Question for my NIH-funded PI peeps

Am I the only lucky person in the entire NIH extramural community who has managed to get grants on technical-feasibility type of preliminary data (which can therefore support multiple proposals on fairly different topics) instead of highly specific experiments showing that Aim I SubExperiment 1.c.II actually works (which are of no utility to support anything other than the present proposal)?

16 responses so far

  • juniorprof says:

    technical feasibility experiments don't fly in my normal study section. The rule seems to be that if you don't have data to support an experimental aim, don't even think about proposing it.

  • Drugmonkey says:

    You need to find at least one study section that is a bit more flexible, IMO

  • Pascale says:

    What juniorprof said. And targeting a different study section can be problematic for those of us working in a specific organ system and disorder.

  • juniorprof says:

    working on finding that study section now... while I completely agree with the need to find a more flexible study section (and to diversify in general) it is somewhat surprising that areas with huge clinical implications (e.g. pain) are not even covered by a single dedicated study section.

  • Drugmonkey says:

    You don't actually want " dedicated" study sections though. Remember percentiles are within study section? Don't you want to compete with all those lesser grants in a different subfield or two so as to get more of the pie going to pain?

  • Namnezia says:

    I usually have a set of technical feasibility data that cn be applied to a number of different projects, this has constituted maybe 2/3 of my preliminary data. The other 1/3 shows that the techniques can be applied to a specific question addressed in the aim.

    Now I have a question. How good is the preliminary data folks put out? Do you wait until you have a publication quality figure, or do you get by with a low n, not necessarily statistically significant?

  • Drugmonkey says:

    Low n, not ready for pub. For sure. Typical when I was reviewing as well...

  • Drugmonkey says:

    Are we starting to realize what would be way, waaaaaaay, bigger payoff than complaining about the number of revisions yet?

  • BugDoc says:

    No, do tell us what the bigger payoff is.... My experience has been much more like juniorprof & Pascale (from 3 different study sections, so it's not just a particular one).

  • Cashmoney says:

    Breaking the "need" to have Aim 1 completed to get the money? What do I win?

  • pinus says:

    I thought everybody did this?

  • Cashmoney says:

    Apparently, pinus, DM has his grants reviewed in magical UnicornFaerie study sections that do not require preliminary data that support the Aims...must be nice.

  • physioprof says:

    Dude, lay off the government ditchweed.

  • pinus says:

    No, I was saying that I do the same thing. Obtain some preliminary results that support a hypothesis...and then show feasibility for future studies. No need to do everything, just show that there is a reason and a means. Maybe I have been lucky in that the study section I have sent to is okay with this....however, I have some colleagues who do similar things, and it seems to go over well.

  • anon says:

    The sticking point as I see it is not so much about technical feasibility (can you actually do the experiment) as whether the results will turn out to be interesting (is it worth doing?). Much as I try to devise experiments where any answer is interesting and compelling, often some experiments are fabulously interesting if X were true, and boring no-news if X is not true. So showing that X is probably going to be true, and worthy of follow-up, is key to getting funded.

  • drdrA says:

    'Apparently, pinus, DM has his grants reviewed in magical UnicornFaerie study sections that do not require preliminary data that support the Aims…must be nice.'

    ROTFLOL. It was the UnicornFaerie that did it.
    Do they have CareBears and Tea in there too?

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