experienced mentor and institution Strut your stuff! Institutions with several faculty members doing high-quality research and lots of students involved in research, no matter where the funding comes from, are best environments for R15-funded projects.

9 R01 “Regular research grant” Most common type of award at NIH; ca. half of all awards are R01s. FY11, 32,599 R01 applications, 5380 funded (16.5%; higher than R15) Up to 5 years; theoretically no limit on requested direct costs (consult with program) Can apply for R01 if institution is AREA-eligible (Should you? Depends on scope of project, resources, time, anticipated productivity. New investigators who were productive as postdocs should consider it.)

10 R01 applications: general Three application deadlines a year Most R01s reviewed in CSR study sections R01s can be revised and resubmitted (once), or renewed A PI can have multiple R01s at the same time (not true for R15s) Multiple PIs common (about one in six applications). Collaborations common (almost all applications)

11 R01 applications: budget and term New PIs usually get five year awards; some institutes have their own criteria for “new” (ask program) Terms for experienced investigators vary (ask program) Budget cuts? Institutes vary (ask program). Budget cuts likely to be more common as federal government spending decreases.

12 R21 Smaller grants for “exploratory, possibly risky” research Risk is subjective; NIH currently reviewing R21 language and purpose Two years, $275K over project period limits Most but not all NIH institutes accept “unsolicited” (not in response to special initiative) R21s. NIGMS does not. Three application deadlines a year; most applications reviewed in CSR study sections. Talk to program; every institute that accepts R21s handles them differently.

13 R03 Very small grants for pilot projects and technology development Two years/$100K over project period limits Only 11 institutes accept R03 applications (NIGMS doesn’t, even for special initiatives) Most reviewed in CSR study sections Generally not renewable Probably not application of choice unless you have a pilot or tech development project that you can do on $100K over two years Definitely consult with program before you submit.

14 Other types of research grants and small center grants Wide variety (close to 40) Types of institutions: small businesses, small business-academic collaborations, minority- serving institutions Activities: support of research, resource development and dissemination, resources, conferences, education, planning (for larger center grants) Investigators: new (R00), experienced and distinguished (MERIT awards, extensions) Innovation: Transformative Research Award, New Innovator, Early Independence, Pioneer (Common Fund, NIH Director’s Office)

15 Training: for individuals Fellowships for graduate students (F31), postdocs (F32), MD-PhD candidates, and faculty on sabbatical (F33) All fellowships are “F” Unusual: Fs are awarded to individuals (the trainee), not to institution. If a postdoc moves, may be able to take fellowship. F31s mostly for URM and neuroscience Institutes vary (what F applications they accept, how many funded); consult program.

16 Tips for success: F32s Candidate (the postdoc) should be early in postdoctoral career. Publications, for candidate, are a MUST. Really lousy grades a problem. Need not be straight As. Research plan matters, but quality of candidate and training potential are equally important. Training potential = learning new things (system, techniques, etc.). If you’re doing what you did in grad school, in a different lab, probably shouldn’t bother applying. What you’re doing as a postdoc should mesh with your career goals. Second postdoc OK if good training potential. Many years as postdoc, or lots of them, especially on unrelated topics, is problematic. 3 year limit on NRSA postdoctoral support from all sources (postdoctoral training grants, multiple F32s)

17 Tips for success: F32s Sponsor should write individualized training/mentoring plan for candidate. If the candidate is your first postdoc, enlist an experienced co-mentor. Work with candidate on research plan, but don’t copy from your own grant application. Candidate should have some input. Sponsor should have funding (not necessarily R01). F32 doesn’t cover supplies, equipment, etc.

18 F33s: senior fellowships Mostly used to support faculty on sabbatical leaves. Far fewer awarded than F32s. Institute policies vary (acceptance of F33s, what types of leave are eligible, how funding decisions are made). Consult with program, before submitting application, is a must. NIGMS only funds F33 if the candidate is making a radical career change. Standard sabbatical experience in colleague’s lab is not eligible.

19 Mentored career awards for individuals K awards: almost 40 types Each NIH institute accepts just a few types of K applications. Do your homework before you apply. Ks for different career stages (trainee, independent scientist or clinician, senior scientist), different terminal degrees (medical vs. PhD), different purposes.

20 Do your homework: K Kiosk Institute funding (which Ks?) Career Wizard: which K is best for you? Links to funding opportunity announcements

21 OppNet Basic behavioral and social science Opportunity Network Trans-NIH consortium, mostly focused on human behavior and social science Wide variety of special initiatives, including R01s, R21s, R13s (conferences), R25s (short courses), K18s. More coming… Website includes background, list of funded OppNet projects, links to active funding opportunity initiatives.


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