Archives for August 2016

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.

Webinar on Plant Genome Editing and Engineering

Dear colleagues

FYI…some of you may be interested in this free webinair about genome editing…note that one of MU’s own is participating.  The subject matter is plants but, of course, the methods are really generic.

Sign up is free and currently open.


Note that this is being done under the auspices of the new Current Protocols in Plant Biology journal being published by Wiley (, Let me know if you would like to contribute a protocol to this journal.

Gary Stacey, MU

Webinar showcard


The Obama administration’s BRAIN Initiative “has already catalyzed more than $1.5 billion in public and private funds,” the White House says. Altogether more than $500 million has come from private sources, including “Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Kavli Foundation, the Simons Foundation, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, members of the National Photonics Initiative, as well as patient advocacy organizations and universities.” The administration wants to add the Department of Energy to agencies already brain-focused: DARPA, NSF, IARPA, FDA, and NIH.


project-oversight panels for new projects

SOLICTPanel NominationsFY2017_Page_01

SOLICTPanel NominationsFY2017

ARPA-E Fellowships

see PIVOT notice

ARPA-E is looking for the next generation of scientific leaders to help solve the most pressing and exciting challenges in energy. The Fellows assist the agency in identifying possible breakthrough energy technologiesthrough technical and economic analyses. During their two-year tenure, ARPA-E Fellows undergo a full-immersion experience in energy technology development, engaging with world-class researchers in academia and industry, entrepreneurs, and government officials.


Independent energy technology development
– Perform primary technical and economic analyses to identify high-impact technologies and white spaces for the agency.
– Learn from and brainstorm with experts in a variety of fields.
– Publish original research papers and reviews.
– Attend and present at conferences.

Program Director support
– Help develop future programs through technical analysis, discussions, debate, and workshops.
– Support existing programs through technical and economic analyses and on-site visits to current project teams.

Organizational support
– Develop technical content for the ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit.
-Contribute to the strategic direction and vision of the agency.
– Review proposals for funding opportunities.

ARPA-E Fellows do not perform laboratory research or directly engage in policymaking.

Duty station is ARPA-E headquarters, in Washington, DC.

U.S. Manufacturing Innovation Fund

see PIVOT notice  $300,000

This program is focused on the development of U.S. manufacturing, with the specific goal of making it more feasible and competitive to make consumer goods in the USA.

The Fund is designed to provide grants in supportof applied research projects advancing innovative solutions to key challenges that have the potential to lower the cost of making consumer products in the USA (“Projects” or, singularly, “Project”). More specifically, Projects should advance the fundamental research, development, and commercialization of science and technology solutions to key challenges faced by companies interested in manufacturing their products in the United States. The Fund hopes to help jumpstart a more far-reaching revitalization of U.S. manufacturing, driving job creation and a stronger U.S. economy. This is part of Walmart’s and the Walmart Foundation’s broader commitment to investing in American jobs, including the company’s commitments to hiring veterans and offering unprecedented career opportunities for our Associates, and the Foundation’s funding of programs that support veterans and employment opportunity and training for low-income individuals.

Applications for Projects addressing other manufacturing processes relevant to making consumer products in the USA are also welcomed, though priority will be given to those addressing the Fund’s stated focus areas.

Projects should address a technological innovation that can advance U.S. manufacturing, specifically those listed in the “Focus Area” section below.

The Fund will provide grants in support of Projects advancing innovative solutions to key challenges that have the potential to:
– Lower the cost of making consumer products in the USA;
– Lead to broader innovation for overall manufacturing processes, with an emphasis on sustainability;
– Jumpstart innovation leading to commercialization of new manufacturing technologies in selected focus area industries; and
– Ultimately drive job creation within the USA.

The Fund has prioritized textile manufacturing activities for funding in 2016-2017. The obstacles prioritized by the Fund for the current cycle are as follows:
– Weaving
– Fabric dyeing
– Cut and sew