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What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant

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What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant

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  1. What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant Amy D. Waterman, PhD K01 Recipient

  2. “Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed” Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. Mentorship GrantsWhy Should I Get a K-Grant? • Easier NIH grants to get: ~50% chance of success. 65 WUSM or BJH K awardees in 2002. • Guarantees 3-5 years of salary support & research money. • Shows your “promise” as an independent investigator, as a scientist and grant-winner. • Can lead to promotion at WUSM.

  4. What People Think you Need to Win a K-Grant Promise as a researcher A Great Research Idea Strong Mentor and Institution

  5. Director of NIMH, Thomas Insel- "There is often a sense in the academic community that they think of NIMH as a source of support, whereas we look at the academic community as a source of answers," he said. "We are looking for areas where people can complete a study and go on—not just add a brick to the wall, but start a new wall and finish it."

  6. What you Really Need: The Full Picture • NIH Knowledge • A Well Prepared K-Grant • Knowledge of Internal WUSM Grants and Contracts Requirements A Grant-Winning Strategy!

  7. What you Need to Know NIH K-Grant Knowledge

  8. Purpose of a K-Grant To provide support for supervised study and research for professionals who have the potential to develop into productive, independent clinical investigators.

  9. Specifics of K Awards • Health professionals who have completed training and are seeking 3-5 years of salary and research support for a full-time supervised career development experience • $75,000-$85,000 for 75%-100% effort. • ~$25,000 - $50,000 per year allowed for: • tuition, fees, and books • research expenses: supplies, equipment, and staff • travel • statistical services • Linked to you, not institution – can take it with you.

  10. Learning about K-Grants • Review Career Wizard – Grant Application Decision Tool http://grants1.nih.gov/training/careerdevelopmentawards.htm • Talk to your mentors • Review funded K-Grants in your area • Talk to your NIH K-Representative • Review NIH Website: www.nih.gov or http://www.csr.nih.gov/review/policy.asp

  11. Grants for Early Stage PhDs As a research Ph.D., have you successfully competed for independent research funding? NO YES K02 Do you need 3-5 years of mentoring? • NO: • K22 • R03 • R21 • YES: • KO1, K18 • K22, K23, K25 • F32

  12. NIH Career Development Awards (Ph.D.)

  13. NIH Career Development Awards (Ph.D.)

  14. HEALTH PROFESSIONAL DEGREEM.D. As a health professional M.D, have you successfully competed for independent research funding? YES NO K08 K23 K02 K12 K18 K23 K25

  15. NIH Career Development Awards (M.D.)

  16. NIH Career Development Awards (M.D.)

  17. What you Need to Know Well Prepared K-Grant OTHERS YOU

  18. The Hidden Question: Why should the NIH give YOU ~$500,000?

  19. The Answer to the Hidden Question • Prove: • WUSM supports you as a researcher. • Your mentors and references are strong. • You are a promising researcher with a good idea and back-up plans. • Your research will answer important questions that the NIH values.

  20. Environmental Commitment • WUSM commitment to you as a researcher – even if you DON’T win the grant, Protected time • Availability of Research Resources needed • lab space, computers, staff, core facilities

  21. Strong Mentor(s) • Expertise and Resources needed for project • Time and commitment to train you for 3-5 years • Availability to help with grant editing • Can have several mentors to strengthen grant • Past record of mentoring others • Share our stories…

  22. Strong References • 3 well-known senior researchers • Researchers who know you: advisor, collaborators on past research, past employers • Also helpful if from different department or institution

  23. What you Need to Know Your Attributes

  24. A Strong Applicant • A Promising Beginner:Great Education, Experience, Commitment, & Productivity, so why do you still need mentoring? • 75%-100% Protected Time for Research? If not, don’t apply • Previous pilot data

  25. Getting $ for Pilot Data Seed Grant Money ($25-$100K/year) from: • Barnes-Jewish Hospital Foundation • Foundations in your research area (i.e. National Kidney Foundation, American Society of Transplantation) Finding Grant Sources: • Community of Science (www.cos.com) • Private foundations contact: • http://privatefundingsources.wustl.edu/ • http://internalcompetitions.wustl.edu • Jessica Indrigo,(indrigoj@msnotes.wustl.edu; 286-0009)

  26. What to Prepare GRANT SECTIONS • Non-Research Plan • Research Plan – “the science” • Abstract STRONG IDEA + GOOD WRITING = FUNDING STRONG IDEA + POOR WRITING = ? ? ?

  27. Non-Research Plan Sections(Take This Seriously!) • Candidate Background • Career Goals & Objectives • Career Development Plan • Mentor’s Statement • Environment & Institutional Commitment • Budget • Collaborators

  28. Candidate Background Your “resume” to this point: • Education & Training • Research Experience • Research Accomplishments so far • Commitment to a Research Career • Previous collaborations • Academic position. …Present evidence to show you are a promising researcher

  29. Career Goals & Objectives • Short- & Long-term Career Goals • What you have done • Need for additional training • What you intend to do & how winning this grant will lead to reaching these goals

  30. Career Development Plan • Plan to be an independent investigator in your area • Specific skills & knowledge plan to learn • Plan to work with mentors • Plan to help you be a better scientist generally • Ethics training • Personnel & lab management training • Experience presenting at meetings • Coursework proposed should make sense with your science and goals.

  31. Mentor’s Statement • Mentor’s research qualifications & previous mentoring experience • Mentor’s plan to mentor YOU (meetings, supervision, resources provided) • Recommendation of you as a K-grant recipient

  32. Other Non-Research Plan Sections • Environment and Institutional Commitment: quality of institution in general, support for your type of research, support of you specifically • Budget: PHS 398 form budgeting forms (filled out by WUSM Budgets people) • Collaborators: Letter of Support

  33. Research Plan: “The Science” 25 Pages Sections: • Specific Aims • Background • Significance • Preliminary Studies and Results • Research Design and Methods

  34. Points to keep in mind • State the questions that are clearly understandable, EXCITING, and worthwhile pursuing. • Explain the experiment and analysis so that a non-expert can follow what you are doing. • Interpret the results so reviewer can see the impact of your experiments • Convince them that the results are worth obtaining & worth the money to fund.

  35. The Important First Page • Setup (importance of medical problem, give them a flavor of the theme of your lab) • Hypothesis (points to a specific problem leading to a statement of your hypothesis) • Specific Aims (list these & approach used, what will be accomplished)

  36. Set-Up Discuss: • Your model system or disease, your theme (2-3 sentences) • Important unanswered questions (2-3 sentences) • Potential impact of the results; why it is worth pursuing these questions …Summarize your background and significance

  37. Hypotheses Discuss: • From your setup it should be clear that what you propose is the next logical step to pursue • Clear and Simple • Conclude how proposed aims would help to test your hypotheses

  38. Specific Aims • Make each aim independent, focused • Briefly mention: What approach you will be taking to investigate the aim, and the impact of this new knowledge • Explain what you expect to find • DON’T STATE TOO MUCH. There are no bonus points. It has got to be practical. ...Are the experiments appropriate & doable, to support/refute hypotheses? Do they advance knowledge?

  39. Hypotheses & Aims Approach Question • To conduct a group-randomized controlled trial of 225 potential recipientsto compare the effectiveness of (two) educational approaches compared to standard-of-care on three important outcomes: recipient comfort asking, number of living donors evaluated, and number of recipients transplanted.Hypothesis: Improved recipient health education will significantly increase recipient comfort asking and the number of living donors evaluated, and number of recipients transplanted compared with receiving standard-of-care.

  40. Background and Significance • Don’t assume reviewers will read literature, cite relevant findings in grant. • Not a comprehensive review of the literature, pertinent literature relevant to your study • Identify gaps that your research will fill. You are directing them towards your Research Plan • State your research’s importance and health relevance • 2 – 3 pages recommended.

  41. Preliminary Studies and Results • Establish your (or mentor’s) experience and competence • Prove you have resources to execute what is proposed • Choose figures that emphasize key findings • Describe published and unpublished results • 4-6 pages

  42. Research Design and Methods • Describe research design and procedures in detail. USE SUBHEADINGS. • Describe how data will be successfully collected, analyzed and interpreted (power, statistical analysis, how others will help accomplish research, controls). • Discuss how potential difficulties and limitations will be overcome (i.e., interpret failures, alternatives, if negative results are important). • Include a timetable. • Human subjects and Animal studies (IRB approval)) • No specific number of pages.

  43. Abstract • your goals as a scientist • your excellent mentors and proposed training. • your study aims and hypotheses. • future career goals (i.e. RO1 funding) after this project. **Model abstracts of funded K recipients on CRISP database:http://crisp.cit.nih.gov/

  44. Writing Timeline 3-6 months in advance: • Idea formulated, Aims and Abstract Written, Mentors onboard 2-3 months: • Grant Written, Work with WUSM Budget and Grant People, letters of support obtained Final Month: • Revise Proposal after critiques, prepare submission packet

  45. K-Grant Due Dates Feb 1 June 1 October 1

  46. What you Need to Know Internal WUSM Grant Requirements

  47. Budget & Grants • 1-2 months in advance, notify Division Administrator of intent to submit grant • 1 month in advance: submit draft budget and budget justification for internal approval

  48. Grants & Contracts • Have to receive WUSM Grants & Contracts approval before mailing grant- 1 week before due date • Reviews budget, financial disclosure, and institutional legal assurances- NOT SCIENCE. • G&C is swamped during NIH guidelines- leave time for review!

  49. What you Need to Know after the Grant Submission NIH Knowledge

  50. Grading your Grant Candidate: Quality of past research, potential to develop into an independent researcher Career Development Plan: Appropriateness and clarity of plan, likelihood that plan will contribute to the field Training in Responsible Conduct of research: Training in research ethics Research Plan: Scientific merit of research question, design, and methodology Mentor: Expertise of mentor Institutional Commitment: Institution’s commitment to your success Budget: Appropriate budget for career goals