By Shana R. Spindler, PhD
Biosketches are an important component of NIH grant applications, and they must be compliant. To stay up-to-date on biosketch rules, try using SciENcv, an online tool that helps manage your information for a compliant biosketch.
Grant Writing Seminars
NIH’s Office of Extramural Research sponsors grant writing seminars on a regular basis. The seminar presentations are archived here—great for an investigators/trainees movie night (go ahead, chuckle, you know you want to).
The date is also set for the annual NICHD grantsmanship workshop: July 14, 2016. Let Yvette Pittman (firstname.lastname@example.org) know if you are interested in one of our 25 training slots.
“When submitting your application, don’t just think about getting through [electronic] systems. Stop to think how your application will hold up to the scrutiny of someone with eyeballs,” wrote Sherri Cummins, NIH communications and outreach specialist, in a recent NIH eSubmission Items of Interest newsletter. Under the catchy subheading “Eyeballs catch stuff systems don’t,” Ms. Cummins presented a list of manual checks for NIH grant application compliance. But her list of “stuff staff look for” is applicable to most grant applications, even those funded by non-NIH organizations.
Do your grant applications meet the following requirements?
(adapted from NIH eSubmission Items of Interest – November 16, 2015 eNewsletter)
- Does the topic of the application fit the granting institute’s mission?
- Is the applicant eligible to apply? (…do the applicant organization and PI meet the eligibility requirements specific to that program?)
- Does the application include all critical sections? (..systems can tell if you attached a pdf document in a certain spot in the application, but can’t assess the content of that attachment…)
- Does the application include information in inappropriate places to get around page limits?
- Was the application submitted on time?
- Do you already have an application with essentially the same content under review?
- If reference letters apply, was the correct number of reference letters received by the due date?
- Did you follow font and margin guidelines documented in the application guide when preparing all your attachments?
- If requesting over $500K in direct costs in any budget period, did you have institute permission to submit?
- If human embryonic stem cells are indicated, were all restrictions for their use met?
Keep an eye out for these simple mistakes—because now you know someone else will if you don’t.