Nexus January

Open Mike

A Sampling of Recent Literature on the Scientific Workforce

As NIH continues its work to better understand the many factors that influence the stability of the biomedical workforce, we wanted to take a moment to discuss some recent papers that highlight the need to take new measures to support early and mid-career researchers. Continue reading

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Implementing a New Human Subject and Clinical Trial Information Form

We have been talking a lot recently about NIH’s efforts to improve transparency and trust in NIH funded clinical trials. One important aspect of this effort is improving our ability to identify and describe the clinical trials we are supporting. In fact, a March 2016 GAO report GAO-16-304, entitled Additional Data Would Enhance the Stewardship of Clinical Trials across the Agency, highlighted the fact that “NIH is limited in its ability to make data-driven decisions regarding the use of its roughly $3 billion annual investment in clinical trials.” Many of the other aspects of this initiative, applying clinical trial specific review criteria, improving oversight, and registering and reporting in ClinicalTrials.gov depend upon our basic ability to identify and describe clinical trial applications and awards.

The new PHS Human Subject and Clinical Trial Information form will flag trials, helping us to achieve a number of goals. The form consolidates into a single location information on human subjects that is currently scattered across a number of forms …. Continue reading

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Patents and the Relative Citation Ratio: Correlations to Assess NIH Impact

We previously referenced Ioannidis’ and Khoury’s “PQRST” mnemonic for describing research impact: “P” is productivity, “Q” is quality, “R” is reproducibility, “S” is sharing, and “T” is translation.  We wrote several blogs about “P,” productivity, focusing on publications, citations, and more recently the relative citation ratio.  Now we’ll focus on a different kind of “P” for productivity, namely patents (which arguably are also related to “T” for translation).  …. Do NIH-supported papers that are cited by patents have a higher Relative Citation Ratio than those that are not cited by patents? As a refresher, the Relative Citation Ratio uses citation rates to measure the influence of a publication at the article level…. We identified 119,674 unique NIH grants that were funded between 1995 and 2007 and that generated at least one publication…. Continue reading

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Continuing to Clarify the NIH Definition of a Clinical Trial

A few weeks ago we released some case studies and FAQs to help clarify for our research community whether their human subjects research study meets the NIH definition of a clinical trial. These resources prompted a number of follow-on questions and thoughtful suggestions from the community that have helped us refine both the FAQs and the case studies. We are grateful for your thoughtful and constructive comments and suggestions, many of which we have incorporated into our revised documents and communications. …. Continue reading

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NIH’s Certificates of Confidentiality Policy Enhances Confidentiality of Participants Enrolled in Clinical Research Studies

A few months ago we blogged about our plan to release an updated Certificate of Confidentiality (CoC) policy. Today, we are pleased to announce that we have published the new policy (NOT-OD-17-109), which will go into effect on October 1, 2017. The new policy both enhances the privacy protections of individuals participating in NIH funded research studies and eliminates the need for NIH funded investigators to apply for a CoC. … Continue reading

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Have You Seen the Loan Repayment Program Recently? Here’s What You Missed

As I reflect on the research training I received during and after medical school, I recall how lucky I was that I did not have much resulting debt and severe financial constraints that could interfere with my research career. Unfortunately, today’s aspiring physician scientists are often mired in debt. The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that two-thirds of medical students graduate with debt, with 80% of those students owing at least $100,000.

How can we alleviate the rising debt accrued during biomedical training for those investigators seeking a foothold in the lab? The NIH loan repayment programs (LRPs), managed inside the Office of Extramural Research, is one approach the NIH is utilizing to stabilize career trajectories for talented investigators. My predecessor, Dr. Sally Rockey, understood and also championed the impact of the LRPs, and I share her enthusiasm. …. Continue reading

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NIH’s Next Generation Researchers Policy Now Posted

Today we posted a policy (NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-101) describing current plans for the Next Generation Researchers Initiative.  Since I first blogged about it in June, NIH leadership have reviewed data (see accompanying blog) and deliberated about how best to proceed.  Our goal is to increase the number of NIH-funded early-stage investigators and assure, as best we can, that funded early-stage investigators have a reasonable chance to secure stable funding during the earliest stages of their independent research careers. This new policy will supersede previous notices on new and early stage investigators (NOT-OD-08-012, NOT-OD-09-013 and NOT-OD-09-134). …. Continue reading

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Data On Trends According to Career Stage

By the 21st Century Cures Act, the Next Generation Researchers’ Initiative calls on the NIH to develop policies to increase funding opportunities for new researchers seeking to secure early independence. To put the Initiative in perspective and to extend on previous blogs we’ve posted on changing demographics in NIH-funded researchers, we thought it would be useful to explore trends according to career stage.

First, some definitions.  We define “Early Stage Investigators” (ESI) as those who are within 10 years of completing their terminal degree or post-graduate clinical training and who have not yet secured independence as a PI of a substantial NIH research award.  …. Continue reading

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Monitoring the Impact of Hurricane Harvey on Research

The devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey cause deep concern about the health and safety of people and animals, and about the health of the biomedical enterprise in the affected areas. While everyone’s immediate efforts need to be focused on getting through this immediate crisis, we want to assure our applicant and grantee community that NIH will be doing our part to help you ensure your research continues. We issued a Guide notice reminding the community about our natural disaster policy, Reminder: NIH Natural Disaster Policy – Hurricane Harvey. To give you an idea of the ways NIH can help in these situations, our website on Extramural Response to Natural Disasters has a list of available resources, including guidance on animal welfare issues. …. Continue reading

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4 Questions For Researchers and Institutions Involved In Human Subjects Research

Last September, and in January of this year, we wrote about a suite of initiatives aimed at improving the quality and transparency of the NIH-supported research that most directly engages human participants – clinical trials. These initiatives include dedicated funding … Continue reading

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Rock Talk

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

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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

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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

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Help Us Help You!

Understanding what you need to know and do to apply for a grant can be a challenge. NIH’s application instruction guide is long, with lots of background information that you may only occasionally need. On top of that, funding opportunity announcements have instructions that often add to those in the application instruction guide. …. Continue reading

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Welcoming the Inaugural Director of the NIH Division of Biomedical Research Workforce Programs

I am pleased and excited to announce that in August, Dr. Kay Lund will join NIH as the inaugural director of the NIH Division of Biomedical Research Workforce Programs. As you might recall, the NIH Advisory Committee to the Director‘s Biomedical Workforce Working Group recommended that NIH recruit a leader and establish a dedicated office to guide NIH’s training and development of a well-prepared biomedical workforce…. Continue reading

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Understanding the Capacity of NIH’s Peer Review System

My office devotes a lot of effort to evaluating its grants policies and practices. Since the introduction of the Enhancing Peer Review changes, NIH has sponsored an ongoing evaluation of peer review, involving formal surveys about the peer review process, as well as other types of analyses. We are keenly interested in your responses to our surveys, so if you receive an invitation to take a peer review survey, I hope you can find the time to respond. The importance of participating in these surveys is nicely illustrated …. Continue reading

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Your Input Requested on a Framework for an NIH-wide Strategic Plan

NIH is beginning the process of developing a 5-year strategic plan, at the request of Congress. NIH developed a framework to identify crosscutting areas of research …. Continue reading

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Get To Know OER

My office, the Office of Extramural Research (OER), works closely with the extramural research community to support NIH’s mission of funding science that will enhance our knowledge of living systems, improve health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. While frequent readers of Rock Talk may be familiar with OER through the topics I blog about, there is much, much more that my office provides in support of NIH’s extramural program…. Continue reading

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NIH Regional Seminar Heads West to San Diego in October 2015

I’m excited to let you know about a wonderful opportunity for our extramural research community that’s headed to the west coast this fall! For the first time in several years, the NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration will be offered in the western half of the United States. This 2-day event, with an optional pre-seminar workshop day, will take place in San Diego from October 14 to October 16, 2015. …. Continue reading

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What are the Chances of Getting Funded?

A Look at the Latest Success, Award and Funding Rates…and More

We frequently talk about the different ways of analyzing NIH funding. Let’s revisit this topic so I can provide you with the latest numbers. As a reminder, ….. Continue reading

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From the Leadership

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

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Top Stories

New Certificates of Confidentiality Policy in Effect

As discussed in recent Open Mike blog posts, NIH issued a new policy to enhance the privacy protections of individuals participating in NIH funded research studies. The policy eliminates the need for NIH funded investigators to apply for a certificate of confidentiality (CoC). As of October 1, 2017 …. Continue reading

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Guidance for Institutions Impacted by Hurricane Maria, and a Reminder of NIH’s Natural Disaster Resources

Due to the exceptional impact of Hurricane Maria, we want to assure grantees that NIH will be doing our part to help you continue your research. Recently, we published an NIH Guide Notice that outlines the application and report submission flexibilities available for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We have previously published guidance for those affected by other major hurricanes this year …. Continue reading

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Clarifying Percent Effort and Support for Career Development (K) Awardees

In response to questions about career development (K) award policies, NIH issued a Guide Notice NOT-OD-17-094, to clarify percent effort requirements for K award principal investigators (PIs), and acceptable sources of research support. We’d like to provide some additional details to put the recent Guide Notice in context with existing K award policies on percent effort. …. Continue reading

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Avoid Funding Delays by Ensuring Your Progress Reports are Compliant with the Public Access Policy

To advance science and improve human health, peer-reviewed articles arising from NIH funds must be made available to the public on PubMed Central. Grantees should ensure their peer-reviewed manuscripts arising NIH funds are deposited into PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication, as well as reported in their annual Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs), to be compliant with the NIH public access policy. As described in NOT-OD-16-079, NIH will not process RPPRs until all papers arising from the award are compliant with the public access policy. That means funding for awards with non-compliant RPPRs could be delayed. The NIH manuscript submission system (NIHMS) is processing papers in about 3 weeks.  We encourage you to ensure compliance well before your RPPR is due to avoid delays processing your RPPR and receiving funding. …. Continue reading

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Reminder to Review Accuracy of Your Institution’s Grant Award Data before October 9

Now that we are in the closing stretch of the fiscal year, we remind research institution officials to review whether your awarded grants are accurately assigned to the correct department/school within eRA Commons. This ensures that the grants are reported correctly in tools like …. Continue reading

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Important News for Applicants Using Downloadable Forms Packages

Do you submit using downloadable forms packages? If so, be sure to read an important message from the NIH eSubmission Items of Interest listserv: “Grants.gov to Retire Legacy PDF Application Packages at end of 2017”. …. Continue reading

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Small Businesses Gather in Milwaukee for 19th Annual HHS SBIR/STTR Conference on Federal Research Funding

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is pleased to present the 2017 Annual SBIR/STTR Conference: In The Heartland of BioHealth Innovation. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) will be present to demonstrate and discuss research funding opportunities with interested entrepreneurs and innovators. …. Continue reading

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Next Generation Researcher Policy Announcement – Coming Soon

In June, NIH announced plans for a new initiative to provide additional support to the next generation of researchers. We will be announcing policy details this month. Stay tuned to the Notices published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. We will also include an announcement here on the NIH Extramural Nexus & Open Mike blog site, when the policy is published. Continue reading

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Grants Administration & Policy Workshops That Will Have You Asking…”Why Didn’t I Attend Sooner?”

Update: The two day seminar has reached capacity today. However, the following workshops are still available to attend without seminar registration: Human Research Reviews: Mastering the Process, Intellectual Property – Understanding Requirements and Recipient Responsibilities, and Intellectual Property – A Hands-on Demonstration of iEdison. Further details ….. Continue reading

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Fiscal Policy and Salary Cap Guidance for 2017

Now that the NIH fiscal year 2017 budget is signed into law, NIH published its final fiscal policy and salary cap guidance for this year. In general, NIH will restore reductions to non-competing continuation awards made this year while we were operating under a pending budget (continuing resolution).  Additional details on fiscal operations, including specific funding strategies for ICs and any exceptions, …. Continue reading

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New Resources

New Video Provides Overview of New NIH Policies on Human Subjects Research and Clinical Trials

Do you do research with human participants? If so, you play an important role in NIH initiatives to improve accountability and transparency in the human subject research we fund. This 15 minute video Overview of New NIH Policies on Human Subjects Research and Clinical Trials provides a succinct explanation of the various policy changes and what they mean for you. Continue reading

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New NIH Resource for Studies that Randomize Groups or Clusters or that Deliver Interventions to Groups

Experiments, including clinical trials, differ in the methods used to assign participants to study conditions or arms and to deliver interventions. Thanks to the Office of Disease Prevention, the NIH has a new website that provides resources on research methods related to … Continue reading

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Spreading the Word About Policies Impacting Human Subjects Research and Clinical Trials

Understanding the impact of the new human subject and clinical trial policies on selecting a funding opportunity announcement, developing an application, the review of applications, and reporting on grant awards will be critical in the upcoming months. …. we have made a variety of resources available to the research community to assist with institutional training and outreach….. Continue reading

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New Tutorials on Preparing and Submitting Your NIH Grant Application

New to the NIH grant process? Ever wish someone would explain and walk you through applying for NIH grants step by step? If so, we hope our newest resource will be the next best thing to joining you for an in-person lesson. …. Continue reading

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New “All About Grants” Podcasts on Application Appendix and Post-Submission Materials

Two new “All About Grants” podcasts focus on topics related to submitting your application. …. All About Grants podcast episodes are produced by the NIH Office of Extramural Research, and designed for investigators, fellows, students, research administrators, and others just curious about the application and award process. …. Continue reading

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Updated Resource for Clinical Regulations Across the Globe

NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) ClinRegs website provides clinical regulations for countries around the world. Since its initial release, the site has undergone several functionality upgrades to make the site easier to use. The updated site includes: a new interactive map on the homepage to provide a clearer picture of the countries included; hyperlinked table of contents on each country ….. Continue reading

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Enhancing Our Grants and Application Information

It’s been about a year since we transformed our grants.nih.gov website and the NIH application guide to streamline information, and the time it takes you to locate it. Since the initial changes, we’ve continued to quietly evolve these pages based on your feedback. … Continue reading

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New Features in eRA Commons for Requesting No Cost Extensions, and Change of PI/PD

New features have been added to eRA Commons to allow designated institutional officials to submit requests for No Cost Extensions (NCEs), or to initiate the request for a Change of Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI). Both features can be found under the “Prior Approval” tab …. Continue reading

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New Peer Review Videos for Applicants and Reviewers

NIH’s Center for Scientific Review posted recordings of their most recent webinar series on peer review: • 8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get a Fellowship Grant – covering things applicants need to know about the submission and review of a fellowship grant • 8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get an R01 Grant – covering things applicants need to know about the submission and review of an R01 grant • NIH Peer Review Briefing for Basic Research Applicants and Reviewers – covering NIH’s commitment to basic research and helping applicants and reviewers do their part in proposing and reviewing basic research Continue reading

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Announcing New Tools and Information to Support Scientific Workforce Diversity in Extramural Programs

Promoting a diverse and robust scientific workforce is critical to advancing scientific discovery and research in support of human health, so NIH has developed a new portal to information on supporting diversity in NIH-funded research. This NIH website has four main areas of focus: Background on NIH initiatives in support of scientific workforce diversity; Resources for scientific leadership & faculty members to ….. Continue reading

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You Ask, We Answer

We’re preparing a training grant application but don’t have all the historical data requested in the new data tables…. What should we do?

“We’re preparing a training grant application but don’t have all the historical data requested in the new data tables, such as the length of prior, full-time research experience for trainees entering the program five years ago. What should we do?”

Because reviewers are asked to assess a training program and its record based, in part, on data presented in the tables, applicants should provide as much data…. Continue reading

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What are Institutional Training Table Data Used For?

NIH institutional training grant applications request past and present faculty and trainee data, which are used by peer reviewers and NIH program staff in the evaluation of the application and making funding decisions. For active training grants, NIH requests trainee and faculty data to assess the progress of these ongoing training awards. These data provide insight into: …. Continue reading

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What Kind of Information Should I Include in the “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” Attachment?

Applicants proposing to use established key biological and/or chemical resources are expected to include an authentication plan in the “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” attachment, even if the key resources were purchased or obtained from an outside source that provided data on prior authentication. The authentication plan must include only a description of the methods proposed to authenticate key resources prior to use and at regular intervals, if appropriate. The plan should be no more than one page. Key resources and the methods for authentication will vary by research field. For example, …. Continue reading

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What Are “Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources” That Should Be Addressed In My Application’s Authentication Plan?

The quality of resources used to conduct research is critical to the ability to reproduce the results, so to address scientific rigor in your NIH application, we ask you to include an authentication plan.

Key resources refer to established resources that will be used in the proposed research.

Key biological and/or chemical resources include, but are not limited to, cell lines, specialty chemicals, antibodies and other biologics. Key biological and/or chemical resources may or may not have been generated with NIH funds and: …. Continue reading

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What is a “Person Month” & How Do I Calculate It?

A “person month” is the metric for expressing the effort (amount of time) principal investigators (PIs), faculty and other senior personnel devote to a specific project. The effort is based on the type of appointment of the individual with the organization; e.g., calendar year (CY), academic year (AY), and/or summer term (SM); and the organization’s definition of such. For instance, some institutions define the academic year as a 9-month appointment while others define it as a 10-month appointment.

Conversion of percentage of effort to person months is straight-forward. To calculate person months, multiply the percentage of your effort associated with the project times the number of months of your appointment. For example: …. Continue reading

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How Do I Withdraw My Application?

To withdraw an application after it has been validated by eRA Commons and moved on to the Center for Scientific Review, there are two ways you can request the withdrawal. …. Continue reading

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How Can I Check If I Am Eligible to Submit an Application Under NIH’s Continuous Submission Policy?

NIH’s continuous submission policy provides members of review and advisory groups and reviewers with recent substantial service the benefit of submitting R01, R21, and R34 applications at any time in response to active funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) that have standard due dates. You can check your eligibility to submit applications under NIH’s continuous submission policy by logging into eRA Commons …. NIH recently published consolidated guidance on continuous submission. …. Continue reading

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Who is Eligible to Submit an Application Under NIH’s Continuous Submission Policy?

Appointed members of standing NIH study sections, NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors, NIH Advisory Boards or Councils, or NIH Program Advisory Committees are all eligible for continuous submission (submitting R01, …. Continue reading

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Are NIH Grantees Required to Use the Final RPPR?

Yes, as of January 1, 2017 award recipients must submit a Final Research Performance Progress Report (“Final RPPR”) no later than 120 calendar days from the end of the award (“period of performance” end date). As described in NIH Guide notice NOT-OD-17-022, …. Continue reading

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Will the Project Outcomes I Listed in My Final RPPR Be Made Public?

Yes. The information submitted in the Project Outcomes section of the Final RPPR will be made accessible to the general public via NIH’s Research Portfolio On-line Reporting Tools (RePORT). …. Continue reading

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Eye on PI

Start Your Application Now for the NIH Loan Repayment Programs

This is an excellent opportunity for researchers who have incurred significant financial debt to remove this barrier to continue to pursue a career in research. The 2010 application cycle opens September 1 and closes December 1. Our data show that individuals, who begin preparing their application early, are more likely to complete their submission by the December 1 deadline.

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NIH Seeks High Risk, High Impact Proposals through NIH Director's Pioneer, New Innovator, and Transformative R01 Initiatives

NIH welcomes proposals for 2010 NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards and New Innovator Awards. Both programs are part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research http://nihroadmap.nih.gov and support exceptionally creative scientists who take highly innovative, potentially high-impact approaches to major challenges in biomedical or behavioral research.

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Attention NIH SBIR Phase II Awardees – Past and Present!

Don’t miss your opportunity to apply for the 2009-2010 Commercialization Assistance Program (CAP), designed to help selected NIH SBIR Phase II awardees develop their commercial businesses and transition their SBIR-funded technologies into the marketplace.

  • Has your company had an active NIH SBIR Phase II award within the past six (6) years?
  • Does your company meet current SBIR small business eligibility criteria?

If you answered “yes” to both of these questions, then read on! The application deadline is September 14, 2009.

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The NIH Loan Repayment Program

NIH wants outstanding health professionals to pursue their careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research without feeling limited by educational loan debt. The NIH Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) aim to help investigators do just that.

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Tips for Great Grant Writing (Part 5): Developing Your Budget

There’s a lot to consider when you are developing a budget for your research grant application. While the best resources at your disposal are the sponsored research programs office at your institution, your departmental administrative officials, your mentors and your peers, we have compiled some tips and reminders that may be helpful for preparing your budget. For more detailed information, visit our Developing Your Budget webpage . We offer a brief overview below.

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Need Help Interpreting the New Review Scores?

Implementation of many of the Enhancements to Peer Review began with the May 2009 review meetings, and some applicants are already receiving summary statements with scores determined under the new system. If you need help understanding your grant application’s review scores, read on…

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Tips for Great Grant Writing (Part 3): Organize Your Research Plan

Help reviewers find exactly what they are looking for in your research plan by breaking your proposal down according to the primary review criteria: significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, and environment. Begin each section with clear, descriptive headers that effectively frame your research plan.

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Tips for Great Grant Writing, Part 2: Get to Know the Projects and Activities of NIH-funded PIs

Learning more about projects already funded by NIH can be a great help when you are preparing your grant proposal. Using the Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tool (RePORT), you can craft a comprehensive search of all NIH funding activities according to your specific interests. This search will result in a list of funded projects, for each of which you will be able to view an abstract and statement of public health relevance, as well as contact information for the project’s PI.

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Get a Handle on Changes from the Enhancing Peer Review Process

There are lots of changes in the works related to the peer review process. Here we compare existing and new peer review processes on scoring. Continue reading

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Tips for Great Grant Writing, Part 1: What is NIH Looking For?

The OER Extramural Nexus is pleased to introduce a new, regular feature: “Tips for Great Grant Writing.” Although we will begin by addressing the very basics of grant writing, stay tuned because we will soon advance to addressing more complex aspects of the grant writing process. This month’s inaugural column addresses the basic question: what does NIH look for in a grant application? Continue reading

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eRA News

New eRA Web Site Provides Ready Answers to Common Questions

Tailored to the specific needs of our applicant, grantee, reviewer and trainee communities, the redesigned eRA site integrates rich content such as newly developed step-by-step how to’s for common tasks, associated policy links, FAQs, communication resources and more. Check us … Continue reading

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Commons Hits 5 Million Mark in Log-ins

The feedback after eRA’s infrastructure upgrade in late May has been that after that bumpy road, the journey is much improved. Performance of eRA applications, even during heavy ARRA loads, is markedly enhanced. During this busy time, eRA marked a … Continue reading

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eRA Thanks Users for Their Patience

We have had an eventful two weeks at NIH following eRA’s major infrastructure upgrade, which took place May 22-26. Foremost, we want to thank you for your patience and help in identifying some of the issues that arose. We have seen an extraordinary willingness on the part of our users to be supportive of our efforts.

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eRA Commons, eSubmission Systems Unavailable May 22 to May 26 as eRA Upgrades Major Hardware

With an eye to improving system performance and creating a more stable environment, NIH’s electronic Research Administration (eRA) has planned a major infrastructure upgrade for the end of May around the Memorial Day weekend. Months of meticulous planning will culminate in a switchover to new database servers, a new operating environment, and new storage area networks. Due to the complexity of this major infrastructure upgrade, all eRA systems–including eRA Commons and the eSubmission system–will be unavailable from May 22 through May 26 as eRA implements the cutover.

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2008: A Year of New E-Tools for Grants Processing

The past year brought major changes in grants processing and administration at NIH that was made possible by new electronic systems support. Continue reading

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Reviewers Soon to Have Easier Accessibility to Encrypted CDs

A CD encryption process will not only make encrypted reviewer CDs as secure as before, but will greatly reduce the effort required by the reviewers to access the data within. Continue reading

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NIH Announces New Business Process for Reporting Identified Financial Conflict of Interest for Grants and Cooperative Agreements Beginning October 10, 2008

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites all Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) members to participate in a pilot of a Financial Conflict of Interest (FCOI) Module, a new feature of the NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons. The FCOI Module … Continue reading

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xTrain Promises Streamlined Electronic Admin of Research Training Grants

A new feature of the NIH electronic Research Administration (eRA) Commons lets users electronically prepare and submit key documents required for Kirschstein-NRSA research training grants.

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eRA Grants Management Line of Business Appeal Granted

A recent OMB decision allows NIH to continue using eRA systems and servicing our partner agencies. Continue reading

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Update on NIH's Electronic Grant Application Transitions

The NIH continues to work closely with Grants.gov to be able to receive all grant applications electronically. Currently, about 80 percent of NIH grant applications are submitted electronically. The Grants.gov move from PureEdge to Adobe forms continues to impact the transition dates for the remaining grant programs. Continue reading

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Calendar

NIH Webinar: Single IRB & Exceptions Process – October 18, 2017

Would you like to learn more about the implementation of the NIH single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) policy and receive guidance on how to effectively request an exception to the policy directly from NIH experts?  If so, then make plans to join the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) on October 18 from 2:00-3:30pm ET for a webinar on scope and applicability and the single IRB plan. …. Continue reading

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NIH Webinars on Peer Review Focus on AREA/R15 & SBIR/STTR – October 16 & 18, 2017

The NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for receipt and referral of NIH grant applications, and, for the majority of those applications, carries out the peer review process for assessing scientific and technical merit. In October, CSR will host two “online briefings” on peer review focused on the Academic Research Enhancement AREA/R15 program, and NIH small business (SBIR/STTR) programs. For more information and to register…. Continue reading

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August 30: NIH Webinar on Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs)…Test your Knowledge!

Did you know there are three types of Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) that are associated with an NIH grant award? Can you name them? If you said “Annual, Interim, & Final RPPRs”…way to go! What does each one include? How and when do you submit each? What changes have been made in 2017 and what are still to come? On Wednesday, August 30, from 2:00-3:30 ET, NIH experts are planning to answer these questions, along with sharing the latest updates on RPPR policies and process updates. This webinar is designed for principal investigators, signing officials, and delegated officials responsible for the development and submission of progress reports to the NIH.  Registration is now open …. Continue reading

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July 18-19, 2017: NIH Hosts Policy Workshop on Biosafety and Emerging Technologies

NIH’s Office of Science Policy works across NIH and with external stakeholders to promote science, safety and ethics in biomedical technology assessment, biosafety, and biosecurity. In July, they will be hosting a workshop entitled NIH Guidelines: Honoring the Past, Charting the Future. …. Continue reading

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February 20 (Monday), 2017: NIH Closed For the Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday, February 20, 2017, for the federal holiday (Washington’s Birthday). If a grant application due date falls on a federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day. Continue reading

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January 16 (Monday), 2017: NIH Closed For the Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday, January 16, 2017, for the federal holiday (Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.). If a grant application due date falls on a federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day. Continue reading

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January 2 (Monday), 2017: NIH Closed For the Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday, January 2, 2017 (Monday is the legal federal holiday for New Year’s Day, as New Year’s Day falls on a Sunday in 2017). If a grant application due date falls on a federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day. Continue reading

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December 26 (Monday), 2016: NIH Closed for Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday, December 26, 2016 (Monday is the legal federal holiday for Christmas Day, as Christmas Day falls on a Sunday in 2016). If a grant application due date falls on a federal holiday, the application deadline is … Continue reading

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November 24 (Thursday), 2016: NIH Closed for Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Thursday, November 24, 2016 (Thanksgiving Day).  If a grant application due date falls on this federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

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November 11 (Friday), 2016: NIH Closed for Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Friday, November 11, 2016 (Veterans Day).  If a grant application due date falls on this federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.

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Other NIH Happenings

In Memoriam: Dr. Rod Ulane, NIH Training Officer and Director of the Division of Scientific Programs

NIH mourns the loss of Dr. Rod Ulane, NIH Training Officer and Director of the Division of Scientific Programs in the Office of Extramural Programs. Dr. Ulane passed away unexpectedly March 7. He was an ardent and dedicated supporter of biomedical research workforce training. Continue reading

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OER Welcomes Michelle Bulls

On November 4, Ms. Michelle Bulls began her position as director of the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, also known as OPERA, within the Office of Extramural Research. Continue reading

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Joe Ellis, Director of OPERA, Retires from NIH

After 34 years at NIH, Joe Ellis, the director of the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, is bidding NIH adieu. Continue reading

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OER Vacancy Announcement: Director for Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration

NIH is currently seeking a director for the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration. Continue reading

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OER Welcomes Dr. Matthew Portnoy

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Matthew Portnoy to the OER team! Continue reading

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OER Welcomes Dr. Rick Ikeda

Dr. Rick Ikeda joins OER as Director of the Office of Research Information Systems (ORIS).

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OER Welcomes Della Hann

Dr. Della Hann joins OER as Deputy Director for the Office of Extramural Research.

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OER Welcomes Lisa Scott-Morring

Lisa Scott-Morring joins OER as an Assistant Grants Compliance Officer in the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration.

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OER Welcomes Joel Snyderman

Joel Snyderman joins OER as an Assistant Grants Compliance Officer in the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration.

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New Staff in OER's Policy Office

OER is pleased to welcome two new staff members. Within the Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration, Emily Linde has joined the Division of Grants Policy, and Sahar Rais has joined the Division of Grants Compliance and Oversight.

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