Yes. Early in the planning stage of your project, we recommend you contact a program officer. You can find them by talking to colleagues or by checking out our websites. They are listed in section seven of our funding opportunity announcements (FOA). You can also search individual institute’s or center’s websites, or search for your area of science in RePORTER and see which program officers might be the right fit.
Program staff are your primary source of information for scientific, funding and programmatic matters, and they can advise you regarding:
- An institute/center’s potential enthusiasm about your research area
- Potential application topics
- The appropriate FOA through which to apply
- Investigator-initiated research: topics of interest and new scientific directions
- Additional information about an initiative such as a request for applications or program announcement
- Requirements for special areas such as human subjects and vertebrate animal research
- The appropriate study section to request in your cover letter
Yes, they are busy people. So we recommend you e-mail them first rather than play phone tag.