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HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION PowerPoint Presentation
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HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION

HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION

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HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION

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    1. HOW TO WRITE A SUCCESSFUL GRANT APPLICATION DAVID FELSON,M.D.,M.P.H. PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE AND EPIDEMIOLOGY PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, B.U. MULTIDISCIPLINARY CLINICAL RESEARCH CENTER GRANT Former Member, NIH SBSR and EDC1 Study Sections

    2. Why Would You Want to Write a Grant? To Have the Resources and Time to Pursue a Question that you believe is important To protect your time and give you freedom To pay your salary As a measure of academic accomplishment

    3. What Qualities Characterize a Successful Grant Writer Good research skills Salesmanship Good communication skills Persistence Ingenuity and flexibility Administrative skills Good human relations

    4. The Travels of an N.I.H. Grant Application (similar process at other agencies) Based on title and abstract, Center for Scientific Review (CSR) assigns your grant to institute and study section, a review group (SRA heads study section) Institute appoints a primary contact person for your grant

    6. N.I.H. Study Section 14-30 N.I.H.-funded scientists representing a wide range of expertise and geographic & gender diversity Each grant reviewed by ? 2 members Members review 6-10 grants each Study section reviews 80-100 grants Each study meets three times per year for 2 days each time

    7. Study Section Review: Topics in Write-up of a Grant Review Significance* (more emphasis now) Investigator Innovation Approach* (general feasibility, power, methodologic concerns) Environment Other factors (human studies)

    8. Priority Scores ~70% of applications are unscored and not further discussed. Priority scores (1.0-9.0) are assigned usually by consensus after airing of reviews. Priority scores get assigned a percentile ranking based on current and previous study section reviews. Summary Statement is prepared by SRA.

    9. From Study Section to Institute Council Institutes have pay lines: the percentage of competitive applications funded. These serve as general guides. Grant and pink sheets sent to Institute Advisory Council. Council can change ranking of grant based on institute priorities. Institute staff make ultimate funding decisions.

    10. N.I.H. Epidemiology & Diseases Control 1 (EDC-1) Study Section

    11. Scientific Issues Raised as Major Concerns in 33 Discussed Grants: EDC-1 Study Section

    12. K Awards and Their Review A grant to a person, not a project More emphasis in review on investigator/mentor than R01 Gauging candidate potential: Peer reviewed first authored publications (esp. papers)evidence that applicant will be accomplished Letters of recommendation The research project

    13. Felsons Rules for Getting a Grant

    14. Choosing Your Question (1-6) People & Your Grant (7-10) Sitting Down to Write (11-17) Where to Submit Your Grant (18-19) So, the Review Didnt Go So Well (20-21)

    15. CHOOSING YOUR QUESTION

    16. Rule #1: Start With a Good Idea Innovative Feasible Conceptually significant (will benefit the scientific community or public)

    17. Rule #2: An interdisciplinary project is usually more creative than a project emanating from a single discipline

    18. NIH Roadmap (http://nihroadmap.nih.gov/initiative)

    19. Rule #3: Be ambitious, but focusedselect one or two single important questions, not many

    20. Rule #4: Dont follow the herd

    21. Rule #5: Dont assume that using a hot new method will get you funded E.g. bioinformatics, genetic epi Need unique technology Need unassailable expertise Need the right question and approach

    22. Rule #6: If possible, choose a long-term theme

    23. PEOPLE AND YOUR GRANT

    24. Rule #7: Dont try to do it alone Use mentors, colleagues, collaborators. Look at old successful grants.

    25. Rule #8: Talk with your statistician early How many subjects will you need? Will revising your approach to the question make numbers less daunting? Do you need to revise your plans because of numbers problems? Whats the best analysis plan?

    26. Rule #9: Choose the Right Collaborators: Who are they? Experts that bring to the project something you do not have Collaborators who are researchers and have written papers in the field Collaborators who get the work done and are easy to work with Ask Mentor or other senior investigators about potential collaborator

    27. Rule #10: Ask for Help with the Other Sections of the Grant 40% of work of grant application is unrelated to body of grant: biosketches; other support; human studies; budget; resources and environment; abstract. Use mentor and experienced support staff in department (or grant office) to help with these parts. Ask for this help EARLY! These parts are important!

    28. SITTING DOWN TO WRITE

    29. The Sections of an NIH Grant Specific Aims 1st paragraph: why is this important? Then: rationale for your hypotheses Link specific aims to hypotheses Self contained Background/Significance Not a comprehensive review of literature Tell what is known relevant to hypotheses Then tell what is NOT known and how you will determine the answer

    30. An example of aims from successful grant on causes of gout attacks Aim 1: To examine the relation of dairy food intake and alcohol consumption to the risk of recurrent gout attacks Hypothesis 1a: Dairy product intake decreases the risk of recurrent gout attacks; Hypothesis 1b: Alcohol consumption, irrespective of type of alcoholic beverage, increases the risk of recurrent gout attacks; Aim 2: To assess the association between systemic inflammation induced by acute infection and immunization with the risk of recurrent gout attacks Hypothesis: Acute infection and active immunization trigger recurrent gout attacks; Aim 3: To evaluate the effect of climatic factors on the risk of recurrent gout attacks Hypothesis: Low temperature, high humidity and high barometric pressure increase the risk of recurrent gout attacks;

    31. Sections of an NIH Grant Preliminary Studies Document your or your collaborators experience using methods proposed Buttress argument with supportive preliminary data Experimental Design/Methods Start with a general design paragraph The devil is in the details Should be the longest part of the grant

    32. Rule #11: The likelihood of funding is correlated directly with preparation time

    33. Rule #12: Know your reviewers/audience*

    36. Rule #13: Be nice to your reviewers Large Font if possible Clarity (a messy grant means messy science). Tables/Figureswhenever possible Consistency in #s/labels!

    37. Rule #14: Continue the Same Themes Throughout Your Grant Restate the specific aims and hypotheses verbatim in experimental design and methods section. Outline how you will address specific aims and hypotheses in the analysis section. Use exactly the same words and labels to express your concepts throughout the grant.

    38. Rule #15: Tell them how wonderful you are without telling them how wonderful you are You must convince reviewers that you are capable of doing the proposed workthey probably dont know you. Cite your relevant accomplishments factually. List relevant awards, publications. Recount prior work that is similar to work proposed. Avoid superlatives, self-aggrandizing phraseslet your letters of support provide them!

    39. Rule #16: Write Clearly Use acronyms & abbreviations sparingly. Avoid passive voice. Dont make paragraphs or sentences too long. Avoid obvious, trite phrases.

    40. Rule #17: A Short Grant is Usually Missing Something

    41. WHERE TO SUBMIT YOUR GRANT

    42. Rule #18: Know the Odds and Maximize Them Find out success rates for grants like yours. Submit to agencies which offer the highest likelihood of success. Search out private charitable organizations interested in funding your kind of research.

    45. K23 success by year 2002: 46.6% (the high point) 2003: 42.4% 2004: 35.6% 2005: 34.2% 2007: 33.4% 2008: 37.6%

    46. Success Rates of RO1 Applications at Various NIH Institutes: 2002 ? 2005?2008 NIA: 28.5% ? 17.3%?19.0% NIAMS: 20.7% ? 22.6%?17.7% NCI: 26.2% ? 20.1%?18.5% NIDA: 32.9% ? 21.8%?23.5% NEI: 34.3% ? 27.8%?24.4% NHLBI: 32.6% ? 22.1%?19.7% NIDDK: 31.6% ? 24.8%?18.7% NICHD: 24.7% ? 15.3%?14.9%

    47. Rule #19: If One Granting Agency Doesnt Fund your Idea, Another One Might

    48. So, the review did not go so well

    49. Rule #20: If At First you Dont Succeed: Read pink sheets seriously only after you have slept on them a few nights Try again, perhaps

    50. Rule #21: The Reviewer is Always Right (even if theyre not!) Reviewers try hard to be supportive. If they did not get it, you did not explain it well enough. Read the pink sheets dispassionately and see if the criticisms were fatal. Ask your mentor. The score matters less than the substance of concerns expressed. If two reviewers express the same concern, take it VERY seriously.