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NIH Extramural News - February 2017

February 2017

Open Mike

Mid-career Investigators and Shifting Demographics of NIH Grant Recipients

Posted on March 6, 2017 by Mike Lauer

While NIH policies focus on early stage investigators, we also recognize that it is in our interest to make sure that we continue to support outstanding scientists at all stages of their career. Many of us have heard mid-career investigators express concerns about difficulties staying funded. In a 2016 blog post we looked at data to answer the frequent question, “Is it more difficult to renew a grant than to get one in the first place?” We found that new investigators going for their first competitive renewal had lower success rates than established investigators. More recently, my colleagues in OER’s Statistical Analysis and Reporting Branch and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute approached the concerns of mid-career investigators in a different way – by looking at the association of funding with age. Today I’d like to highlight some of the NIH-wide findings, recently published in the PLOS ONE article, “Shifting Demographics among Research Project Grant Awardees at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)”. Using age as a proxy for career stage, the authors analyzed funding outcomes for three groups ….Continue reading

Meet NIH & HHS in New Orleans for the NIH Regional Seminar, May 3-5!

Posted on March 3, 2017 by Mike Lauer

Do you remember walking into the person’s office down the hall from you when you needed to ask a question, instead of “popping” them an email, instant message, or text? There’s no disputing that the digital age definitely has its advantages – making information sharing faster, cheaper, and more convenient, and allowing us to communicate locally and abroad in seconds. But in this fast paced world of instant communication – the internet, email, and all of our social media choices – sometimes we forget how valuable face-to-face interactions can be. That is exactly one of the reasons I love the NIH Regional Seminars on Grant Funding and Program Administration. The seminars give me the opportunity to join over 60 of my fellow NIH and HHS faculty in sharing our knowledge and perspectives to ….Continue reading

Resubmissions Revisited: Funded Resubmission Applications and Their Initial Peer Review Scores

Posted on February 17, 2017 by Mike Lauer

“My first submission got an overall impact score of 30. Is that good enough? What’s the likelihood I’ll eventually get this funded?”, or, “My first submission was not even discussed. Now what? Does anyone with an undiscussed grant bother to resubmit? And what’s the likelihood I’ll eventually get this funded?”  In a past blog we provided some general advice and data to help you consider these types of questions, and obviously the answers depend on specifics — but even so, based on your feedback and comments we thought it would be informative to offer high-level descriptive data on resubmission and award rates according to the first-time score, that is, the overall impact score on the A0 submission. …Continue reading

Following up on the Research Commitment Index as a Tool to Describe Grant Support

Posted on February 15, 2017 by Mike Lauer

Many thanks for your terrific questions and comments to last month’s post, Research Commitment Index: A New Tool for Describing Grant Support. I’d like to use this opportunity to address a couple of key points brought up by a number of commenters; in later blogs, we’ll focus on other suggestions. The two points I’d like to address here are: 1) why use log-transformed values when plotting output (annual weighted relative citation ratio, or annual RCR) against input (annual research commitment index, or annual RCI), and 2) what is meant by diminishing returns. ….Continue reading

Top Stories

New Ambassador Program Connects NIH Loan Repayment Program (LRP) Awardees to Applicants

NIH’s Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) play a pivotal role in keeping promising young investigators in active biomedical research careers. To help spread the word about the NIH Loan Repayment Programs, NIH recently launched a new and improved network to connect potential LRP applicants with former and current LRP awardees. Through the NIH LRP Ambassador Program, LRP ambassadors serve as a personalized link/connection between the programs and potential applicants at their home institutions, providing advice and encouragement regarding the LRP application process ….Continue reading

Top 5 Reasons to Attend a 2017 NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration

Are you an investigator or research administrator new to working with the NIH grants process? If so, then don’t let the 2017 NIH Regional Seminars pass you by. Registration is underway for the Spring seminar in New Orleans, LA (May 3-5). If these dates or location don’t work for you, consider the Fall seminar in Baltimore, MD (October 25-27, 2017). Here are our top five ….Continue reading

New Resources


New Features in eRA Commons for Requesting No Cost Extensions, and Change of PI/PD

New features have been added to eRA Commons to allow designated institutional officials to submit requests for No Cost Extensions (NCEs), or to initiate the request for a Change of Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI). Both features can be found under the “Prior Approval” tab ….Continue reading

You Ask, We Answer


·        Who is Eligible to Submit an Application Under NIH’s Continuous Submission Policy?

·        How Can I Check If I Am Eligible to Submit an Application Under NIH’s Continuous Submission Policy?