A DrugMonkey Glossary
Presented as a brief guide since I am often too lazy to fully spell out terms.
- Big Mech- One of the larger-scope mechanisms (see below) by which the NIH funds research projects. Program Projects (P01), Centers (P50, P60) and U-mechanisms are typical examples
- The Borg- ScienceBlogs. Once upon a time it was a decent blog collective and hosted this blog. Those things are not directly related.
- BSD- Big Swinging Dick, i.e., a major, important person in your field of science
- Bunny Hopper- A term coined by commenter whimple. It is a generic reference to insular, self-referential sub-sub-sub-disciplines of science.
- Council- National Advisory Council of the various ICs. A group of relatively senior peer scientists act as the second layer of peer review in the NIH grant approval process.
- CRISP– Computerized Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects
- FSM- Flying Spaghetti Monster
- DTF- Deadwood Tenured Fucks. Self-explanatory. (I keed, I keed….because I love. sortof)
- “Do it to Julia” – Occasional contributor BikeMonkey suggested NIH funded investigators have been squeezed to the point of turning on each other, as Winston Smith eventually turned on his beloved Julia
- Dr. Greybeard and/or Professor Bluehair- My shorthand for (very) senior scientists with long established track records who disproportionately (as a demographic) suck up the grant funding.
- Dump journal- A scientific journal in your field for which you feel highly confident of getting your manuscript accepted if no “better” journal will accept it for publication.
- ESI. Early Stage Investigator, defined by the NIH as a PI no more than 10 years past terminal degree award who has not yet successfully competed for a major NIH award.
- IC- Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH. E.g., National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH, as in “Mrs. Frisby and the rats of…”), National Cancer Institute, National Center for Research Resources, etc.
- ILAF- Ivy League Asshole Factory. Coined by occasional commenter sennoma, I believe.
- K99/R00 (“KangaR00”)- The K99/R00 is awarded to a postdoc (K99 phase) who then can convert to the R00 phase of funding after acquiring a faculty appointment.
- MDMA- 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; the recreational drug commonly referred to as “Ecstasy”
- “Mechanism”- The NIH has a series of grant “mechanisms” or types which have different purposes and limitations in duration and size ($$$) as summarized on the List of Activity Codes.
- N-up. Running a bunch of low-replicate studies until it “looks promising”. Then adding replicates to reach a desired sample/replicate number. In the worst case, adding more replicates until the stats come out in the investigators’ favor
- ORI – The Office of Research Integrity of the NIH
- NIH– The National Institutes of Health
- P&T- Promotions and Tenure Committee of a University or College
- PI- Principal Investigator. The main scientific role on a NIH grant, i.e. the one in charge of the research. Often shorthand for the most senior scientist leading the research group/laboratory.
- “Program”- The staff of the individual NIH Institutes and Centers who administer grants. Individually “Program Official/Officer” or “PO”
- PUI- Primarily Undergraduate Institution- College or University which focuses more on undergraduate instruction than it does on research.
- R1- Research 1 University – formally as per the rankings of the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.
- R01- The R01 is the default, most flexible and/or gold standard grant mechanism offered by the NIH. The awards are limited to no more than 5 years duration per proposal. Under current rules any dollar amount in direct research costs up to $250,000 per year is specified in $25,000 “modules”. Above this, the application requires a detailed budget listing specific costs and above $500,000 requires advance permission from a funding IC. The R01 may be competitively renewed at the end of an awarded funding interval by submitting another full length application.
- R21- The R21 is an Exploratory/Developmental mechanism in which the intent is to support research in the early or conceptual stage. The awards are limited to 2 years duration over which direct research costs of up to $275,000 overall may be split in $25,000 “modules” across the years as the applicant sees fit. These projects may not be subsequently renewed.
- RAP- Research Assistant Professor. A non-tenure-track professorial level appointment.
- RFA- Request for Applications. A NIH announcement requesting applications on a very narrowly defined scientific target. This is accompanied by a commitment on the part of the sponsoring IC to commit to X dollars in funding and an estimate of funding Y number of proposals submitted. Usually these will have special submission dates and be reviewed in Special Emphasis Panels convened for the purpose of a given RFA.
- Riff-raff. Steven McKnight bemoaned NIH grant review panels filled, allegedly, with inferior scientists.
- SEP- Special Emphasis Panel is the term for the NIH peer review panels that are convened as one-offs for specific purposes including RFAs and to review the grants of members of standing study sections.
- SLAC- Small, Liberal Arts College.
- SRA/SRO– Scientific Review Administrator (renamed Scientific Review Officer in 2007). The staff person who runs a given study section. S/he assigns reviewers to the applications, puts the meeting together, keeps the meeting running on time, etc.
- Study Section- The specific review panels organized under “initial review groups” or IRG. The first and most important stage of review of your application to the NIH. Typically 3 of your scientific peers provide in depth critique of your application and then the group of some 15-30 people meet to discuss
allthe top half of applications assigned to that section for a given round of funding.
- YHN- Your Humble Narrator
(replaced by RePORTER)