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NIH Extramural News - January 2017

January 2017

Open Mike

FY2016 By The Numbers

Posted on February 3, 2017 by Mike Lauer

Over the past few days, we released our annual web reports, success rates and NIH Data Book with updated numbers for fiscal year 2016. Overall, we see steady increases. In addition to looking back over the numbers we typically highlight in this post, we want to point out several new research project grant (RPG)-specific activity codes used to support extramural research. FY 2016 saw the launch of some new ….Continue reading

Research Commitment Index: A New Tool for Describing Grant Support

Posted on January 26, 2017 by Mike Lauer

On this blog we previously discussed ways to measure the value returned from research funding. The “PQRST” approach (for Productivity, Quality, Reproducibility, Sharing, and Translation) starts with productivity, which the authors define as using measures such as the proportion of published scientific work resulting from a research project, and highly cited works within a research field. But these factors cannot be considered in isolation. Productivity, most broadly defined, is the measure of output considered in relation to several measures of inputs. What other inputs might we consider? ….  Several of my colleagues and I, led by NIGMS director Jon Lorsch – chair of an NIH Working Group on Policies for Efficient and Stable Funding – conceived of a “Research Commitment Index,” or “RCI.” We focus on the grant activity code (R01, R21, P01, etc) and ask ourselves about the kind of personal commitment it entails for the investigator(s). We start with the most common type of award, the R01, and assign it an RCI value of 7 points. And then, in consultation with our NIH colleagues, we assigned RCI values to other activity codes: fewer points for R03 and R21 grants, more points P01 grants. Continue reading

Status of Our Initiatives to Strengthen Clinical Trials

Posted on January 6, 2017 by Mike Lauer

In September Dr. Carrie Wolinetz and I blogged about our policy reforms to build a more robust clinical trials enterprise through greater stewardship and transparency at each phase of the clinical trial journey from conception to sharing of results. We discussed how these efforts promise to improve the quality and efficiency of clinical trials, translating into more innovative and robust clinical trial design, and accelerated discoveries that will advance human health.Over the past months we have continued to partner with the community to work through the implementation of these new policies, developing responses to frequently asked questions and even reconsidering the timing of our single IRB policy to give our grantees time to work through how to operationalize the change. ….Continue reading

Top Stories

Reminder of New Policies Now – Or Soon To Be – In Effect

A number of NIH policies became effective in January. Here’s a brief recap:Continue reading

Jazz Up Your Knowledge of NIH at the Spring 2017 NIH Regional Seminar in New Orleans

NIH will hold two NIH Regional Seminars on Program Funding and Grants Administration in 2017. This seminar is a great opportunity for investigators early in your career, research administrators and anyone new to working with the NIH grants process to connect with NIH and HHS staff in a central location. ….Continue reading

New Resources


New Peer Review Videos for Applicants and Reviewers

NIH’s Center for Scientific Review posted recordings of their most recent webinar series on peer review: • 8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get a Fellowship Grant – covering things applicants need to know about the submission and review of a fellowship grant • 8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get an R01 Grant – covering things applicants need to know about the submission and review of an R01 grant • NIH Peer Review Briefing for Basic Research Applicants and Reviewers – covering NIH’s commitment to basic research and helping applicants and reviewers do their part in proposing and reviewing basic research Continue reading


You Ask, We Answer


·        Are NIH Grantees Required to Use the Final RPPR?

·        Will the Project Outcomes I Listed in My Final RPPR Be Made Public?




February 20 (Monday), 2017: NIH Closed For the Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday,February 20, 2017, for the federal holiday (Washington’s Birthday). If a grant application due date falls on a federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.