2019 NIH Version of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook Now Available

On December 7, 2018, the NIH published updates to the SF424 instructions and review criteria language for grant applications due on or after January 25, 2019. The January 2019 edition of The Grant Application Writer’s Workbook – NIH Version has been updated to comply with those instructions.

As indicated in NOT-OD-18-228, the NIH has moved away from using the term “scientific premise” for applications due on or after January 25, 2019, replacing it with the “rigor of the prior research” under the Significance subsection of the Research Strategy. In addition, within the Approach subsection of the Research Strategy, applicants are expected to provide plans to address any weaknesses in the rigor of the prior research. In this Workbook edition, we offer detailed guidance on how to address rigor of the prior research in your proposal. Such guidance complements standing direction in the Workbook on how to ensure robust and unbiased results of the proposed research within the Approach subsection.

In 2017, the NIH introduced PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form that consolidated into two parts of the application all considerations pertaining to the use of human subjects. In this Workbook edition, guidelines and recommendations on the use of the Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information form have been updated, including a mention of NIH’s policy regarding Inclusion of Individuals Across the Lifespan as described in NOT-OD-18-116.

For the past several years, NIH has (re)issued many of its Funding Opportunity Announcements shortly after the beginning of the new fiscal year (FY). This was the case for FY 2019 and information on all common R-series grant mechanisms has been updated in this Workbook edition. Of particular note is that significant changes are coming for the R15 AREA program and NIH has issued separate R01 and R21 Parent Funding Opportunity Announcements for prospective basic science experimental studies involving humans.

On July 26, 2018, the NIH issued an update (NOT-OD-18-214) to its “Next Generation Researchers Initiative” Policy as it relates to Early Established Investigators (EEIs), originally described in NOT-OD-17-101. NOT-OD-18-214 states that based on the ongoing work of an Advisory Committee to the Director and stakeholder input, NIH will not use an EEI flag in application and review systems after all but will use an interim strategy to prioritize funding for “at-risk investigators.” Clarifications on the review of Early Stage Investigator policies are included in this Workbook edition.

Finally, all URLs and screenshots have been updated to comply with current information.

In the event you’ve never owned a copy of the NIH version of our Workbook or if your copy is two years or older, we strongly recommend that you consider purchasing the January 2019 edition as we think you’ll find it to be an indispensable tool in writing your next NIH grant proposal.