Nexus April 2009

Director's Column

Please Consider Providing Summer Opportunities for Students and Science Educators with Supplements from the Recovery Act

With $21 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), we are pleased that NIH is able to facilitate educational opportunities for students and science educators in extramural laboratories holding active NIH grants. These administrative supplements providing summer research experiences for students and science educators are now available on an expedited basis to those with active NIH research grants.

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Top Stories

Grants.gov and Recovery Act Submissions

NIH will continue to receive applications through Grants.gov for all funding opportunities offered through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). Some concerns have been noted regarding the ability of Grants.gov to handle the additional demand for grant information and application submission related to ARRA. NIH is working closely with Grants.gov and other federal entities to take all possible steps to meet the needs of the biomedical research community. We will moniter the systems for issues and make adjustments as necessary.

Should you experience problems with Grants.gov that threaten the timely submission of your application, please take the following steps to document your difficulties.

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More Funding Opportunities Available through ARRA

New funding opportunities available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have been published and posted at http://grants.nih.gov/recovery. These include the NIH-wide initiative for research and research infrastructure support entitled the “Grand Opportunities,” a Biomedical Core Centers enhancement opportunity, and four initiatives through the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for research on the heterogeneity of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

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Peer Review and the Challenge Grants

The NIH recently unveiled the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research (RFA-OD-09-003 ), one of several funding opportunities available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Challenge Grants program invites applications from domestic institutions and organizations proposing novel research in areas that address specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. The program is designed to support research in the “Challenge area” topics identified by NIH Institutes and Centers.

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New Resources

NIH Public Access Policy: Updates and Resources

The NIH Public Access Policy remains a legislative mandate for FY2009 and beyond. Per the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, investigators funded by the NIH must submit an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication so that these documents may be made freely available no more than 12 months after they are officially published.

Several changes made to the NIH Public Access Policy webpage reflect this development and seek to provide resources for the research community.

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Visualizing NIH Data with the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool

Several noteworthy enhancements have recently been made to the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), a central point of access to reports, data, and analyses of NIH research activities, including information on NIH expenditures and the results of NIH-supported research.

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Eye on PI

Tips for Great Grant Writing (Part 3): Organize Your Research Plan

Help reviewers find exactly what they are looking for in your research plan by breaking your proposal down according to the primary review criteria: significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment. Begin each section with clear, descriptive headers that effectively frame your research plan.

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