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Secrets of Success in Getting Federal Funding

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Secrets of Success in Getting Federal Funding UNCF-MERCK Fellows Day July 16th, 2012 July 13th, 2012 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Secrets of Success in Getting Federal Funding


1
Secrets of Success in Getting Federal Funding
UNCF-MERCK Fellows Day July 16th, 2012
  • VA HBCU Networking Meeing with Howard
    University Tshaka J. Cunningham, Ph.D.
  • Office of Research Development
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Tshaka Cunningham, Ph.D.
  • Scientific Program Manager
  • RRD Service

July 13th, 2012
2
Progression of Funding (NIH model)
  • Training grants and fellowships (Ts and Fs)
  • Career development awards (K awards)
  • Smaller foundation grants and pilot studies
  • Co-investigator on R01, other major grants
  • Principal investigator on major grant (R01, R21)
  • Collaborate in larger studies - clinical trials,
    program projects (P01, U54, etc.)

3
Career Development Application (an autobiography)
  • Show that you are you a good candidate
  • Focus Productivity - Experiences
  • Articulate your Career Goals short long-term
  • Do a needs assessment strengths, weaknesses
  • Discuss appropriateness/commitment of mentor(s)
  • Propose other didactic experiences
  • courses, workshops, sabbaticals
  • Research Project (develop with mentor)
  • -to get you skills, training, credibility,
    publications

4
Career Development Applications what are your
career goals?
Focus on mechanism rather than a technique,
patient population, or therapeutic
approach GOOD enhancing neuroplasticity to
promote gait exercise therapies to reduce
obesity or promote activity developing
ecologically valid measures of support and
longitudinal change BAD reducing
disability in stroke treadmill training or
studying gait in SCI improving the SF-36
and the FIM
5
Given those research goals . . .
  • What skill set do you need?
  • What are your strengths? Experiences?
  • Where do you need further training, e.g.
  • underlying pathophysiological processes?
  • movement mechanics?
  • outcome measures and assessment tools?
  • particular patient populations?
  • applied psychology?
  • environmental supports?
  • appropriate statistics?

6
The Most Important Thing You Need to Accomplish
in Your Grant Application is to
  • WIN OVER THE REVIEWERS!

7
Winning over Reviewers, part 1
  • Develop a focused application with explicit goals
  • Raise an interesting question or need,
    then propose a direct response
  • Discuss likely outcomes and interpretations
  • Use the most direct, appropriate, and current
    approaches to critically address issues raised
  • Defend your approaches and choices, with
    alternatives
  •  

8
Winning over Reviewers, part 2
6. Briefly introduce the research field and
cite relevant literature (esp. papers of
your likely peer reviewers) but not a
scholarly treatise 7. Discuss why this
hasnt been attempted before what is
your unique angle 8. Include sufficient detail
on techniques, outcome measures, plans
for analysis 9. Describe collaborations
-Include statistical expertise 10. Define your
subject populations -Inclusion/exclusion
criteria, power analysis
9
Winning over Reviewers, part 3
11. Discuss your proposal in the context of
previous studies, current clinical
practice 12. Write to your likely peer-review
audience in a style that is logical and
interesting 13. To make it more readable,
include diagrams, pictures, tables
(adequate labels/ legends) 14. Human Subjects
Research proper patient recruitment,
informed consent, drop-outs 15. Conform to NIH
policy on inclusion of women, of
minorities, and children
10
Winning over Reviewers, part 4
16. Dont submit until it is your best
effort 17. Make sure your application is neat,
accurate, and complete proof-read!
Proof-read!! Proof-read!!! 18. Prepare for
electronic submission and follow guidelines
for page limits and appendices (reviewers are
not required to read appendices) 19. Respect
reviewers time and efforts you are starting a
dialogue with them and you only get two or
three chances 20. If at first you dont succeed,
RE-SUBMIT!
11
Revisions Be Persistent!
Make sure you understand the messages in
the summary statement talk to NIH staff!
Can you address the concerns of the reviewers?
Are more data required? Or is the basic
approach flawed or uninteresting Use this as an
opportunity to improve and update the
application The next reviewers will have access
to this summary statement Build in
sufficient time in your career plans to
deal with re-submissions
12
Career Considerations
Think realistically about productivity (i.e.,
publications), especially early in
career Develop a mixed portfolio mostly
sure-fire studies with a few high-risk
excursions Develop a stable base of grant
funding Guard your time and collaborate
effectively Finally, Never Give Up! (ALWAYS
RE-SUBMIT!)
13
Mission of the Department of Veterans Affairs
To care for him who shall have borne the
battle, and for his widow and his orphan.

-Abraham Lincoln, 1865 Mission of VA Research
and Development To discover knowledge and
create innovations that advance the health and
care of veterans and the nation.
14
Office of Research Development Organizational
Structure
15
VA ORD- Four Different Research Services
  • Biomedical Laboratory Research Development
    Service (BLRD)
  • Supports preclinical research to understand life
    processes from the molecular, genomic, and
    physiological level in regard to diseases
    affecting veterans.
  • Clinical Science Research Development Service
    (CSRD)
  • Administers investigations, including human
    subject research, to determine feasibility or
    effectiveness of new treatments (e.g., drugs,
    therapy, or devices) in small clinical trials or
    multi-center Cooperative Studies, aimed at
    learning more about the causes of disease and
    developing more effective clinical care.

16
VA ORD- Four Different Research Services
  • 3. Health Services Research Development Service
    (HSRD)
  • Supports studies to identify and promote
    effective and efficient strategies to improve the
    organization, cost-effectiveness, and delivery of
    quality healthcare to veterans. HSRD
    underscores all aspects of VA health care,
    specifically quality, access, patient outcomes,
    and health care costs.
  • 4. Rehabilitation Research Development Service
    (RRD)
  • Develops novel approaches to restore veterans
    with traumatic amputation, central nervous system
    injuries, loss of sight and/or hearing, or other
    physical and cognitive impairments to full and
    productive lives.

17
VA ORD is an Intramural Research Program
  • 117 VAMCs have capacity for research 100 are
    funded by ORD at any time
  • There are more than 2000 currently funded
    projects in ORD
  • Community of over 3000 VA researchers with a long
    history of significant research
  • The research program uses a multi-level approach
    that relies on VA and external, non-VA peer
    reviewers to help ensure that the research
    program is efficient, effective, and
    scientifically meritorious.
  • VA funds only a small percentage of the proposals
    evaluated (20).
  • VA ORD budget for FY2012 is approximately 582
    million

18
Online Grants Application Process
  • NIH Electronic Research Administration (eRA)
    Commons System (similar to NIH)
  • Electronic processing system for grant submission
  • Streamlined ORD proposal review and management
    processes
  • One common submission process for all ORD
    proposals
  • Implemented in DHHS (CDC, AHRQ, FDA) so we are
    now all using the same grant review system

19
VA Research Standards
  • Is the research based on rigorous science?
  • Will the research produce data that drives
    clinical policy and translates to improved health
    care?
  • Will the research help Veterans?
  • Is it Veteran-centric?
  • The only federal research program focused
    entirely on Veterans needs

20
Eligibility for VA Research Funding
  • The VA Office of Research and Development is an
    intramural research program.
  • All applicants (i.e., the Principal
    Investigator (PI) and any Co-PI) for VA research
    funds are required to hold a minimum 5/8th VA
    salaried position.
  • Individuals with less than a 5/8th VA
    appointment are encouraged to seek at least a
    5/8th VA official appointment.

21
Eligibility for VA Research Funding
  • A letter of intent (LOI) must be submitted and
    approved before a full application can be
    submitted
  • Two cycles of review per year (winter and
    summer)
  • VA does NOT have SBIR/STTR Programs

22
VA ORD Funding Mechanisms
  • Career Development Program
  • Salary support, protected time, travel award each
    year
  • CDA-2 can request up to 65K/yr in operating
    expenses
  • Merit Award
  • 1 - 4 years, 275K/yr, travel award each year
  • Can request up to 350K for one of the years
  • But not exceed overall cap for number years
    requested
  • Pilot Awards
  • 1 - 2 years, 100K/yr, travel award each year
  • Center of Excellence
  • 5 years, 1M/yr
  • Research Award Enhancement Program
  • 5 years, 350K/yr


23
Current Conflicts OEF/OIF

24
Current Conflicts OEF/OIF

19.1
15.8
9.4
Halcomb et al, J Trauma 2006 60397
25
  • Examples of Currently Funded Research Projects


26
OEF/OIF related research
  • Deployment-related research current and all
    conflicts
  • Prosthetics
  • Hearing and vision research
  • PTSD
  • Rehabilitation
  • Deployment-related research highlighting
    specifics for current conflicts
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and other
    Neurotrauma
  • Polytrauma
  • Chronic care and the new veteran
  • Collaborations with DoD


27
  • ADVANCED UPPER
  • LIMB PROSTHESES

28
DARPA/DEKA Robotic Arm Collaboration Among VA
Scientists, DARPA, and Industry may Restore Fine
Upper Limb Control to Veteran Amputees

Stage 1 Strap and go device that can be
controlled by sensors in the shoes Stage 2 Arm
controlled by brain-computer interface
29
VA / DARPA-DEKA Prosthetic Arm
It really works!

30
Next-generation technologies BRAIN COMPUTER
INTERFACE
  1. Electrode array developed by Richard Norman, U.
    of Utah (a, b)
  2. Implanted in R precentral gyrus (c)
  3. Wired to computer which controls cursor and other
    displays on monitor (BrainGate system) (d)

Hochberg LR et al. Nature 442 164-71, 2006
Hochberg LR et al. Nature 442 164-71, 2006
31
TIPS for VA ORD Award Success
  • Perform research in priority areas for VA
    (Veteran-centric)
  • Appropriate study design, including statistical
    analyses
  • Seek input from expert (e.g., biostatistician)
  • Presentation matters!
  • Attention to all the details
  • Tell a compelling story
  • Use a solid review of relevant literature
  • Provide
  • Realistic Timelines, considering all
    responsibilities
  • Visuals as appropriate limited discreet use of
    appendices

32
Important Websites
  • VA Research Development
  • http//www.research.va.gov/
  • Rehabilitation RD
  • http//www.research.va.gov/programs/rrd.cfm
  • Biomedical Laboratory RD
  • http//www.research.va.gov/programs/blrd/
  • Clinical Science RD
  • http//www.research.va.gov/programs/csrd/
  • Health Services RD
  • http//www.research.va.gov/programs/hsrd.cfm
  • Career Development Program
  • http//www.research.va.gov/funding/cdp.cfm

33
LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD RESEARCHERS!
34
My Contact Information

Tshaka Cunningham, Ph.D. Scientific Program
Manager Rehabilitation Research and Development
Service Email tshaka.cunningham_at_va.gov Phone
(202) 443-5758
35
THANK YOU
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