Research and Funding

Inside NIA: A Blog for Researchers

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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Posted on February 11, 2015 by Robin Barr, Director of the Division of Extramural Activities.

I wrote in December that 2015 is going to be a tough year for us, and so it is turning out to be. To recap that post, we are seeing increasing numbers of applications following the change in resubmission policy announced last April. Unfortunately, with the exception of additional Alzheimer’s funds, we are not seeing increasing funds. That is why we anticipated a tighter payline this year. So now we have announced a payline at the 7th percentile for under-500k applications and a line at the 4th percentile for over-500k applications. (New and early-stage investigator R01 applications will have three- and five-point advantages in this payline.) Read More

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Posted on February 4, 2015 by Arlene Jackson, Recruitment Specialist, Intramural Research Program.

Do you know a high school, college, graduate or medical/dental student interested in biomedical research? Perhaps s/he is looking for an internship to help inform her/his career path. How about recommending the student come work for a summer at the National Institute on Aging? Each summer, NIA’s Intramural Research Program opens its lab doors for an 8 to 10-week intensive research experience. Read More

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Posted on January 28, 2015 by Dallas Anderson, Program Administrator, Dementias of Aging Branch, Division of Neuroscience.

As an NIA program officer for 11 years and counting I have the rare privilege of monitoring many study section meetings devoted almost exclusively to R03, R21, and R01 applications. One thing that leaps out of this experience is that a perpetually changing cast of peer reviewers raise the same basic criticisms over and over again. Read More

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