Extensions for Early Career Scientists Whose Career Trajectories Have Been Significantly Impacted by COVID-19

February 8, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic, along with extensive mitigation measures, has adversely affected progress in many biomedical research settings. Evidence from multiple sources, including a survey NIH issued to its supported extramural research workforce last fall, indicates legitimate concerns about career trajectory for early career scientists, including those with caretaker responsibilities. An article by Dr. Erin Gibson and her colleagues argued for a “reset” with focus on early career investigators. One point I took away from this paper is that a reset does not necessarily mean for us to go “back to normal” after the pandemic is over, because that time may have favored certain investigators and disfavored others (something I reflected on in this video and this blog).

Hearing your concerns, NIH issued a Guide Notice last week detailing our approach to support early career scientists whose career trajectories may have been significantly affected by the pandemic as funding will allow). Specifically, NIH is providing an opportunity for recipients in their last year of NIH Fellowship (“F”) and NIH Career Development (“K”) awards who have been impacted by COVID-19 to request extensions. Such extensions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, within the existing constraints of available funding. We encourage you to read the Guide Notice and if appropriate reach out to NIH staff as directed.

Help Us Understand How You Use Common Data Elements in NIH-Supported Research

February 8, 2021

Common Data Elements foster rigor, facilitate data sharing, and allow multiple datasets to be integrated. They also help make data more FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable). Many different CDEs are currently in use and can vary across research disciplines, so we would encourage researchers check out databases like the NIH CDE Repository for examples, tools, and other related resources. Through a recently released Request for Information (NOT-LM-21-005), we seek your thoughts on how you use CDEs, potential challenges to their adoption, and how NIH might facilitate and incentivize their use to help us plan future CDE-related efforts.

Writing An Effective “K” Application: A Video Guide

January 28, 2021

Do you need some guidance on preparing a K Award application for the NIH? Dr. Kay Lund, Director of Division of Biomedical Research Workforce, gives some great tips in a 25-minute YouTube video, “Writing an Effective ‘K’ Application.” It is designed for junior investigators and those who assist in the preparation of the scientific portions of an application.

Enhancing Diversity at NIH-Funded Conferences

January 22, 2021

At NIH, we have and continue to focus not just on gender equity but on ensuring greater diversity in all aspects of the biomedical workforce. This means, that along with women, members of racial and/or ethnic minority groups, people with disabilities, and those from disadvantaged backgrounds are also included. To help ensure that the nation remains a global leader in scientific discovery and innovation, NIH needs the richness and breadth of varied perspectives that comes from having a pool of highly talented scientists from diverse backgrounds.

In that spirit, today we released a guide notice (NOT-OD-21-053) that updates guidance for NIH R13/U13 Conference Grant applicants and recipients.