Navigating NIH Funding Opportunities to Advance Your Career

Course Summary

NIH funding mechanisms are complex and understanding which program to apply for at various stages of one’s career is the first critical step on the path to securing NIH funding.  In particular, navigating the NIH programs for students (graduate and medical), postdoctoral fellows (both research and clinical track), and early-stage investigators can be a daunting task.  In addition to the challenge of developing and presenting a strong research project, programs designed for training and career development require particular attention to additional elements crucial to the presentation and review of the training plan, career advancement opportunities, and institutional environment, and commitment to the candidate.
Keeping with the basic theme that Knowledge = Success this presentation is intended to provide investigators with a broad overview of NIH programs targeted to early stages of one’s training and career development.  Knowledge gained from this presentation, should contribute to an applicant's successful navigation of NIH’s early career grant opportunities.

Course Outline

1. Introduction

  • NIH Institutes and Centers

  • NIH Budget Devoted to Training and Career Development

  • Advice for Navigating NIH Programs

  • NIH Research Training Website

  • Career Path and Funding Options

2. Pre-doctoral and Early Postdoctoral Training

  • Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA)

○ Common Features of NRSAs
○ Institutional NRSA Training Grants
○ Individual NRSA Fellowships

  • Early Independence Award

  • Research Career Development (K) Awards

○ Common Features of K Awards
○ Institutional K Awards
○ Individual K Awards

3. Early Research Career Development

  • Career Transitional Awards

  • New and Early-Stage Investigators

  • Small Grant Program

  • Exploratory and Development Grant Program

  • Academic Research Enhancement Award

  • New Innovator Award

4. Independent Investigator

  • Independent Scientist Career Development Award

  • Mid-career Scientist Career Development Award