Archives for August 2, 2016

Rigor and Reproducibility in NIH Applications: Resource Chart


NIH: xTRACT: An Easier Way to Complete Training Tables for Your Grant Application or Progress Report

see NIH notice

The xTRACT module, accessible via eRA Commons, helps applicants and grantees create training data tables for institutional training grant applications and progress reports (RPPRs). xTRACT can save investigators and administrators time preparing training table information, and provides grantees and NIH with training table data in a way that can be reused for future submissions and will be more readily available for analysis. Using Commons IDs and xTrainappointment data, xTRACT prepopulates the tables from data we already have, including trainee names, selected characteristics, institutions, grant numbers and subsequent NIH and other HHS awards. Once you have used xTRACT to develop a training table submission, the information will be available for reuse in subsequent submissions. When you finish populating the table data, xTRACT produces a PDF file for you to attach to your grant application or RPPR.

How Criterion Scores Predict the Overall Impact Score and Funding Outcomes for National Institutes of Health Peer-Reviewed Applications



Understanding the factors associated with successful funding outcomes of research project grant (R01) applications is critical for the biomedical research community. R01 applications are evaluated through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) peer review system, where peer reviewers are asked to evaluate and assign scores to five research criteria when assessing an application’s scientific and technical merit. This study examined the relationship of the five research criterion scores to the Overall Impact score and the likelihood of being funded for over 123,700 competing R01 applications for fiscal years 2010 through 2013. The relationships of other application and applicant characteristics, including demographics, to scoring and funding outcomes were studied as well. The analyses showed that the Approach and, to a lesser extent, the Significance criterion scores were the main predictors of an R01 application’s Overall Impact score and its likelihood of being funded. Applicants might consider these findings when submitting future R01 applications to NIH.

NIH Regional Conference Chicago October 26

Should  we organize a group trip from Missouri S&T? Who’s interested?

Join Us in Chicago to Learn About NIH Program Funding and Grants Administration

In the spring, I attended my first NIH Regional Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration. I greatly enjoyed meeting with a diverse group of scientists and science administrators. During two “Open Mike” sessions, I had the opportunity to engage in rich conversations with attendees on topics I frequently include on this blog. The conversations were enjoyable and insightful – there’s nothing like discussing such important issues like funding trends, research accountability, and grants policy face-to-face with new and early career scientists.

At the seminar, which was held in Baltimore, I also attended a few other sessions, to get a sense of the breadth of topics and advice presented since. Dr. Erica Brown led an interactive session on finding and understanding funding opportunity announcements; she offered terrific advice on how to hone in on key information, and how this information can help you in seeking NIH funding. Dr. Neil Thakur and colleagues led a highly informative session on the NIH public access policy.

Why am I writing about a seminar that took place in May? Because I have some good news for those of you who didn’t get a chance to come to Baltimore! NIH is hosting a second Regional Seminar this year, from October 26-28 in Chicago. Once again, over the course of two days, approximately 60 NIH & HHS review, grants, program, and policy officials will be providing sessions on over 40 different topics in 3 different tracks: Administrators, New Investigators, and All Interests. Pre-seminar workshops are offered on topics such as human research protections, electronic research administration, intellectual property, and even an administrator’s boot camp.

Our attendees especially speak highly of how the seminar provides opportunities to sit down and talk to NIH and HHS experts in person, through our 1:1 “Meet the Expert” sessions which take place throughout the seminar.

Registration is open now. If you’re a research administrator or investigation new to working with NIH grants, or if you’re looking to brush up on grants policy and understanding the breadth of NIH funding programs, I encourage you to take a look at the agenda, and meet us in Chicago this fall! If these dates don’t work for you, keep up-to-date on upcoming seminars via the NIH Regional Seminar Home Page.