NIH 101: What You Need to Know! Daniel Sklare, PhD, NIDCD Lana Shekim, PhD, NIDCD Peggy McCardle, PhD, NICHD ASHA LfS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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NIH 101: What You Need to Know! Daniel Sklare, PhD, NIDCD Lana Shekim, PhD, NIDCD Peggy McCardle, PhD, NICHD ASHA LfS


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Title: NIH 101: What You Need to Know! Daniel Sklare, PhD, NIDCD Lana Shekim, PhD, NIDCD Peggy McCardle, PhD, NICHD ASHA LfS

NIH 101 What You Need to Know!Daniel Sklare,
PhD, NIDCDLana Shekim, PhD, NIDCDPeggy
McCardle, PhD, NICHDASHA LfS 08 Conference
NICHD Mission in Research on Human Communication
NIH Two-Tiered Review Operations Who are your
reviewers and what transpires at study section?
AndThe Funding Decision How Does it Happen?
NICHD Mission in Research on Human Language and
  • To more fully understand and to translate to
    practice (clinical, educational, and in parental
  • Typical language development (oral, signed,
  • Shared interests with NIDCD include sign language
    acquisition, lg acq in hard of hearing/deaf
    children with cochlear implants gestural
    development in deaf children 
  • Atypical language development (other than studies
    exclusively focused on SLI) language
    difficulties related to developmental
    disabilities and syndromes
  • Shared with NIDCD language development,
    characterization, tx for autism, SLI, lg
    disorders in children speaking Black English/
    bilingual /ELL

NICHD Mission in Research on Human Language and
Communication (Contd)
  • Speech perception and normative processes in
    speech development
  • Some overlap with NIDCD as it supports and is
    studied in conjunction with speech disorders
  • Cognitive and developmental cognitive
    neuroscientific bases of human language and
  • Reading, writing and related learning disabilities

Who are they? Peers and experts
  • Reviewers must be recognized authorities in their
  • Now or formerly, a principal investigator on a
    research project comparable to those being
  • Dedicated to high quality, fair reviews
  • Not have a conflict with the application being
  • Panels must have diversity with respect to the
    geographic distribution, gender, race and
    ethnicity of the membership. 

What about mentors, coauthors, and colleagues?
  • CONFLICTS of INTEREST are taken very seriously.
    Certain people will be excused from the review
  • Anyone from your institution
  • Partner, Spouse, Significant Other, coauthor,
    collaborator, etc.
  • Anyone with a vested interest in the outcome
  • Anyone who feels they cannot be objective

Which Panel will review my proposal?
  • A study sectionthere are a couple hundred
  • You can choose, but do so wisely with help from
    your program official
  • Which study section depends on
  • Scientific content and methodology
  • Mechanism (e.g., R01, R03, F32, K01 . . .)
  • Which Institute proposal goes to
  • Whether responding to RFA

What an applicant gets after review
  • A score
  • A percentile (usually, depending on review)
  • Detailed written comments from at least 2
  • Even if your application is unscored
  • An opportunity to talk to a program official
    about your options!

How do I know whos on the review panel?
  • Check the CSR Web site on Peer Review
  • http//
  • For meeting dates, descriptions of review groups,
    and panel rosters
  • BUT panels change with 25 rotating off each
    year and temporary members added as needed for

Are all review panels in CSR?
  • R01s and many other grant types are reviewed by
  • There are ALSO review divisions in each Funding
    Institute at the NIH.
  • They review RFAs and for some Institutes special
    grant types (e.g., at NICHD program projects,
    small grants and many training grants are
    reviewed in house)
  • Reviews are organized and conducted by Scientific
    Review Officers (different from Program Officials)

Five review criteria
  • Significance
  • Innovation
  • Approach
  • Investigator
  • Environment
  • Reviewers also must consider human subjects
    protection and diversity

What R01 reviewers are told about evaluating new
  • Approach More emphasis on demonstrating
    feasibility of techniques/approaches than on
    preliminary results
  • Investigator More emphasis on training and
    research potential than on number of publications
  • Environment Evidence of institutional
    commitmentresources, time to perform research

How is scoring done?
  • Priority score assigned
  • Numerical ratingScientific merit of proposed
    research relative to "state of the science"
  • 100-150 Outstanding
  • 151-200 Excellent
  • 201-250 Very good
  • 251-300 Good
  • 300-500 Unscored (usually)
  • Assigned reviewers recommend a range of scores,
    but all reviewers at the table score each
    application! Your score is the average.

What do the scores mean?
  • 100-500 lower is better! Think Golf, not
  • Percentiles are reversed again, lower is
  • Unscored triage of those in the lower half not
    a death warrant.

How many tries?
  • Three strikes and youre out01, 01-A1, 01-A2.
  • On each revision, 3-page intro outlining your
    responses to the concerns (R01 R15 for R03 and
    R21 its limited to 1 pg)
  • Mark your changes when you can
  • An extra month for submission (revisions have
    different submission deadline)

What if Im out?
  • Read your summary statement
  • Talk to your PO
  • Think about new grant type (mechanism smaller
    or larger, high innovation) or new approach
    (new version)
  • (Think about other funders)
  • Try, try again!

Evaluation of scientific merit is separate from
funding decisions
  • Evaluation of scientific merit
  • Run by Scientific Review Officer
  • Decision whether to fund
  • Program Officials
  • Advisory council
  • Institute director

What Determines Which Awards Are Made?
Scientific merit (the score and percentile)
Program Considerations Availability of funds
Whats the Current Funding Climate?
  • Constrained but not impossible (tighter paylines)
  • Strategies
  • Smaller grants (dont exceed maximums)
  • Research teams with programmatically coordinated
  • Leverage collaborations and funds/ funding
  • Be creative

Consider ALL Funding Sources
  • Grants,Gov sponsored by HHS but covering all of
    US Govt, http//
  • National Science Foundation http//
  • US Dept of Education
  • The Foundation Center

Environment of the Research Scientist Competing
for NIH Funding
How the trip can feel if you read the rules,
know the system, and stay the course!
NICHD Extramural Research Language Development
Program Contact
  • Peggy McCardle, Ph.D., MPH
  • Chief, Child Dev. Behavior Branch, NICHD
  • Tel 301-435-6863
  • Email PM43Q_at_NIH.GOV
  • CDB Branch website
  • http//
  • Center for Scientific Review website
  • http//
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