Navigating the NIH Grant Process

Course Summary

Receiving funding from the NIH is challenging and requires hard work and a firm commitment.  With a finite budget, many investigators are competing for limited funds (in FY 16 the success rate for Research Project Grants was 19.1%). Successful grant applications require not only a strong idea, strong science, and a strong application but a firm understanding of the NIH grants process.  An investigator’s willingness to work with NIH staff, be well informed of Institute/Center priorities, acquire a firm understanding of the peer review process, and develop a keen understanding of what constitutes a strong grant application will invariably result in a stronger grant application and increase the odds of funding.  Since GWM believe that Knowledge = Success this presentation is intended to provide investigators with basic information regarding the NIH grants process - from planning and submission through to award and closeout.  In the end, the knowledge gained from this presentation, together with an investigator’s unique skills and abilities, should contribute to an investigator’s success in developing a competitive (i.e., fundable) NIH grant application.

Course Outline

1. Grants Basics

  • Understanding NIH

  • Finding the Right Fit for Your Research

  • What Does NIH Look For?

  • Types of Grant Programs

  • Who is Eligible?

2. Planning Your Approach

  • Understand NIH – funding priorities

  • Use RePorter to find where your research fits best & research the competition

  • Contact NIH Staff

  • Finding the right Funding Opportunities

  • Plan within your Organization (Office of Sponsored Research)

  • Set aside lots of time in order to:

 ○ Look for funding opportunities
 ○ Develop your ideas
 ○ Communicate with NIH staff
 ○ Write a competitive grant application
 ○ Receive critical feedback from your colleagues
 ○ Submit on time

3. Preparing to Apply

  • Systems and Roles

  • Registration

  • Understanding Funding Opportunities

  • Types of Applications

  • Submission Options

  • Obtaining Software

4. Writing Your Application

  • Preparing to write your Grant Application
  • Project Summary

  • Developing a Strong Research Plan

○ Specific Aims

  • Developing a Strong Research Strategy

○ Significance
○ Innovation
○ Approach

  • Preliminary Studies

  • Resubmissions

  • Budget

  • Common Reviewer Concerns

5. Submitting Your Application

  • Submission process (overview)

○ Submit
○ Track
○ View

6. Receipt and Referral

7. Peer Review

  • Overview

  • Peer Review Roles and Meeting Overview

  • Scoring

  • Peer Review Criteria and other Considerations

  • Summary Statement (percentiles)

  • Appeals

  • Second Level of Review – Advisory Council or Board

  • Post-Review (Next Steps?)

8. Pre-Award Process

9. Post-Award Monitoring & Reporting