Applications to NIH Loan Repayment Programs Accepted through Nov. 16

Education is the foundation of our nation’s biomedical research enterprise. However, it goes without saying that a college education is expensive. Post-graduate education is even more expensive, with the average cost of medical, veterinary, and dental school totaling more than $200,000. In exchange for a commitment to conduct biomedical or behavioral research, NIH will repay up to $70,000 of student loan debt (over two years) per two-year contract through the NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs).Want to know more? Here’s how the NIH LRPs can help. …. Continue reading

ASSIST Now an Option for Small Business Research Program Applications

Applying to one of NIH’s small business research programs? You now have a new application submission option. You can continue using downloadable forms from or using one of the system-to-system submission systems used in some institutions, or you can now use ASSIST, NIH’s online system for application preparation and submission. …. Continue reading

End-of-fiscal-year Reminder to Review Accuracy of Your Institution’s Grant Award Data

We make data on all funded NIH grants available to the public on the RePORT website. If you have ever explored the Awards by Location feature, you will have seen that one of the ways we provide information is by school/department. if you haven’t played with this feature, you might be interested in seeing the distribution of NIH grant awards across your institution, or in taking a peek at awards made to other institutions….. Continue reading

Reminder of Your Responsibilities in Upholding Civil Rights

We’ve published many posts discussing the importance of diversity in the workforce. However, one related aspect we haven’t yet discussed here is how you can, and do, contribute to protecting the civil rights for all individuals, and eliminating barriers and providing equal access to activities supported by NIH funds. Before NIH makes an award to an applicant organization, the organization enters an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that the institution, as well as any researchers and key personnel supported by NIH funding, will comply with Federal laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of …. Continue reading

It’s Just the Beginning . . .

Rock Talk ceases talking as of today, but someone else will be talking, so please keep your bookmarks active and stay tuned for continued dialog with NIH. I want to thank all of you for a conversation worth having and for making the last portion of my federal career spectacular. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to know and interact with many of you, which was hands down the highlight of my travels around town and across the country to learn first-hand …. Continue reading

All About Indirect Costs

When I started Rock Talk, one of my goals was to lift the curtain on NIH decision-making and to demystify NIH policies and processes. One topic that I have talked endlessly about throughout my tenure is indirect costs (IDCs). Indirect costs generate almost more discussion than any other topic and there are many misunderstandings about them. Comments and questions reflect a range of perspectives, such as: “Indirect costs are rising all the time and eating up funds that could go for research.” and “Why can’t NIH reduce the rate of indirect costs?”. Others have asked us, “NIH – please get rid of the 26% cap in administrative indirect costs!” or simply want to know …. Continue reading

Core Facts About Core Facilities

Today, I’d like to blog about some interesting discussions and dispel some myths related to NIH-supported core facilities. Core facilities are important research resources, providing access to advanced instrumentation and technologies operated by experts. Cores provide opportunities to be hubs of innovation at an institution, connecting scientists with the tools and expertise that can take their research projects to the next level. In March, NIH co-hosted a workshop with the Association of Biomolecular Research Facilities to discuss core facility management and strategies for increasing core facility efficiency. The meeting resulted in a set of recommendations for NIH and institutions to consider, and a report from the workshop is now available, if you’d like to read more. In addition, the presenters’ slides are posted on the workshop website, and each session was recorded and can be viewed online. Much of the workshop discussion involved core resource sharing and NIH’s policies on sharing of cores. NIH actively encourages …. Continue reading