Presentation on theme: "Training and Career Timetable"— Presentation transcript:
0COBRE Grant Writing Workshop Writing Successful NIH Mentored Career Development Awards (K and F Series), Mentorship Plan and Role of a MentorLynn Snyder-Mackler
1Training and Career Timetable Stage of ResearchTraining / CareerAwardsPre-BacPre-Bac Institutional Training Grant (T34)GRADUATE/MEDICALSTUDENTPredoctoral Institutional Training Grant (T32)Predoctoral Individual NRSA (F31)Predoctoral Individual MD/PhD NRSA (F30)Postdoctoral Institutional Training Grant (T32)Postdoctoral Individual NRSA (F32)POSTDOCTORALNIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00)Mentored Research Scientist Development Award (K01)Mentored Clinical Scientist Development Award (K08)Mentored Patient-Oriented RCDA (K23)Mentored Quantitative RCDA (K25)EARLYSmall Grant (R03)Research Project Grant (R01)Independent Scientist Award (K02)CAREERMIDDLEMidcareer Investigator Award inPatient-Oriented Research (K24)Exploratory/Develop-ment Grant (R21)SENIORSenior Scientist Award (K05)
2Mentored K Awards Independent Investigator College Graduate School PostdoctoralPathway to Independence (PI) Award (K99/R00)Mentored QuantitativeResearch Career DevelopmentAward (K25)Mentored Research ScientistDevelopment Award (K01)Career Transition Award (K22)Mentored Clinical ScientistDevelopment Award (K08)Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Development Award (K23)
3Mentored AwardsSupport mechanisms that provide mentored research experiences to gain additional expertise in an area that will significantly enhance research capabilities or expertise in a new research area.
4F32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows Requirements: U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, doctorate awardedDuration: Up to 3 yearsCommitment: Full-time research fellowshipProvisions: ~$37K-$52K stipend, ~$8K institutional allowance, 60% up to $16K tuitionResearch Career Awards (K)
5Mentored K Awards K01: Mentored Research Scientist Development Award K08: Mentored Clinical Scientist Development AwardK22: Research Career Award for Transition to IndependenceK23: Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Development AwardK25: Mentored Quantitative Research Development AwardK99/R00: NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) AwardK12: Institutional Mentored Research Scientist Development Program
6K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award Purpose: For individuals who wish to enhance their capacity for independent research.Requirements: U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, doctorate awardedDuration: 3-5 yearsCommitment: 75% effortProvisions: Salary up to $75K, fringe benefits, other research expenses up to $20K
7K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award Purpose: To support clinicians who need an intensive period of mentored research experience.Requirements: U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status, clinical doctorate awardedDuration: 3-5 yearsCommitment: 75% effort (50% effort for physician surgeons)Provisions: Salary up to $75K/$50K, fringe benefits, other research expenses up to $20K
8Timeline for K (F) Applications Earliest AwardDate:DecemberAprilJulyScientificReview:Jun/JulyOct/NovFeb/MarCouncilReview:OctoberJanuaryMayReceipt/DueDate:Feb 12 (April 8)Jun 12 (August 8)Oct 12 (December 8 )
9F and K sections and page limits Section of ApplicationPage Limits * (if different from FOA, FOA supersedes)Introduction to Resubmission or Revision Application (when applicable)1Specific AimsResearch Strategy6Respective ContributionsSelection of Sponsor and InstitutionResponsible Conduct of ResearchApplications for Concurrent Support (when applicable)Goals for Fellowship Training and CareerActivities Planned Under This AwardDoctoral Dissertation and Other Research Experience2Sponsor(s) and Co-Sponsor(s)Biographical Sketch4Section of ApplicationPage Limits * (if different from FOA, FOA supersedes)Introduction to Resubmission or Revision Application (when applicable)1Specific AimsFirst three items of Candidate Information (Candidate's Background, Career Goals and Objectives, and Career Development/Training Activities During Award Period and Research Strategy12 pages (for all sections combined)Training in the Responsible Conduct of ResearchMentoring Plan (Include only when required by the specific FOA, e.g., K24 and K05)6Statements by Mentor, Co-Mentors, Consultants, ContributorsDescription of Institutional EnvironmentInstitutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career DevelopmentBiographical Sketch4
10Prepare the Application: read the instructions!! start early, seek internal reviewersCandidate (grades, GREs, publications, pedigree)US citizen or permanent residentDoctoral degree (many ok)Sponsor and Training EnvironmentResearch ProposalUp to 3 yrsTraining PotentialVertebrate Animals, Human SubjectsYou may have to resubmit…
11Applications, awards, and success rates Data and chart description for this slide can be located at11
12Postdoctoral trainees are funded by many Institutes
13Develop a StrategyAssess your career situation and needs. Find out the opportunities for collaborating with a known laboratory and experienced mentor(s) and collaborators.Asses the field and the competition; see which other projects in your field are being funded by NIH. Search the NIH database: Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT).Evaluate yourself: What are your strengths and weaknesses? Can you capitalize on your expertise and fill in any gaps with collaborators or consultants?Find out what resources and support your organization has and what additional support you will need.
14Develop a StrategyIs there an added value to your receiving a K award? Why not pursue research training through other mechanisms?Give yourself plenty of time to write the application, probably three (to six) months.Know your organization's key contacts and internal procedures for electronic application.Begin the application by writing a one-sentence hypothesis for the proposed research project.Call an Institute/Center (I/C) Program Officer for an opinion of your ideas. See if your ideas match any of the I/C's high-priority areas, reflected in I/C’s initiatives and concepts.
15Stay Informed Read NIH Guide notices. Read the NIH Institute/Center Funding Opportunity Announcements.Sign up for NIH's Electronic Application Listserv to Receive News and Updates.See NIH's Electronic Submission Website.As you plan your grant, watch for important policy and process changes.Be wary of online information – always check when a page was last updated.
16Start Early to Apply Electronically The general rule of thumb for a K award is to start at least 3 months prior to the application due date.Notify your referees early on and give them plenty of time to submit letters of reference.At least a month before you want to apply, you'll need to get an NIH Commons account.You will also need to know who is your organization's Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). Your AOR is typically someone in your business office.Only the AOR can submit your application to Grants.gov. Keep in mind that your organization is the “applicant.” You are the K candidate.For info, see:
17Before You Start Writing Coordinate the application with your mentor’s schedule. Remember that a K application is a collaboration between you and your mentor.As you write the research project, always keep in mind the impact on your career development plans and progression.Make sure your planning and feedback are adequate by putting together your own review committee.After you've settled on a project, draft a short description of your specific aims and discuss these with the committee.Be sure to have the committee review the application after you're finished writing.
18Develop a Solid Hypothesis The research component of a K application should be driven by strong hypotheses rather than advances in technology.The hypothesis is the foundation, or the conceptual underpinning on which the entire project rests.Generally applications should ask questions that prove or disprove a hypothesis rather than use a method to search for a problem or simply collect information.However, sometimes applied research is also important to discover basic biology or develop or use a new technology.You should develop a focused hypothesis that increases understanding of an important biologic process and is based on previous research.
19Develop a Solid Hypothesis A few Tips:Make sure your idea is not too broad. Your hypothesis must be provable during your 3 to 5 year award with the level of resources you are requesting.Your topic should fit NIH's public health mission. Tie your science to curing, treating, or preventing disease.Show reviewers how your project fits in your field. Make this explicit.Remember, methods are the means for performing your experiments. Your experimental results will prove or disprove your hypothesis.If you have more than one hypothesis, choose the better one.
20Plan Your ApplicationMake sure your hypothesis will generate aims and methods you can accomplish within the 3-5 years time and with the resources available.After you have chosen your hypothesis, outline your specific aims:List your aims and then all the experiments you will do to support each aim.Keep in mind that your experiments support your aims, and your aims support your hypothesis.Use graphics to plan experiments.Chart experiments with decision trees showing alternative pathways should you get negative results.
21Request an Appropriate Budget The Career (K) line budget is driven by NIH Institute and Center policies. As an applicant, you are restricted to what you can ask for.Be aware that the NIH Institutes and Centers have varying salary and research cost scales!A typical mentored K award to a new investigator provides partial salary and only modest research costs.Ideally, your mentor(s) should be well-funded (NIH funding is preferred), and funding from the K is supplemental to his/her research funds.Most independent K awards do not provide research costs. It is expected that you will have peer-reviewed research funding.
22Request an Appropriate Budget F-32Stipends:Kirschstein-NRSA awards provide stipends No departure from the published Kirschstein-NRSA stipend schedule may be negotiated between the institution and the fellow.For fellows sponsored by domestic non-federal institutions, the stipend will be paid through the sponsoring institution.Tuition and Fees:NIH will contribute to the combined cost of tuition and fees at the rate in place at the time of award. For the most recent tuition/fees levels, see the following website:Institutional Allowance:Fellows sponsored by nonfederal or nonprofit institutions (domestic or foreign) will receive an institutional allowance to help defray fellowship expenses such as health insurance, research supplies, equipment, books, and travel to scientific meetings.
23Don't Propose Too MuchSharpen the focus of your application. Beginning applicants, particularly at an early career stage, often overshoot their mark by proposing too much. Avoid an “over-ambitious” project or one that looks a lot like an R01 grant!Your hypothesis should be provable and aims doable with the resources you are requesting.Make sure the scale of your hypothesis and aims fits your request of time and resources.Reviewers will quickly pick up on how well matched your research and career development objectives are.
24A Few Tips as You Write Write to Your Audience: Be Persuasive: Organize your application so the reviewers can readily grasp and explain what you are proposing, and most importantly, why you should get a K award.Be Persuasive:Tell reviewers why testing your hypothesis is worth NIH's money, why you are the person to do it, and how your mentor(s) and institution can give you the support you'll need to get it done.Balance the Technical and Non-technical:Keep the abstract, significance, and specific aims non-technical, and get technical and detailed only in the methods section.
25A Few Tips as You Write Make Life Easy for Reviewers: Write clearly and conciselyGuide the reviewers with graphics as much as possibleLabel all materials clearlyEdit and proofKnow These Review Problems and Solutions:Write a compelling argument for why your career will be enhanced by receiving a K awardWrite to the non-expert in the field
26Write a Compelling Application Candidate Qualifications, Career Goals, Training PlansStatements by the Mentor, co-Mentors, Collaborators, and ConsultantsInstitution Environment and Commitment to the CandidateSpecific AimsResearch Strategy
27Writing a competitive mentored K award grant application Main sections of the grant applicationCandidate (Sections 2 – 4)*Instruction in the Responsible Conduct of Research (Section 5: limited to 1 page)Statements by Mentors, Co-Mentors, and Collaborators (Section 7; limited to 6 pages)Description of Institutional Environment (Section 8; limited to 1 page)Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development (Section 9: limited to 1 page)Specific Aims (Section 10: limited to 1 page)Research Strategy (Section 11)**Sections 2 – 4 plus Section 11 are limited to 12 pages
28Candidate’s Qualifications Biographical Sketch:Personal Statement: Your research experience and other qualifications for this K award.Research Support: Your/colleagues accomplishments attesting to qualifications of the research team. Don’t confuse this with “Other Support.”Candidate’s Background:Coordinate with information in the Biographical Sketch, e.g., research and/or clinical training experience that has prepared you for the K.
29Candidate’s Career Goals Career Goals and Objectives:Tell the reviewers about your scientific history, and how the K award fits into you research career development plans.If you have changed research direction, discuss reasons for the change, and be sure to justify how it will help you to develop your research career.You should always provide a career development timeline, including plans to apply for subsequent grant support.
30Candidate’s Career Plans Career Development/Training During Award:Make sure to fully explain any new or enhanced research skills you will gain as a result of the K.Stress activities that will enhance your research career, e.g., courses, techniques.Describe any additional, non-research activities in which you expect to participate. Explain how the activity is related to your research and career development plans.
31Responsible Conduct of Research Training in Responsible Conduct of Research:Document any prior participation in RCR training and/or propose plans to receive additional instruction.Discuss the five components outlined in the NIH Policy: Format, Subject Matter, Faculty Participation, Duration, and Frequency.Is the plan appropriate for your career stage, and will it enhance your understanding of ethical issues related to research?
32Mentor(s), Collaborators, Consultants Statements by Mentor(s), Consultant(s):Each mentor must explain how he/she will contribute to the development of the candidate's research career.Discuss the research And Also other activities, e.g., seminars, scientific meetings, training in RCR, publications and presentations.Document the sources and amounts of anticipated support for the candidate’s research project.
33Statements by Mentors, Co-Mentors, and Collaborators Assemble a complementary teamChoose a primary mentor who is a senior investigator with a track-record of NIH fundingYour primary mentor should be at your home institution.Include co-mentors who will complement the primary mentor’s strengths.Avoid including co-mentors from institutions outside the region.If you do include someone from outside the region, call them a scientific or technical advisor rather than a co-mentor.
34Statements by Mentors, Co-Mentors, and Collaborators (Cont’d) Each member of your “team” must play a role in your training or research plan.Establish a relatively small (3-5) mentoring committee.This section is limited to 6 pages.Each member of your team must submit a signed letter.The primary mentor’s letter should be at least 2 pages, leaving only 4 pages for all other members; hence, the total number of mentors/advisors on your team should not exceed 5.
35Statements by Mentors, Co-Mentors, and Collaborators Evaluation criteria for primary mentor:Appropriateness of mentor’s research qualifications in the area of this application.Quality and extent of mentor’s role in providing guidance and advice to candidate.Previous experience in fostering the development of more junior researchers.History of productivity and support.Adequacy of support for the research project.
36Letters of Collaboration The letter from the primary mentor is key. It should cover the following areas:His or her qualifications in the research area proposed by the candidate.Previous experience as a research supervisor.The nature and extent of supervision that will occur during the award period.Include an evaluation component that describes how your mentors will assess your progress (e.g., quarterly meetings).Include specific milestones during the K award (e.g., completion of coursework, submission of manuscripts).What resources, if any, they will make available to you in support of your training and/or research.
37Letters of Collaboration Any of the following issues could also be addressed, which are the criteria by which the candidate will be evaluated:Potential for conducting researchEvidence of originalityAdequacy of scientific backgroundQuality of research endeavors or publications to dateCommitment to patient-oriented researchNeed for further research experience and training
38Primary mentor’s letter The primary mentor’s letter can also “re-frame” any potential weaknesses in the application.Examples:Productivity of candidate (e.g., few publications).Feasibility of conducting research plan with resources of K award.Limited mentoring experience of primary mentor.Limited resources of primary mentor (e.g., no current R01 funding.Co-mentor(s) not at UD.Scientific overlap with primary mentor.
39Letters of Collaboration Letters from co-mentors, scientific advisors, and others can be much shorter.Be sure to include description of the role of the co-mentor/scientific advisor.Make sure that letters are consistent with text in grant application (re: frequency of meetings, etc.).
40Letters of Recommendation 3 - 5 letters are required.They should be from senior investigators who have competed successfully for NIH funding and have been involved in the training of junior investigators.Can be from any period in your career (e.g., graduate school, medical (professional) school, residency).Cannot be from your primary mentor or co-mentors.
41Letters of Recommendation Letters should address the candidate’s potential for a research career.Potential for conducting researchEvidence of originalityAdequacy of scientific backgroundQuality of research endeavors or publications to dateCommitment to patient-oriented researchNeed for further research experience and training
42Mentor(s), Collaborators, Consultants Statements by Mentor(s), Consultant(s):Provide details on the candidate's anticipated teaching load, clinical responsibilities, etc.It is critical to discuss plans for transitioning the candidate to the independent investigator stage by the end of the K award period.Mentor(s) must provide details for any previous experience as a mentor, types (e.g., graduate students, Postdocs), numbers, and career outcomes.
43Institution’s Research Environment Description of Institutional Environment:The sponsoring institution must document a strong, well-established research program related to the candidate's areas of interest.The statement should include the names of the mentor(s) and other relevant faculty.The statement should provide details of facilities and resources available for the candidate.Any opportunities for intellectual interactions, e.g., journal clubs, seminars, and presentations?
44Institution’s Commitment Institutional Commitment to the Candidate:The institution must document its commitment to the candidate’s career development independent of the K award!The institution must agree to provide adequate time and support to the candidate for the period of K.Provide documentation for the institution's commitment to the development and advancement of the candidate during the period of the K award.
45Institution’s Commitment Institutional Commitment to the Candidate:The institution must provide the candidate with appropriate office and laboratory space, equipment, and other resources and facilities (e.g., access to clinical and/or other research populations) to carry out the proposed research.The institution must provide appropriate time and support for any proposed mentor(s) and/or other staff consistent with the career development plan.
46Institution’s Commitment Institutional Commitment to the Candidate:The institution must document its commitment to the candidate’s career development independent of the K award!The institution must agree to provide adequate time and support to the candidate for the period of K.Provide documentation for the institution's commitment to the development and advancement of the candidate during the period of the K award.
47Description of Institutional Environment This section is limited to 1 page.Evaluation criteria:Adequacy of research facilities and the availability of appropriate educational opportunities.Quality and relevance of the environment for scientific and professional development of the candidate.
48Description of Institutional Environment Describe the research facilities and educational opportunities of the sponsoring institution that are related to the candidate’s career development training and research plans.Include relevance of each component to your career development plan.Describe resources outside UD, as needed.
49Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development This section is limited to 1 page.Evaluation criteriaApplicant institution’s commitment to the scientific development of the candidate and assurances that the institution intends the candidate to be “an integral part of its research program.”Applicant institution’s commitment to protect at least 75% of the candidate’s effort for proposed career development activities.
50Institutional Commitment to Candidate’s Research Career Development (Cont’d) These assurances are stated in a letter from your department chair or division chief (see Example 4).Note: For fellows, this letter must state that you will be promoted from your current position to a “higher” position (ideally, to a full-time faculty position) during the K award period.
51Career Award Review Criteria Overall Impact: This score reflects the reviewers assessment of the likelihood for the candidate to become/remain an independent investigator. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to have a major impact.Scored Review Criteria: Determination of scientific, technical, and career merit. Each gets a separate score:CandidateCareer Development Plan/Career Goals & ObjectivesResearch PlanMentor(s), Consultants(s), Collaborator(s).Environment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate
52Career Award Review Criteria Candidate:Quality of research, academic and/or clinical recordPotential to develop as an independent and productive researcherCommitment to a research careerQuality of the letters of referenceCareer Development Plan/Career Goals & Objectives:Likelihood that plan will contribute substantially to the scientific development of candidate – Added ValueContent, scope, phasing, and duration of the plan in the context of prior experience and stated career objectives
53Career Award Review Criteria Research Plan:Scientific and technical merit of the research question, design and methodologyRelevance of the proposed research to the candidate‘s career objectivesAppropriateness of the research plan to the stage of research development and as a vehicle for developing the research skills described in the career development plan
54Career Award Review Criteria Mentor(s), Consultants(s), Collaborator(s):Qualifications and statement by Mentor and collaborators/ConsultantsEnvironment and Institutional Commitment to the Candidate:Commitment of institution to ensure that the candidate's effort will be devoted to research (Minimum 75%)Adequacy of research facilities and training opportunities, including capable facultyAssurance that institution intends for the candidate to be an integral part of its research program
55Career Award Review Criteria Additional Review Criteria:Protection of Human Subjects from Research RiskInclusion of Women, Minorities, and Children in ResearchCare and Use of Vertebrate Animals in ResearchBiohazardsResubmission ApplicationsRenewal Applications (as applicable)Additional Review Considerations:Training in the Responsible Conduct of ResearchSelect AgentsResource Sharing PlansBudget and Period of Support
56Expectations of a Mentor Stephen B. Trippel et al
57Definitions Greek History: Mentor was a close friend and counselor for Odysseus. When Odysseus left for the Trojan War, he placed Mentor in charge of his son and his palace.NIH:“A mentor is a person who has achieved career success and counsels and guides another for the purpose of helping him or her achieve like success. Research supervisors should always be mentors; they have the responsibility to discuss with and advise a trainee on aspects of his or her work and professional development.”
58Picking a Mentor Picking a mentor requires you to Selection is based on a variety ofattributes:ExpertiseRecord of mentorshipPersonal rapportCommitment to your development Picking a mentor requires you toknow yourself and your researchenvironment May have more than one mentor fordifferent facets of your career No “one size fits all” mentality
59Roles of Mentor Infrastructure Lab management advice Collaboration Finding a good mentor may be asimportant as skillful grantsmanshipInfrastructureLab management adviceCollaborationHonest evaluationAdvocacy University Scientific Community
60What About Infrastructure Basic research is a complicated enterpriseCore facilities/equipmentMethodologiesAdministrative supportStart-up Funds
61The Transition to Lab Management Lots of training, but … you need help! How to become a leader Managing technicians Mentoring students/fellows Navigating human resources Evaluations Conflicts
62Your Best/Worst Collaborator 1 Risk: Exploitation The best mentor is in your field - Better yet ifspecific interests overlapAccess to reagents/data/expertiseFamiliarity with allies/competitionPulse of the study sectionCo-investigator status More grant writing!! 1 Risk: Exploitation
63The Person that Embodies These Characteristics: Has a relationship with you that is bothpersonal and professional Views his/her success as linked to yoursuccess Is empathetic yet pragmatic
65Advocacy On The Road Your mentor should be your advocate At Home Academic departments/studentsDepartmental and university committeesProtected research timePromotions/tenure On The Road Meet and Greet Access to the “Inner Circle” Journal reviewer Grant reviewer
66The Impact of Outstanding Mentorship Immediate productivity Access to lab personnel Involvement in mature programs Co-investigatorship A window into the world of grant writing Open dialog about your own developingprogram Use of funds People management Overall research direction
67Immediate Productivity Main objective: get your own programrollingAlso: During the start-up phase Getting early publications Learn the bureaucratic ropes early Research Affairs office IACUC, IRB Pursuit of intramural pilot money
68Co-investigatorship Main objective: get your own grant funded Also: Becoming a Co-I has perks Early evidence of support Forging effective collaborations Involvement in areas outside your focus Critical to have multiple directions Bring new perspective to your own program Learn grant writing first hand
69Open Dialog About Your Program Who can help the most right away? Advice on the use of start-up fundsPreserve for the futureEquipment vs. supplies vs. personnelSmall grants make a big differenceGetting the best bang for the $ Who can help the most right away? How to manage staff successfully Research direction Morphing hypotheses into proposals Roadmap to promotion
70Despite All The Mentoring … There are still no guarantees Set limits on time spent away from your main goal Always be in the process of paper and proposalwriting Never fear critiquesNOT Friends Study section Always be responsive, not argumentative Don’t focus solely on the NIH for funding Marshall your ‘big idea’ with smaller, sure-fireprojects
71Develop a Plan for Long Term Productivity & Funding Create a strategic vision for research thatincludes: Creation of a research focus Stepwise plan to publish results and obtaincommensurate funding Overall career development Effectively manage research time vis-à-vis other activities: clinical, educationaland administrative
72Nurture confidence and competence Teach by example Offer sound counsel SummaryMentor’s RoleMotivateEmpowerNurture confidence and competenceTeach by exampleOffer sound counselRaise the performance barShine in reflected light