Office of Sponsored Programs
Funding News and Notes
November 2004


Pointers from Pat
Selected Funding Announcements
Deadline Links

National Institutes of Health (NIH) Announces Updated Criteria for Evaluating Research Grant Applications

On October 12, the NIH announced updated review criteria for evaluating NIH research grant applications. The criteria established in 1997 have been updated to better accommodate clinical, translational, and interdisciplinary studies. The updated criteria will be effective for all investigator initiated research grant applications submitted for receipt dates on or after January 10, 2005 [including those responding to a Program Announcement (PA)]. Those applications will be reviewed starting in the summer of 2005. Applications responding to a Request for Applications (RFA) will continue to follow the criteria published in the specific RFA. Beginning with the publication of this notice, all future PAs will incorporate the updated criteria and RFAs will consider the updated criteria as a framework for criteria tailored to the specific program. The NIH Review criteria can be accessed in the NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-05-002.

Starting in January 2005, in their written critiques, reviewers will be asked to comment on each of the following criteria in order to judge the likelihood that the proposed research will have a substantial impact on the pursuit of these goals. Each of these criteria will be addressed and considered in assigning the overall score, weighting them as appropriate for each application. Note that an application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score. For example, an investigator may propose to carry out important work that by its nature is not innovative but is essential to move a field forward.

1. Significance . Does this study address an important problem? If the aims of the application are achieved, 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?

2. 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?

3. 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?

4. Investigators . Are the investigators appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? Is the work proposed 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)?

5. 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?

Pointers from Pat -

NIH Provides Instructional Video for Proposal Writers

The NIH has an excellent video on how the institutes handle the peer review process. This will be of interest to research administrators and to faculty preparing proposals. "Inside the NIH Grant Review Process", is a 39-minute video developed by the NIH Center for Scientific Review. The video includes excerpts from the reviews of three types of NIH applications: R01 - Research project grant, K08 - Mentored clinical scientist career development grant and R03 - Small research grant.

To view the NIH Mock Study Section Video

Also useful for applicants is the following NIH site which contains all necessary forms in electronic format for downloading:

Selected Funding Announcements

DARPA is soliciting proposals for the development and demonstration of prototype spectrum agile radios. These radios are to dynamically adapt to changing spectrum environments within the limits of usage policies with an objective to access 10 times more spectrum without causing harmful interference to non-cooperative radios. FUNDING: Approximately $17 million over a two-year period is expected to be available for two awards. ELIGIBILITY: All responsible sources capable of satisfying the government’s needs are eligible to submit proposals. DUE: Dec. 13, 2004

The Defense Intelligence Agency is soliciting white papers for innovative approaches and concepts in five unclassified MASINT technical thrust areas. Thse areas include radar, electro-optic (infrared spectral sensing lasers), material (chemical and biological), geo-physical (seismic, acoustic and magnetic monitoring) and radio frequency (unintentional emanations). ELIGIBILITY: All responsible sources capable of satisfying the government’s needs are eligible to submit papers. FUNDING: Approximately $100 million is expected to be available for awards ranging from $100,000 to $3 million per year for up to 24 months. DUE: White papers may be submitted at ANYTIME until Oct. 4, 2008.

The Army is soliciting white papers for applied research in fuel cell technology focusing on lightweight, robust, cost effective fuel cell power sources, associated technology, and associated components for use in various mobile and portable applications ranging from less than one watt to five kilowatts. Full and open competition is encouraged. ELIGIBILITY: All responsible sources capable of satisfying the government’s needs are eligible to submit papers. DUE: White papers may be submitted at anytime until Oct. 26, 2007.

The Navy will be soliciting proposals for scientific, engineering and technical and analytical support for high assurance information systems. Support services include conducting research and development in techniques for processing and communicating data that preserve critical system properties, and improving formal methods for analyzing and developing software and hardware systems. One contract award having a base period of 12 months and four 12-month option periods is anticipated. ELIGIBILITY: All personnel must be U.S. citizens and have a Secret level security clearance.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites applications for funding to begin the process of adapting, norming or developing language measures that can be used in the characterization of the behavioral phenotypes of language disorders and specific aspects of typical language acquisition. Approximately $500,000 in FY 2005 funding is expected to be available for 2-4 awards. ELIGIBILITY: Eligible are domestic for-profit or nonprofit public and private institutions. FUNDING: Applicants may request a project period of up to three years and a budget for direct costs of up to $100,000 per year.
DUE: Optional letters of intent are due Jan. 24, 2005; applications are due Feb. 24, 2005.

NIH invites applications designed to develop and test intervention approaches for the prevention or management of overweight in children and adolescents through age 20 years. The focus is on utilizing specific sites where children and adolescents can be reached through innovative overweight prevention or weight management interventions. FUNDING: Approximately $5.8 million in FY 2005 funding is expected to be available for 8-12 awards having a project period of up to five years. ELIGIBILITY: Eligible are domestic for-profit or nonprofit public and private institutions.
DUE: Optional letters of intent are due Dec. 23, 2004; applications are due Jan. 24, 2005.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center intends to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for space flight qualified High Gain Antennas in support of the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) Project. The scope of work for this procurement shall include the design, fabrication, assembly, development, testing, evaluation and delivery of three (3) space flight qualified – ka-band high gain antenna [two (2) flight units and one (1) protoflight unit]. Each HGA is comprised of: (1) a reflector assembly, which includes a primary reflector and a secondary reflector, supported by nominally three struts; and, (2) a feed horn assembly (supplied as Government Furnished Equipment), which includes a conical corrugated feed horn and a representative mass mounted at the waveguide input port. The entire HGA assembly shall be mounted to a common interface mounting plate. ELIGIBILITY: All qualified and responsible sources will be eligible to submit proposals upon issuance of the full solicitations, which is expected to occur between Nov. 10 and Nov. 12 of 2004.
DUE: Dec. 10, 2004.

NSF is soliciting proposals for funding under the Instrumentation for Materials Research Program, which supports the design and construction of major instruments sited at major U.S. facilities. The program also supports the development of detailed conceptual and engineering design for new tools for materials preparation or characterization at major national facilities. FUNDING: Approximately $3 million in FY 2005 funding is expected to be available for 3-6 awards. ELIGIBILITY: Colleges or universities in the U.S. with strong research and education programs are eligible to submit proposals.
DUE: Jan. 24, 2005

NSF is soliciting proposals for funding under the Major Research Instrumentation Program, which is designed to increase access to scientific and engineering equipment for research and research training. FUNDING: Approximately $90 million in FY 2005 funding is expected to be available for 220 awards ranging from $100,000 to $2 million. Applicants may request an award period of up to three years for acquisition proposals or up to five years for development proposals. ELIGIBILITY: Institutions of higher education, independent nonprofit research institutions, research museums and consortia of eligible institutions may submit proposals.
DUE: Jan. 27, 2005.


The following are funding deadlines organized by discipline. Please select the applicable discipline to access possible funding opportunities: (courtesy of The Grant Advisor Plus)

Contact Pat Buennemeyer for more information on these and other funding opportunities.