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New NIH stimulus grants go live

The National Institutes of Health is inviting researchers to apply for newly created grants, funded by the $10 billion that the agency netted in the recently-signed economic stimulus legislation. The new initiative, called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, will make a pot of $200 million of that stimulus cash available for projects focusing on a broad array of more than one hundred topics, from behavioral sciences and genomics to stem cells and translational science. Thes

By | March 4, 2009

The National Institutes of Health is inviting researchers to apply for newly created grants, funded by the $10 billion that the agency netted in the recently-signed economic stimulus legislation. The new initiative, called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, will make a pot of $200 million of that stimulus cash available for projects focusing on a broad array of more than one hundred topics, from behavioral sciences and genomics to stem cells and translational science. These areas, according to the NIH, reflect a "focus on specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways." The agency said on its website that it expects to fund 200 or more projects over the next two years. Submissions are due by April 27, 2009, so get cracking on that proposal! Find all the information you'll need to apply for a Challenge Grant by clicking linkurl:here.;http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/challenge_award/
**__Related stories:__***linkurl:NIH stimulus to fund old grants;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55438/
[19th February 2009]*linkurl:NIH wins stimulus jackpot;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/55418/
[12th February 2009]
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Comments

Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 5, 2009

I downloaded the Focus Area file for the Challenge grants and found that in the 52 pages of announcements, there was not much to consider for basic research scientists. Its mostly clinical research and it looks to me like ingrained special interests have had there say in determining which areas of investigation will get the money. There is not a hint that the money will be distributed in some broader and more equitable manner.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 5, 2009

Link to the RFA: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-09-003.html\n\n\nIt says that 200 grants will be funded allowing for total costs of $500K/year. I suppose that means at my institution, after they take their 58% cut for indirect costs, $240K/year. Not bad, but not great.\n\nHow many people are going to apply for these grants? I think NIH might get somewhere around 10,000 - 15,000 new and continuing R01 applications each year. So maybe they'll get 5000 applications for these 200 grants, giving a 4% chance of funding. Pitiful odds even if the chance for success were tripled.\n\nThis plan won't achieve anything, either in the short term for science or in the longer term for increased NIH funding levels. After the funding-spike is over in two years, NIH will be right back where it is today.\n\nSurely NIH could have come up with a better plan than this for spending the money.\n
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 5, 2009

I agree with a previous comment about the low odds, except that they will be much lower than estimated. In fact, more than 65,000 applications are submitted to the NIH each year (not 10,000 to 15,000). If only one fourth of these regular applicants applies for this new RFA, the odds of success will be closer to 1%. With such low odds and based on my knowledge of the system, most of the money will go to the very rich labs/PIs who are already overfunded.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

March 6, 2009

When an Institution takes indirects, those cost do not come out of the grant, but are funds that NIH provides to the institution to "manage the grant" and for facilities. The previous post on the Challange grants (58% indirects) brings up a good point that may have been lost in all the press releases....Will NIH provide indirects for the 200 Challange Grants or all the other grants for that matter for the stimulus funding? Or will NIH not provide indirects from stimuls funds to the Institutions much like private philanthropies typically do?
Avatar of: Maria Castro

Maria Castro

Posts: 4

March 8, 2009

If they expect 15,000 applicatinos, this means that the chance of success is between 1-2%, this is much worse than the regular funding rate for NIH grants. It is not clear what this funding scheme will accomplish. Funding more RO1 or R21 grants which constitue the bread and butter of research labs is what is needed to keep science viable in this country.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 8

March 15, 2009

The technocrats will ruin NIH and American Science. The challenge grants are basically targeted pork spending that is aimed at enhancing the failed Roadmap and topdown science direction. Where is the funding for basic research? For investigator initiated research that has always provided the big payoffs?\nJeremy Berg, Director of NIGMS, are you here to help science?
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