Advertisement

A Successful Grant Application to the National Institutes of Health: Case History

  • George N. Eaves
Part of the Nonprofit Management and Finance book series (NOMA)

Abstract

The peer review system used by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and related variations used by a few other federal agencies have been described,1–4 studied,5,6 discussed,7–10 investigated,11 analyzed,12–16 debated,17 criticized,18 ridiculed,19 threatened,20,21 attacked,22 defended,23 encouraged,24 praised,25 endorsed,26–28 codified,29 and legalized.30 Although apparently nothing about the peer review system has been left unsaid, the preparation of a research-grant application still arouses uncertainty or apprehension in neophyte31 and Nobelist scientist alike.32 A few concerned people have tried to help by giving reasons for disapproval of applications,2,33,34 by explaining the variables that influence approval or disapproval,35 and by offering advice about preparation.36–48 Nevertheless, as one of my astute colleagues† observed in relation to my own discussion of reasons for disapproval of applications,2 it is easier to identify the weaknesses in a proposal than to offer specific suggestions about how to write a successful application.

Keywords

Government Printing Study Section Peer Review Grant Application Federation Proceeding 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Lore, J. I., and Gutter, F. J. The embryogeny of an NIH research grant. Asha (Journal of the American Speech and Hearing Association) 10:7–9, 1968.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Eaves, G. N. Who reads your project-grant application to the National Institutes of Health? Federation Proceedings 31:2–9, 1972.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Lipkin, B. S. The role of the study section in the NIH peer review system. Behavior Research Methods and Instrumentation 8:61–64, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Merritt, D. H., and Eaves, G. N. Site visits for the review of grant applications to the National Institutes of Health; views of an applicant and a scientist administrator. Federation Proceedings 34:131–136, 1975.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Barish, N. H. A study of the priority system for reviewing Public Health Service research proposals. A doctoral dissertation presented to the faculty of the graduate school of The American University. May 1967.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Institutes of Health, Grants Peer Review Study Team. Grants Peer Review. Report to the Director, NIH, Phase I. Volume I. December 1976. (No DHEW publication number.)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Carey, W. D. Peer review revisited. Science 189:331, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Wade, N. Peer review system: how to hand out money fairly. Science 179:158–161, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lawrence, S. V. Grants: fuel that feeds research. The Bulletin of the American College of Physicians 19:18–26, 1978.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Report of the President’s Biomedical Research Panel. Appendix D: Selected Staff Papers. 30 April 1976. [DHEW Publication Number (OS) 76-504.]Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Conlan, J. B. Introduction of bill H.R. 9892. Congressional Record — House, pages H 9266-H 9267, 29 September 1975.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Westhead, E. W. Peer review: distribution of reviewers. Science 188:204–205, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Carter, G. M. Peer review, citations, and biomedical research policy: NIH grants to medical school faculty. R-1583-HEW. The Rand Corporation, Santa Monica, California, 1974.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Bondurant, S. Peer review of research project grants by NIH study sections. Report of the Committee on National Medical Policy, American Society for Clinical Investigation. Clinical Research 25:297–305, 1977.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Gustafson, T. The controversy over peer review. Science 190:1060–1066, 1975.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Cole, S., Rubin, L., and Cole, J. R. Peer review and the support of science. Scientific American 237:34–41, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Symington, J. W., and Kramer, T. R. Does peer review work? American Scientist 65:17–20, 1977.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, National Institutes of Health, Grants Peer Review Study Team. Grants Peer Review. Report to the Director, NIH, Phase I. Volume II: Appendices (Appendix F-3: Grassetti v. Weinberger et al.). December 1976. (No DHEW publication number.)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Cohn, V. How does NIH parcel out cash? The Washington Post, page A14, 13 September 1972.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cullinton, B. J. Peer review: OMB may dismantle NIH study sections. Science 180:843–844, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Norman, C. The threat to peer review. Nature 260:740, 1976.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Helms, J. A. Introduction of bill S. 2427. Congressional Record — Senate, pages S 17003-S 17005, 29 September 1975.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Cochrane, C. G. Parceling out NIH cash. The Washington Post, page A22, 28 September 1972.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of the Secretary. The Advancement of Medical Research and Education Through the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. Final Report of the Secretary’s Consultants on Medical Research and Education. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 27 June 1958.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    United States, The White House, The President’s NIH Study Committee. Biomedical Science and Its Administration: A Study of the National Institutes of Health. Report to the President. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, February 1965.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    The Presdient’s Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke. Report to the President: A National Program to Conquer Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke. Volume I. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 1964.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Office of the Secretary, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health and Scientific Affairs. Report of the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on the Management of National Institutes of Health Research Contracts and Grants. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 29 March 1966.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    United States, Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Report of the President’s Biomedical Research Panel. 30 April 1976. [DHEW Publication Number (OS) 76-500.]Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    United States, Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service. Title 42 — Public Health, Part 52h — Scientific peer review of research grant applications and research and development contract projects [sic]. Federal Register 43:7862–7866, 1978.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    42 United States Code (U.S.C.) 289l-4. Peer review of grant applications and contract projects.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Rifkin, D. B. A beginning scientist’s first project-grant application. Federation Proceedings 32:1543, 1973.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Szent-Gyorgyi, A. Looking back. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine 15:1–5, 1971.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Allen, E. M. Why are research grant applications disapproved? Science 132:1532–1534, 1960.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Lisk, D. J. Why research grant applications are turned down. BioScience 21:1025–1026, 1971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Berthold, J. S. Nursing research grant proposals: what influenced their approval or disapproval in two national granting agencies. Nursing Research 22:292–299, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Merritt, D. H. Grantsmanship: an exercise in lucid presentation. Clinical Research 11:375–377, 1963.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Woodford, F. P. Writing a research project proposal. Pages 142–149. In F. P. Woodford (editor), Scientific writing for graduate students. The Rockefeller University Press, New York, 1968.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Gortner, S. R. Research grant applications: what they are not and should be. Nursing Research 20:292–295, 1971.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Eaves, G. N. The project-grant application of the National Institutes of Health: introduction. Federation Proceedings 32:1541, 1973.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Eaves, G. N. The grant application: an exercise in scientific writing. Federation Proceedings 32:1541–1543, 1973.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Gee, H. H. Preparation of the project-grant application: assistance from the administrator in charge of a study section. Federation Proceedings 32:1544–1545, 1973.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Malone, T. E. Preparation of the project-grant application: assistance from the institutes and other awarding units. Federation Proceedings 32:1546–1547, 1973.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Ross, R. Participation of the administration of the grantee institution in the preparation and transmission of a project-grant application. Federation Proceedings 32:1547–1548, 1973.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Schimke, R. T. Preparation of the project-grant application: assistance from the grantee institution’s experienced investigators. Federation Proceedings 32:1548–1550, 1973.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    Lee, F., and Jacquette, B. L. What makes a good proposal? Foundation News, January–February: 18-21, 1973.Google Scholar
  46. 46.
    Stallones, R. A. Research grants: advice to applicants. The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 48:451–458, 1975.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    DeBakey, L. The persuasive proposal. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication 6:5–25, 1976.Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    DeBakey, L., and DeBakey, S. The art of persuasion: logic and language in proposal writing. Grants Magazine 1:43–60, 1978.Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Pike, J. M., and Bernard, S. C. The research grant budget: preparation and justification in relation to the proposed research. Grants Magazine 1:283–286, 1978.Google Scholar
  50. 50.
    The Blue Sheet (Drug Research Reports). ‘Flexible study sections’ proposal first sign of change in NIH peer review; appeals system, release of priority scores mulled by in-house work groups. Volume 21 (Number 14), page 6, 15 April 1978.Google Scholar
  51. 51.
    DeBakey, L. The Scientific Journal: Editorial policies and practices. The C. V. Mosby Company, St. Louis, 129 pages, 1976.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • George N. Eaves
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Blood Diseases and ResourcesNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of HealthUSA

Personalised recommendations