Are you a life science entrepreneur or biomedical researcher looking for seed funding? Are you a stakeholder in a minority-owned business? Are you new to NIH small business programs? If so, make plans today to participate in the 2021 HHS Small Business Program Conference, presented virtually from April 26-30. 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.
Users of eRA Commons, ASSIST, Internet Assisted Review (IAR) and Commons Mobile are encouraged to begin their switchover to the new two-factor authentication (2FA) login method (via login.gov) required to access eRA modules before the mandatory deadline of September 15, 2021 for all users.
Understanding how peer review works is key to writing a good grant application. In this 44-minute video, NIH Peer Review: “Live” Mock Study Section, scientists have gathered virtually to review three fictional applications in response to a fictional Request For Applications (RFA).
Thanks to a suggestion from a listener, in this NIH All About Grants episode a duo of NIH program officers, Drs. Lillian Kuo from the National Cancer Institute and Kentner Singleton from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, share their advice and experience on developing a research plan for a grant application. They discuss the relationship between the specific aims and research strategy, provide suggestions for when you sit down to start writing, and share common pitfalls. More helpful advice on writing your application is available from the NIH Grants and Funding site.
Changes in the Review Criteria for Applications Submitted for NIH Support for Scientific Conferences (R13 and U13)
Applications for conference grants now require a diversity plan. A recent Guide Notice announced that reviewers will be asked to evaluate the plan and factor it into the overall impact score.
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.
The National Library of Medicine has embarked on several stakeholder activities as part of the roadmap for modernization that we want to highlight in this post. We will also continue to share opportunities for involvement and invite you to join us for an upcoming webinar on February 18, 2021 at 3 pm ET to learn more about our modernization efforts.
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.