If you plan to apply for the NIH Director’s Opportunity for Research in Five Thematic Areas (RC4), think big! Only projects with budgets of more than $500,000 in total costs per year for three years will be considered. A key requirement is that the application must be for a research project—no bricks and mortar; no high-end, off-the-shelf instruments—although it can be for a project that develops infrastructure.
The five thematic areas included in the program were enunciated by NIH Director Francis Collins in his first town hall meeting and in the January 1, 2010, issue of Science (PDF 240KB, Acrobat Reader ). They include:
- Applying genomics and other high-throughput technologies to address questions in a comprehensive way (often described with the word “all,” as in all genes in an organism, all human proteins and their structures, or all major pathways for signal transduction);
- Translating basic science discoveries into new and better treatments, diagnostics and therapeutics;
- Using science to enable health care reform—this includes prevention; better and cheaper treatments; research on health disparities, social and behavioral factors; large population studies; comparative effectiveness research; personalized medicine; pharmacogenomics; and health services research;
- Focusing on global health, from discovery to the development and formulation of prevention and intervention strategies that tackle infectious, parasitic and chronic diseases worldwide; and
- Reinvigorating the biomedical research community by encouraging new collaborations and by recruiting and retaining new investigators (applications addressing this theme are still expected to be research projects).
Since the funding is limited to three years, projects must have a high short-term impact. Applications for projects with a longer timeframe should include a plan for maintaining the research efforts without any expectation of further financial assistance from NIH.
Letters of intent are due February 15, 2010, and applications are due March 15, 2010.
If you have questions, you can e-mail or call me at 301-594-1158.