15 Agencies Seeking Grant Reviewers
Would you like to increase your chances of getting funded by 30%? That’s what the research says will happen if you first become a federal grant reviewer, then rotate off the review panel and submit your proposal to that grant program at the next funding cycle.
You can easily become a grant reviewer by tweaking your resume to match the priorities of the grantmaking agency and then applying online. Below you will find a list of 15 federal agencies currently seeking grant reviewers, along with a broad description of the type of expertise they seek.
Administration for Children and Family Services. Expertise: broad range of issues involve children, youth, and families
Administration on Developmental Disabilities. Expertise: developmental disabilities
Corporate for National and Community Service. Expertise: service at multiple levels
Department of Labor. Expertise: delivering workforce services
Health Resources and Services Administration. Expertise: health professions training, HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, organ transplantation, primary care for underserved people, rural health
Institute of Museum and Library Services. Expertise: museums, libraries
National Endowment for the Humanities. Expertise: One or more of the humanities fields
National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Expertise: Agricultural systems, biotechnology and genomics, food and nutrition and health
National Institutes of Health. Expertise: broad range of biomedical health topics
National Science Foundation. Expertise: a broad range of basic science, technology, engineering and mathematics topics
Office of Community Services and Office of Public Health and Science. Expertise: community services, public health
Office of Justice Programs. Expertise: broad range of law enforcement issues
Office of Post Secondary Education. Expertise: a broad range of information involving higher education
Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools. Expertise: alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention; character education; civic education; emergency management, disaster response, and school security; school-based mental health services; school-based health and wellness; and violence prevention
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. Expertise: substance abuse, mental health
More about this information available on Miner and Associates blog
AUTM announces the 6th edition of the Better World Report, AUTM’s annual compilation of the stories behind successful transfers of academic technologies to the marketplace.
Entitled, The Better World Report - Respond, Recover, Restructure: Technologies Helping the World in the Face of Adversity, this year's publication takes into consideration recent disasters — both natural and human-made — and the importance of working with the environment to provide a sustainable, good life for all. The publication presents more than 20 technology development success stories of inventions that are making their way through the often-arduous journey from scientist’s lab to the marketplace. From the Corn Belt of the Midwest to a Canadian metropolis to the heart of South Africa, these stories represent the amazing range of needs and innovations to address them.
Examples of some of the stories covered in this year's publication include the following:
AUTM will begin soliciting stories for the 2012 report in the coming weeks. Download a free pdf copy of the 2011 report HERE.
Renewing Its Vows: NIH Revises AREA Solicitation
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released a new program announcement (PA) for the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA), the agency’s tailor-made mechanism for supporting excellent, smaller-scale research projects at colleges and universities that receive comparatively little NIH funding. Applications are due by February 25, June 25, and October 25 annually.
The most significant revisions to the PA involve the ways proposals will be reviewed, a shift that bodes well for most PUIs. AREA program director Erika Brown reports that the new PA will more explicitly drive “reviewers to focus on the goals of the program and the unique constraints of the applicants.” The following changes and clarifications are included in the new PA:
ED Proposes Office of Early Learning
On November 4, 2011, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced plans to create an Office of Early Learning within the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The new office would be led by Jacqueline Jones, ED’s current senior advisor for early learning, who would oversee early learning programs across the department, including the Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge, Promise Neighborhoods, the Investing in Innovation Fund, and related programs authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
As proposed, the office would also serve as a “central resource” to coordinate early learning programs across federal agencies and manage outreach to the early learning community.
Patent Reform Gets Congressional OK
By a vote of 89-9, the Senate has passed the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act. The bill was passed by the House on June 23, 2011, and the president is expected to sign it into law this week.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, has developed an implementation website that includes background documents, analysis, summaries of key changes, and instructions for submitting comments related to the reforms.
Some intellectual property experts, retired federal appeals court judge Paul Michel, fear that the legislation’s “ambiguities” may reduce the amount of venture capital available to innovative researchers, at least in the short term. In a Corporate Counsel article analyzing three provisions of the bill — the shift from “first-to-invent” to “first-to-file” patent rights, changes to the disclosures inventors can make if they take advantage of a one-year grace period to test their ideas without waiving their patent rights, and the establishment of a new process for inventors to request a review of a patent that’s already been granted — Michel concludes, "There will be greater uncertainty […] than ever before.”
Nonetheless, the Association of University Technology Managers and other higher education groups believe the bill “will clarify and simplify the patent application process […and] enable U.S. inventors at universities and elsewhere to compete more effectively in the global marketplace.”
Researchers Face Tighter Conflict of Interest Rules
On August 25, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that amends the 1995 Public Health Service (PHS) regulations on applicant responsibilities for promoting research objectivity. The new ruling establishes standards to ensure that the design, conduct, and reporting of research funded under PHS grants and cooperative agreements will be free from bias resulting from investigator financial conflicts of interest (FCOI). Institutions have until August 24, 2012 to be in full compliance with the new requirements.
The reasons for the amendments are twofold. First, the growing complexity of biomedical and behavioral research and the increased interaction among the government, research institutions, and the private sector, especially drug companies, suggest that a more rigorous approach to investigator disclosure, institutional management of financial conflicts, and federal oversight is required. Second, the promises of translational research, the challenges of technology transfer, and intense expectations at all levels of government that universities function as engines of socio-economic development generate new pressures on institutions and their faculty members to expand their relationships and deepen their engagement with industry.
The amended regulations include a number of changes with which PHS applicants must comply:
How NIH Decides What to Fund
The latest article in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases' (NIAID) new investigator series focuses on demystifying the funding decision processes at the various National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes and centers (IC).
ICs use different policies and different paylines, or funding cutoff points, to identify successful grant applications, so a percentile or overall impact score that is not fundable in one institute may be fundable in another. The payline is set each fiscal year by balancing projected grant numbers, grant budgets, and money in the IC's budget. Because paylines evolve throughout the fiscal year, ICs may be able to fund more applications toward the end of the year than initially anticipated.
The following information is particular to NIAID. Contact other ICs directly to learn what to expect. NIAID takes two approaches to funding decisions: 1) using a score-based cutoff point (payline); or 2) funding in overall impact score order until the program's funding is expended. NIAID awards most of its grants through "unsolicited" applications, funding in percentile or overall impact score order until a payline is reached. Each major grant type (e.g., R01, R03, R21, R15) has its own payline, which NIAID posts online. For requests for applications and some program announcements (called PAS, where the "S" stands for set-aside), NIAID typically funds by overall impact score until all funding is expended. The level is stated in the initiative's NIH Guide announcement. In some cases, the institute decides to skip over some applications to fund others that better meet a priority or programmatic need.
If an R01 application misses the payline, the principal investigator (PI) should call the program officer to discuss options. NIAID has two small funding pools that can support highly-ranked applications that miss the payline: selective pay and R56 Bridge awards. PIs do not apply for either option; instead, NIAID program officers nominate promising R01 applications, based on scientific merit and relevance to NIAID's programmatic priorities, giving some priority to new investigators.
When declined by any IC, not just NIAID, applicants should always consider resubmitting, as soon as they can effectively improve their applications and address the reviewers' concerns. Note that there is now only one opportunity to resubmit.
Have suggestions, comments or questions? Click here to let us know.