Information on Grants and Funding Opportunities

NIH/NIDA RFA-DA-15-010 Interventions for Youth who Misuse/Abuse Prescription Stimulant Medications
Letters of intent deadline: October 13, 2014

This is a funding opportunity announcement for research applications that develop and test the efficacy of interventions to prevent or reduce the misuse and diversion of PSMs among high school students and/or college students.  The number of awards is contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications, however NIDA intends to commit $1 million in FY 2015 to fund up to 2 awards.  Letters of Intent are due October 13, 2014 and are not required but highly recommended.

For more information, please see the announcement. 

Understanding Percentiles of Scored Grant Applications
The different study sections that review NIH grant applications tend to adopt different scoring perspectives. Some study sections have a generous “Lake Wobegon” approach—most of their applications score above the NIH average. Other study sections may take a more “Tough Love” approach—very few of their applications receive exceptional impact scores.

If NIH funded according to absolute impact scores, the Lake Wobegon applications would have an unfair advantage.

NIH has a longstanding practice of percentiling applications to normalize scoring across study sections so funding is more evenly distributed.

Click here to find out how the NIH generates percentiles for R01s.

CSR Hosts Seminar to Explore Ranking Grant Applications
CSR invited experts in voting and ranking to help us consider the potentials and pitfalls as we explore the usefulness of direct ranking of applications in peer-review. We currently use a system of absolute scores that are later converted to percentiles. The speakers brought a wide range of professional experience and theoretical acumen related to voting methods and how they might be applied to peer review. They brought to the table broad experiences such as civil juror decision-making, political elections, and the Grammy award process.

Speakers included Dr. Andrea Hollingshead of the University of Southern California; Dr. Reid Hastie of the University of Chicago; Dr. David Budescu of Fordham University; and Dr. Donald Saari of the University of California, Irvine.

The discussions were lively as the speakers considered the different methods of ranking as well as the potential pitfalls applying them to NIH peer-reviews. Participants also discussed different weighting schemes for criterion scores.

Click here for more information.

What People Think of NIH Review Changes
Click here to see the results of a second survey to gather feedback on recent NIH peer review enhancements. Reviewers and applicants as well as NIH review and program staff shared their thoughts.

Overall, applicants and reviewers are more satisfied with the new peer review system than the system in place before the Enhancing Peer Review initiative. Most respondents rated the peer review system as fair and consider themselves satisfied with the peer review process. Click here to view a report of the results of the survey.

Information on applying for NIAID Funding

FOAs Intertwine International Collaborations and Infectious Diseases Research
NIAID’s longstanding International Collaborations in Infectious Diseases Research (ICIDR) Program continues with two new funding opportunity announcements (FOAs). Read the full article.

Delve Into Diversity-Related FOAs
After reading our November 20, 2013, article “Increasing Efforts to Increase Diversity,” your interest may have been piqued. Read the full article.

Two New Big Data Funding Opportunities
If you’re eager to play a role in moving big data to knowledge, pay attention to two new funding opportunities. Read the full article.

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