Updated: 5 years 12 weeks ago
If you are interested in health disparities and aging research, the NIA is ready, willing and able to help be a resource for you and the field. In recent months, we have undertaken several activities to enhance research opportunities, and I’d like to tell you about a few of these to keep you involved and make sure you’re up to speed!
NIA’s Interventions Testing Program (ITP) wants you! We want to expand the involvement of the research community in this unique program that tests compounds for potential drug development. The Collaborative Interactions Program (ITP CIP) is a new phase of community involvement to broaden what we know about the health and lifespan outcomes of the interventions we test.
We are now paying career award applications to a score of 15. I know this will bring cold comfort to too many of you. And, the shock of learning that we are paying those career award applications with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease to a score above 30 leaves a sharp sting for those whose worthy aims do not address that priority.
You have a burning idea about aging. Now you need the funding for it. What do you do? Or, you once sent an application through the inscrutable machinery of grants.gov. You even retrieved reviews after an eternity of waiting. And now, apart from burying the reviews in several feet of dirt where they will be of most use, you have no idea what your next move is. We may have the answer for you.
California, here we come! No, we’re not participating in a gold rush, we’re going to the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) next week in Long Beach. We’re looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. We also hope that you’ll take the opportunity to connect with NIA staff at the meeting, during scientific sessions and at the Exhibit Hall.
Large-scale clinical trials are expensive. They require a lot of time and money on the part of the investigators. So does preparing an NIH application for a clinical trial. One way you can save time and money at the beginning of the process is to submit a concept proposal for your trial to NIA’s Clinical Trials Advisory Panel (CTAP).
About half of the 22 NIH Institutes no longer post a funding line. Of course, we at NIA do so much better—we post multiple funding lines! We are transparent, though. I’ve heard it said around the halls of NIH that a funding line is a crutch for staff, an easy way to indicate to investigators that their application could not be paid.
It is April. Spring flowers, trees in bud, warming temperatures, and a funding update from NIA that is as natural as the Spring, and as welcome as the flowers? (OK. Not so much!) Still, it is good news for some.
It’s spring! Here’s some exciting news that may help you get some spring fever! Effective with applications submitted on February, 12, 2016, and moving forward, NIH is allowing up to $100,000 plus fringe benefits toward an applicant’s salary to cover the percentage effort requested on NIH K08 and K23 awards. Current K awardees also benefit from these new guidelines.
Thousands of gene candidates in the human genome have the potential to play a role in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. But you are just one scientist. How can you even start such an enormous task? This quest—one scientist analyzing thousands of gene candidates—can seem overwhelming. I want to share with you two great NIA-funded resources that collect and store biological specimens and data—and are available to you and the wider research community.
When I began graduate school in 1999, I knew right away that my experience would be different from that of my peers: I am a female scientist of color, and when I looked for others that looked like me, I saw only a few. Naturally, I wondered why this was the case and whether anything could be done to change the situation. While I understood the complexities of this issue, I believed that something could be done, and fortunately when I arrived at NIH, I found ready agreement among my colleagues.
Several recent commentaries (Danthi, Wu, Shi and Lauer; Lauer, Danthi, Kaltman, and Wu;) have found that the percentile rank an application receives in peer review has little or no noticeable relationship to how productive (in terms of citation impact of publications) a subsequent award is, should the application be so fortunate as to be awarded. So, a first-percentile application is apparently no more productive than a 15th-percentile application. Is that outcome really surprising?
At the National Institute on Aging, our shared vision is one in which all Americans enjoy robust health and independence with advancing age. Although we have come far in 40 years of supporting and conducting research, we in the scientific community will need to think broadly, creatively, intelligently—and strategically—to pursue this goal most effectively. I am proud to let you know that an updated version of NIA’s Strategic Directions, Aging Well in the 21st Century, is now available.
In 2009, NIH received its first year of funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). NIA received $275 million over two years in ARRA funds. Overall, these funds were used to intensify and expand scientific study and support the research infrastructure in aging and age-related cognitive change, including Alzheimer’s disease, through a series of grants and initiatives. Among the many important projects NIA supported using ARRA funds was the genotyping of DNA samples collected from almost 20,000 participants in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS).