Research and Funding

Inside NIA: A Blog for Researchers

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

We posted an update to our funding policy on Friday. The sobering news is that for most areas of research within NIA’s mission the payline will be at the 8th percentile, with 5th percentile for applications requesting $500,000 and over, and 12th and 14th percentiles, respectively, for new and early stage investigator R01s. So, though we have raised it a little from our interim payline, this funding line has fallen a lot from where we held it in the four prior years. We expect these paylines to be final for fiscal year 2015, for most applications that are not related to Alzheimer’s disease. The amount of money needed to reach the next percentile is more than what we expect to see come back to us from various sources by the end of this fiscal year. We will have news later on about how we will support research with the small remainder that we expect. Read More

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Posted on April 22, 2015 by Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

The average age of first-time R01 funded investigators who have PhDs remains 42 even after seven years of policies at NIH to increase the numbers of new and early-stage investigators.  And, over the same interval, age has continued to increase for first-time R01-funded MDs and MD-PhDs, despite the policies we have in place. What is going on? Read More

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Posted on April 15, 2015 by Richard Hodes, Director, National Institute on Aging.

I want to share with you part of a recent discussion I had with the Friends of the NIA about the importance of public-private partnerships in aging research. Read More

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Posted on April 8, 2015 by Suzana Petanceska, Program Director, Division of Neuroscience.

The explosion of Big Data promises to transform biomedical research, but all too often researchers are stymied by limited access to these complex biomedical data sets. To overcome some of these barriers, we’ve recently helped launch an important new data resource—the AMP-AD Knowledge Portal. Freely accessible to the wider research community, it provides entrée to large scale human “omics” data sets needed to discover and select the next generation of therapeutic targets for Alzheimer’s disease. Just a few weeks ago, the first wave of data was released—I invite you to take a look at what’s available and consider using it in your research. Read More

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Posted on April 1, 2015 by Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

How do I write a grant application that will get funded? It’s a question I get asked all the time. Of course there is no magic formula. And, you may have heard much of the most important advice already: be strategic, and so on. After a career helping to direct resources to worthy science—a career on the sidelines, some might say—I have some thoughts and advice that may be useful to you as you prepare your next application. Read More

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Posted on March 25, 2015 by Chyren Hunter, Deputy Director and Training Officer, Division of Extramural Activities.

Following every meeting of the National Advisory Council on Aging, we set about the task of funding investigators who will contribute to our understanding of aging in health and disease. Read More

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Posted on March 18, 2015 by Carl V. Hill, Director, Office of Special Populations.

The deadline is fast approaching for the 2015 Butler-Williams Scholars Program, NIA’s premier aging research training program. Apply by March 27, 2015, and encourage your contacts and friends to do the same. Read More

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Posted on March 11, 2015 by Felipe Sierra, Director, Division of Aging Biology.

Geroscience—a field that looks at the relationship between aging and disease—has gained lots of traction within the scientific community. I think this is a good thing. Anybody who heard me talk recently would be excused if they were to think that this is now the primary focus of NIA’s Division of Aging Biology… Well, not so! The centerpiece of work funded by the Division of Aging Biology remains basic research into the biological roots of aging. The application of this research to human health and disease is a welcome addition—“icing on the cake,” if you will. Read More

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Posted on March 4, 2015 by Ron Kohanski, Deputy Director, Division of Aging Biology.

There are a handful of run-of-the-mill ‘R’ grants offered by the NIH that are familiar to most investigators: everyone knows the R01. Ever heard of the R34? Not one of those that most people know. The R34 is a “planning grant.” Read More

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Posted on February 25, 2015 by Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

Last year (fiscal year 2014), we received $100 million of additional appropriated funds largely to support research on Alzheimer’s disease. We allocated those funds using mechanisms including  multi-year funding to provide a revenue stream for competing dollars in future years as well, as we were uncertain that future year budgets would provide additional increases. This year (fiscal year 2015), our budget was boosted by an additional $25 million for research on Alzheimer’s disease. The President’s Budget for fiscal year 2016 proposes another $50 million for Alzheimer’s research. These trends suggest more opportunities to support this area than we had earlier anticipated. Read More

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Posted on February 18, 2015 by Richard Hodes, Director, National Institute on Aging.

This is an extremely difficult time in aging research, among the most challenging since I came to the NIA in 1993. Last week, we announced a funding line policy with the lowest payline in our history. NIA is spending just as much money on research grants as last year, and funding just as many grants, but a great increase in the number of applications has resulted in a lower payline. The energy of our robust and growing field is meeting the reality of budgets that have failed to keep pace, in real terms, over time. Yet, our mission on Alzheimer’s disease is receiving increased public attention and garnered additional financial support, and, even with the struggle in our general payline, we are grateful for more flexibility there. Read More

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