Here we go people. A recent Notice from the NIH (NOT-OD-09-149) is somewhat sneakily titled "Restructured Application Forms and Instructions for Submissions for FY2011 Funding".
There is table which specifies when the new forms will be available and which due dates will require them which may lull you. Note that this new form is for the Feb-March 2010 submission dates for our traditional R-mech grants.
You have to page down a bit to see that the shortened application is a go, go, GO!
Shortened Page Limits. The page limit for the new Research Strategy section will be 6 or 12 pages, according to the chart below. One additional page will be allowed for Specific Aims. As always, if the FOA requires page limits that differ from the application instructions, the FOA page limits should be followed. For resubmission and revision applications for most programs, the Introduction will be limited to one page.
If the current limit for the Research Plan is 25 pages (e.g., the R01) then we will now have 12 pages. If less than 25 pages, the new limit will be 6 pages.
There are some other restructuring changes that are sure to cause headaches so pay attention. The idea is to match the application with the new review criteria.
Alignment of the Application with Peer Review Criteria. To coordinate with the enhanced peer review criteria, changes will be made to the following sections of the application forms and instructions: 1) Research Plan, 2) Resources, and 3) Biographical Sketch.
- Research Plan. Three sections of the current Research Plan (Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and Research Design and Methods) will be consolidated into a new single section within the Research Plan entitled Research Strategy. The new Research Strategy section (a single PDF upload in the PHS 398 Research Plan Component of the SF 424 (R&R)), will be sub-divided into three parts: Significance, Innovation, and Approach. The Approach sub-section will include both Preliminary Studies for New Applications and Progress Report for Renewal/Revision Applications.
- Resources. The Facilities and Other Resources section will be changed to require a description of how the scientific environment will contribute to the probability of success of the project, unique features of the environment, and for Early Stage Investigators, the institutional investment in the success of the investigator (e.g. resources, classes, etc.). The Facilities and Other Resources section is part of the R&R Other Project Information in the SF 424 (R&R) application, and part of the Resources Format Page in the paper PHS 398 application.
- Biographical Sketch
- A new Personal Statement will be incorporated as Part A, changing the parts formerly called A, B, and C to Parts B, C, and D.
- Applicants should limit the list of selected peer-reviewed publications to no more than 15. These 15 publications should be chosen on the basis of recency, importance to the field, and relevance to the proposed research.
I'll be honest with you DearReader, I have not really considered very carefully how I am going to approach my grants under the new page limits. I've written 15 pagers before but those were just scale-downs of the usual 25 page description of the research plan.
This will be an interesting challenge.