Part 2: Program Perspective

Early Stage Investigators and
the Program Perspective
Michael Sesma, Ph.D.
N a t i o n a l I n s t i t u te o f M e n t a l H e a l t h
Following up on Dr. Rockey’s talk…
 Get to know the Program Director for your
scientific area
 Contact them about your research ideas
 Fit
with institute mission and priorities
 Best grant mechanism or program
 Best study section for review
 Technical assistance with the application process
Mentored Career Development Awards
These grants provide support and “protected time” (3-5 years) for an intensive,
mentored career development experience to facilitate launch of independent
research careers and enhance competitiveness for new research project grant (R01)
 K01 Mentored Research Scientist Development Award
For investigators in the biomedical, behavioral or clinical sciences to supports intensive
research career development under the mentorship of an established researcher.
 K08 Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award
for individuals with a clinical doctoral degree to support an intensive, mentored research
career development experience in the fields of biomedical and behavioral research,
including translational research.
 K23 Mentored Patient-Oriented Research Career Development Award
For investigators seeking to focus on Patient-Oriented research, i.e., “research conducted
with human subjects (or on material of human origin including cognitive phenomena) for
which an investigator directly interacts with human subjects.”
 K25 Mentored Quantitative Research Development Award
For investigators from quantitative science and engineering research backgrounds
seeking to to integrate their expertise with NIH-relevant research.
Career Transition Awards
K99/R00 NIH Pathway to Independence (PI) Award
To facilitate a timely transition from a mentored postdoctoral research
position to a stable independent research position with independent NIH
or other independent research support at an earlier stage than is currently
the norm.
Two Phases: initial phase (K99) of mentored support to allow the
candidate time to obtain additional training, complete research, publish
results, and bridge to an independent research position. Second
phase(R00) provides support to conduct research toward establishing
his/her own independent research program and to prepare an application
for regular research grant support (R01).
Project Period: K99, up to 2 years; R00, up to 3 years
Budget: see specific NIH Institute and Center
Career Transition Awards
 NCI: Transition Career Development Award – within 2 years of first
independent cancer research position
 NIAID: Research Scholar Development – no more than 5 years of
postdoctoral training – apply as a postdoctorate – grant awarded when
in a tenure-track position
 NINR: Career Transition Award - provides up to 5 years of support in
two phases. 2 years of mentored intramural experience for highly
promising, postdoctoral research scientists in an NIH intramural
program. 3 years of extramural support contingent on securing an
independent tenure-track or equivalent research position.
 NLM: Independent Career Development Award for Biomedical
Informatics – within 2 years of first independent cancer research
position – OR after a minimum of 2 years of postdoctoral training (apply
as a postdoctorate – grant awarded when in a tenure-track position)
Non Mentored Career Development Awards
These Career Development Grants are used by some ICs to
advance investigators early in their independent careers
 K02
FIC: Independent Scientist in Global Health Award – within 7
years of last doctoral degree or fellowship
NINDS: Independent Scientist Award – years 1-3, salary, fringe,
and supplies – years 4-5: if the applicant obtains an R01 or
equivalent grant, salary and fringe
 K07
 NCCAM and NIAAA: Academic Career Award (Development
Award) – for more junior investigators who are interested in
developing academic and research expertise
New Investigator Specific R03s
 NIAMS: Small Grant Program For New Investigators
 NIDCD: Small Grant Program – within 7 years of
degree or fellowship
NIDCR: Small Grant Program for New Investigators
NIDDK: Small Grant Program for NIDDK K01/K08/K23
NINR: Small Grants for Behavioral Research in Cancer
NIDA: Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid
Transition (B/START)
Research Grants Available to All
 NIDCR Small Research Grants for Data Analysis and Statistical
Methodology applied to Genome-wide Data (R03)
“Investigators who have not previously received funding from NIDCR as a Principal
Investigator are encouraged to apply.”
 NIDA: Early Career Award in Drug Abuse & Addiction (ECHEM) - R21/R33
A Phased Innovation grant for new-to-NIH, newly independent investigators and
investigators without previous NIH funding to conduct basic chemistry research applied
to drug abuse and addiction and relevant to the NIDA’s Mission .
 R21 is a research grant mechanism not a new investigator grant
NIAID: “New investigators who feel unready to compete for an R01 are using the R21
successfully to gather preliminary data for their R01 applications.”
NIAMS: “Projects that will be considered a lower priority include new investigator starter
NIDDK: “R21s should NOT be used by new investigators to gather preliminary data for a
standard R01.”
NINDS: “FY 2009 success rates for NINDS R21 New Investigators: 11% vs. NINDS R01
New Investigators: 19%”
Loan Repayment Program
 Commit to perform research for 2 years, and the NIH
repays up to $35,000 per year of your qualified
educational debt and covers the resulting taxes.
 You must be conducting research in of the following 5
Clinical Research
Pediatric Research
Contraception & Infertility Research
Health Disparities Research
Clinical Research for Individuals from Disadvantaged
Common Funding Strategies for ESIs
 Setting a flexible (better) payline for ESI R01
 Limiting Institute-specific administrative cuts
 Supporting ESIs for five years (many Institutes only
fund 4 year R01s)
 Partial “bridge” funding
Special Funding Strategies for ESIs
 NHLBI: priority funding for the first competitive renewal. (1)
The individual cannot be a principal investigator on an
Independent Scientist and/or other non-mentored career award
or on another R01 or a sub-project director on a multi-project
award, and (2) must be currently holding a position at a
domestic institution with a faculty rank up to and including an
Associate Professor or equivalent.
 NIAAA: ESIs just beyond the NIAAA nominal payline are invited
to submit a letter to respond to the summary statement critique.
These responses are reviewed by Program staff, and when
deemed appropriate, the application may be recommended to
Institute leadership for award.
 NICHD: Special funding consideration will be given to research
project grant applications submitted by new investigators
supported by NICHD Career Development Awards (Ks).
To Reiterate…
Get to know the Program
Director for your scientific

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