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Success Rates

Transparency and funding lines

About half of the 22 NIH Institutes no longer post a funding line. Of course, we at NIA do so much better—we post multiple funding lines! We are transparent, though. I’ve heard it said around the halls of NIH that a funding line is a crutch for staff, an easy way to indicate to investigators that their application could not be paid.

Anatomy of a successful K99 application

It's not easy to write a successful K99 application, but NIA worked with one of our awardees to publish their highly scored application as a resource for all prospective applicants.

We don’t bite! Communicating with your program officer

Don't be afraid to reach out to your program officer! Here are some tips to make interactions with POs smooth & productive.

Top tips for early career research grant applications

Dr. Ken Santora, Director of NIA's Division of Extramural Activities (DEA), discusses important inside tips for early career researchers seeking NIH funding support.

Applying for dementia research funding? Choose your codes carefully

They say we’re in the age of artificial intelligence, but sometimes it’s more like the computers have minds of their own.

This can often seem true in the alternative reality of our Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) system, where what looks like an Alzheimer’s or related dementias application to...

Interim paylines

We announced interim paylines on our funding policy site the other day. When you read that we are funding to the 5th percentile for research grants, and to a score of 14 on career awards and only paying NIA-reviewed applications that achieved scores of 10 or 11 you must wonder at our apparent miserliness. Why not release more awards now?

To resubmit or not?

NIH announced a change in resubmission policy in April. This blog post covers a different feature of the April policy change: how investigators can make decisions about grant applications that are not funded the first time they are submitted for consideration. If you’re not familiar with the lingo, A0 is the first submission of an application, while A1 is a resubmission of that same application, after some deeply considered changes. With the policy change, investigators now have a real choice after an A0 grant application is not funded.

Maybe we should call it “just-in-case” rather than “just-in-time”

So, you just received an automated email that asks you to submit “just-in-time” information for your application. Does that mean NIA is going to pay it? I wish! Unfortunately, that just-in-time request brings false hope to too many. Here’s some explanation of the just-in-time messages and our data on who gets funded. It might help you consider the priority of responding to a just-in-time request for information, if your application to NIA has a percentile score of 21 or poorer.

New resubmission policy

Half the reason for writing this time is to allow you a forum on our site to comment on what the new NIH resubmission policy means for the NIA community. But the other half of the reason is to explain what it might mean for us at NIA. As a refresher, the new resubmission policy means that after an unsuccessful A1 submission (or A0 submission) investigators may submit a similar application as a new (A0) application. NIH will not review the new submission for similarity to the prior application.

It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. It is modern times at NIA.

When the dust cleared on our budget this year, the NIA was blessed with a 12.5%, $130 million increase over fiscal year 2013’s sequester-dictated funding. As the NIH as a whole received a 3.4% increase, NIA’s 2014 funding reflects extraordinary recognition from Congress. In fiscal year 2013 (October 2012 to September 2013), we saw our worst success rate ever for research project grant applications—R01s, R21s, R03s, etc. NIA’s success rate was noticeably below the NIH average success rate, which was also among the lowest ever for NIH as a whole.

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