New to the World of NIH Grants? Attend a 2016 NIH Regional Seminar

February 29, 2016

One of my favorite “job tasks” is to spend time meeting with scientists and science administrators who are new to the NIH environment or are attempting to launch their careers in science. Invariably I’m asked, “What wisdom do you have to offer?” Of course, I’ll mention that it’s key to find a top-notch mentor (or mentors), that it’s critical to follow one’s passion, and that it’s always a good idea to work on grant proposals well in advance of deadlines, allowing ample time to seek input from colleagues and critics. But … that’s not enough. In today’s dynamic world, one in which we can not only no longer take science funding for granted (let alone increases in science funding), it’s not enough to be an outstanding scientists or an outstanding administrator. One also has to be an outstanding citizen. ….

Are Attempts at Renewal Successful?

February 16, 2016

On my first day on the job as NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research, one of my colleagues asked me a question: Is it true that it is more difficult to renew a grant than it is to get one in the first place? Some people wonder whether NIH’s interest in supporting new investigators who are trying to get their first grant negatively impacts the other investigators’ attempts to renew their grants.
To address this question we gathered data on R01-equivalent success rates for new and experienced investigators seeking funding in fiscal years (FY) 2013 through 2015. ….

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources in NIH Grant Applications

January 29, 2016

The fourth and final segment in our series on rigor and transparency in research grant and career development award applications focuses on authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources. Research performed with unreliable or misidentified resources can negate years of hard work and eliminate any chance for a study to be reproduced or expanded upon. For this reason, it is imperative that researchers regularly authenticate key resources used in their research. ….

Scientific Premise in NIH Grant Applications

January 28, 2016

The NIH recently implemented updates to research grant and career development award applications aimed at enhancing reproducibility through rigor and transparency with a focus on four areas: scientific premise, rigorous experimental design, consideration of relevant biological variables, and authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources. This post is the first in a series addressing each of these four areas, starting with scientific premise. ….

Updates on Addressing Rigor in Your NIH Applications

January 11, 2016

As NIH moves ahead with implementing measures to enhance rigor, transparency and reproducibility in NIH-supported research, I’d like to give a brief update on these efforts, and highlight some important timeline changes for implementation in applications for institutional training grants (T), institutional career development awards (K12), and individual fellowships (F). ….

Work with Me Here (Really!)

January 5, 2016

Are you someone who is interested in making an impact on the future of the biomedical research enterprise? If so, we may have the perfect opportunity for you! We are hiring a deputy director to work with us to lead the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER). ….

A Grant Submission New Year’s Resolution

December 30, 2015

When it comes to submitting grant applications, the stakes are high – should a submission with errors come in too late, it may be too late to fix. Months of work are lost. Since grant applications are anxiety producing, it is only natural that people would avoid finishing them. But hard facts about how applications fare in peer review when they are submitted closer to the receipt date may give applicants the cognitive tools they need to overcome their inclination to delay. So let’s look at some data…