Regular DrugMonkey commenter Becca has some more questions about study sections:
O Wise and Wonderous DrugMonkey... thank you for another extremely useful post. Like always, that just means I have more questions 🙂
What am I, fucking chopped liver!?
How can you tell from a study section what type of application (funding mechanisms) they review? Obviously most are R01s, but some are fellowship specific, do fellowships end up in general ones if there isn't a targeted fellowship study section on a particular topic (or is there no point in writing a fellowship application if there is no study section that would apply)? Do they do all the kangaroo grants in batches, or do they get funded with the R01s?
Study sections residing in the Center for Scientific Review are organized by scientific subject matter and review almost exclusively R01s and R21s. Fellowships are reviewed together by special study sections that reside within the particular Institute to which a fellowship application has been assigned, and which review a much broader range of scientific subject matter in the fellowship applications than a CSR study section would.
In order to determine whether it is worth writing a fellowship application in a particular area, you need to talk to the training program staff at the Institute(s) you think would be most relevant to your area of research/training.
K99s are reviewed together in special study sections that reside within each of the Institutes that fund them.
How does someone end up as an appointed member (as PP might say- who do you direct your reach arounds to?)?
Scientific Review Officers have the power to appoint members to study sections.
Where does it tell me what Institute each study section corresponds to? Does it matter?
Study sections do not "correspond" to Institutes. The regular subject matter-based study sections reside in the Center for Scientific Review, which is an administrative entity within NIH that is independent of any Institute. Institutes also have internal study sections for review of mostly non-R01 grants.
Is there any way to find out what the history of scores and funding cutoffs look like for a particular study section?
There is no way that I am aware of to find out how study sections historically have scored grants. As far as "funding cutoffs", these are imposed not by the study section, but by the Institute that funds each grant. This means that one grant that was scored worse by the study section than another might end up funded, while the better one is not, depending on the paylines of the Institutes to which the two grants are assigned.
Oh! and while I'm thinking of it... On CRISP, I can look up an investigators R01 and it will tell me what Institutes/offices they are funded through... one of my favorite researchers is actually funded through the "office of the directorate" how does that work? Is it any easier/harder to write for an "office" (like ODR- http://ods.od.nih.gov/) that doesn't have it's own funds than for an "institute" that does?
Only special awards like Roadmap stuff and Directors Pioneer awards are funded through the Office of the Director. Applications for these awards are neither easier nor harder to write than ordinary grant/fellowship applications, but they are generally much more competitive.
Am I thinking about all this way too much for a graduate student?
Are you fucking kidding!?