What you Need to Know: Winning a K-Grant Amy D. Waterman, PhD K01 Recipient
“Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they are executed” Ralph Waldo Emerson
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.
What People Think you Need to Win a K-Grant Promise as a researcher A Great Research Idea Strong Mentor and Institution
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."
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!
What you Need to Know NIH K-Grant Knowledge
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.
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.
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
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
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
What you Need to Know Well Prepared K-Grant OTHERS YOU
The Hidden Question: Why should the NIH give YOU ~$500,000?
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.
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
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…
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
What you Need to Know Your Attributes
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
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,(email@example.com; 286-0009)
What to Prepare GRANT SECTIONS • Non-Research Plan • Research Plan – “the science” • Abstract STRONG IDEA + GOOD WRITING = FUNDING STRONG IDEA + POOR WRITING = ? ? ?
Non-Research Plan Sections(Take This Seriously!) • Candidate Background • Career Goals & Objectives • Career Development Plan • Mentor’s Statement • Environment & Institutional Commitment • Budget • Collaborators
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
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
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.
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
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
Research Plan: “The Science” 25 Pages Sections: • Specific Aims • Background • Significance • Preliminary Studies and Results • Research Design and Methods
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.
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)
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
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
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?
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.
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.
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
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.
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/
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
K-Grant Due Dates Feb 1 June 1 October 1
What you Need to Know Internal WUSM Grant Requirements
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
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!
What you Need to Know after the Grant Submission NIH Knowledge
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