Reproducibility Update: New Resources and Expected Changes to the SF424 Application Guide

I previously told you about the development of an NIGMS clearinghouse site where members of the research community will be able to find grantee-produced training materials designed to teach rigorous experimental design and enhance data reproducibility. Since then, NIH has established two new related sites. The first is a Rigor and Reproducibility web portal that provides general information about NIH efforts and offers resources that include guidelines for how research results should be reported and links to publications written by NIH authors on rigor, reproducibility and transparency.

The second site is focused on grants and funding and includes a summary of NIH’s proposal to clarify its instructions to applicants to emphasize expectations that rigorous experimental design and reproducibility of results should be considered during the application and review process. You may have read about the changes in a recent Rock Talk blog post that announced the publication of two new NIH Guide notices: Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency and Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-funded Research. We anticipate that the new instructions will be released in the fall of 2015 and will take effect for all research grant applications submitted on or after January 25, 2016.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, contact your program director. We’re also interested in hearing how your lab validates key biological and chemical reagents, so tell us about your procedures!

2 comments on “Reproducibility Update: New Resources and Expected Changes to the SF424 Application Guide

  1. As we are well aware, there are many aspects to the issue of “reproducibility”. We have just published a seminal paper in PLoS ONE that addresses an important aspect of this matter. The paper addresses the topic of specifying dose in cell culture experiments. We propose that specifying dose as moles per cell along with traditional approaches provides much more information, leads to greater efficiency, and will greatly improve reproducibility in cell culture experiments. In the long term we think this will lead to better translation of preclinical findings to improve healthcare.

    Doskey CM, van ‘t Erve TJ, Wagner BA, Buettner GR. (2015) Moles of a substance per cell Is a highly informative dosing metric in cell culture. PLoS ONE 10(7): e0132572. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132572 Open Access PMID: 26172833

    We think this approach will result in the savings of millions of dollars each year by the NIH and its grantees because of more successful experimental design, increased information content in the data, leading to enhanced data interpretation. The additional cost and time required in the lab is minimal.

    We hope this work will change how cell culture studies are designed, executed, interpreted, and reported all across the scientific community.

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