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Research Administration News:

UNT Denton has invited UT Arlington Faculty and Staff to attend Dr. Hope’s talk entitled “Neuronal ensembles and context specific sensitization to cocaine” on April 3rd at 1:30 pm to 3:00 pm on the UNT Denton Campus.  If you are interested attending, please contact Denise Simmons Ph.D., Director of Research(I)-Science, Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) at denise.simmons@unt.edu


NIH has issued an NIH Guide notice outlining the criteria to be used in awarding the recovery act money. Please see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-054.html for details.


As part of the Recovery Act, NIH has designated at least $200 million in FYs 2009 - 2010 for a new initiative called the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, to fund 200 or more grants, contingent upon the submission of a sufficient number of scientifically meritorious applications. In addition, Recovery Act funds allocated to NIH specifically for comparative effectiveness research (CER) may be available to support additional grants. Projects receiving these funds will need to meet this definition of CER: “a rigorous evaluation of the impact of different options that are available for treating a given medical condition for a particular set of patients. Such a study may compare similar treatments, such as competing drugs, or it may analyze very different approaches, such as surgery and drug therapy.” Such research may include the development and use of clinical registries, clinical data networks, and other forms of electronic health data that can be used to generate or obtain outcomes data as they apply to CER.
This new program will support research on Challenge Topics which address specific scientific and health research challenges in biomedical and behavioral research that will benefit from significant 2-year jumpstart funds. Challenge Areas, defined by the NIH, 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 research in these areas should have a high impact in biomedical or behavioral science and/or public health.

The RFA Can be found at the Following website


The due date for this opportunity is 4/27/09

More information on NIH Challenge Grants can be found at:



A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPP), NSF 09-29, (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf0929) has been publishedwhich will be effective for proposals received on or after April 6, 2009.    

Part I of the PAPP Guide, which consists of theGrant Proposal Guide, has been revised to update NSF’s implementation of the mentoring requirement contained in the America COMPETES Act.  Beginning April 6, 2009, each proposal that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include, as a supplementary document, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals.  In no more than one page, the mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, irrespective of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subawardee organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative project. 

While the new version of the PAPP Guide becomes effective on April 6, 2009, in the interim, proposers must adhere to the current policy which requires the plan be submitted as a separate section within the 15-page Project Description.  The Summary of Significant Changes provides more detail on the various sections of the Grant Proposal Guide that were updated to effect this change.

Eligible PIs urged to establish Early Stage Investigator status;
Update Personal Profile in eRA Commons
January 9, 2009

Attention Principal Investigators! If you attained your terminal research degree or completed your medical residency within the past ten years, and you have not previously received a substantial NIH research grant, you may be eligible to qualify as an Early Stage Investigator for the purposes of your NIH R01 research grant application. An ESI is a subset of the New Investigator category.

How exactly does that benefit you, you may ask? Well, for one, your R01 grant application will be flagged as an Early Stage Investigator application beginning with the February 2009 R01 submissions. In reviewing this application, reviewers will be instructed to focus more on the research portion of your application and less on your track record. Beginning in May 2009, Early Stage Investigator applications will be clustered for review.

The idea behind this new policy is to encourage scientists to seek NIH funding for their research early on in their career.

To ensure that NIH recognizes your eligibility as an Early Stage Investigator, PIs are urged to log into eRA Commons (https://commons.era.nih.gov/commons/) and update their Personal Profile immediately. Note that PIs need to update their degree/residency data before they submit their R01 application.
After Jan. 17, 2009, the eRA Commons will be ready to accept completion dates for medical residency; please do not try before that date. Once the PI enters the information, the system will calculate ESI eligibility and display the eligibility end date to the user if he is eligible.

Steps to update degree and medical residency information in your Personal Profile:

  • Log into Commons and click on the Personal Profile tab
  • Click on the Degree/Residency Info tab on the second dark blue row that appears
  • The List of Degrees screen appears
  • Either edit/delete the existing degree information or click on the ‘Add New Degree tab’
  • If you click on ‘Add New Degree,’ a new screen will appear; fill out the fields and click on ’Submit’
  • Once the degree information is entered, the Add Medical Residency button on the screen becomes functional
  • Add end date (or expected date) of medical residency and click ‘Submit’ (Entering the area of medical residency is optional)
  • You will be returned to the List of Degrees screen where your ‘Early Stage Investigator’ Status will be displayed.  (If determined ESI eligible, you will also see an End of Eligibility date).

It is important to note that the ESI status will be updated if the ESI eligibility changes due to the following circumstances:

  • Eligibility has expired
  • Award representing significant NIH support has been made
  • Your ESI eligibility has been extended due to special circumstances
  • Degree or residency date has been modified

The PI will be notified if his or her ESI eligibility status changes.

Note: A Multiple-PI application is only considered ESI-eligible if all PIs listed on the application are ESI-eligible.

New NIH Policy on Resubmission (Amended) Applications:
Beginning with original new applications (i.e., never submitted) and competing renewal applications submitted for the January 25, 2009 due dates and beyond, the NIH will accept only a single amendment to the original application.  Failure to receive funding after two submissions (i.e., the original and the single amendment) will mean that the applicant should substantially re-design the project rather than simply change the application in response to previous reviews.  It is expected that this policy will lead to funding high quality applications earlier, with fewer resubmissions.

Additional Information