Grab Government Funding For Research!
The national institutes of Health grants monetary awards for the right candidates, but NIH funding opportunites take some careful advance planning to beat the competition. NIH grants are awarded for biomedical research projects that adhere to NIH’s core principles.
Make no mistake: there is a lot of competition for this lucrative grant award area. But it’s possible to get an edge over other applicants by excellent planning and preparation, strong organization, and engaging presentation.
The national institutes of Health grants are generally divided into three types: research grants, program/project fellowship grants, and resources grants. Research grants may last from two to five years and the NIH grant award may range up to $500,000. A small research grant is classified as anything up to $50,000.
The NIH Grant Award
Program/project fellowship grants usually include a wide variety of research activities. They tend to involve many smaller research projects working together toward one research goal. Because of this, these types of grants are generally for large-scale, long-term projects like research centers. When they are ready to fund this kind of initiative, the NIH sends out a special NIH Funding Opportunities announcement.
Resources grants are another NIH funding opportunity. These are smaller grants aimed at more specific research needs, such as a single research problem. National Institute of Health grants for Resources also include funding to promote interest in biomedical research and to spread awareness of discoveries in order to improve public health.
So how does a researcher go about applying for these NIH funding opportunities? He starts by asking himself some questions. Does he want this grant to further his training in research techniques? Is there a specific kind of research he wants to begin? Is he already researching but wants to join forces with others to combine efforts? Defining exactly what the money is to be used for will help determine what type of grant best fits the need. The better the fit, the stronger the application.
The NIH Grant Application Process
Don’t underestimate the time it takes to go through the NIH grant application process. It could take a year or more. Planning the application should start almost immediately in order to prepare to write the application. Writing the application involves several smaller steps, including getting certain registrations and approvals from NIH. Start writing several months before the due date, and don’t miss the due date under any circumstances. The competing researchers won’t!
For the first three months or so after a researcher submits an application, several committees review it to make sure it meets all of the NIH’s standards. If it passes that test, for another three months it will go through a review process where the committees consider the scientific usefulness and quality of the proposal. If the application makes it through that round, it goes to the second level of review. This is where the finalists are chosen and monetary award decisions are made. The winners would receive a notification after this round of talks. NIH grants are awarded about ten months to one year after the application is submitted.
Sound confusing? Don’t worry. The NIH has an easy-to-navigate, helpful website that covers these areas in great detail: grants.nih.gov.
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