For Spring 2022 due dates, NIH recently extended the guidance that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch. NIH also extended the special exception for post-submission material to applications submitted for the August/October 2022 Council rounds.
As the snow fell outside last week, I virtually sat down with Dr. David Kosub from the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s communications group to look back and reflect on 2021, and where we may be going in the new year. Please take a few minutes and join us for this conversation.
Twice since the onset of the public health emergency we have taken a look at the number of research applications submitted together with some demographic information on the affiliated scientists. We are continuing to follow this analysis again here, focusing on NIH R01-equivalent and RPG application patterns during April 9 and August 8 over the past five years.
When the public health emergency was first declared, NIH, working with OMB and HHS, quickly identified a long list of flexibilities to support the research community. The list has evolved since the pandemic began, so we would like to take this opportunity to remind the community of many of the current flexibilities we have in place.
There has been a lot of focus on early stage investigator (ESI) extension requests in the community recently. And we certainly understand why. The experience of the COVID-19 public health emergency has brought into sharp focus that the effects of the pandemic on careers and life in general may continue for years to come. This fact has led us to revisit our approach to granting ESI extension requests.
NIH recently issued a clarification indicating that while grant applications should not include contingency or recovery plans for problems resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, investigators may address effects due to the pandemic on productivity or other scoreable issues in the personal statement of the biosketch.
NIH (together with AHRQ and HRSA) will extend the existing COVID flexibilities permitting online training in the responsible conduct of research through December 31, 2021, even if the declared public health emergency is rescinded before then. Grant recipients do not need to seek prior approval to do so.
In a previous post, we looked at the gender distribution of designated principal investigators (PI’s) of R01 and RPG applications submitted before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here we look at NIH R01 and RPG application patterns for January 1 through April 8 over the past 6 years; these applications patterns may well reflect longer-term pandemic effects.
NIH recently released its updated Strategic Plan for COVID-19 Research, available on the NIH COVID-19 website. Responses to a Request for Information helped inform this iteration, building on progress since the 2020 plan. The updated strategic plan highlights progress made in the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines, along with developing strategies on how to effectively provide these resources.
Continuation of Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Under normal circumstances, individuals must have no more than four years of postdoctoral research experience to be eligible to apply for a K99/R00 Pathway to Independence award. Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH will be extending the two-receipt cycle extension (roughly eight additional months) of eligibility for prospective, eligible candidates for a K99/R00 application.