Research Tracks

A publication of the Office of the Vice Provost for Research at Baylor University

December 9, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH, AHRQ announce new format for biographical sketches

NIH_LogoThe National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality have announced a change to the required format for biographical sketches submitted with applications for research grant funding.

Changes in the new format include an increase in the page limit from four pages to five, as well as new fields that give investigators the opportunity to provide background information for their proposed project.  The new form allows investigators to highlight their most significant contributions to science, outline the historical context for their research and describe their roles in Team Science projects. Applicants may also support these descriptions with lists of publications or other research products.  The new biosketch format also allows a link to a full list of the applicant’s published work in a publicly available online database.

The revised forms and instructions are available on the SF 424 (R&R) Forms and Applications page.

Implementation date pushed back

The original announcement of the new biosketch requirements indicated that the new format would be required for applications submitted for due dates on or after Jan. 25, 2015. Following public comment, however, the NIH and AHRQ have provided flexibility by delaying full implementation of the new requirement. The agency now encourages applicants to use the new biosketch format, but will require the new format for applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015.

Click here to read the full announcement.

November 3, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

Funding opportunity: NIH Loan Repayment Programs

NIH_LogoTo encourage outstanding professionals to pursue careers in biomedical, behavioral, social, and clinical research, the National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) offer to repay student loans for individuals conducting qualified research funded by a domestic nonprofit organization or U.S. federal, state, or local government entity.

The LRPs may repay up to $35,000 of qualified student loan debt per year for individuals who make a two-year commitment to qualified research programs.  The program can be used for repayment of student debt accrued in undergraduate, graduate or medical school.  In addition to the loan repayment benefits, students will also receive an institutional salary for their research.

Applications to the LRPs are due by Nov. 17, 2014. Click here for program eligibility information and application instructions.

September 9, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH’s PubMed Commons helps scientists discuss research with their peers

commons-blogIn a recent post on his blog, NIH director Dr. Francis Collins discussed PubMed Commons, a new online resource that makes it easy for researchers to engage in online discussion with colleagues regarding scientific publications.  Any scientist with at least one publication in PubMed can comment on any of the more than three million papers in the database.  Members can also rate the comments they find useful, helping the best discussion points stand out from the field.

Collins reports that since the launch of PubMed Commons, 5,000 eligible scientists have signed up and posted around 1,600 comments.

Click here to read the full post on Collins’ blog.  More information is also available on the PubMed Commons Blog.

June 10, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH issues challenge for ideas to improve peer review

NIH_LogoThe National Institutes of Health Center for Scientific Review has announced a challenge program seeking ideas from the scientific community on ways to improve the fairness and impartiality of grant proposal peer review.

The program offers a $10,000 first prize and a $5,000 second prize for ideas in response to two challenge categories: ‘New methods to detect bias in peer review’ and ‘Strategies to strengthen fairness and impartiality in peer review.’

Submissions to the program may be submitted by email any time prior to the June 30 deadline.  Winners will be announced in September.

Click here for more information and complete rules.

May 1, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH issues clarification to new resubmission policies

NIH LogoLast month, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announced a change to the policy regarding resubmissions of unsuccessful proposals.

In response to questions from the research community, the two groups have issued a clarification to the new rule.  The clarification provides information about due dates for resubmissions, programs to which the policy is applicable, and options for timing of resubmission.

Click here to read the clarification statement, or click here to read the resubmission FAQ document, which contains answers to many common questions about the policy.

April 17, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH announces change to proposal resubmission policy

NIH_LogoThe National Institutes of Health and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality have announced a change to their policy regarding resubmission of unfunded research grant proposals.

Since 2009, NIH and AHRQ policy has limited unsuccessful proposals to one resubmission.  If a resubmission was also not funded, investigators were required to substantially change the content and scope of their project in order to submit it as a new proposal.

The latest change, announced today on the NIH website, allows unsuccessful resubmissions to be presented as new applications without a redesign of the project’s content and scope. While applicants are encouraged to take advantage of previous reviewers’ comments and suggestions, they will not be required to specifically address them in the proposal.

For more information on this new policy, check out today’s blog post by Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH’s deputy director for extramural research.

February 3, 2014
by Baylor OVPR

NIH institute provides guidance on writing better grant proposals

NIH_LogoAre you interested in applying for research funding from the National Institutes of Health?  If so, you’ll want to read Ten Steps to a Winning R01 Application. While the publication is made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the advice it offers is applicable to proposals to any NIH institute.  It lays out a clear roadmap to help you organize your ideas and present them in a way that is persuasive to reviewers.

NIAID announces updates to Ten Steps (along with funding opportunities and other tips for biomedical researchers) in their NIAID Funding Newsletter. Both Ten Steps and the NIAID newsletter are great resources for anyone interested in seeking funding from any NIH agency.

Click here to read the latest newsletter issue. You can also subscribe to email alerts so you’ll receive the newsletters in your inbox as soon as they are released.

October 18, 2013
by Baylor OVPR

NIH reschedules grant deadlines and review panels

In the wake of the recent government shutdown, the National Institutes of Health has announced that the agency is rescheduling its October grant application deadlines in order to provide better service to applicants.

Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH’s deputy director for extramural research, wrote on an NIH blog yesterday that proposal deadlines in October will be pushed back into November so that applicants will have access to NIH support staff and electronic systems as they prepare to submit applications.  Specific due dates have not been announced, but the new deadlines will be posted in the NIH Guide as soon as they are established.

In addition to grant application deadlines, Rockey said proposal review meetings which were canceled during the shutdown will also be rescheduled.

Rockey expects eRA Commons and other NIH extramural electronic systems to be operational by Monday, Oct. 21.

Please contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 710-3817 with any questions.

Edit: The NIH Guide has been updated with information on the resumption of extramural activities following the government shutdown.  Click here to read the notice.

August 20, 2013
by Baylor OVPR

NIH to require eRA Commons IDs for graduate and undergraduate students

A new policy from the National Institutes of Health will require graduate and undergraduate students working on NIH-funded projects to set up eRA Commons IDs.

The new policy will be implemented in three phases over the next 14 months:

  • Currently, graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to establish eRA Commons accounts.
  • On Oct. 18, 2013, the PHS 2590 and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR) forms will start prompting for this information. Warnings will also appear in eRA Commons screens to alert students that they need to establish an ID.
  • By October 2014, all RPPRs must have eRA Commons IDs for graduate and undergraduate students or the reports won’t be accepted by NIH.

Baylor investigators working on NIH-funded research projects are encouraged to help their students establish eRA Commons accounts as soon as possible.

Click here to read the full notice from NIH. Contact the Office of Sponsored Programs at 254-710-3817 for more information.

June 3, 2013
by Baylor OVPR

NIAID updating “Ten Steps to a Winning R01″ online guide

Are you considering applying for an R01 research grant from the National Institutes of Health? If so, you’ll want to read Ten Steps to a Winning R01, a free, online resource offered by the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. While the guide is published by the NIAID, the advice it contains is applicable to research proposals to any of the 27 NIH institutes and centers.

NIAID is currently updating the guide with the most current information. So far, the first two sections, Conduct a Self-Evaluation and Find Your Niche, have been updated. These sections contain guidance to help researchers carefully consider their own research agenda and make thoughtful plans about the most appropriate avenues to seek funding.

Click here to read Ten Steps to a Winning R01 on the NIAID website. Further updates to the series will be distributed through the NIAID Funding Newsletter, which is available online, through email subscription or on Twitter at @NIAIDFunding.