Recognizing 25 Years of Improving Animal Welfare and Advancing Science

In 1984, an NIH symposium “Animal Welfare and Scientific Research” presented the current state of the art of veterinary medicine, animal care, and animal models and provided a forum for animal welfare policy discussion. As a result of this symposium, new policies and laws requiring humane care for animals used in testing, research and training were adopted.Twenty-five years later, scientists, policy makers, and others met again at “Animal Welfare and Scientific Research: 1985 to 2010,” to discuss the history, current practices, and future of research animal care.

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Time to Get On Board! xTrain Required Jan. 1

Beginning January 1, 2011, use of the eRA Commons xTrain system will be required to electronically prepare and submit appointment forms and termination notices for NIH institutional research training grants, individual fellowships, research education, and institutional career development awards. After January 1, 2011, NIH will not accept paper appointment forms and termination notices.

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Application Submission Changes Coming in January

Many changes affecting application submissions are converging on the January 25, 2011 application receipt date, including the elimination of the error correction window (described in more detail below), a new policy on post-submission application materials, the new time limit for resubmission applications, and more. Find out which ones apply to your next submission.

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Window Closing!

This new year, make a resolution to plan ahead and submit your NIH grant applications in advance of the deadline. With the error correction window going away as of January 25, 2011, submitting your application early is the best way to ensure success. For deadlines on or after January 25, 2011, all applications must be error-free by the deadline.

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Supporting Early Stage Investigators

Entry of new investigators into the ranks of independent, NIH-funded researchers is essential to the health of this country’s biomedical research enterprise. I believe they bring fresh ideas and technologies to existing biomedical research problems, and they pioneer new areas of investigation. Over the years, NIH has created special programs to assist new investigators in obtaining independent research funding. These programs have resulted in the recruitment of more new investigators; however, new investigators are often still many years past their degree-conferral date. Recently, we have focused our attention on encouraging earlier transitions into independent research careers by developing programs that focus specifically on early stage investigators (those researchers that are within a set number of years of their terminal degree). By shifting new investigator incentives to those at earlier career stages, we hope to shorten the prolonged periods of training.

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