NIH from 10,000 Feet – 2015

If you are interested in the kinds of issues we discuss on Rock Talk, you might want to check out the video of my plenary presentation at the NIH Regional Seminar. I address the impact of NIH funded research and the challenges of the current NIH funding situation; highlight opportunities, new initiatives, and policy changes; and even discuss the blog. Continue reading

Listening to Our Stakeholders On Considering Sex as a Biological Variable

One year ago, NIH announced a plan to adopt a new policy requiring a deliberate approach to the consideration of sex as a biological variable (SABV) in preclinical research. (Read the article, co-authored by Janine Clayton and NIH Director Francis Collins, here.) Since that moment, we have been working diligently and collaboratively inside and outside NIH to craft meaningful policy that promotes the best science. …. Continue reading

More ASSISTance Options for Submitting Your Application to NIH

I’m excited to tell you about a new option for submitting your R01 applications to NIH. Today, we made ASSIST (the Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking) available as an option for submitting your R01 applications, as well as most individual career development (K) award applications. ASSIST is a web-based system that was developed by NIH, in close partnership with Grants.gov, to address common application submission challenges identified by the community. We first launched ASSIST …. Continue reading

Looking at Recent Data on R21 and R01-equivalent Grants

One topic of frequent interest to NIH leadership is how R01-equivalent awards compare to other research grant awards. The R01 is the standard mainstay of NIH’s research portfolio, and the oldest grant mechanism in use by NIH. As those familiar with the blog and RePORT know, we usually look at R01s in conjunction with other awards providing similar support analogous to an R01, which includes R37s or MERIT program awards. Of the R01-equivalent pool however, R01s make up the overwhelming bulk of these grants so while we call them R01-equivalents for accuracy-in-reporting reasons, it is highly appropriate to consider R01-equivalent data as representative of R01 trends. Over the past years we’ve been looking at trends in R01-equivalents compared to trends in awards through the R21 activity code. …. Continue reading

Give Input on Strategies for Optimizing the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research

An important, recurring discussion topic on our blogs is ways to maximize the impact and sustainability of NIH-funded biomedical research. In 2011, a Rock Talk post on managing NIH’s budget in fiscally challenging times solicited many comments and led, in part, to an NIH-wide policy on special council review for applications from PIs who have more than $1 million in NIH funding. We have also implemented new programs that provide more stable support for investigators over longer time periods. A more recent example of the “maximizing impact and sustainability” theme is an NIGMS Feedback Loop post that discussed ideas for how to optimize the biomedical research ecosystem. …. Continue reading

More Data on Age and the Workforce

There has been a lot of discussion in the community about the age of NIH supported researchers. As I’ve mentioned here on the blog before, we continue to examine how best to sustain the biomedical workforce. There are many ways to characterize our workforce or the biomedical research ecosystem, and many factors that contribute to successfully obtaining an NIH award. Since the topic of age is a popular one right now, I’d like to share with you some recent analyses that my office looked into regarding the distribution of research funding by age group.

We examined total and direct costs of NIH research project grants from 1998 through the last full fiscal year, and graphed the distribution of research funding by age group. The full data is posted on RePORT, and since the patterns are similar, I’ll post the graph of direct cost funding distribution below: …. Continue reading

Time for the NIH Regional Seminar in Baltimore

It’s spring and that means it’s time for the NIH Regional Seminar. This year, I’m especially excited that I will have more than 50 of my NIH and HHS colleagues joining me in Baltimore to share the latest updates and guidance on NIH initiatives, policies, and updates on the NIH grants process. If you are new to working with NIH – or maybe just in need of a brush-up on NIH funding and grant policy-related topics – consider joining us May 7-8, 2015. …. Continue reading

Update on NIH’s Implementation of Federal Grant Policies

On February 5, NIH announced its “NIH Interim Grant General Conditions”, our first step toward implementing Fed-wide administrative requirements for the use of Federal funds.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB)’s “Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards” (2 CFR part 200), (you may also hear it referred to as the “Uniform Guidance” or “UG”), published in December 2013, provided a government-wide framework for administrative requirements, cost principles, and audit requirements when …. Continue reading

Supporting the Call to Peer Review Service

Last year we highlighted a new section of the NIH Data Book that provides statistics about peer review across NIH, including peer review organized by the Center of Scientific Review as well as peer review organized by NIH institutes and centers. Then, and now, these data truly demonstrate how you, our peer reviewers, are the lifeline of the scientific process. During 2014 nearly 24,000 reviewers participated in more than 2,500 peer review meetings to assess the scientific and technical merit of NIH applications, and many of those reviewers participated in multiple meetings. Your service to NIH expands our capacity to fund the best science, and provides an essential breadth of perspectives on the research projects and research training that NIH supports. In the lab and in the study section, we’re grateful for the myriad ways you work with us to advance human health and benefit the health of our nation, and the world. …. Continue reading