Taking On the National Institutes of Health
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the largest funder of biomedical research in the world. The sheer volume and breadth of research, programs, forms, and associated policies covered by the agency is staggering, overwhelming many a research administrator. The upside is that NIH directly puts a wealth of information right at your fingertips. Rather than start from scratch, here is my list of top ten NIH resources from a research administrator’s perspective (in no particular order).
NIH Grants Policy Statement: in a single document, the policy requirements that serve as the terms and conditions of each NIH grant award. You’re allowed only one resource? This is it.
The NIH Guide to Grants and Contracts: The Guide is the NIH’s official publication of notices of grants policies, guidelines, and funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). You can readily find individual FOAs and policy notices or slice and dice funding opportunities, as well as share and save your searches.
How to Apply – Application Guide: THE place for ALL things applications.
NIH Extramural Nexus: Touted as the source for news on grants policies, processes and more, something new and useful is always being posted on grants policy, peer review, new resources, application tips, or OER Director Michael Lauer’s blog, “Open Mike”. AND you can subscribe.
Weekly NIH Funding Opportunities and Notices Email: At the end of each week—typically Friday afternoon—NIH sends a weekly Table of Contents summarizing and providing links for all of the notices and funding opportunity postings in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. All you need to do is subscribe to the NIH Guide LISTSERV. This one subscription can keep you informed and save time. (Yes, arguably this is a duplicate of the NIH Guide…hint, hint.)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Your PI just asked some NIH question for which you don’t have a clue where to start? You may want to start here!
NIH RePORTER: Ever been asked to find out what NIH (or a particular institute) funds on “X”? The Research Portfolio Online Reporting tools and Quick Search engine will let you find just about anything on NIH projects and funding information.
electronic Research Administration (eRA): If you are working with a sponsored research office, you may have less need for this site; nonetheless, this site provides extensive information, resources, help and tutorials on eRA systems.
NIH Grants You Tube Channel: How-to’s on virtually every aspect of NIH grants and funding. All About Grants podcasts may also be helpful.
Grants & Funding: NIH online resources are carefully interconnected, meaning there are many ways to find the same thing, but this site is the penultimate stepping off point for all things NIH grants and contracts. If one of the previous sites isn’t quite it, this site will help you find what you need.
Also remember that each of the 24 funding institutes and centers, as well as the Center for Scientific Review, maintain websites with institute-specific information, including scientific and programmatic contacts for your researchers.
Authored by Rebecca D. Claycamp, MS, CRA, Consultant in Research Administration