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Transformative Research Award Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. What is the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award?
  2. What distinguishes a Transformative Research Award from a standard R01?
  3. How does the Transformative Research Award differ from other awards in the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program?
  4. How many awards will be made?
  5. Are women and members of underrepresented minority groups encouraged to apply?
  6. Will another funding opportunity be available for the Transformative Research Award next year?
  7. Can someone at NIH review my idea and let me know if it is a good fit for the Transformative Research Award?
  8. Are applications proposing clinical research appropriate for this Award?
  9. What issues should be considered when thinking about an application to the Transformative Research Award?
  10. Transformative Research Awards are meant to support new and novel research directions that create or challenge paradigms. What is meant by a “new and novel research direction?”
  11. What is the competition timeline?

Eligibility

  1. May two or more scientists apply as a team for a Transformative Research Award?
  2. Are individuals at all stages of their careers eligible?
  3. Are foreign scientists eligible?
  4. Are foreign institutions eligible?
  5. Are scientists in the NIH Intramural Program eligible?
  6. Are individuals employed by government agencies, non-academic, and/or for-profit organizations eligible?
  7. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow. Am I eligible to apply for a Transformative Research Award?
  8. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an institution?
  9. What scientific areas are eligible to apply?
  10. Will technology development be allowed or just hypothesis-driven research?
  11. If I am not successful this year, may I reapply next year?
  12. Is the award transferable if I change institutions?
  13. Can I submit an application that has overlapping aims with an application currently under review?
  14. Can I resubmit an earlier, unsuccessful Transformative Research application?
  15. Can I resubmit an earlier, unsuccessful application from another funding opportunity?

Application & Submission

  1. What are the important dates for applications?
  2. Will late applications be accepted?
  3. I am serving in the NIH peer review process and/or in an NIH Advisory Group. Can I receive an extension on the submission deadline?
  4. Is a letter of intent (LOI) required to apply for this award?
  5. What must be done before I submit an application to Grants.gov?
  6. Where can I find help registering for Grants.gov?
  7. Where can I find help in submitting my application to Grants.gov?
  8. Where can I find help in registering for the eRA Commons?
  9. What format should I use for the documents submitted with my application to Grants.gov?
  10. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an individual?
  11. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an institution?
  12. Do I need or may I submit Letters of Reference?
  13. How does the Transformative Research Award application content differ from a conventional R01 application?
  14. How does the Transformative Research Award application format differ from a conventional R01 application?
  15. Do I need to submit a Specific Aims page?
  16. Do I need to include preliminary data in my Transformative Research Award application?
  17. Should I include preliminary data if I have any?
  18. In my proposal, may I include citations to key publications? If so, what is the appropriate format?
  19. May I include figures and illustrations?
  20. May I include movies, either as a link to a website or as a CD, with my application?
  21. May I include additional information in an appendix?
  22. I have obtained important new preliminary data that will strengthen the application I have already submitted. May I submit these data now?
  23. What documents are needed for the application?
  24. If my application is not funded, will I have an opportunity to revise and resubmit?

Budget

  1. What budget and project period should I request?
  2. Do I need NIH approval before submitting a budget exceeding $500K in annual direct costs?
  3. Are indirect costs provided in the award?
  4. How much time/effort are recipients expected to devote?

Review & Selection

  1. How will Transformative Research Award applications be reviewed?
  2. When will my application be reviewed and by whom?
  3. Will I have an opportunity to submit an update before my application is reviewed?
  4. Will Transformative Research Award applications be reviewed by experts in my field?
  5. May I suggest specific reviewers for my application?
  6. How will reviewers judge the likelihood that the project will be completed during the funding period?
  7. How will the review process accommodate the potential dissimilarity in complexity of competing Transformative Research Award applications?
  8. Will I receive a summary statement or other comments?
  9. How will awards be selected for funding?
  10. When will awardees be announced?
  11. Can the decision of the review panel be appealed?
  12. What is the success rate of applications for the Transformative Research Award?

Award Administration

  1. What requirements must I fulfill during the term of the award?
  2. How will the award be administered?
  3. Do I need to submit an annual progress report?
  4. Should I mention NIH support in journal articles that pertain to research supported with my Transformative Research Award?
  5. Should I notify the NIH of any note-worthy publications or media coverage of my research?
  6. Am I required to submit my journal manuscripts to PubMed Central?
  7. Are there annual meetings I am required to attend?
  8. Are these awards renewable?
  9. WIs it possible to request a no-cost extension at the end of the grant period if there are unexpended funds?
  10. Is the award transferable if I change institutions?

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General Questions

  1. What is the NIH Director's Transformative Research Award?

    The NIH Director's Transformative Research Award supports exceptionally innovative, high-risk, and/or unconventional research projects that have the potential to create or overturn fundamental paradigms or otherwise have unusually broad impact. Such projects, due to their inherent risk, may be more difficult to support using a standard NIH R01 grant, but due to their potential impact, may merit pursuing.
     

  2. What distinguishes a Transformative Research Award from a standard R01?

    The Transformative Research Award is different in several ways. First, it is designed to support research that will create new or challenge existing paradigms, develop broadly enabling technologies, or lead to major improvements in health through the creation of highly innovative therapies, diagnostic tools, or preventative research. Given the inherent risks that may be involved in this type of research, such applications may not fare well in standard R01 review.

    Second, the special application instructions, as described in the Funding Opportunity Announcement have been designed to focus the applicants' and reviewers' attention more on innovation and potential and less on demonstrations of feasibility. Applicants must be able to present a strong and compelling case for the need to establish or overturn an existing paradigm, the innovation or novelty associated with the rationale or approach, and the breadth of the study’s potential impact. Demonstrations of feasibility through preliminary data are not expected.

    Third, procedures for evaluating applications submitted under the Transformative Research Award are distinct from the review process currently being used by the chartered NIH study sections. A multi-tiered review will be conducted by the Center for Scientific Review in an effort to determine the potential of the project to make seminal contributions toward solving important biomedical or behavioral research problems. Biomedical and behavioral research is defined broadly in this program as encompassing scientific investigations in the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences.
     

  3. How does the Transformative Research Award differ from other awards in the High-Risk, High-Reward Research program?
     

     

    Pioneer Award

    New Innovator Award

    Transformative Research Awards

    Early Independence Award

    Target group

    • Individuals of exceptional creativity proposing highly innovative research
    • Individual Early Stage Investigators of exceptional creativity proposing research of uncommonly high potential impact
    • Individuals or teams proposing transformative research with perhaps very large budgets
    • Outstanding junior scientists wishing to “skip the post-doc” and immediately begin independent research

    Eligibility

    • Open to all career stages; early and middle career particularly encouraged to apply
    • Must currently be engaged in research
    • No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement
    • Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions not eligible
    • Receipt of most recent doctoral degree (e.g., Ph.D., M.D., D.D.S., D.V.M., Pharm.D., or equivalent) or completion of medical internship and residency no more than 10 years prior to application receipt date
    • Must be a “new investigator” (never been awarded an R01 or equivalent NIH grant)
    • No U.S. citizenship or residency requirement
    • Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions not eligible
      • Open to all career stages
      • Foreign (non-U.S.) institutions eligible
      • Candidate must receive terminal research degree or complete medical residency within 12 months (before or after) of application submission date
      • Only up to two applications per institution (or grant submitting entity)

      Preliminary Data

      Not required; may be included

      Not required; may be included

      Not required; may be included

      Not as stringent as conventional R01

      Research strategy

      3–5 page essay includes response to questions about the challenge, potential impact, suitability for the Pioneer Award program; and how research qualifies as new research direction

      10-page essay addresses significance and potential impact; innovativeness of approaches and how risks and challenges will be addressed; and investigator qualifications for the award

      10-page recommended limit; respond to questions about the challenge, potential impact, and appropriateness for the Transformative Research Awards program

      12-page limit; in addition, host institution must provide details of commitment

      Reference letters

      3 letters required

      None accepted

      None accepted

      3 -5 letters required

      Effort

      Minimum of 51% (major portion) of research effort must be devoted to activities supported by the award

      Minimum of 25% of research effort must be devoted to activities supported by the award

      Effort should be commensurate with project needs, and follow general guidelines for other NIH projects of similar size, complexity, and duration

      Minimum of 80% of research effort must be devoted to activities supported by the award

      Budget

      • No budget information submitted
      • Awards will be for up to $700,000 per year for each of five years, plus standard F&A (indirect) costs
      • No budget information submitted
      • Awards will be for up to $300,000 in direct costs each year for five years, plus standard F&A (indirect costs)
      • No limits up to maximum funds available for the program as a whole
      • No prior approvals required for budgets over $500K (DC) per year

      Up to $250K per year for up to five years, plus standard F&A (indirect costs)

      Multiple PIs

      Only one PD/PI may be designated on the application

      Only one PD/PI may be designated on the application

      More than one PD/PI allowed

      Only one PD/PI may be designated on the application

      Review format

      Two-phases, including interview of finalists

      Two-phases, “editorial board”

      Three-phases, “editorial board"

      Multi-phased, “editorial board,” interview of finalists

       

    • How many awards will be made? 

      The NIH Common Fund intends to commit approximately $8 million. The number of awards depends on the size and scope of the most meritorious application, programmatic priorities, and availability of funds.
       

    • Are women and members of underrepresented minority groups encouraged to apply?

      The NIH strongly encourages women and members of groups that are underrepresented in biomedical or behavioral research to apply.
       

    • Will another funding opportunity be available for the Transformative Research Award next year?

      Yes, barring any unforeseen circumstances, we anticipate releasing a funding opportunity for the next fiscal year. To receive funding announcements and other Common Fund news, register for the Common Fund LISTSERV or check out the Transformative Research Award website.
       

    • Can someone at NIH review my idea and let me know if it is a good fit for the Transformative Research Award?

      NIH staff cannot provide comments on specific ideas or plans for individual research grant applications. The external review will evaluate the merit of your application. However, questions about the scope and intent of the New Innovator Award should be directed to Dr. Ravi Basavappa in the NIH Office of the Director at 301-435-7204 or at Transformative_Awards@mail.nih.gov. Email inquiries are strongly preferred. For applications involving clinical research, applicants should contact program staff at the appropriate NIH Institute or Center (IC) to assure compliance with IC-specific policies regarding clinical research.
       

    • Are applications proposing clinical research appropriate for this Award?

      Yes. Though technical and conceptual risks are expected in highly innovative projects, clinical research also must contend with potential risk to human subjects. Clinical researchers should not be dissuaded from submitting applications as long as rigorous assessment of participant risk/benefit ratios compellingly indicates the ratio to be in favor of the potential benefit. Many of the advances in public health have been achieved through clinical trials, which necessarily involve some risk to participating human subjects. NIH acknowledges the presence of such risk and has established a set of clinical research ethics principles that provides guidance regarding the risk/benefit ratio in clinical research. Applicants proposing clinical research should contact Program Staff at the appropriate component NIH Institute or Center to ensure that their applications conform to their policies for clinical research.
       

    • What issues should be considered when thinking about an application to the Transformative Research Award?
       
      • Is the topic exciting and interesting? Would someone outside of the field agree?
      • Is the project focused on creating or challenging a central paradigm, developing a broadly useful technology, or creating radical new approaches to disease diagnosis, treatment, or prevention?
      • Is the rationale for the project compelling?
      • If the studies succeed, would there be radical changes in the field?
      • If the studies succeed, would there be a profound impact in other scientific areas?
      • Based on the approach and effort required, will conclusive results be obtained by the end of the project period?
      • Is this really a new idea? Is it substantially different from mainstream research?

       

    • Transformative Research Awards are meant to support new and novel research directions that create or challenge paradigms. What is meant by a “new and novel research direction?”

      A new and novel research direction is one that is distinct from mainstream research currently or previously conducted by the applicant or by other investigators. Successful applicants are expected to conduct innovative studies that challenge current paradigms or establish new paradigms in biomedical or behavioral sciences. It is expected that such studies may be associated with a high level of risk. While a new research direction may have as its foundation the applicant’s prior work and expertise, it cannot be an obvious extension of an existing research enterprise. Rather, a new research direction must reflect a fundamental new insight into a problem that may derive from exceptionally innovative approaches and/or from radically unconventional hypotheses.
       

    • What is the competition timeline?
       
      Funding Year 2017
      Open Date (Earliest Submission Date) September 7, 2016
      Letter of Intent Due Date Not accepted
      Application Due Date October 7, 2016
      Scientific Merit Review March 2017
      Council of Councils Review May 2017
      Award Notifications Late August 2017
      Earliest Start Date September 2017

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Eligibility

    1. May two or more scientists apply as a team for a Transformative Research Award?

      Yes. Multi-PI applications and applications from multi- or inter-disciplinary teams of investigators are particularly encouraged.
       

    2. Are individuals at all stages of their careers eligible?

      Yes, individuals at all career stages are eligible to apply.
       

    3. Are foreign scientists eligible?

      Yes. There are no citizenship or residency requirements. Foreign scientists are eligible to apply if they are conducting their research and hold an independent position at a U.S. institution.
       

    4. Are foreign institutions eligible?

      No. Foreign institutions and non-domestic components of U.S. organizations are not eligible apply. However, foreign components (such as collaborators) as defined in the NIH Grants Policy Statement are allowed.
       

    5. Are scientists in the NIH Intramural Program eligible?

      No, NIH Intramural scientists are not eligible.
       

    6. Are individuals employed by government agencies, non-academic, and/or for-profit organizations eligible?

      Individuals from all organizations that can otherwise apply for NIH funding and will abide by the terms and conditions, with the exception of the NIH Intramural Program, are eligible for this award.
       

    7. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow. Am I eligible to apply for a Transformative Research Award?

      Applicants must be able to show concrete evidence for their claim of innovativeness and potential to conduct ground-breaking independent research. This could be very difficult for a postdoctoral fellow who has never conducted independent research. In addition, like all NIH grants, the Transformative Research Award is made to institutions on behalf of investigators. Because most institutions will only authorize grant applications from individuals who are independent investigators, this could present an administrative barrier to applying. Individual outstanding, highly innovative early stage and junior investigators may want to consider applying for the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award or the NIH Director's Early Independence Award as appropriate.
       

    8. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an institution?

      No, there is no limit to the number of applications that an institution can submit.
       

    9. What scientific areas are eligible to apply?

      The NIH encourages applications from scientists from all disciplines, including the biological, behavioral, clinical, social, physical, chemical, computational, engineering, and mathematical sciences, who provide evidence of interest in exploring topics of relevance to the NIH mission.
       

    10. Will technology development be allowed or just hypothesis-driven research?

      Applications proposing hypothesis-driven research and those proposing the development of new tools and technologies are both encouraged. The focus is on applying highly innovative approaches to create or challenge fundamental scientific paradigms, develop broadly enabling technologies, or create radical new approaches to disease diagnosis, therapy, and prevention.

    11. If I am not successful this year, may I reapply next year?

      Yes, but all applications must be submitted as “new” applications, regardless of any previous submission to the program.
       

    12. Is the award transferable if I change institutions?

      Yes, the award may be transferred to another eligible institution according to the same policies and procedures used for traditional research grants. Awards may not be transferred to foreign institutions.
       

    13. Can I submit an application that has overlapping aims with an application currently under review?

      No. NIH policy does not allow two applications with overlapping aims to be under review at the same time, even if they are for different activity codes (e.g., DP1 and R01) or are submitted to different funding opportunity announcements (e.g., one RFA and one PA). An application may not be submitted before the summary statement of an earlier, overlapping application has been issued.
       

    14. Can I resubmit an earlier, unsuccessful Transformative Research application?

      Yes, you may submit a previously unfunded application as long as the previous review is complete and the summary statement has been released. NIH policy no longer limits the number of times you can resubmit an application with essentially the same content and scope as an earlier application. However, it would be wise to address reviewer comments and concerns before resubmitting an application.
       

    15. Can I resubmit an earlier, unsuccessful application from another funding opportunity?

      Yes, you may submit a previously unfunded application as long as the previous review is complete and the summary statement has been released. NIH policy no longer limits the number of times you can resubmit an application with essentially the same content and scope as an earlier application. However, projects that are appropriate for more traditional grant mechanisms are likely inappropriate for the Transformative Research Award. Transformative Research Awards are meant to support investigators with high-risk, paradigm shifting projects that may not fare well in a standard R01 review.

     

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    Application & Submission

    1. What are the important dates for applications?

      Applications may be submitted to Grants.gov beginning September 7, 2016 and must be successfully received by Grants.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. local time (of the investigator’s institution/organization) on October 7, 2016.
       

    2. Will late applications be accepted?

      Late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.
       

    3. I am serving in the NIH peer review process and/or in an NIH Advisory Group. Can I receive an extension on the submission deadline?

      No extensions will be given, and late applications will not be accepted under any circumstances. Applicants are encouraged to apply early to allow adequate time to make any corrections to errors found in the application during the submission process by the due date.
       

    4. Is a letter of intent (LOI) required to apply for this award?

      Letters of intent are not required or accepted.
       

    5. What must be done before I submit an application to Grants.gov?

      It is important that you immediately check with your sponsored research office to determine whether your institution is registered with Grants.gov. Please note that the registration process could take up to six weeks. The institution’s Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) is responsible for completing the registration process. If your institution is not already registered, it must first register with the System for Award Management and then with Grants.gov. Both the institution and the investigator must also complete a one-time registration in the NIH eRA Commons in order to submit applications to NIH. Institutional officials are responsible for registering investigators in the eRA Commons. You should work with your AOR (also known as Signing Official in the eRA Commons) to determine your own institution’s process for registration.
       

    6. Where can I find help registering for Grants.gov?

      For help with the Grants.gov registration process, contact Grants.gov customer support at 1-800-518-4726 (Toll Free) or at support@grants.gov.
       

    7. Where can I find help in submitting my application to Grants.gov?

      For help with the technical aspects of submitting to Grants.gov, check the resources available at Grants.gov. If you need assistance, contact Grants.gov customer support at 1-800-518-4726 (Toll Free) or at support@grants.gov.
       

    8. Where can I find help in registering for the eRA Commons?

      Step-by-step directions for registering with eRA Commons are available. For questions regarding the Commons registration process, contact the NIH eRA Commons service desk at 1-866-504-9552 (Toll Free) or 301-451-5939 from Monday–Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).
       

    9. What format should I use for the documents submitted with my application to Grants.gov?

      All documents must be in PDF format and cannot exceed page limits (if documents exceed page limits, the application will be considered non-responsive and will not be evaluated). Specific formatting instructions for each document are in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (version D).
       

    10. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an individual?

      Individuals may submit more than one application, provided each application is scientifically distinct.
       

    11. Is there a limit to the number of applications that can be submitted by an institution?

      There is no limit to the number of applications that an institution can submit.
       

    12. Do I need or may I submit Letters of Reference?

      No. Letters of Reference are not required and will not be accepted.
       

    13. How does the Transformative Research Award application content differ from a conventional R01 application?
       
        Transformative Research Award Conventional R01
      Research Plan Respond to questions about the challenge, potential impact, and appropriateness of proposed research for the Transformative Research Award Describe specific aims, background, significance, preliminary studies, and provide experimental details
      Timeline Required Not required
      Appendix Not allowed Allowed

       

    14. How does the Transformative Research Award application format differ from a conventional R01 application?
       
        Transformative Research Award Conventional R01
      Budget Plan Modular or detailed
      No limit up to maximum funds available for the entire initiative. No prior approvals required for budgets requesting more than $500K in direct costs per year (requests over $250K in direct costs in any year requires a detailed budget and compelling justification)
      Modular or detailed
      No limits but requires institute approval if requesting more than $500K in direct costs in any year
      Term 5 years maximum 5 years maximum
      Specific Aims Address challenge/innovation/impact and rationale (no listing of specific objectives expected) List specific project objectives
      Research Strategy 12-pages max
      Recommend 10 pages on approach, 1 page on appropriateness for Transformative Research Award, and 1 page for timeline
      12-pages max
      Include preliminary data and details of experimental design
      Aims and Description of Research Generally one overarching aim Generally multiple aims
      Literature Cited Allowed with no page limits Allowed with no page limits
      Cover Letter Allowed Allowed

       

    15. Do I need to submit a Specific Aims page?

      Yes. However, as indicated in the RFA, this should be used to address the Challenge/Innovation/Impact and Rationale topics and not primarily to list specific objectives of the research.
       

    16. Do I need to include preliminary data in my Transformative Research Award application?

      No. Reviewers will focus on the challenge and approach to judge innovation, novelty, impact and technical merit.
       

    17. Should I include preliminary data if I have any?

      Preliminary data may help convince reviewers that the approach is logical and potentially worthwhile. However, be aware that there is no Preliminary Studies section in a Transformative Research Award application. If you have preliminary data, they should be briefly summarized in the Research Strategy section of the application. Also keep in mind that if the preliminary data suggests that success is certain, this may be an indication that the project is not new, exceptionally innovative, or high-risk.
       

    18. In my proposal, may I include citations to key publications? If so, what is the appropriate format?

      Yes, you may include citations as a separate PDF. The citations may be in any format and there is no page limit.
       

    19. May I include figures and illustrations?

      Yes, you may include figures and illustrations within the page limit of the research plan.
       

    20. May I include movies, either as a link to a website or as a CD, with my application?

      No. Applications must be self-contained within the specified page limitations. Internet website addresses (URLs) may not be used to provide information necessary to the review. However, applicants can list published articles that include movies/links to movies as citations in the essay. We cannot guarantee that reviewers will refer to citations, so any information critical to the evaluation of the research proposal should be included in the essay.
       

    21. May I include additional information in an appendix?

      No, all information submitted for review must be included in the allowed sections of the application and comply with page limitations. Appendices will not be accepted.
       

    22. I have obtained important new preliminary data that will strengthen the application I have already submitted. May I submit these data now?

      No. We cannot accept any additional information after an application has been submitted. Only the information contained in the original application will be reviewed.
       

    23. What documents are needed for the application?

      All documents and instructions in the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide (version D) must be followed along with additional instructions listed in the Funding Opportunity Announcement, which supersede SF424 (R&R) Application Guide instructions.
       
      Note: All documents must be in PDF format and must comply with prescribed page limits. No additional documents should be uploaded to the application, and applications containing additional materials may not be reviewed.

    24. If my application is not funded, will I have an opportunity to revise and resubmi

      Resubmission applications (A1) are not allowed. You may submit substantially the same idea or a refinement of the idea as a new application in response to a subsequent Transformative Research Award solicitation. Or, you may be able to incorporate some elements of your proposal into a conventional R01 or R21 application.

     

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    Budget

    1. What budget and project period should I request?

      Budgets should be well justified and commensurate with project needs over the project period. Well-justified requests for support of larger research projects may be proposed (up to the amount made available for the entire initiative). Additionally, requests in excess of $250K in direct costs in any year require detailed (non-modular) budgets in addition to compelling justification.
       

    2. Do I need NIH approval before submitting a budget exceeding $500K in annual direct costs?

      No. Because the Transformative Research Award RFA specifies that large budgets may be requested, prior NIH approval will NOT be required for submission of proposals with budgets exceeding $500K direct costs.
       

    3. Are indirect costs provided in the award?

      Yes. In addition to the direct costs, applicable facilities and administrative costs (indirect costs) will be allowed and will be determined at the time of award based on the institution's negotiated rate.
       

    4. How much time/effort are recipients expected to devote?

      Principal investigators are expected to devote time commensurate to project needs and follow general guidelines as for other NIH projects of similar size, complexity and duration.

     

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    Review & Selection

    1. How will Transformative Research Award applications be reviewed?

      Applications will be reviewed by NIH Division of Receipt and Referral staff for completeness and responsiveness. All applications determined to be complete and responsive will be reviewed in a multi-phase process by an “Editorial Board “ comprised of a multi-disciplinary group of scientific experts convened by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) in accordance with NIH peer review procedures and using review criteria outlined in the RFA. Significance, innovation, and transformative potential will be the primary determinants of scientific merit. All applications received in response to the RFA will be reviewed in a single special study section.
       

    2. When will my application be reviewed and by whom?

      The Scientific Merit Review will begin in early Spring with an Advisory Council Review in May. The names and affiliations of reviewers will be posted on the Transformative Research website. Questions about the review should be directed to Dr. Ray Jacobson, the Scientific Review Officer managing the review (jacobsonrh@mail.nih.gov or call at 301-996-7702.)
       

    3. Will I have an opportunity to submit an update before my application is reviewed?

      No. Updates will not be accepted unless they are to inform of unforeseen events (such as natural disasters) that will have a substantial impact on the ability to execute the proposed research.
       

    4. Will Transformative Research Award applications be reviewed by experts in my field?

      The review process will use a panel with broad expertise to assess transformative potential, innovation and significance, and subject-matter experts to judge scientific and technical merit. It is extremely important to keep this review process in mind when describing your project plan; minimize jargon and use language that scientists in other fields can understand.
       

    5. May I suggest specific reviewers for my application?

      No. You should not name specific reviewers for your application. Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by appropriate Scientific Review Groups convened by the Center for Scientific Review.
       

    6. How will reviewers judge the likelihood that the project will be completed during the funding period?

      They will look at the timeline and at the percent effort of the PI and other essential personnel. Although the instructions do not specify a minimum percent effort, a low percent effort may raise concerns about whether essential personnel are devoting enough time and attention to the project to adequately pursue the goals in the time allotted.
       

    7. How will the review process accommodate the potential dissimilarity in complexity of competing Transformative Research Award applications?

      The primary review consideration will be the potential of the project to have a major impact on important scientific paradigms. Reviewers will judge the project scope and complexity in this context to ensure that the activities proposed are necessary and commensurate with project goals.
       

    8. Will I receive a summary statement or other comments?

      Applications judged to have transformative potential and high significance by the review panel will receive critiques by individual subject matter experts and will receive a brief resume and summary of discussion if discussed by the panel. In the multi-phase review process used, the subject matter experts will not be members of the review panel. Applications judged by the review panel to not be among the most meritorious will NOT receive evaluation by subject matter experts and will receive summary statements that provide a description of the review process.
       

    9. How will awards be selected for funding?

      The Director of the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives in the Office of the Director, NIH, will make the final funding decisions based the results of initial peer review, the recommendations of the Council level of review, programmatic considerations, availability of funds, and consultations with IC Directors.
       

    10. When will awardees be announced?

      Awardees will be notified by late August or early September. New awardees are asked to attend the High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium to be held in the winter.
       

    11. Can the decision of the review panel be appealed?

      No. There is no appeal process.
       

    12. What is the success rate of applications for the Transformative Research Award?

      Information about success rates for NIH grant applications can be found through the NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) website.

     

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    Award Administration

    1. What requirements must I fulfill during the term of the award?

      Although there are no stipulations on the research agenda, you will be required to submit a two- to five-page annual report of your activities during the year and to participate in an annual High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium in Bethesda, MD. In addition, to help the NIH evaluate this program, you may be contacted periodically for at least five years and asked to report on your latest research efforts.
       

    2. How will the award be administered?

      Awards will be administered by an NIH Institute/Center best matching the proposal topic. However, Dr. Ravi Basavappa from the Office of the Director will also serve as a program officer to coordinate administration of all Transformative Research Awards.
       

    3. Do I need to submit an annual progress report?

      As described in the Notice of Award posted in your NIH Commons account, a progress report is due annually on October 1.
       

    4. Should I mention NIH support in journal articles that pertain to research supported with my Transformative Research Award?

      Yes, please be sure to identify yourself as an NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award recipient in journal articles, oral or poster presentations, news releases, interviews with reporters, and other communications related to your research funded by this program. Although citing NIH support is always important, it is even more so in the case of the Transformative Research Award, which is a component of the NIH Common Fund. In journal articles, please cite the grant number as well as the name of the program. An example of how this might be worded is, "This work was funded by the National Institutes of Health through the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award, R01-IC######."
       

    5. Should I notify the NIH of any note-worthy publications or media coverage of my research?

      Yes, please notify us at Transformative_Awards@mail.nih.gov of any significant publications or media coverage so we can highlight you and your research on our website.
       

    6. Am I required to submit my journal manuscripts to PubMed Central?

      As required by Federal legislation, the NIH Public Access Policy requires NIH funded scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to PubMed Central. Please visit the NIH Public Access site for additional information about the process of submitting your accepted publications.
       

    7. Are there annual meetings I am required to attend?

      Yes, as an awardee, you are required to attend the annual High-Risk, High-Reward Research Symposium held at the NIH Bethesda campus in Maryland in the winter.
       

    8. Are these awards renewable?

      No. These awards are intended to provide funds to initiate important new directions in research over a five year timeframe.
       

    9. Is it possible to request a no-cost extension at the end of the grant period if there are unexpended funds?

      Yes, you may request a no-cost extension for a Transformative Research Award.
       

    10. Is the award transferable if I change institutions?

      Yes, the award may be transferred to another eligible institution according to the same policies and procedures used for traditional research grants. Awards may not be transferred to foreign institutions.

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