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Applying to the National Institutes of Health NIH

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Title: Applying to the National Institutes of Health NIH


1
Applying to the National Institutes of Health
(NIH)
  • Peter Vanable, Dept. of Psychology and Center
    for Health Behavior
  • Trish Lowney, OSP
  • October 14, 2005

2
About the NIH
  • Mission - making important medical discoveries
    that improve health and save lives.
  • 27 Institutes Centers (I/C)
  • Diseases conditions, infrastructure
  • www.NIH.gov
  • Intramural and extramural research

3
About the NIH contd
  • Budget 27B
  • 80 competitive grants
  • 10 intramural
  • Budget doubled 1998 2003
  • 2004 present flat
  • Decline in real dollars
  • Future ????

4
Applying to the NIH
  • Public health relevance of your project?
  • I/C strategic plans or Advisory Council concept
    clearance (minutes)
  • IOM reports
  • NIH road map initiative
  • CRISP (award history)
  • The NIH Guide (current interests)
  • Program announcements, Requests for Applications

5
Applying to the NIH contd
  • Funding for Individuals
  • Research Projects (R01, R03, R15 (not AS folks),
    R21, R25)
  • Career Development (K01, K02, K08)
  • Fellowships (F31, F32)
  • Funding for Groups
  • P01, P30, U01, U24
  • Conferences
  • R13, U13
  • http//grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/funding_prog
    ram.htm

6
Applying to the NIH contd
  • Confirm that what you want to do is of interest
    to who will fund
  • Contact C/I program manager early!
  • 6 months 1 yr before submit
  • Who will review?
  • Identify/select study section (if not RFA)
  • http//cms.csr.nih.gov/
  • http//crisp.cit.nih.gov/

7
Reminder
  • Who will review and who will fund are two
    distinct groups and processes
  • Center for Scientific Review manages most reviews
    (study sections)
  • I/C fund
  • You have to appeal to both audiences

8
Applying to the NIH contd
  • When to submit (R01, R21, R03)
  • New Feb 1, June 1, October 1
  • Revised March, July, November 1
  • http//grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/submissionsc
    hedule.htm
  • How
  • Paper unless grants.gov mandated
  • 6/1/06 R03s grants.gov
  • 10/1/06 R01s grants.gov
  • Guidelines 398(9/04 version)
  • http//grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs398/phs39
    8.html

9
PHS 398http//grants2.nih.gov/grants/funding/phs3
98/phs398.pdf
  • Read and follow instructions
  • Use correct forms (9/04), font etc.
  • Ask OSP for help with administrivia
  • Research Plan
  • a) specific aims
  • b) background significance
  • c) preliminary data
  • d) research design methods

10
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13
Add any typically unallowable budget items and
justify, e.g., office supplies, alcohol for
research purposes (!), etc. Contact OSP
foradvice. There needs to be a detailed budget
that results in the modulesrequested OSP is
available to help!
14
Additional Components
  • Human Subjects information
  • Women and children
  • Animal Subjects
  • Consortium/contractual arrangements

15
To apply..
  • Obtain an eRA commons user name from T. Lowney
    (plowney_at_syr.edu)
  • Contact your Research administrator for
    assistance
  • (a detailed budget is required for internal
    purposes, even if applying with modular budget)
  • Follow guidelines.

16
Resources
  • Office of Extramural Research
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/oer.htm
  • NIAID All about grants tutorials (Great site!)
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/default.htm
  • Annotated R01
  • http//www.niaid.nih.gov/ncn/grants/app/app.pdf
  • Especially for new investigators
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/new_investigators/in
    dex.htm
  • Institute Budgets/historical information
  • http//officeofbudget.od.nih.gov/UI/SpendingHistor
    y.htm
  • Success rates
  • http//grants1.nih.gov/grants/award/success.htm

17
Perspectives from a New Investigator
18
Broad Interests Psychological Aspects of Health
Illness
  • How do people successfully self-regulate their
    behavior to promote sustained health?
  • How do psychological processes contribute to
    health-compromising behaviors and poor adjustment
    in response to illness?

19
Public Health Emphasis
  • Health promotion interventions for HIV-positive
    men and women
  • Primary prevention to reduce risk for HIV among
    adolescents and adults

20
Current NIH Awards
21
R21 Exploratory / Development Grant
  • Reducing High Risk Behavior among HIV Men
  • 562,000 in total costs for 3 year award
  • Good funding mechanism for advancing new program
    of research

22
Aims
  • Develop / refine an intervention to reduce sexual
    risk behavior among HIV gay men
  • Pilot test the intervention provide feasibility
    and effectiveness data for larger trial
  • Two phases
  • Formative (qualitative) research
  • Intervention trial
  • Partnership with Upstate Medical University

23
U01 NIMH Cooperative Agreement
  • A Multilevel Prevention Strategy for High-Risk
    Youth
  • 5 year project 2.3 million in total costs for
    Syracuse site, 10 million across sites
  • Collaboration with four other universities
  • Local partnerships with Southwest Community
    Center, Boys and Girls Club, and the Dunbar
    Association

24
Major Aim
  • To investigate the impact of a small group
    intervention and a mass media campaign on HIV
    risk behavior among African-American teens.
  • Two phases
  • Formative mass media campaign development.
  • Randomized trial Enrolling 1600 youth in four
    cities.

25
Lessons learned along the way
26
1 Obtaining NIH funding typically takes years of
hard work and perseverance.
27
Timeline for R21 funding
  • 1996-2002
  • Published like crazy, made a (small) splash in
    good journals that grant reviewers care about
  • Gained experience on extant NIH grants
  • Fostered collaborations with established
    NIH-funded researchers

28
Timeline for R21 funding
  • 2000-2001
  • Identified a fundable idea in an area that
    matches expertise and can be achieved in local
    research setting
  • Thought a lot about the feasibility of the idea
    refined plans.
  • Gathered input from other experts

29
Timeline for R21 funding
  • Summer 2001
  • Worked for three solid months to craft a
    thoughtful, compelling proposal that reviewer
    couldnt say no to

30
Timeline for R21 funding
  • Fall, 2001
  • Cope with massive disappointment
  • Score 350
  • Spring, 2002
  • Gathered strength to revise and resubmit
  • Summer, 2002
  • Worked for three solid months to revise the
    application in response to reviews
  • Planned for success

31
Timeline for R21 funding
  • Fall, 2002
  • Cope with massive disappointment
  • Score 250
  • Fall, 2002 Fight back
  • Successfully appealed review (long story)
  • Spring, 20003
  • Re-reviewed by new SRG
  • Score 140 ? FUNDED!

32
2 Find the right funding mechanism to match your
research goals and level of experience.
33
What mechanism is right for you?
  • If you have no track record at NIH, dont begin
    with a multimillion dollar proposal
  • BSTART, R03, R21, R34, R01
  • K series (career development)
  • Large scale multisite / cooperative agreements
    (e.g., U awards series)

34
3 Find a mentor who can help you develop a
winning proposal and lend credibility to your
research plans.
35
The importance of mentoring
  • Having a colleague who is already a household
    name at NIH is a big plus
  • As appropriate, spell out a plan for how a senior
    colleague will help with mentoring in your
    preliminary studies section

36
4 Good science is critical.
37
Good science
  • Must propose
  • Important, testable hypotheses
  • Coherent methodology
  • Data analysis plan that is clearly linked back to
    the proposed hypotheses
  • Must demonstrate statistical prowess

38
5 Your track record matters a whole lot
39
Track record
  • History of strong, peer reviewed pubs in good
    journals
  • More high quality pubs better reception as
    potential grant recipient
  • Preliminary studies are critical
  • Sing the praises of your team and its
    qualifications to conduct the proposed work
  • Demonstrate that your methods are feasible by
    reviewing prior success with related work

40
6 The proposal must be a joy to read.
41
Writing
  • Cant be a last minute job
  • If collaborators are contributing to specific
    sections, PI must take responsibility for
    insuring overall flow
  • Strong, declarative sentences generate
    excitement for the work!
  • Use headline headers that walk your reader
    through the grant

42
7 Be mindful of the major review criteria for
all NIH grants.(Help your reviewers write their
review)
43
Review Criteria
  • Significance
  • Approach
  • Innovation
  • Investigator
  • Environment
  • And what about budgets? Important to do ask for
    enough support.

44
8 Take human subjects / IRB concerns very
seriously.
45
9 Be mindful of the political climate
surrounding your proposed topic.
46
10 Be careful of what you ask for you may
actually have to do the work!
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