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Grantsmanship: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! or How to Swim with the Sharks and Survive! Jerry Heindel, Ph.D. Scientific Program Administrator Division.

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Presentation on theme: "Grantsmanship: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! or How to Swim with the Sharks and Survive! Jerry Heindel, Ph.D. Scientific Program Administrator Division."— Presentation transcript:

1 Grantsmanship: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! or How to Swim with the Sharks and Survive! Jerry Heindel, Ph.D. Scientific Program Administrator Division of Extramural Research and Training, NIEHS heindelj@niehs.nih.gov. NIH/DHHS/NIEHS NIH/DHHS/NIEHS

2 I am from the Government and I am here to help you! NIH

3 Overview Problems first time (and other) applicants make….. Problems first time (and other) applicants make….. What to do about it! What to do about it! Principles of grantsmanship- Principles of grantsmanship- Grants.gov and electronic submissions Grants.gov and electronic submissions Start With the End in Mind! Start With the End in Mind!

4 Elements of Grant Success Good Ideas Good Timing Good Reviewers Good Luck Good Grantsmanship

5 Formula for Grant Success NIH GRANT$

6 Good Luck The consequence of: Good Ideas Good Presentation Good Timing Good Reviewers Good Grantsmanship

7 Formula for Grant Success NIH GRANT$

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

9 Common Problems with Applications Overly ambitious Overly ambitious Lack of innovation Lack of innovation Lack of linkage to human health problem Lack of linkage to human health problem Lack of focused/mechanistic hypothesis Lack of focused/mechanistic hypothesis Lack of focused aims that will prove and only prove the hypothesis Lack of focused aims that will prove and only prove the hypothesis Unfocused research plan that does not test feasibility Unfocused research plan that does not test feasibility Questionable reasoning in approach Questionable reasoning in approach Lack of experimental detail Lack of experimental detail Lack of experience with methods Lack of experience with methods

10 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.  Focus on specific aims page.  Think salesmanship/grantsmanship.  Get help reviewing drafts and working through the entire process ( Mentor and Granting Organization).

11 Start Planning Early!!!!! Planning Schedule…..

12 NIH Applying for Funding

13 Talk to Someone at NIH… Who to talk to, When and About What! Start talking to agency representative before start writing. Start talking to agency representative before start writing. Be sure agency is interested in idea. Be sure agency is interested in idea. Check out possible review panels. Check out possible review panels. Get grantsmanship training. Get grantsmanship training. Information on budgets and financial matters. Information on budgets and financial matters. Information on patent rights….. Information on patent rights…..

14 THE NIEHS EXTRAMURAL TEAM ! PROGRAM ADMINISTRATOR GRANTS MANAGEMENT SPECIALIST SCIENTIFIC REVIEW ADMINISTRATOR

15 Scientific Program Administrator Develop program initiatives Develop program initiatives Provide guidance and assistance to applicants Provide guidance and assistance to applicants Attend Scientific review group (SRG) meetings as program resource person(s) Attend Scientific review group (SRG) meetings as program resource person(s) Communicate results of review to applicants Communicate results of review to applicants Make funding recommendations Make funding recommendations Monitor progress during the award period Monitor progress during the award period

16 Scientific Review Administrator Review administrators setup and conduct scientific and technical reviews of grant applications to identify those of highest scientific and technical merit in their respective discipline and disease areas.

17 Grants Management Specialist Grants Management Officials ensure that business management actions for NIH programs and awards are performed correctly, efficiently, and in accordance with pertinent grant policies and good business practices, including responsibility for maintaining official grant files.

18 When to Interact with Various Staff Members Scientific Program Administrator : Scientific Program Administrator : 4 Prior to submission 4 After the review is complete 4 Prior to the award 4 During the progress of the research Grants Management Official : 4 Fiscal or Administrative questions prior to submission or award and throughout award Scientific Review Administrator : 4 After Submission 4 Prior to Summary Statement

19 Assistance (Grant) Mechanisms Regular Research Grant-R01 Regular Research Grant-R01 Others Others  Small grants - R03 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r03.htm  New Investigator-K99/00 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-06-133.html  Exploratory – R21 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/r21.htm  Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) - R15 http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/area.htm

20 Principles of Grantsmanship Preparing an R01(R03, R21) Application Title Title Abstract (200 words) Abstract (200 words) Research Plan Research Plan  Specific Aims ( 1 page)  Significance ( bkg) (2-3 pages)  Preliminary Studies  Experimental Methods/Approach Budget/Timeline Budget/Timeline References References

21 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

22 Important Point to Remember There is an art to writing applications! TIP: MELD SCIENCE, SALESMANSHIP AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

23 Grantsmanship : General Preparation Assess the field….know state of field and opportunities. Assess the field….know state of field and opportunities. Check out the “competition”. Check out the “competition”. Brainstorm ideas….match them to NIH. Brainstorm ideas….match them to NIH.  Novel, innovative, impact Check with NIH program directors. Check with NIH program directors. Give yourself plenty of time….3-6 mo! Give yourself plenty of time….3-6 mo! Start with the end in mind ! Start with the end in mind !

24 Grantsmanship Start With the End in Mind! Start With the End in Mind!  Receipt and Referral ( Institute and Study Section)  Review System  Study Sections  Reviewers  Review Criteria Overall goal: To make everyone involved in the process happy…to make their job easier.

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26 The key to success in grant writing is to engender enthusiasm in the reviewer--- who then becomes an advocate for the proposal!

27 Grantsmanship:Start With The End in Mind 1. Know your Audience! The Reviewers The Reviewers  Accomplished, dedicated, fair  Overly committed, tired, inherently skeptical, overly critical  General understanding only  Used to reviewing R01 applications

28 Start with the End in Mind! 2. Review Criteria SIGNIFICANCE: Does this study address and important problem? Does this study address and important problem? If the aims are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? If the aims are achieved, how will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services or preventative interventions that drive the field? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services or preventative interventions that drive the field?

29 Start with the End in Mind! 2. Review Criteria INNOVATION: Is the project original and innovative? Is the project original and innovative? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice: address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or clinical practice: address an innovative hypothesis or critical barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area of research? Does the project develop or employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools or technologies for this area of research?

30 APPROACH Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative strategies? Start with the End in Mind! 2. Review Criteria

31 INVESTIGATOR: Is the Principal Investigator capable of coordinating and managing the proposed work ? Is the Principal Investigator capable of coordinating and managing the proposed work ? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the Principal Investigator and other researchers, including consultants and subcontractors (if any)? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the Principal Investigator and other researchers, including consultants and subcontractors (if any)? Are the relationships of the key personnel to the University and to other institutions appropriate for the work proposed?” Are the relationships of the key personnel to the University and to other institutions appropriate for the work proposed?” Start with the End in Mind! 2. Review Criteria

32 ENVIRONMENT: Is there sufficient access to resources (e.g., equipment, facilities)? Is there sufficient access to resources (e.g., equipment, facilities)? Does the scientific and technological environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Does the scientific and technological environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements? Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative arrangements?

33 Start with the End in Mind! 3.Selling Yourself and Your Ideas! Knowing the Science is not enough. Scientist Scientist Spokesperson Spokesperson  Communicator ( writer & speaker) Salesperson Salesperson

34 Grantsmanship : A Research Focus The Scientist as a Salesperson : You are a Business : Big Business You are a Business : Big Business CEO ; Scientific Director ; Sales Representative CEO ; Scientific Director ; Sales Representative Sell yourself and your ideas Sell yourself and your ideas Use Your Communication skills Use Your Communication skills  Written and Oral

35 Grantsmanship: Sell yourself and your ideas! What are you selling? What are you selling? Why is it important? Why is it important? Impact (who will benefit) Impact (who will benefit) How will you do it? How will you do it? Advantages/strengths/limitations Advantages/strengths/limitations Track record (can you do it?) Track record (can you do it?) And put it in the proper form !

36 Principle of Successful Selling Make people like you…develop rapport Make people like you…develop rapport Find out what they need or want Find out what they need or want Get the other person point of view Get the other person point of view Know your product Know your product Show advantages of your product Show advantages of your product Develop a desire for your product Develop a desire for your product Get people saying YES Get people saying YES

37 Principles of Grantsmanship Preparing an R01(R03, R21) Application Title Title Abstract (200 words) Abstract (200 words) Research Plan Research Plan  Specific Aims ( 1 page)  Significance ( bkg) (2-3 pages)  Preliminary Studies  Experimental Methods/Approach Budget/Timeline Budget/Timeline References References

38 ABSTRACT:Stated Guidelines State the application’s broad, long term objectives and specific aims. State the application’s broad, long term objectives and specific aims. Make reference to the health-relatedness of the project. Make reference to the health-relatedness of the project. Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving goals. Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving goals. Discuss potential for innovation. Discuss potential for innovation. Avoid summaries of past accomplishments and the use of first person. Avoid summaries of past accomplishments and the use of first person. Do not exceed 200 words. Do not exceed 200 words.

39 Grantsmanship: ABSTRACT IDENTIFY PROBLEM: IDENTIFY PROBLEM:  What is the problem addressed? ( Must be public health problem!!)  Who cares SOLUTION: SOLUTION:  Hypothesis/goal/product PLAN: PLAN:  Approach  Specific aims/milestones  Techniques/methodologies used BENEFITS: BENEFITS:  Expected results  Application/benefit

40 Grantsmanship : The Heart of The Application l Specific Aims l Background and Significance l Preliminary Studies l Research Design/Methods l Literature Cited Abstract Research Plan Hypothesis Specific Aims

41 DO NOT write the application for the “Specialist” You MUST convince the entire review committee

42 Jargon: Be careful what you say….. One reason some branches of government have trouble operating jointly is that they don’t speak the same language. One reason some branches of government have trouble operating jointly is that they don’t speak the same language. Goal: “Secure a Building” Goal: “Secure a Building”  Air Force  Army  Marines  Navy

43 Grantsmanship: Specific Aims Section (One Page) Introductory Paragraph Introductory Paragraph  Statement of long term health-related goal (1 sentence)  Background/significance of problem (1-2 sentences)  Preliminary data/state of the art (2-3 sentences)  Data gaps/controversy (1-2 sentences)  Clearly defined hypothesis/specific goal ( 1-2 sentences) The flow of logic must be compelling!!!

44 Specific Aims (Cont’d) Specific Aims/Milestones Specific Aims/Milestones  2-5 aims ( One sentence each)  Specifically focused to prove hypothesis/develop product  Logical order with no dead ends  To characterize, To determine the, To relate...  Focus on scientific goal not technology Summary Statement Summary Statement  Emphasize novel product and innovative approach and impact on field ( 2-3 sentences)

45 The aims should be endpoints… so it can be easily determined if they have been met!! Aim 1. To determine if…… or Aim 1. To characterize

46 Idea and Hypothesis. NOVEL!!! New, innovative and novel ideas…paradigm shifters. New, innovative and novel ideas…paradigm shifters. You need to be first….we don’t fund followers! You need to be first….we don’t fund followers! We don’t fund gap filling. We don’t fund gap filling. We don’t fund verification/repetition. We don’t fund verification/repetition. Why is this application special….what singles out this application?

47 Hypothesis We hypothesize that calcium causes reproductive dysfunction by interfering with pituitary gonadotropin secretion, testosterone synthesis and secretion, androgen metabolism in target organs and sex steroid hormone receptor binding in the neuroendocrine system and in the reproductive organs. We hypothesize that calcium causes reproductive dysfunction by interfering with pituitary gonadotropin secretion, testosterone synthesis and secretion, androgen metabolism in target organs and sex steroid hormone receptor binding in the neuroendocrine system and in the reproductive organs.

48 Hypothesis We hypothesize that estrogen-like endocrine disruptors alter uterine growth by altering HOX gene expression via disruption of estrogen stimulation of HOX gene cis regulatory DNA elements. We hypothesize that estrogen-like endocrine disruptors alter uterine growth by altering HOX gene expression via disruption of estrogen stimulation of HOX gene cis regulatory DNA elements. Our overall hypothesis is that TCDD exerts its effects on ovarian steroidogenesis by binding to the AhR and specifically inhibiting P450 aromatase gene expression. Our overall hypothesis is that TCDD exerts its effects on ovarian steroidogenesis by binding to the AhR and specifically inhibiting P450 aromatase gene expression.

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51 Background and Significance Goal: To convince the reviewers that you are familiar with the field and to justify need for proposed study. Logical development of background information that forms basis of proposal. Logical development of background information that forms basis of proposal. Critical evaluation of current knowledge. …show how proposed work builds on previous work. Critical evaluation of current knowledge. …show how proposed work builds on previous work. Identification of data gaps, conflicts, needs, what’s new and novel and innovative. Identification of data gaps, conflicts, needs, what’s new and novel and innovative. Importance of research and how it will fill need. Importance of research and how it will fill need.  Thus these studies demonstrate the importance of this area….  These studies provide important background for this study in….  The proposed project will build on this previous work….by…. Public health benefit….significance paragraph to frame current status of work in the field and explain how the proposed project will make a contribution. Public health benefit….significance paragraph to frame current status of work in the field and explain how the proposed project will make a contribution.

52 Preliminary Data Goal: To establish your experience and competence in the area of application.  Convince reviewers you are familiar with and have done all the techniques proposed including data analysis and interpretation…  that the work is feasible…  that suitable groundwork has been done (preliminary data).  Simple graphs and tables with descriptive legends.  No extraneous or irrelevant data.  Black and white.

53 Experimental Methods/Research Plan For Each Aim/Milestone : Rationale for approach Rationale for approach Experimental Design in detail including data analysis and interpretation Experimental Design in detail including data analysis and interpretation Potential Difficulties/Limitations Potential Difficulties/Limitations Alternative approaches Alternative approaches Justify everything including number of animals, assays, statistical analysis, timetable and that you have experience and expertise needed.

54 General Issues Attention to details Attention to details Layout and format Layout and format

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62 NIH Support of New Investigators Implementation Review groups received orientation during the 1998 review round. They are reminded each review round. Implementation Review groups received orientation during the 1998 review round. They are reminded each review round. Reviewers are informed of the “New” investigator “ definition and honor the guidelines. Reviewers are informed of the “New” investigator “ definition and honor the guidelines. Review groups are provided with a list of first-time applicants with review assignments and at review. Review groups are provided with a list of first-time applicants with review assignments and at review.

63 Common Problems with Applications Overly ambitious Overly ambitious Lack of innovation Lack of innovation Lack of linkage to human health problem Lack of linkage to human health problem Lack of focused/mechanistic hypothesis Lack of focused/mechanistic hypothesis Lack of focused aims that will prove and only prove the hypothesis Lack of focused aims that will prove and only prove the hypothesis Unfocused research plan that does not test feasibility Unfocused research plan that does not test feasibility Questionable reasoning in approach Questionable reasoning in approach Lack of experimental detail Lack of experimental detail Lack of experience with methods Lack of experience with methods

64 Grantsmanship Guidance at NIH http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm http://www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir_policy.htm http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir_policy.htm http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbir_policy.htm http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbirgrantsmanship.pdf http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbirgrantsmanship.pdf http://grants1.nih.gov/grants/funding/sbirgrantsmanship.pdf http://niaid.nih.gov/ncn/sbir/advice/advice.pdf http://niaid.nih.gov/ncn/sbir/advice/advice.pdf http://niaid.nih.gov/ncn/sbir/advice/advice.pdf

65 What is Grants.gov? to electronically: The Federal government’s single, online portal for any person, business, or State, Local and Tribal government to electronically:   Find Grant Opportunities   Apply for Grants A cross-agency initiative involving   900 grant programs   26 grant-making agencies   Over $350 billion in annual awards

66 Posting Funding Opportunity Announcements on Grants.gov Funding opportunities will continue to be posted in the NIH Guide and Contracts as usual. Funding opportunities will continue to be posted in the NIH Guide and Contracts as usual.  NIH will continue to use RFAs and PAs, but all solicitations will be referred to as funding opportunity announcements in Grants.gov. They will simultaneously be posted to Grants.gov by OER staff along with the appropriate application package. They will simultaneously be posted to Grants.gov by OER staff along with the appropriate application package.

67 NIH’s Electronic Receipt Goal By the end of May 2007, NIH plans to: 1. 1. Require electronic submission through Grants.gov for all NIH grant applications 2. 2. Transition from the PHS 398 application form to SF424 family of forms data set   SF424 Research and Research-Related (SF424 (R&R)) Announced in the NIH Guide, Aug. 19, 2005: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-067.html http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-05-067.html

68 Electronic Receipt: How it works Applying for Grants at Grants.gov: After finding the grant opportunity on Grants.gov: Step 1: Download the grant application package. (PureEdge Software required to view.) Step 1: Download the grant application package. (PureEdge Software required to view.) Step 2: Complete the application. Step 3: Submit the application to Grants.gov. (Processed through Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)). Step 4: Track the status of the submitted application package you are notified it has been retrieved by NIH.

69 Electronic Receipt: How it works Step 5: eRA software checks the application against NIH business rules. Step 5: eRA software checks the application against NIH business rules. Step 6: NIH notifies PI and Signing Official via email to check the eRA Commons for results of NIH rule checking. Step 7: If the application passes NIH rules, SF424 (R&R)- based grant image appears.  Principal Investigator (PI) and Signing Official (SO) review application.   If acceptable, the application is accepted in 24 hrs in Commons.   If not, the PI or SO rejects the application in Commons, makes changes and resubmits via Grants.gov

70 Electronic Receipt: How it works Apply for Grants (cont.): Step 8: If application does not pass NIH rules, errors and warnings are listed.  Fix errors and resubmit to Grants.gov Step 9: After verification, data and grant image are saved and application begins getting processed by NIH staff.

71 71 2006 NIH Timeline: Submission of Grant Applications through Grants.gov Using SF424 Family of Grant Application Forms Submit R01 via Grants.gov (2/1/07) Submit R03, R21 & R33 via Grants.gov (6/1/06) APR FEB MAR MAY JUN JUL AUGSEP OCT NOV APR DECJAN MAY JUN JUL AUG SEP 2007 NIH TimelineNIH Timeline

72 APPLICATION, REVIEW, and AWARD University Researcher National Institutes of Health Applicant Initiates Research Idea Conducts Research Allocates Funds $$ Institute Director Center for Scientific Review Assign toIC and IRG Scientific Review Group Review forScientific Merit Institute Evaluate for Relevance Advisory Council or Board Recommends Action Takes final action for NIH Director Submits Grant Application ~2-3 months after submission ~2-3 months after review


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