Category: Funding Opportunities

Collaborative Science Supplement Deadline Approaching


The next deadline for NIGMS grantees to apply for our administrative Supplements for Collaborative Science program is May 15, 2010. As I mentioned in an earlier post, this program helps grantees form new collaborations that enhance their NIGMS-funded research efforts. A collaboration may, for example, let a grantee follow up on an exciting, unanticipated discovery or take advantage of recent progress in his or her field.

If you are interested in applying for a collaborative supplement, please contact me, Susan Haynes or your program director.

Give Input on NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunities


As I noted in a previous post, NIH recently launched the Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) and issued four funding opportunity announcements for the current fiscal year.

OppNet is now planning initiatives for future years. Key to this effort is obtaining input from all interested parties about current and emerging opportunities in basic behavioral and social sciences research that offer the greatest potential for improving health and well-being. Toward this end, OppNet has just released a request for information soliciting suggestions for both short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (3-5 years) activities, which can focus on humans or animal models.

Funding Opportunities in Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences Research


Less than two months ago, NIH announced a new initiative, the Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet). Richard Hodes, the director of the National Institute on Aging, and I co-chair the steering committee for this exciting, trans-NIH effort.

The first year of OppNet activities will use $10 million in Recovery Act funds and focus on short-term efforts to develop existing programs’ capacity for conducting basic behavioral and social sciences research. Starting in Fiscal Year 2011, OppNet will be supported through NIH’s pool of common funds shared across its institutes and centers.

NIH has just issued the following OppNet opportunities for funding in the current fiscal year:

  • Recovery Act Limited Competition: NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet) Short-term Mentored Career Development Awards in the Basic Behavioral and Social Sciences for Mid-career and Senior Investigators (K18), RFA-OD-10-003; applications are due February 18, 2010.
  • NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, and R37) through the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), NOT-OD-10-032; applications are due March 2, 2010.
  • NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, and R37) for HIV/AIDS-related Research through the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), NOT-OD-10-033; applications are due March 25, 2010.
  • NIH Announces the Availability of Recovery Act Funds for Competitive Revision Applications for Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Transfer Technology Research Grants (R43/R44 and R41/R42) through the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), NOT-OD-10-034; applications are due March 25, 2010.
  • NIH Announces the Availability of HIV/AIDS Funds for Competitive Revision Applications (R01, R03, R15, R21, R21/R33, R37) for HIV/AIDS-related Research through the NIH Basic Behavioral and Social Science Opportunity Network (OppNet), NOT-OD-10-036; applications are due May 7, 2010.

OppNet’s Web site has more details about the initiative and FAQs related to the funding announcements. As plans develop, the site also will include information about potential future initiatives and opportunities to provide input. To automatically receive updates, send an e-mail to and in the body of the message include: subscribe nih-oppnet-l your name.

Think Big with New $80 Million NIH Recovery Act Program


Recovery Act Logo - Recovery.govA new Recovery Act funding announcement from the NIH Office of the Director came out last week, and it offers plenty of opportunities for the NIGMS community.

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:

  1. 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);
  2. Translating basic science discoveries into new and better treatments, diagnostics and therapeutics;
  3. 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;
  4. 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
  5. 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.

New PSI:Biology Technology Development Opportunities

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psi_logoWe have just issued new program announcements to develop technologies for protein modeling (PAR-10-075, PAR-10-076) and high-throughput structural biology research (PAR-10-074, PAR-10-073). These announcements are part of the PSI:Biology initiative that will apply high-throughput structure determination to a broad range of biological problems. Advances in comparative molecular modeling and high-throughput approaches will play an important role in the success of this initiative.

Protein Modeling

The protein modeling announcements aim to increase the quality of protein structure models. Because they promote collaborative research and exploratory approaches in developing novel comparative modeling technology, we encourage applications from new and established investigators in mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics or other quantitative disciplines.

High-Throughput Structural Biology Research

These announcements solicit proposals for improved experimental methods and techniques for all aspects of structural biology investigations. We particularly welcome projects related to proteins that aren’t currently amenable to high-throughput structural determination by X-ray crystallography and/or NMR spectroscopy.

Successful applicants for all four announcements will become part of the PSI:Biology network.

I can answer specific questions about the modeling announcements, and Charles Edmonds can answer questions about the high-throughput ones.

Update on Funding Opportunities for Collaborations between Investigators with Animal Behavior and Molecular/Genomics Expertise

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The Collaborative Research for Molecular and Genomic Studies of Basic Behavior in Animal Models program announcement (PA-07-096) will expire on January 8, 2010. We will be reissuing this program announcement in 2010, but not in time for you to submit an application for the February or March R01 deadlines.

The purpose of PA-07-096 and its successor is to facilitate collaborative research between investigators with expertise in animal behavior and those with expertise in molecular biology and/or genomics that addresses questions about the mechanisms of behavior in animal models. The long-term goal is to develop new or enhanced animal models for studying aspects of behavior relevant to the NIH mission. We encourage applications from multiple PIs.

The first deadlines for applications submitted in response to the reissued program announcement will be June 7, 2010 (for new applications) and July 6, 2010 (for resubmissions). Beginning in June and July 2010, we’ll start accepting applications for the standard R01 deadlines: June/July, October/November and February/March.

Regardless of when you apply or resubmit an application for this reissued program announcement, you’ll need to use the new R01 application forms and instructions with shorter page limits.

Curious about what the reissued announcement will look like? Ask me!

New Research Education Program to Enhance Diversity in the Neurosciences

NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research

The NIH Blueprint for Neuroscience Research, which NIGMS actively participates in, recently announced the Blueprint Program for Enhancing Neuroscience Diversity through Undergraduate Research Education Experiences (BP-ENDURE).

The program will support the development of collaborative research education partnerships to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups who are well-prepared to enter and complete Ph.D. degree programs in the neurosciences. It will connect academic enhancement and research training activities at research-intensive institutions (such as those participating in the Jointly Sponsored Institutional Predoctoral Training Programs and the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) Program) and institutions that have substantial enrollments of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups majoring in areas relevant to the neurosciences. These activities must be designed to increase students’ interest in the neurosciences and better prepare them for graduate studies in the field.

The deadline to submit a letter of intent is February 24, 2010, and the application deadline is March 24, 2010. Please see the funding opportunity announcement or contact me if you need more information.

Propose Research Using the World’s Most Powerful Supercomputer


How to Get Involved

Watch Videocast on
Dec. 17, 2-4 p.m.

The Blue Waters petascale computing system, under construction by the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Link to external website at the University of Illinois, will be the most powerful computer in the world when it comes online in 2011. The National Science Foundation is currently soliciting proposals for computing time Link to external website to explore big questions that can’t be addressed with other existing computer systems.

We will be hosting a virtual workshop and applicant briefing on Blue Waters to encourage our grantees to develop high-impact community proposals for computing time on this very important new resource. Given the amount of NIGMS-supported biological and biomedical research that utilizes a variety of computing platforms, we think there are a lot of great research opportunities.

The videocast is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17, from 2-4 p.m. You will be able to access it at During the discussion, we will tell you about the opportunity, identify areas of science within the NIGMS mission that may benefit from Blue Waters, and help interested scientists form collaborations to submit proposals.

Presenters include Jeremy Berg, Stephen Meacham from NSF, Eric Jakobsson and Thom Dunning from the University of Illinois, and John Moult from the University of Maryland. You may join the live discussion by e-mailing questions and comments via the NIH Videocast Web site or by sending them to me. You also can send me your ideas or questions ahead of time.

Because of the considerable NIGMS investment in protein folding and prediction of protein structure from sequence, we will explore this area during the videocast. We realize that many other areas within the NIGMS mission may also benefit from access to Blue Waters, and we welcome discussion about those as well.

We have also set up a Web site where you can post your ideas and interests in using Blue Waters and/or forming collaborations.

Back By Popular Demand…EUREKA!


We’re once again soliciting applications for exceptionally innovative research projects whose outcome, if successful, could have a major impact on a broad swath of the scientific community. NIGMS is the lead institute for the EUREKA initiative, and eight other NIH institutes are also participating this year.

If you’ve got an idea that could change the world, and your research interests mesh with those of any of the participating institutes, you should consider applying for a EUREKA grant. In general, we’re looking for projects that can be started and completed during the term of the award. The exceptionally innovative component can be the hypothesis that you’re testing—a novel, unconventional idea that challenges prevailing wisdom—or a clever solution to a technological or conceptual problem that’s impeding progress in your field.

Interested? Check out the funding opportunity announcement in the NIH Guide. You can apply for up to $250,000 (direct costs) per year for a maximum of four years. NIGMS has set aside $6 million for EUREKA awards in fiscal year 2010.

When you look at the application instructions, you’ll see that EUREKA applications are very different from conventional R01s. In your biosketch, you’ll be citing up to 10 publications, patents and meeting abstracts that demonstrate your ability to use innovative approaches to challenge conventional wisdom or solve difficult problems, rather than simply listing your most recent publications. In the research plan, which is only seven pages long, you’ll be answering questions that are designed to focus your attention on the importance of the problem, the novelty of your hypothesis or approach and the magnitude of the potential impact, rather than on experimental details. It’s not as formidable as it sounds. Many of the investigators who applied for EUREKAs in past years have told me that they enjoyed writing their applications—not a comment that we hear very often from the scientific community!

The receipt deadline for EUREKA applications is November 24, 2009. This is a special receipt date, so you won’t be able to get an extension for personal reasons or study section service. We’ll be reviewing applications in March or April 2010, and plan to make awards (around 20) in the summer of 2010.

For more information about EUREKA, check out our Frequently Asked Questions (Link no longer active).

Receipt Dates Change for Collaborative Science Supplements


We’ve modified the receipt dates for our administrative supplement program Supplements for Collaborative Science (SCS), which helps grantees form new collaborations that enhance their NIGMS-funded research efforts. There will be only two submission deadlines in 2010: January 15 and May 15. All other details of the program remain the same. If you’re a grantee interested in applying for an SCS supplement, please read the entire NIH Guide notice and contact your program director to discuss your plans.