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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An Opportunity to Collaborate and Use the Unique Resources of the NIH Clinical Center

Three years ago, NIH created a program to enable extramural researchers to collaborate with our intramural scientists and use the exceptional resources of the NIH Clinical Center. Since then, 20 awards have been made to support projects of significant breadth, such as a trial for treatment of relapsed leukemia; a malaria vaccine trial; and a trial testing a new cardiac catheter. This is the fourth year that NIH has issued this funding opportunity. The December 15 pre-application deadline is approaching, and I wanted to remind you what this program offers. …. 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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Looking at Recent Data on R21 and R01-equivalent Grants

One topic of frequent interest to NIH leadership is how R01-equivalent awards compare to other research grant awards. The R01 is the standard mainstay of NIH’s research portfolio, and the oldest grant mechanism in use by NIH. As those familiar with the blog and RePORT know, we usually look at R01s in conjunction with other awards providing similar support analogous to an R01, which includes R37s or MERIT program awards. Of the R01-equivalent pool however, R01s make up the overwhelming bulk of these grants so while we call them R01-equivalents for accuracy-in-reporting reasons, it is highly appropriate to consider R01-equivalent data as representative of R01 trends. Over the past years we’ve been looking at trends in R01-equivalents compared to trends in awards through the R21 activity code. …. Continue reading

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10 Years of Helping Small Businesses Make an Impact

In the rapidly evolving world of modern medicine, it is important that the transition of basic scientific discoveries into new medical treatments takes place with both precision and speed.

NIH’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs – which I’ve discussed a few times on the blog before – are a key part of NIH’s translational research portfolio. …. Continue reading

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Learn More About Collaborating with NIH’s Clinical Center

In 2012, NIH created a unique opportunity for extramural researchers to collaborate with our intramural scientists and use the exceptional resources of the NIH Clinical Center. I want to remind you of the third round of this program, called “Opportunities for Collaborative Research at the NIH Clinical Center”, in time for the upcoming pre-application date on December 10. …. Continue reading

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New NIH Awards to Enhance Diversity in the Scientific Workforce

Today marks an important step forward for NIH’s support of a diverse scientific workforce. NIH has announced the awardees of unique, targeted programs for developing new approaches to engage researchers from underrepresented backgrounds and for preparing them to thrive in scientific careers. …. Continue reading

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Formula for Innovation: People + Ideas + Time

In these times of tight budgets and rapidly evolving science, we must consider new ways to invest biomedical research dollars to achieve maximum impact—to turn scientific discoveries into better health as swiftly as possible. We do this by thinking strategically about the areas of research that we support, as well as the process by which we fund that research. …. We often hear from investigators at all career stages that they spend a significant portion of their careers writing grant applications, consuming precious time that could otherwise be spent conducting research. …. Continue reading

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From Lab Bench to Bedside: Accelerating the Commercialization of Biomedical Innovations

Tom Kalil is Deputy Director for Technology and Innovation in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). — We are delighted to announce a new collaboration between the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to empower entrepreneurial scientists and advance the Lab-to-Market priorities set forth in the President’s Management Agenda. The Federal government invests over $130 billion on research and development (R&D) each year, and the President’s 2015 budget supports a sustained commitment to accelerate the transfer of promising Federally-funded technologies from the laboratory to the commercial marketplace. Continue reading

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What’s New with NIH’s Small Business Research Programs?

Since the last time I’ve written about our small business research programs, there have been a lot of important changes as a result of the Congressional reauthorization that mandated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) funding requirements through fiscal year 2017. …. We have been working diligently alongside the Small Business Administration to put these changes into effect for NIH, as described on the SBIR/STTR Reauthorization Act of 2011: NIH Implementation of Key Changes website. As the 2014 HHS-wide SBIR and STTR Omnibus solicitations were announced last week, I thought it would be good to highlight some of these important reforms. …. Continue reading

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