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Development of a Pilot Grants Program in Social Determinants of Health in American Indian Health: A Program for Increasing the Representation of Underrepresented Groups in Funded Research

By SRAI News posted 08-14-2019 01:43 PM


Authored by Alyson E. Becker, MPH Sanford Research, Population Health; Jessica Heinzmann, BA Sanford Research, Population Health; & DenYelle Baete Kenyon, PhD Sanford Research, Population Health, University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics

In a series of articles, we will present the newest in research administration from the Journal of Research Administration. Read the full JRA here.

Funding and grants are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. NIH funding for studies and projects have evolved over the years to promote and encourage different types of researchers to apply. The NIH alone has 240 distinctive funding mechanisms through the organization. However, in the research community, the recognized standard of an independent researcher is receiving an NIH R01 grant, which is NIH’s earliest and oldest funding mechanism. This increasingly competitive grant (and its grant equivalents) only had a 20% success rate for those who applied in 2016. Therefore, it is imperative to have a quality study and accompanying preliminary data to apply for an R01 grant, particularly for first-time R01 applicants.

As a part of their “Next Generation Researchers Initiative,” which was implemented in 2017 to encourage independent research careers, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) modified the definitions of the stages of career researchers. One area of interest to the NIH, and a main focus of the “Next Generation Researchers Initiative” (National Institutes of Health, 2017d) is the development of early-stage investigators, which the NIH defines as,

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. (National Institutes of Health, 2017c).