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NIH Update: renewal success rates then and now; new human subjects protections website; funding opportunity announcements explained; new deputy director joins OER

May 2016

Open Mike


How Many Researchers?

Posted on May 31, 2016 by Mike Lauer

Last year, Kimble et al. published the findings of a workshop held at the University of Wisconsin on proposed strategies to rescue biomedical research in the US. The workshop organizers brought to together a number of stakeholders, who concluded that the research community faces two chief problems: “Too many researchers vying for too few dollars; too many postdocs competing for too few faculty positions.” These conclusions raises at least two questions: How many scientists, or more specifically how many principal investigators, does NIH fund? And how many scientists (more specifically aspiring principal investigators) want to receive NIH funding? Today I’d like to discuss two ways to examine these questions, by looking at the number of principal investigators awarded funding, not just on a yearly basis, but also in a way that captures a broader view of NIH-supported scientists over a window of time. ….Continue reading

Grant Renewal Success Rates: Then and Now

Posted on May 26, 2016 by Mike Lauer

In one of my earlier blog posts, I described an analysis looking at whether attempts at renewal are successful. We looked at data from fiscal years 2013-2015, and found that renewal applications have higher success rates than new applications, and that this pattern is true for both new and experienced investigators. In response to your comments and queries, we wanted to follow up on the analysis with some historical data that looks are whether success rates of competing renewals decreased disproportionately compared to new grant applications’ success rates. ….Continue reading

How New US Overtime Provisions Will Affect Postdoctoral Researchers

Posted on May 18, 2016 by Mike Lauer

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the law that contains overtime pay provisions for employees across the United States, entitling all US workers to overtime pay unless they are exempted because they are paid on fixed, preset salaries; are engaged in executive, administrative, or professional duties; and are paid at least $23,660 per year. Today, a historic change to this act has occurred – under the new rule, the overtime pay threshold will be increased to $47,476, effective December 1, 2016. ….Continue reading

Honoring Recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers

Posted on May 6, 2016 by Mike Lauer

This week I had the pleasure of meeting the newest recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. These awards, also known as PECASE, are the highest honor given by the federal government to outstanding scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. NIH is proud to support twenty PECASE recipients this year ….Continue reading

Top Stories


2016 NIH Regional Seminars:  One Done…One to Go!

Did you miss out on attending the NIH Regional Seminar in Baltimore, Maryland in May? No worries…we have good news! You still have one more chance this year to participate in this unique opportunity to learn more about the NIH process and hear the latest policies directly from over 60 NIH & HHS experts….Continue reading

OER Welcomes Jodi Black

Dr. Jodi Black will be joining the NIH Office of Extramural Research (OER) as its deputy director. Dr. Black is currently the acting director of the NIH National Health Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Division of Extramural Research Activities. ….Continue reading

New Resources


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it." data-custom="AQMkADAwATM3ZmYAZS04MzMAMS1kMTg1LTAwAi0wMAoARgAAAyd1TpSkWvtFsDRt%2F7DMEaQHAKiZq0fbWuJEjGTE4tOhXqgAAAIBDAAAAKiZq0fbWuJEjGTE4tOhXqgAAACby98NAAAAARIAEAATISJWOSSbS6pmtgYRKpux" retCount="5">New Podcast on Understanding the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

The latest NIH All About Grants podcast is all about the Freedom of Information Act (also known as FOIA) as it pertains to the information maintained by the Office of Extramural Research (OER). ….Continue reading

Funding Opportunity Announcements Explained

Our new annotated FOA highlights the importance of each section of the FOA as it relates to your application submission. …..Continue reading

New Portal to Human Subjects Protections Information

A new web portal provides regulatory guidance and links to human subjects protection information, but also contains a number of tools and guides to help investigators and institutions meet federal and HHS/NIH standards for human subjects research protections.Continue reading


You Ask, We Answer


What Criteria Will Be Used to Assess How I Address Scientific Rigor In My Application?

The guidance reviewers use to assess rigor and transparency is available on the NIH website: Reviewer Guidance on Rigor and Transparency. In addition to reviewing the applicant resources and ….Continue reading

Does the NIH Policy on Rigor and Transparency Apply to Renewals as Well as New Applications?

Yes. The updated review language will apply to all competing applications submitted under applicable activities, regardless of ….Continue reading




July 4 (Monday), 2016: NIH Closed for Federal Holiday

NIH (including help desks) will be closed Monday, July 4, 2016 (Independence Day).  If a grant application due date falls on this federal holiday, the application deadline is automatically extended to the next business day.