NIH Tips for Applicants

Uploaded by NIHOD on 16.06.2010

>> KEITH YAMAMOTO: In NIH applications, perhaps the
most common, especially among new investigators, is over ambitiousness.
Just kind of spreading out and trying to cover too much territory.
>> MARTIN PHILBERT: If you do not convey the essence of
the idea clearly, then no matter how good the idea is, it's lost. And so what
we term as grantsmanship frequently on the panel is really the idea of
efficiently and sometimes repetitively conveying what you want to do, what
you will do, and how it will advance the science.
>> KATE BENT: I would encourage any applicant to
seek outside review before submitting the application. There are things you
miss all the time. And you should take their advice seriously. Take their
critiques as important, and work on revisions before you actually make
your grant application and submit it.
>> DANIEL WRIGHT: Well, the role of program directors such
as myself is to advise applicants and to be advocates for them. An important
part of the responsibility of the program director is to keep abreast
of the particular field and research area that they're overseeing.
And this can be an advantage to the applicants because they
see it from a broader perspective.
>> KATE BENT: I don't know anyone who gets positive
results on every single grant application they submit. And the first
one that gets rejected is the hardest, but they're never fun, and after that
you regroup and you just move on.
>> SEYMOUR GARTE: In fact, you'll always receive a
summary statement which contains the criticisms that were leveled at the
grant by the study section members. It's very important to read these
criticisms carefully and to take them into account and correct the
application you resubmit the grant.
>> DAVID GRAINGER: You can read so many proposals, and
yet one will stick out and hit you in the face as being an absolutely wonderful
piece of literature. And for me these contain again, that lucid style, a very
compelling creative scientific idea, and this idea of impact of moving
science in a mode towards a clinical end that is not only credible, but you
think will make an enormous boost of capability or boost of therapeutic
value to a patient population that currently is in some type of need.
>> BRIAN HOFFMAN: You have a bunch of people looking at
your proposal who are disposed to do well by you. Who want to find an
exciting idea and good science and support it, and tell them a good story.
Tell them a story about what you want to do, why you want to do it,
and how you're going to do it.
>> MARTIN PHILBERT: There are essentially three elements
of a proposal that get me really excited. The major hook, frankly, is
the way it's presented. How clear is the language? How well do the ideas
follow one from another? The second, and perhaps more important, is what is
the quality of the idea. The third is the innovation. How much will this one
study advance our knowledge of something that has eluded our
consciousness for some time?
>> KATE BENT: I would encourage any applicant to
take part in reviewing activities such as they exist. Perhaps reviewing
manuscripts for a journal. Review an abstract for your professional meeting.
And when invited to review for NIH, participate. You'll find that your
applications get stronger and you learn a lot by reviewing and participating.
>> SEYMOUR GARTE: The best advice I could give to an
applicant who's starting to write a proposal for the first time is to do
your homework with respect to what NIH is looking for in a grant proposal,
get advice from your peers and mentors on what sort of proposal
you should write and how you should write it. There's lots of information on
the NIH web site that will help you.
There are many opportunities for funding.