Presentation - Society for Developmental Biology

Presentation - Society for Developmental Biology

Road to the Professoriate

How to get an NIH R01

Society for Developmental Biology

July 28, 2005

Keith Yamamoto

Support of biomedical research at US universities


% Total

NIH 72


HHMI, ACS, other private 11

Industry 5

US public supports government funding for research

2004 Research!America Health Poll

National Institutes of Health

A federation of 22 separate Institutes and Centers; ; one of the agencies of the Public

Health Service, , which in turn is part of the US Department of Health and Human


Eighteen Institutes fund biomedical research grants:


National Cancer Institute

National Eye Institute

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

National Human Genome Research Institute

National Institute on Aging

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

National Institute of Child Health and Human Development

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

National Institute on Drug Abuse

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

National Institute of General Medical Sciences National Institute e of Mental Health

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

National Institute of Nursing Research

Center for Information Technology

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

National Center for Research Resources

• Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

NIH R01 Grants: Investigator-Initiated


Two levels of review:

1. Study Section (committee of expert scientists)

––> Knowledge

Assess scientific merit

Your contact: Scientific Review Administrator (SRA)

2. Institute Council (scientists and nonscientists)

––> Money

Assess relevance to institute, program portfolio

Your contact: Program Director


Each review must address each of the following:



•address an important problem?

•will scientific knowledge be advanced?

•effect on concepts or methods in this field?


•experimental design and methods appropriate to aims?

•acknowledge problem areas and consider alternative tactics?


•employ novel concepts, approaches or methods?

•challenge existing paradigms or develop new methodologies?


•appropriately trained to carry out work?

•appropriate work for experience of P.I. and collaborators?


•contribute to the probability of success?

•evidence of institutional support?


Components of the NIH grant application

Research Plan


Specific Aims


Progress Report/Preliminary Results

Experimental Methods

Other important stuff

Budget/Budget Justification


Consider Research Plan: Conceptual elements

Writing strategy


Conceptual elements: finding the right questions,

ideas, scope, breadth

• A well-rationalized, clearly stated objective and general strategy

• A substantial impact of your study on your field of interest

• A focused set of 3-53

Specific Aims

• A Research Design and Methods plan that blends a majority of

highly feasible elements together with a minority of bold, novel,

high impact elements

• A broad perspective that links and demonstrates relevance of

your study to other fields

Writing strategy: Getting “feed-forward”


from mentors

• Assemble a grant mentoring team of three senior colleagues, all

experienced with NIH grant review

• Before writing anything, discuss (90 min) your grant ideas with your

mentoring team

• Write one page, 3-53

Specific Aims; discuss (90 min) with your

mentoring team

• Draft Progress Report/Preliminary Results, then Research Design and

Methods, then Abstract, then Background and Significance

• Get feedback from your mentoring team (and others)

Grantsmanship: : Connecting with reviewers

and the review process

• Interact with Study Section Scientific Review Admistrator (SRA) before

submission, and with SRA and Institute Program Director after review

• Address the criteria for rating of grant applications: significance, approach,

innovation, investigator, environment




• Transparent organization: state objective, strategy and s specific aims in


and Specific Aims; ; use s specific aims as headers for Research

Design and Methods

• Set the stage with the Background and Significance: rationalize the

questions that you propose to answer; underline key gaps in knowledge k


unanswered questions that you will pursue

• One paragraph of Perspectives (or Long Term Goals) ) at end of Methods to

put experiments in larger context and demonstrate impact

• For amended applications, be gracious but firm in Introduction; address

specific criticisms, but also consider from a broader frame of reference

The only possible source for adequate support of our

medical schools and medical research is the taxing power

of the Federal Government. …such a program must

assure complete freedom for the institutions and the

individual scientists in developing and conducting their

research work.

Surgeon General Thomas Parran

December 1945

Research is always something of an adventure.

The more freedom it enjoys, the more likely it is

to achieve important results.

National Resources Committee,

Research –– A National Resource, 1935

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