NIH News

NINDS restructures funding support for postdocs

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke will no longer participate in the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Postdoctoral Fellowship (Parent F32). As of the Dec. 8, 2016 due date, F32 postdoctoral fellows research training support will be available through a separate announcement with several key differences from the parent F32. Most notably, applicants are only eligible prior to starting, or within the first 12 months of starting, their postdoctoral training. As … Read More

New federal policies issued on clinical trials

The NIH is the largest funder of clinical trials in the U.S., investing over $3 billion each year. Standards for scientific rigor and ethical oversight must be exceptionally high because the health and safety of human subjects are at stake. But challenges in the design, efficiency, and reporting of clinical trials are well documented–and may even threaten the progress of biomedicine. In a recent JAMA article,  Kathy Hudson, Ph.D., deputy director for Science, Outreach and Policy … Read More

Learn more about NIH peer review in upcoming online briefings

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside an NIH Study Section and what’s most important to reviewers? The NIH Center for Scientific Review is hosting a series of online briefings in November and December to help you navigate the peer review process and increase your chances of getting funded. The first two briefings will provide fellowship and R01 grant applicants  information on how applications are reviewed for scientific and technical merit. The third briefing will offer information to … Read More

Assessing scientific productivity: A new metric

Publication data – journal impact factors, number of first author publications, prestige of the journal – are commonly used to assess research productivity. But the metrics used to generate these data have substantial limitations. H-index, which looks at the cumulative impact of scientists’ work, disadvantages junior researchers; citation habits and dynamics can be vastly different in different research fields. Alternative methods for quantifying scientific accomplishment are under development, and though many of them have improved our understanding … Read More

NIH wants to hear from you

Help shape the agenda of a planned future conference on coronary heart disease In 1978, the Bethesda Conference on the Declining Mortality from Coronary Heart Disease brought together international experts from a wide range of disciplines and expertise to call attention to and illuminate the previously unappreciated and unexplained abatement of the epidemic of heart disease. Since then cardiovascular death rates have continued to decline sharply, and despite the huge growth in knowledge and advances in treatment, … Read More

New NIH policy on appendix materials in applications

A notice was issued on Aug. 12, 2016 detailing plans to eliminate most appendix materials for applications submitted to the NIH, AHRQ or NIOSH on or after Jan., 2017. According to the notice, the new policy is “intended rectify inequities in the peer review process that can arise from submission of inappropriate or excessive appendix materials by some applicants and consideration of appendix materials in peer review by some, but not all reviewers.” New application instructions … Read More

NIH seeks input on biomedical digital repositories

The era of “Big Data” in biomedical research presents both opportunities and challenges. Increasing access to digital data allows for expanded accountability and accelerated discovery. But to take advantage of these opportunities, data must be managed and shared appropriately. The data repository is a common mechanism for managing and storing content, and the number, scale, and complexities of these repositories continue to grow. In the context of increased demand, it’s vital to understand and measure the value these … Read More

Grant applications: A quick guide to rigor and reproducibility

Many of you still have questions about how to address the new NIH requirements on rigor and reproducibility in your grant applications. Last week, NIH published a new one-page resource to walk you through the four key areas of scientific rigor: Scientific Premise, Scientific Rigor (Design), Biological Variables, and Authentication. The guide can be downloaded as a PDF. Additional resources supplying more in-depth information can be found on the NIH grants policy website and the NIH website. … Read More

Peer review scoring: Why some grant applications are more likely to be funded than others

Anyone who’s worked hard on an NIH grant application that didn’t get funded wonders what they could have done differently to improve their chances of success. A recent analysis on peer review scoring by the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) provides insight into how to improve overall impact scores and the likelihood of getting funded. In a July 22 Open Mike blog post, OER Director Mike Lauer, describes NIH’s quest to better understand the “stories behind [NIH] … Read More

Coming soon: MIRA funding for early-stage investigators

We first reported on the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) for New and Early-Stage Investigators (R35) mechanism when it was introduced by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences about a year ago. The pilot program represented a new funding strategy focused on supporting PIs rather than specific projects. The rationale behind this novel funding strategy was to improve funding distribution and invest in scientists, thereby providing them with funding stability to explore new, creative directions in … Read More

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Welcome to the Research News Blog

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