Working with and Developing Proposals for the
Health Resources and Services Administration
and the National Institutes of Health
Troy State University
February 24-25, 2005
Grants Resource Center
American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Mimi Tangum, Director
Ariel Herman, Program Advisor
Health Resources and Services
• Supports education & training programs that promote a
health care workforce with competencies & skills needed to
deliver cost-effective quality care; education programs to meet
the needs of vulnerable populations;
• Seeks to improve cultural diversity in the health professions,
& to monitor relevant systems of health professions
education in response to changing demands of the marketplace.
• Five Bureaus at HRSA (Health Professions (includes Division
of Nursing); Maternal and Child Health; Primary Health Care;
HIV/AIDS; and Special Programs)
HRSA Bureaus Most Likely to Fund
Bureau of Health Professions (BHP)
– Mission: Improve the health status of the population by providing
national leadership in the development, distribution and retention
of a diverse, culturally competent health workforce that provides
the highest quality care for all.
– Improve access to a diverse and culturally competent and sensitive
health professions workforce.
Maternal and Child Health Bureau MCH)
– Supports programs to improve access to comprehensive, culturally
sensitive, quality health care for all women, infants, children,
adolescents and their families, including fathers and their children
with special health care needs.
BHP Funding Opportunities (Nursing)
Nurse Education, Practice and Retention Grants
– Supports projects that strengthen & enhance the capacity for nurse
education, practice & retention to address the nursing shortage.
Preference given to projects that will substantially benefit rural or
underserved populations, or help meet public health nursing needs
in state or local health departments. In FY 05, up to $16.72 million is
available to fund an estimated 66 awards. Last deadline: 12/3/04—
usually same each year
Nursing Workforce Diversity Grants
– Grants awarded to increase nursing education opportunities for
individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds by providing student
scholarships or stipends, pre-entry preparation, & retention
activities. Eligiblity; schools of nursing, nursing centers, academic
health centers, & other public or private non-profits. In FY 05, 33
grants will be awarded, averaging $273,000. Last deadline: 12/3/04
BHP Funding Opportunities (cont’d)
Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP)
– Supports public & private non-profit health professions
schools & training programs that provide students from
disadvantaged backgrounds with opportunities to develop
the skills needed to become professionals.
– Projects can include: identification, recruitment, &
selection efforts; facilitation of entry into training; counseling,
mentoring & other services; pre-entry training; financial aid
outreach, scholarships & stipends; & work/study with
community-based primary care providers (last deadline:
2/21/05—usually same time each year).
BHP Funding Opportunities, cont’d
Bioterrorism Training and Curriculum
– Supports continuing education/training for practicing
health care providers and enhancement of curricula in
health professions schools to equip a healthcare
workforce to deal with bioterrorism events. Special
consideration given for using distance learning
methodologies/telehealth. In FY 05, 35 awards
– Deadline: 4/5/05
– For More Information: Lynn Wegman, 301-443-1648,
BHP Funding Opportunities, cont’d
Allied Health Project Grants
– Supports health professions schools, academic health centers, &
other public or private non-profit entities to establish or expand
allied health training programs.
– Projects focus on disciplines in short supply or high demand for
elderly people; rapid transition training for people with bachelor’s
degrees in health sciences; career advancement for allied health
professionals, and student training in community-based settings
in rural or other underserved areas.
– In FY 05, $2.3 million available to make about 18 awards
– deadline: 1/25/05—deadline usually around same time each year
MCH Funding Opportunity
Maternal and Child Health Research Program
– Supports maternal & child health research relating to services
which show promise of contributing to new knowledge &
will result in health status & service improvements in states
& local communities. Funds applied research projects, not
basic research, that are intended to improve health care
delivery systems for mothers & children. In FY 05, $2.8
million is available to make about 10 awards.
– Contact:Hae Young Park, 301-443-2207,
– Two deadlines a year: 3/1/05 and 7/29/05
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
• Comprised of 27 institutes/centers that fund basic biomedical and
behavioral research in specific disease-related areas, such as
cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and infectious diseases.
• Institutes and centers also support research relating to a particular
focus, such as aging, child health, mental health, nursing,
environmental health, or drug abuse/alcohol abuse prevention.
• While all institutes/centers support research in the social and
behavioral sciences, some do more than others, such as the
Institutes on Aging, Child Health and Human Development,
Mental Health, Drug Abuse and Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse
National Institute of Nursing Research
• Individuals encouraged to contact NINR
extramural program staff to discuss
proposed areas of investigation.
• Current Research Areas of interest:
– Chronic Illness and Long Term Care
– Health Promotion and Risk Reduction
– Cardiopulmonary health and critical care
National Institute of Nursing Research, cont’d
• Current Research Areas of interest:
– Neurofunction and Sensory Conditions
– Immune Responses and Oncology
– Reproductive Health and Child Health
– End of Life and Environmental Contexts
Important Fact #1: To Get Funded, You Must
Know your Funding Source (NIH) Inside Out
• NIH says, “To write a successful
NIH grant application, you'll need
to understand the NIH granting
• NIH funding derives from
Congress, so it is important to
understand NIH’s current budget
• Health Disparities
• Heart Disease
• Child Health
How Research Priorities are Set at NIH
• Often explored through workshops at NIH.
• If the consensus is to further explore an
existing area of science, then a program
announcement (PA) for research applications is
developed. It will be published in the NIH
Guide, stay open for three years, and usually
will have the standard NIH deadlines (Feb 1,
June 1 and Oct 1)
• Alternatively, funds may be set aside for “hot
topic” research areas. A request for one-time
only applications (RFA) will be published in the
NIH Guide with specific deadlines.
• However, most research applications submitted
to NIH are investigator initiated, and do not
reference any PA or RFA.
Important Fact #2: NIH Says It Will Fund Any Area of
Biomedical/Behavioral Science, But…
• Since NIH is open to new ideas in all areas of
biomedical and behavioral science, a good idea is
always worth talking to NIH about
• Can be submitted for funding as an “unsolicited”
• However, NIH institutes and centers identify
priority research areas as either:
• Program Announcements
• “suggests” applications in ongoing research interest for next
3 years, or
• Requests for Applications
• “solicits” applications for one-time only “hot” topics, has
specific deadlines, which are then published in the NIH Guide
to Grants and Contracts
Before You Contact NIH…
• Check out what NIH has already funded in your
area(s) of interest:
• CRISP (Computer Retrieval of Information on
Scientific Projects), a searchable database of
abstracts of all research funded by NIH
• Talk to recent awardees.
• Usually generous with their time and ideas;
• Can share their respective funded proposals.
• GRC can facilitate those connections.
Important Fact #3:
Always Contact NIH
• Check NIH institute or center web pages
(http://www.nih.gov/icd/ ) for the full range of
program areas and program contacts.
• Pay attention to National Advisory Council
information--future research agenda often discussed.
• Establish a dialogue with NIH program staff—
• They want to talk with you.
BEFORE You Contact NIH:
• What is an NIH grant mechanism?
– F-Fellowships; K-Career Development;
N-Research Contracts; P-Program
Project & Research Center Grants;R-
Research Project Grants (good proportion
of NIH’s budget); S-Research-Related
Programs; T-Training Grants; U-
Cooperative Agreements; and Y-
• Good descriptions of these
New Investigators at NIH
• Encouraged to submit traditional research project grant (R01)
applications, identifying themselves on the application face
page as a new investigator—and also in biosketch.
• Reviewers will specifically be asked to consider:
– Approach: reviewers will place more emphasis on how applicant
demonstrates that techniques/approaches are feasible
– Investigator: reviewers will place more emphasis on applicant’s
training and research potential, rather than track record and
number of publications
– Environment: reviewers will look for evidence of institutional
commitment (space and time) to perform the research
AREA: Academic Research
Enhancement Program (R15)
• For institutions receiving less than $3
million per year (over last 7 years) from
• Recognizes role of teaching institutions in
education of future researchers and
• Seeks to strengthen undergraduate
• Supports meritorious research for new
knowledge and teaching vitality
• Small award--$150,000 total for up to three
AREA Review Criteria
• AREA uses same review criteria and two-
stage peer review process as other NIH
• Special considerations regarding the
investigator and environment are unique to
• PI’s experience must be appropriate for
supervising students who are conducting
• Applicant’s school or academic component
must be suitable for an award in terms of
likelihood for strengthening the research
environment and exposing more students to
• Collaboration acceptable if majority of
AREA Review Criteria (cont.)
• Reviewers will consider two factors to
determine if a fitting research
environment is evident:
• Documentation of the availability of
well-qualified students to assist with
the proposed research project.
• Evidence that students have pursued,
or are likely to pursue, meaningful
careers in the biomedical and
NIH Small Grant Program (R03)
• Faculty from all types of institutions are eligible to
• Call before submitting: some NIH institutes/centers
do NOT accept R03 applications.
• Provides limited funding (usually not more than
$50,000) for a short period of time.
• Examples of the types of projects:
• Pilot or feasibility studies
– Secondary analysis of existing data
– Small, self-contained research projects
– Development of research methodology
– Development of new research technology
Grant Award (R21)
• Intended to encourage new, exploratory and
developmental research projects by
providing support for the early stages of
– Such as projects to assess the feasibility of a
novel area of investigation
– Or an experimental system with potential to
enhance health-related research.
• Combined budget for direct costs for 2-year
project: $275,000 max.
Career Development Awards
• Research training grants for:
• Scientists with a research doctorate, or
• Those with a health profession doctorate
• Opportunities from postdoctoral to independent
• Career Award Wizard is designed to help identify
an Individual NIH Career Award that might be
right for the applicant
What is a Modular Budget?
• The Modular Grant format replaces the regular research
application format for requests up to $250,000 direct costs
– NOT a grant program. It is a revised application and award
process for R01, R15 and other kinds of awards.
– Applicants request total direct costs in modules of $25,000,
reflecting appropriate support for projects
• Typical modular grant application will request the same
number of modules in each year.
• Categorical dollar information should NOT be provided in
the application; however, the responsibilities for the Principal
Investigator and all key personnel must be specifically
• Use PHS-398 (modular budget instructions on p. 13)
• NIH’s application form used for all research
project grants and career awards (K
• If responding to a specific request for
applications (RFA) or program
announcement (PA), contact NIH for
• The instructions in the RFA or PA may
differ from the general instructions in PHS-
398; if so, they will supersede the general.
• Additional Questions?
E-mail: GrantsInfo@nih.gov or 301/435-0174
What Happens to Your Application?
Important to understand the two-step peer review
process at NIH—very different from other federal
• Step One: Peer review study sections are managed by Institute
or Center administrators--list of 140 standing study sections
appears at http://www.csr.nih.gov/committees/rosterindex.asp
• Each study section has between 12-24 members who are
primarily from academia
• 60-100 applications reviewed at each study section meeting
Important: Always submit a cover letter with your application:
• Suggest the Integrated Review Group (IRG) study section(s)
best able to assess your proposal’s merit,
• State Institute or Center most likely to fund it;
• Cite whom at NIH you have been talking to.
PEER REVIEW AT NIH
• Peer review is the “essence” of what NIH is
• New video on peer review at NIH
• After initial review, a second level of peer
review is done by NIH Institute or Center
(National Advisory Councils)
• Final decisions depend on Institute’s or
Center’s total research portfolio, type of
grant, grant size, and grantee (newer
investigator, minority, woman, etc.).
NIH Review Criteria
• Significance: Does the study address an important problem?
How will scientific knowledge or clinical practice be advanced?
What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts,
methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative
interventions that drive this field?
• Approach: Are the conceptual or clinical framework, design,
methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, well
reasoned, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the applicant
acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?
• Innovation: Is the project original and innovative? For
example: Does the project challenge existing paradigms or
clinical practice; address an innovative hypothesis or critical
barrier to progress in the field? Does the project develop or
employ novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, tools, or
technologies for this area?
NIH Review Criteria (ctd)
• Investigators: Are the investigators appropriately
trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the
proposed work appropriate to the experience level of
the principal investigator and other researchers? Does
the investigative team bring complementary and
integrated expertise to the project (if applicable)?
• Environment: Does the scientific environment in
which the work will be done contribute to the
probability of success? Do the proposed studies
benefit from unique features of the scientific
environment, or subject populations, or employ
useful collaborative arrangements? Is there evidence
of institutional support?
Other Helpful NIH Web sites
• NIH Grants Policy Statement
• Success Rates by Institute and Award
• Forms and Applications
• Electronic Applications (not quite there yet!)
Grants Resource Center
of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities
1307 New York Avenue, NW, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20005-4701
202 293 7070
Office of Sponsored Programs