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Office of Proposal Development


Project planning. Strategic planning based on review criteria. Education and ... Lucy Deckard, BS/MS Materials Engineering, New Faculty Initiative, fellowships, ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Office of Proposal Development

Strategies for Writing Successful Grant
Proposals Irma Lerma Rangel College of
Pharmacy October 8, 2007
  • Office of Proposal Development Division of
    Research Graduate Studies
  • Texas AM University
  • Texas AM Health Science Center
  • John Ivy Research Development Officer JohnIvy_at_tamu
  • http//

Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

Office of Proposal Development
  • Supports faculty in the development and writing
    of research and educational proposals to federal
    agencies and foundations
  • Center-level initiatives,
  • Interdisciplinary research teams,
  • New junior faculty,
  • Institutional diversity initiatives
  • Health Science Center collaborations,
  • Multi-institutional research partnerships
  • Offers a full suite of grant writing training
    programs to help faculty develop and write more
    competitive proposals.

OPD Proposal Support
  • Assistance with finding funding opportunities
  • Information on particular programs
  • What is the funding agency looking for?
  • Experiences of other TAMU faculty who have
    applied for that program
  • What types of projects have been funded?
  • Project planning
  • Strategic planning based on review criteria
  • Education and outreach components
  • Proposal editing
  • Conformity with solicitation requirements
  • Clarity and organization
  • Grammar, punctuation, spelling

Your goal is to intrigue the reviewers OPDs
goal is to help you do it…
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OPD Member List
  • Jean Ann Bowman, PhD (Physical Geography/Hydrology
    ), earth, ecological, and environmental sciences,
  • Libby Childress, scheduling, workshop management,
    project coordination,
  • Mike Cronan, PE (inactive), B.S. Civil
    Engineering, BA, MFA, center-level proposals,
    partnerships, new initiatives,
  • Lucy Deckard, BS/MS Materials Engineering, New
    Faculty Initiative, fellowships, engineering and
    physical science proposals, equipment and
  • John Ivy, PhD (Molecular Biology), NIH biomedical
    and biological science initiatives,
  • Phyllis McBride, PhD (English), proposal writing
    training, biomedical, editing,
  • Robyn Pearson, BA/MA (anthropology) social
    sciences and humanities proposals, editing and

Seminars and Workshops Check our website at
  • One-day Craft of Proposal Writing Workshop
    offered each fall before classes start
  • Seminar on strategies for competing for funding
    with breakout sessions on different agencies
    scheduled in the fall
  • Semester-long grant-writing workshops offered
    fall and spring semesters
  • Seminars on specific programs (instrumentation,
    NSF CAREER, NIH K-awards, etc.) offered
    throughout the year
  • Faculty panel discussions on specific agencies
    and research areas in spring

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Resources for Junior Faculty through the Office
of Proposal Development
  • One-on-one consultation and proposal support
  • Seminars on funding programs that may be of
    special interest to Junior Faculty
  • Seminars and discussion panels on specific
  • One-day workshops on the craft of proposal
  • Semester-long workshops designed to guide
    participants through every step of proposal
  • Information on our website
  • The Craft of Writing workbook available on-line
  • Toolkits for Programs for Junior faculty
  • Funding Opportunities
  • Links to other useful information (agency
    tutorials, presentations, articles)
  • Presentation and resource information from past

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OPD Proposal Support The Process
  • Contact us as soon as possible
  • We can offer more help if were involved early in
    the process
  • Iterative editing process most effective
  • Turn-around times for editing depend on office
  • Typically 2 days to 1 week
  • Giving us a heads-up that your proposal will be
    coming will help us to plan

  • There is no amount of grantsmanship that will
    turn a bad idea into a good one, but there are
    many ways to disguise a good one.
  • William Raub former Deputy Director, NIH

Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources and Opportunities
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • Analyzing the funding agency
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

Searching for funding
  • Develop search protocols to fit research
  • Know relevant agencies
  • Learn grant cycles

Types of University Proposals
  • Research (basic, applied, applications, mission,
  • Equipment
  • Educational
  • Institutional (e.g., STEP, T32)
  • Direct to applicant (e.g., Fellowships,
    dissertation grants)
  • Hybrid research and educational (REU)
  • Small , few PIs
  • Large , multiple PIs, center-level
  • Supplements to grants (NSF, NIH)

Searching for research funding
  • Define a general disciplinary domain of interest
    (e.g., science, social science, humanities,
    education, health and biomedical sciences,
  • Characterize the nature of the research interests
    within the disciplinary domain (basic, applied,
    applications, contract, mission agency)
  • Identify funding agencies whose mission,
    strategic plan, and investment priorities are
    aligned with the specific research interests
  • Further align research interests with funding
    agency by reviewing funded research abstracts and
    related documentation
  • Refine your search and agency focus in the search
    for funding opportunities, a process that may go
    through several search iterations

Searching for research funding
  • Who ya gonna call?
  • Network with colleagues
  • Funding sources cited in literature
  • Companies and Foundations that support
    professional societies
  • Google searches
  • University posted listings
  • University emails
  • Federal agency web sites
  • Foundation web sites
  • Discussions with Agency and Foundation

HSC web resources http//
HSC web resources Hot Topics http//www.tamhsc.e
OPD-Web Funding Opportunities
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  • The web portal serves as a single
    point of access for all federal agency grant
    announcements. New funding announcements from
    federal agency are posted to this site daily, and
    a range of other features allow subscribing to
    email funding alerts, linking to agency web
    sites, and searching for funding among agencies.

Search Browse Grant Opportunities
  • Search http//
  • Browse agencies http//

27 Search
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29 Browse by Agency
Receive Funding Email Alerts
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Additional Life Science Funding Sources
  • http//
  • National Science Foundation http//
  • Find Funding http//
  • Funded Research http//
  • GrantsNet sponsored by AAAS and
    HHMI http//
  • Congressionally Directed Medical Research
    Programs http//
  • Philanthropy News Digest RFP listings http//found
  • American Cancer Society http//
  • American Heart Association http//www.americanhear
  • Cancer Research Institute http//www.cancerresearc
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation http//www.lsrf.
  • National Multiple Sclerosis Society http//www.nat

NIH Overview
  • Mission improve the health and well-being of
    humans and reduce the burden of illness on
  • NIH is a basic research agency
  • Different from a mission-based agency (e.g.,
    NASA, DoD)
  • Fund basic science research (molecules to humans)
    in health-related topics
  • Encourage translation of bench research into
    patient practices

DHHS Overview
  • Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
    Administration (SAMHSA)
  • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
  • Health Resources and Services Administration
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • Administration on Aging (AoA)
  • Program Support Center (PSC)
  • Indian Health Service (IHS)

NIH Culture
  • Top down approach to strategic planning
  • Information on the strategic plan for NIH can be
    found at http//
  • Office of the Director sets the tone for research
  • Advice from many sources solicited
  • Scientific community
  • Patient and health associations
  • Institute Center Advisory Councils
  • Congress the Administration
  • NIH Staff
  • Institute and Center (IC) Directors use this
    information to develop their institutes
    strategic plan
  • Important to review the individual IC web pages
    and talk to program officers about the current
    research focus within an IC

NIH 20 Institutes, 7 Centers
NIH Culture
  • Trans-NIH initiatives research that cuts across
    typical agency boundaries of various ICs
  • http//
  • Model Organisms for Biomedical Research
  • Blueprint for Neuroscience Research
  • Bioengineering Consortium
  • Biomaterials and Medical Implants
  • Bioinformatics at the NIH
  • Mammalian Gene Collection
  • Cognitive Emotional Health
  • Translational Research
  • Part of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research
  • http//
  • http// overvi

NIH Funding Investments and Priorities
  • NIH has investment priorities based on past
    research findings and current trends in science
  • Targeted areas (FY 2008 proposed budget)
  • HIV/AIDs
  • Biodefense
  • Roadmap for Biomedical Research
  • Enhanced Support for New Investigators
  • Physical Infrastructure
  • NIH FY2007 budget is 28.8 billion (FY2008
    proposed 28.85 billion)
  • NIH funds research projects inside their own
    laboratories (intramural) and outside their
    laboratories at national and international
    locations (extramural)
  • Extramural funding 85
  • Intramural Funding 10
  • Research Infrastructure 5

NIH Research Awards
  • Numerous funding mechanisms
  • R01 Research Project Grant
  • Supports discrete, specific, highly successful
    outcome projects
  • All ICs support this mechanism
  • R03 Small Grant
  • Supports small research projects limited time
    and resources are the key elements
  • R21 Exploratory/Independent Research Grant
  • Supports high risk-high yield research projects
  • R15 Academic and Research Enhancement Award
    (AREA) Grant
  • Small research projects in the biomedical and
    behavioral sciences conducted by students and
    faculty in health professional schools and other
    academic components that have not been major
    recipients of NIH research grant funds

NIH Training Awards
  • Individual Training awards for predoctoral
    (F31), postdoctoral (F32), or senior fellowships
  • Limited to US citizens or legal aliens

NIH Kareer Awards
  • Some directed at retraining, professional career
    development, and recognition of career success
    (may be restricted to certain ICs)
  • K Kiosk
  • http//
  • K01 Mentored Research Scientist Award
  • Provide mentored career development in a new
    research area
  • K02 Independent Scientist Award
  • Develop career of funded scientist 5 yr, 75
  • K05 Senior Scientist Award
  • Recognize outstanding scientist with sustained
    level of high productivity
  • K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Award
  • Development of independent clinical research
  • K18 Career Enhancement Award for Stem Cell
  • K25 Mentored Quantitative Research Career
    Development Award
  • Foster collaborative research in areas
    integrating biomedical science and engineering
  • K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award
  • 2 years mentored postdoctoral research 3 years
    independent research in tenure track position (or

Office of Extramural Research (OER)
  • Distinction between solicited versus unsolicited
  • Unsolicited (investigator-initiated) proposals
  • Solicited (agency-defined topics) proposals (18)
  • Program Announcements (PA)
  • New research programs and updates to ongoing
    programs (renewable)
  • Request for Applications/Proposals (RFA/RFP)
  • One time request to fulfill specific agency
    research objective or need

Funding Opportunity Announcements
Identifying NIH Funding
  • NIH funding opportunities page
  • Includes funding opportunities for NIH IC only
  • Located at http//
  • Subscribe to weekly listserv
  • Includes funding opportunities for NIH in
    addition to the other 25 federal grant-making
  • Located at http//
  • Subscribe to weekly listserv

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Grants Process Overview
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Parent Announcements
Application Due Dates
Remember, investigator-initiated grants represent
gt80 of those funded by NIH!
Identifying NIH Solicitations by Topic
  • Search by Keyword(s) or Phrase(s)
  • Identify funding opportunities
  • Determine supporting ICs
  • Identify mechanism (R, T, U, etc.)
  • Determine eligibility
  • Identify review criteria

Example Sequencing Technology
Example Sequencing Technology
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Example R21 in Advanced Search
Identifying NIH Solicitations by IC
  • Search by Agency (IC)
  • Identify funding opportunities within an agency
  • Steps for searching….
  • Identify Agency (IC)
  • Go to their homepage (http//
  • Go to their Research Funding or Extramural
    Funding section
  • Perform search

Identifying NIH Solicitations by IC
Identifying NIH Solicitations by IC
Staying Informed on NIH FOAs
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NIH RSS feed
Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • The solicitation
  • The funding agency
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

Reading the proposal solicitation
  • The solicitation represents an invitation by a
    funding agency for applicants to submit requests
    for funding in research areas of interest to the
    agency or foundation.

Program Solicitation
  • The RFP contains most of the essential
    information the researcher needs to develop and
    write a competitive proposal that is fully
    responsive to the agencys funding objectives and
    review criteria.
  • It is used continuously throughout proposal
    development and writing as a reference point to
    ensure that an evolving proposal narrative fully
    addresses and accurately reflects the goals and
    objectives of the funding agency, including
    the review criteria.

Program Solicitation
  • The RFP is not a menu or smorgasbord offering the
    applicant a choice of addressing some topics but
    not others, depending on interest, or some review
    criteria but not others.
  • The RFP is a non-negotiable listing of
    performance expectations reflecting the stated
    goals, objectives, and desired outcomes of the

Map your expertise to the RFP
  • Is it a fit?
  • Is it really a fit?
  • No partial fits allowed
  • No wishful thinking
  • Close doesnt count
  • If you are not a fitdont submit

Contents of the RFP
  • Agency research goals, objectives, and
    performance expectations
  • Statement and scope of work
  • Proposal topics to be addressed by the applicant
  • Deliverables or other outcomes
  • Review criteria and process

Contents of the RFP
  • Key personnel, evaluation, management
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Due dates, available funding, funding limits,
    anticipated number of awards, performance period,
    proposal formatting requirements, budget and
    other process requirements, and reference

Contents of an NIH PA
  • Part I. Overview Information
  • Issuing Organization
  • Participating Organizations
  • Components of Participating Organization
  • Title
  • Announcement Type
  • Program Announcement Number
  • Key Dates
  • Executive Summary

Contents of an NIH PA Part II. Full Text of
  • Section I. Funding Opportunity Description 1.
    Research Objectives Section II. Award
    Information 1. Mechanism(s) of Support 2. Funds
    Available Section III. Eligibility Information
    1. Eligible Applicants    A. Eligible
    Institutions    B. Eligible Individuals 2. Cost
    Sharing or Matching 3. Other - Special
    Eligibility Criteria Section IV. Application
    and Submission Information 1. Address to Request
    Application Information 2. Content and Form of
    Application Submission 3. Submission Dates and
    Times    A. Submission, Review and Anticipated
    Start Dates      1. Letter of Intent    B.
    Sending an Application to the NIH    C.
    Application Processing 4. Intergovernmental
    Review 5. Funding Restrictions 6. Other
    Submission Requirements
  • Section V. Application Review Information 1.
    Criteria 2. Review and Selection Process    A.
    Additional Review Criteria    B. Additional
    Review Considerations    C. Sharing Research
    Data    D. Sharing Research Resources 3.
    Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
    Section VI. Award Administration Information
    1. Award Notices 2. Administrative and National
    Policy Requirements 3. Reporting Section VII.
    Agency Contact(s) 1. Scientific/Research
    Contact(s) 2. Peer Review Contact(s) 3.
    Financial/ Grants Management Contact(s) Section
    VIII. Other Information - Required Federal

Reading Material Referenced in the RFP
  • If the RFP refers to any publications, reports,
    or workshops, it is important to read those
    materials, analyze how that work has influenced
    the agencys vision of the program, and cite
    those publications in the proposal in a way that
    illustrates the topics are acknowledged and
  • Echo the language of the agency.

Analyzing the funding agency
  • Analyzing the mission, strategic plan, investment
    priorities, and culture of a funding agency
    provides information key to enhancing proposal

Know the funding agency
  • In marking our 50th anniversary, we are
    celebrating vision and foresight Dr. Rita R.
    Colwell, former NSF Director. The recently
    retired hockey-great, Wayne Gretzky, used to say,
    "I skate to where the puck is going, not to where
    it's been."
  • At NSF, we try to fund where the fields are
    going, not to where they've been. We have a
    strong record across all fields of science and
    engineering for choosing to fund insightful
    proposals and visionary investigators.

Analyzing the funding agency
  • Funding agencies have a clearly defined agenda
    and mission.
  • Funded grants are those that best advance the
    mission of the funding agency.
  • If a proposal does not meet an agency's mission,
    it will not be funded.

Analyzing the funding agency
  • Who is the audience (e.g., program officers,
    reviewers) and what is the best way to address
  • What is a fundable idea and how is it best
    characterized within the context of the agency

Know what was recently funded
  • Learning about recently funded research in your
    area helps you understand what an agency is
    looking for in the review process
  • Review abstracts of funded proposals on agency
    web sites
  • Talk to the principal investigators of funded
    proposals in your area
  • Obtain copies of funded proposals
  • Ask the PI
  • Ask the agency (funded proposals are public)

CRISP http//
  • Computer Retrieval of Information on Scientific
  • A searchable database of federally funded
    biomedical research
  • What similar projects have been funded?
  • Has someone already been funded to pursue my
  • Who are my competitors?
  • Who are potential collaborators?

Finding information on funded projects
  • NIH Award Search Site http//
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    Grants On-Line Database (GOLD) http//
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • NSF Award Search Site http//
  • USDA Awards Search http//

Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • The solicitation
  • The funding agency
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

RFP Read Follow Directions
Identify the review criteria
  • Most agencies publish standard review criteria on
    their web pages and in each solicitation.
  • Some programs will have additional review
    criteria specific to the solicitation.
  • Addressing the review criteria is a key part of
    the proposal.
  • Make the reviewers job easier by using language
    similar to that used in the solicitation.

Addressing Review Criteria
  • A competitive proposal must clearly address each
    review criterion, and the proposal should be
    structured so that these discussions are easy for
    reviewers to find, compare, and contrast.

Developing the proposal narrative
  • Contrary to what some people seem to believe,
    simple writing is not the product of simple
    minds. A simple, unpretentious style has both
    grace and power. By not calling attention to
    itself, it allows the reader to focus on the
    message. Richard Lederer and Richards Dowis,
    Sleeping Dogs Don't Lay, 1999.

Introductory writing tips
  • Summary and introduction are key
  • May be all reviewers read
  • Must excite and grab the attention
  • Reviewers will assume errors in language and
    usage will translate into errors in the science
  • Dont be overly ambitious in what you propose,
    but convey credibility and capacity to perform

Introductory writing tips
  • Sell your proposal to a good scientist but not an
  • Some review panels may not have an expert in your
    field, or panels may be blended for
    multidisciplinary initiatives
  • Agencies reviewers fund compelling, exciting
  • Proposals are not journal articles proposals
    must be user-friendly and offer a narrative that
    tells a story that is memorable to reviewers

Following agency guidelines
  • Read solicitation and/or proposal guide carefully
    for formatting requirements and follow
  • Font and font size
  • Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype, or Georgia
  • Black type face
  • 11 pt. or larger
  • At least ½ in margins
  • Page limits
  • Biosketch formats
  • Avoids disqualification of your proposal
  • Avoids irritating reviewers

Make your proposal easy to read
  • Reviewers often have 8 or 10 proposals to read
  • Use white space, underlining, bold, bullets,
    figures, flowcharts to make main points easy to
  • Put main idea of sections and paragraphs up front

Must Convince Reviewers…
  • Your proposed research should be funded
  • Its important and supports the agency mission
    and program goals
  • Its exciting
  • It has a good chance of succeeding
  • You are the person who should conduct the
    proposed research
  • You are knowledgeable and well-qualified
  • You have the support and resources required

Structure of Proposal
  • Often dictated by solicitation or other agency
  • NIH SF424
  • NSF Grant Proposal Guide
  • DoD Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)
  • Also guided by evaluation criteria

Preparing Proposals
  • All NIH proposals use either the electronic form
    SF424 or the paper PHS398.
  • The transition to SF424 for F and K awards is
  • Step 1 Download the Instructions and Forms
  • http//
  • http//

Speak with the Program Officer early and often
Common Elements of PHS398 R01
  • Cover page/face sheet (1 page)
  • Abstract, performance site, key personnel (2
  • Table of contents (1 page)
  • Budget page(s)
  • Budget justification
  • Biosketch of PI, biosketch of all other major/key
    personnel (4 pages each)
  • Resources (no page limit)
  • Research Plan (Items A-D) (25 page limit)
  • Other Information under Research Plan (Items E-J)
    (no page limit)
  • e.g., references cited, human or animal research
    subjects, inclusion of minorities/children in
    clinical studies, data sharing plans, etc.
  • Appendix items (in-press publications, surveys,
  • Checklist

Budget Budget Justification
  • Budget
  • Get help (institutional grants administrator)
  • Be reasonable. The reviewers also do research!
  • Budget Justification
  • Personnel
  • Who? What will they do? How much effort ()? Why
    is this person critical to the success of the
  • Equipment
  • What do you need? Why do you need it? Is there a
    similar apparatus nearby that you can use (if
    yes, why not use it)?
  • Travel
  • Where do you need to go? How many times will you
    go there? How many of the project personnel will
    go? Approximately how much will it cost and why?
  • Other Supplies
  • Equipment maintenance contracts? Fee for service

Connect narrative text to budget
  • Budget categories are defined by the funding
  • Be sure activities discussed in narrative are
    reflected in budget
  • In budget justification, personnel, materials,
    supplies, equipment, travel should reflect that
    necessary to complete Research Plan

NIH Biographical Sketch
  • Four page maximum
  • Section A. Positions and Honors
  • Section B. Publications
  • List publications reflective of the topic of the
    current proposal (or maximum)
  • Section C. Research Support
  • Current and completed support
  • Begin with projects that are most relevant to the
    research proposed in the application

Abstract or Summary
  • May be the only thing the reviewer reads
  • Must grab the reviewer
  • Should communicate concisely
  • Intellectual framework of proposed project
  • The goals and signficance of the proposed project
  • Specific Aims
  • Who will be conducting the project and, briefly,
    their qualifications
  • Project outcomes
  • Must communicate excitement
  • Check for additional requirements
  • E.g., intellectual merit and broader impacts in
    NSF proposals

Research Plan
  • Introduction (Resubmissions only)
  • A) Specific Aims
  • Long-range goals
  • Hypothesis
  • B) Background Significance
  • C) Preliminary Studies / Progress Report
  • D) Research Design and Methods
  • Structure based on Specific Aims

Specific Aims
  • Provides a framework for the reviewer
  • State a long-range goal of your research program
  • Tie to program/agency mission and goals
  • State a specific hypothesis that your experiments
    will address
  • State specific, measurable Specific Aims
  • Discuss expected outcomes
  • Do not be overly ambitious!

Background Significance
  • Background should tie closely to your proposed
  • Be thorough and concise
  • Describe state of the field
  • Do not be dismissive of previous research
  • Identifies the opportunity
  • Provides a rationale for your approach
  • Specify how your research will extend and advance
    knowledge in the field

  • Explain explicitly why proposed research is
  • Tie to agency and program goals
  • Relate to review criteria
  • Make this easy to find
  • Opportunity to make important points up front
  • Communicate your excitement!

Preliminary Data / Progress Report
  • Be aware of expectations regarding amount of
    preliminary data
  • Varies by agency
  • Varies by program
  • Varies by discipline
  • Higher risk projects may require more preliminary
  • Discussion of preliminary data must connect
    clearly to proposed project

Research Design Methods
  • Structure based on Specific Aims
  • Be very clear about how you will accomplish your
    stated goals and objectives
  • Include details
  • What, specifically, will you do when you get the
  • Schedules and milestones may be helpful
  • This is especially important if you are a
    relatively new researcher
  • Address any potential results and problems and
    how you will deal with them
  • Avoid ambiguous terminology be specific!

Beware of Boiler Plate
  • Thinking of proposal narrative as boiler plate
    will result in a mediocre, disjoint proposal
  • Begin each proposal as a new effort, not a copy
  • Be very cautious integrating text inserts
  • Strong proposals clearly reflect a coherent,
    sustained, and integrated argument grounded on
    good ideas

Additional Resources
  • Office of Proposal Development,
    TAMU http//
  • Funding Opportunities http//
  • Resources for Junior Faculty http//
  • The Craft of Grant Writing workbook http//opd.tam
  • National Institutes of Health http//
  • Grant Application Basics http//
  • All About Grants Tutorial http//
  • Annotated R01 Research Plan and Summary
    Statement http//
  • Mock Peer Review Video http//
  • CRISP funded biomedical research http//crisp.cit.

Albert Einstein on Grant Writing
  • If you can't explain something simply, you don't
    understand it well."
  • Most of the fundamental ideas of science are
    essentially simple, and may, as a rule, be
    expressed in language comprehensible to everyone.
  • Any fool can make things bigger, more complex,
    and more violent. It takes a touch of genius
    and a lot of courage to move in the opposite

Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • The solicitation
  • The funding agency
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

Review of NIH Proposals
  • Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
  • http//
  • Divisions (4)
  • Integrated Review Groups (IRG) 23
  • Study Sections (SS) 220
  • Scientific Review Administrator (SRA)
  • Members (peers with expertise in SS research)
  • Standing members
  • Ad hoc members
  • http//

CSR Integrated Review Groups
CSR Review Streamlining
  • Proposal received at CSR
  • Assigned to an IRG, then to a Study Section (SS)
  • The Scientific Review Administrator (SRA) assigns
    a primary, secondary, and tertiary reviewer
  • Investigator-initiated proposals (R01, R03, R21)
    are read by the 1, 2, 3 reviewers
  • Bottom 50 of proposals are identified about 1
    week prior to the SS meeting (triaged or
  • Streamlined applications receive summary
    statements verbatim from each reviewer, but are
    not discussed nor scored
  • All 3 reviewers must agree on the streamlined
    proposals in order for the proposal to be triaged

NIH General Review Criteria
  • Investigator
  • Education, training, relevant experience
  • Environment
  • Suitability of facilities and institution support
  • Significance
  • Ability of the project to improve health
  • Approach
  • Feasibility of methods and appropriateness of
  • Innovation
  • Originality of research

CSR Scoring Proposals
  • SS meets to review applications
  • Primary reviewer presents your proposal to the
    group (reads the abstract)
  • SS members discuss your application, the primary
    reviewer is able to answer questions about the
  • SS members assign a score to the proposal between
    1-5 (1outstanding, 5forget it)
  • After the meeting the SRA calculates the average
    score for each proposal, multiply by 100 to get a
    3 digit score (100-500)
  • SRA calculates a priority score or percentile
    ranking of the score based on the past 3 cycles
    of grant scores within SS
  • SRA prepares a written critique of your proposal
    based on reviewers comments

Dual Review System for Grant Applications
  • First level of review
  • Scientific Review Group
  • Provides initial scientific merit review of grant
  • Rates applications and makes recommendations
    concerning level of support and duration of award
  • Second level of review
  • Council
  • Makes recommendations to IC staff concerning
  • Evaluates program priorities and relevance
  • Advises on policy

Summary Statement - Triaged
CSR Scored Proposal
Revisions Resubmission
  • Three strikes youre out
  • Read the reviewers comments
  • Take a break
  • Re-read the reviewers comments
  • Dont take them personally
  • Read the reviewers comments, AGAIN
  • Call the program officer for more feedback
  • Evaluate if you should resubmit
  • Begin working on the revisions, incorporating the
    revisions that you think make your proposal
    better than the previous submission

Interpreting Reviews Planning to Resubmit
  • Were certain issues mentioned consistently?
  • Plan how to address those issues
  • Did the reviewers misunderstand your proposal?
  • Plan how to make your text more clear
  • Was no clear issue mentioned?
  • May not have excited reviewers enough
  • May not be an area they wish to fund now
  • May not fit into their research portfolio
  • Many funded proposals were funded after multiple
    submissions ? intelligent perseverance is the key!

Summary Statement for Revised Proposal
Success at NIH
  • Understand NIHs mission and overall goals
  • Propose research topics that cross the boundaries
    of various IC leverage tools and resources from
    other research areas to approach your research
    topic create multidisciplinary research teams
  • Focus on NIH priorities
  • Search for funding opportunities often and using
    different strategies, e.g., agency or topic
    search, and submit unsolicited proposals when
  • Look for various opportunities to acquire
    funding, e.g., diversity supplements, career
  • Partner with established NIH investigators

Presentation Topics
  • The Office of Proposal Development
  • Identifying Funding Sources
  • General
  • Foundations
  • NIH
  • New Investigators
  • Evaluating the Opportunity
  • The solicitation
  • The funding agency
  • Components of a "Good Grant"
  • The NIH Review Process
  • Recent Developments at NIH

New Investigator Program http//
New Investigators
  • K99/R00 Pathway to Independence
  • 2 yr Post-doc 3 yr Independent, both periods
  • R01 fast review for new investigators
  • Check box on cover page for new investigators
  • Example Oct 5 Submit Mar 1 Summary
    Statement Mar 20 Resubmit (Jul 5, Nov 5, Mar
  • Director's New Innovator Award Program (DP2)
  • a special program to fund new investigators who
    propose highly innovative research projects that
    could have an exceptionally great impact on
    biomedical or behavioral science.

Multiple PIs
  • The multiple-PI option is targeted specifically
    to those projects that do not fit the single-PI
    model, and therefore is intended to supplement,
    and not to replace, the traditional single PI
  • http//

  • Copies of this presentation will be available on
    the OPD website http//