Each year around this time we look back on NIH’s investment in research. Similar to previous fiscal years (FYs), this post focuses on grant funding and success rates for research supported through our traditional annual appropriations…read on for more…
Imagine this scenario. In the hustle to publish a paper, you accidentally forgot to cite the underlying NIH support. Or, the opposite, you opt to include that other grant in the acknowledgements that did not have anything to do with the work. No problem, right?
Well, it could be. Accurately and precisely acknowledging NIH funding allows us to properly assess award outputs and make recommendations for future research directions. It is also a term and condition of award outlined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement. Since the Stevens Amendment passed in 1989, recipients have been required to acknowledge federal funding when publicly communicating projects or programs funded with HHS funds.
We are working to identify ways to lower barriers for all new applicants to the NIH SBIR and STTR programs. Conferences have the ability to bring people together expressly to share perspectives and exchange expertise, including the lessons of personal experience. That is why I am pleased to announce as a first step in addressing these concerns we will be sponsoring the 2021 HHS Small Business Program Conference with the theme “Diverse Perspectives SEEDing Impactful Innovations.” The meeting will take place virtually April 26-30 and registration is free.
Announcement of Childcare Costs for Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Supported Individual Fellows
As part of our on-going efforts to develop programs which support family-friendly research environments for the NIH-supported workforce, NIH will begin providing an option for NRSA fellows to request support for childcare costs in new and continuation applications or as administrative supplements to existing awards effective April 8, 2021. The NRSA childcare costs apply to full-time NIH-NRSA supported fellowship positions. Each fellow is eligible to receive $2,500 per budget period to defray childcare costs. The NRSA childcare costs are not tied to any payback obligations.
I am proud to join my NIH colleagues today in reaffirming our commitment to fostering a diverse biomedical research workforce and ending structural racism at NIH, the institutions we support, and anywhere where NIH research activities take place. Working together, we can continue identifying and dismantling any policies, practices, or other impediments that may harm our supported workforce and science. We encourage you to join us in this effort. Please take a moment to read the statement below from the NIH Director on achieving racial equity in biomedical research and visit our new webpage, which includes more on the UNITE initiative. You are also welcome to share your thoughts and ideas to our Request for Information directly with us here.
Last fall, we launched our newly revamped RePORTER site which made it easy to find information about specific NIH supported grants, investigators, and institutions. Today, we are adding to RePORTER’s functionality with a modernized version of MyRePORTER so you can stay on top of the research you care the most about.
With MyRePORTER, you can save searches and set customized weekly email alerts that are sent when new projects are funded or new publications are linked to projects in your search. Email alerts will provide a summary listing of the new items, with hyperlinks to bring you back to MyRePORTER to get more information about the projects and publications.
Extensions for Early Career Scientists Whose Career Trajectories Have Been Significantly Impacted by COVID-19
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.
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.
NIH R01 Grant Outcomes of T32 Postdoctoral Participants: Associations with Demographics, Cohort, Degree, and Career Development (K) Awards
Postdoctoral NIH T32 programs aim to provide select trainees with experience to enable successful career and research development. Here we present data on NIH career development, or K award, and R01 equivalent research grant outcomes of participants in post-doctoral T32 programs.
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.