Meet NIH & HHS in New Orleans for the NIH Regional Seminar, May 3-5!

Do you remember walking into the person’s office down the hall from you when you needed to ask a question, instead of “popping” them an email, instant message, or text? There’s no disputing that the digital age definitely has its advantages – making information sharing faster, cheaper, and more convenient, and allowing us to communicate locally and abroad in seconds. But in this fast paced world of instant communication – the internet, email, and all of our social media choices – sometimes we forget how valuable face-to-face interactions can be. That is exactly one of the reasons I love the NIH Regional Seminars on Grant Funding and Program Administration. The seminars give me the opportunity to join over 60 of my fellow NIH and HHS faculty in sharing our knowledge and perspectives to …. Continue reading

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Building a Better Biomarker Glossary

Precise and clear communication across biological and clinical research disciplines supports efficient translation of results from basic research into applied therapeutics and interventions. Both the NIH and FDA are keenly interested in working together to help the biological and clinical research communities speak a common language, so that research results can be clearly understood by both groups. This is especially true in considering the vocabulary used to describe measures of health, disease, or physiological processes….. Continue reading

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A Pilot Partnership to Find Private Support for Unfunded Applications

When I was an editor at JAMA, we often considered papers that were strong, received favorable reviews, and yet could not be published for lack of space. As it turned out, we had an option other than outright rejection: we could offer authors a user-friendly pathway by which their papers, and the reviews that went with them, could be forwarded for consideration at another journal (e.g. JAMA Internal Medicine). Later, when I came to NIH I wondered whether it was even theoretically possible for a funding agency to do something similar: arrange a way for highly meritorious but unfunded projects to find their way to willing, even eager, alternate private-sector sponsors. Effectively, we could develop public-private partnerships to extend the system’s ability to fund high-quality science and scientists. …. Continue reading

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Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources in NIH Grant Applications

The fourth and final segment in our series on rigor and transparency in research grant and career development award applications focuses on authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources. Research performed with unreliable or misidentified resources can negate years of hard work and eliminate any chance for a study to be reproduced or expanded upon. For this reason, it is imperative that researchers regularly authenticate key resources used in their research. …. Continue reading

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Consideration of Relevant Biological Variables in NIH Grant Applications

In part three of our series on rigor and transparency in research grant and career development award applications, we focus on consideration of relevant biological variables. Updated instructions for the Approach section of the Research Strategy ask the applicant to: …. Continue reading

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Scientific Rigor in NIH Grant Applications

In part two of our series on rigor and transparency in research grant and career development award applications, we focus on scientific rigor, the strict application of the scientific method to ensure robust and unbiased experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of results. ….. Continue reading

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Scientific Premise in NIH Grant Applications

The NIH recently implemented updates to research grant and career development award applications aimed at enhancing reproducibility through rigor and transparency with a focus on four areas: scientific premise, rigorous experimental design, consideration of relevant biological variables, and authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources. This post is the first in a series addressing each of these four areas, starting with scientific premise. …. 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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NIH from 10,000 Feet – 2015

If you are interested in the kinds of issues we discuss on Rock Talk, you might want to check out the video of my plenary presentation at the NIH Regional Seminar. I address the impact of NIH funded research and the challenges of the current NIH funding situation; highlight opportunities, new initiatives, and policy changes; and even discuss the blog. Continue reading

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More ASSISTance Options for Submitting Your Application to NIH

I’m excited to tell you about a new option for submitting your R01 applications to NIH. Today, we made ASSIST (the Application Submission System and Interface for Submission Tracking) available as an option for submitting your R01 applications, as well as most individual career development (K) award applications. ASSIST is a web-based system that was developed by NIH, in close partnership with Grants.gov, to address common application submission challenges identified by the community. We first launched ASSIST …. Continue reading

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