There are many intricacies to writing and submitting grants. As the goal of the RI-INBRE program is to help its researchers graduate from the program and achieve funding self-sufficiency, it is in our best interest to help you with this process.
An overview of the NIH grant funding process is available and RI-INBRE personnel are available to consult with you. RI-INBRE periodically offers grant writing workshops and seminars to improve your chances of getting funding. As these opportunities become available they will be advertised in the events section.
RI-INBRE is funded by the NIH and as such primarily works within the NIH framework. Other agencies such as NSF and USDA, or private foundations such as the Champlin Foundation, have their own policies regarding submission, biosketch formats, etc. It is important that you always strictly follow the policies of the institution you are submitting to. RI-INBRE personnel can help you with these issues or help network you with mentors experienced with those agencies.
eRA Commons: All NIH funded investigators or researchers must have an eRA Commons ID that is granted to you by your institution’s Office of Research. The eRA Commons ID permits you access to the eRA Commons website which will allows you to submit and track proposals, submit reference letters, and other tasks.
NIH Biosketch: All NIH investigators must provide a properly formatted biosketch for submission of grants and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPR ). Instructions for biosketch formatting are provided by NIH. In summary:
- Five pages maximum
- No figures, tables or graphics are allowed
- PDF format only
- eRA Commons ID
- Position title
- Full education and training history
- Specific personal statement (do not recycle statements from previous biosketches)
– Describe your role in the project
– Cite up to four publications or research products relevant to the proposal
– Issues affecting past productivity (illness, family issues, etc.)
- Positions and Honors
- Contributions to science relevant to the proposal
– Up to five contributions
– Up to four citations per contribution
– Limit half page per contribution
- Link to full bibliography (NIH My Bibliography is recommended )
- Research support and Scholastic performance
It is recommended that you create your biosketch in SciENcv to ensure proper formatting and allow access by INBRE staff.
Grant Writing and Submission: While we cannot list every possible rule or iteration involved in grant writing and submission, there are some general rules you should follow:
- Strictly follow the rules of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) regarding format, page limits, budget, scope of work, subheadings, etc. Failure to do so almost guarantee your proposal is rejected.
- Determine if there are any institutional requirements for the FOA. For example, some programs limit the number of grants that can be funded by a single institution and thus you will likely have to go through an internal review before submitted a full grant.
- Contact the program officer listed for your FOA to determine if your proposal falls within the scope of the announcement.
- Check the list of prior funding under this program. If a similar proposal has previously been funded, it may complicate your own chances.
- Integrate phrases from the FOA into your proposal. For example, if the FOA specifically references undergraduate education, make sure that your proposal adequately addresses undergraduate education.
- NIH proposals are graded by:
– Significance: Does this work address an important problem?
– Investigator(s) Qualifications: Are the investigators qualified to work on this problem?
– Innovation: Is this work novel?
– Approach: Is the strategy and methodology sound?
– Environment: Does the institution have the resources for the investigator to carry out this work?
Other Components: Study timeline, inclusivity, protection of human subjects, etc.
- For NSF proposals, Broader Impacts and Intellectual Merit statements are crucial.
- Proofread your proposal multiple times and let a colleague or mentor proof it as well.
- Try to submit your proposal at least 72 hours prior to the deadline. This gives your grant personnel at your institution time to correct any errors and get the routing paperwork finished.
For data policies on bioinformatics please click here.
Additional information will be added as available.