To ensure that we are using our resources in the most effective and efficient way possible, we are examining all of our funding mechanisms. One area that we have recently focused on, in part due to the current fiscal situation, is our support for scientific meetings, conferences and workshops. We understand the importance of these meetings, but we receive a large number of requests to support them and have concluded that it is not cost-effective to consider most of these requests. The numerous applications for small conference grants are costly to process and review, and the funds used for them compete directly with research project grants, including R01s. Our priority is to use our resources in the ways that most directly promote research and training, which already include mechanisms to allow students and fellows to attend scientific meetings.
In general, we will only support meetings that:
- Are closely aligned with our central mission and interests;
- Are non-recurring, unless they focus on training or workforce development in areas pertinent to our mission;
- Include participants who do not frequently interact in other venues.
Simply because a meeting falls within the general areas of science we support does not mean that we will consider it for funding.
We therefore anticipate that we will accept very few R13 or U13 applications in the future. We strongly encourage potential applicants to contact us before requesting approval to submit an application. For a list of contact people and more information on the application process, see http://www.nigms.nih.gov/Research/Mechanisms/Pages/