• Government Opportunities

    Type Size

    Government Opportunities

    Grant Writing Tips

    Ronald Margolis, Ph.D., Senior Advisor, Molecular Endocrinology, at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), kindly provided the following slides from a workshop he gives, entitled, “Grantsmanship: The Art and Science of Getting Funded.

    The following are PowerPoint slides from the Grant Writing Workshop: Tips on Getting Funded, sponsored by the ASBMR Membership Development Committee, held on Saturday, September 20, 2003, at the ASBMR 25th Annual Meeting & Anniversary Celebration. Please use the tips and guidelines provided by some of ASBMR's top researchers.

    Tips on Writing Basic Research Grants: Slides from John Adams, M.D.

    International Funding - Europe: Slides from Richard Eastell, M.D., FRCP

    International Funding - Australia: Slides from Matthew Gillespie, Ph.D.

    Grant Application Tips - Slides from Matthew Gillespie, Ph.D.

    Tips on Writing Clinical Research Grants: Slides from Nancy Lane, M.D.

    The NIH Review Process: Slides from Daniel McDonald, Ph.D.

    Back to Top


    Grantsmanship Tips (From ASBMR's "Meet the NIH and Other Funding Sources" Session)

    1. Don't rush.
    2. Don't assume you deserve the grant.
    3. Avoid over ambition.
    4. Focus.
    5. No "gee whiz" experiments.
    6. The abstract is critical; clarity and logic are paramount.
    7. Hypotheses should be clearly and simply stated.
    8. Specific aims should directly address the hypotheses.
    9. Writing is very important.
    10. Be mechanistic rather than phenomenological.
    11. As much as possible, the success of one specific aim should not depend upon the success of the others.
    12. Recruit a critic who is a "no sayer" and who will discover fatal flaws.
    13. Use the NIH staff.
    14. Try to target the appropriate Study Section.
    15. Don't fight the pink sheet.
    16. You can't fool the Study Section.

    Back to Top

    Ask the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)

    by Joan A. McGowan, Ph.D., Director, Musculoskeletal Branch, and William J. Sharrock, Ph.D., Director, Bone Biology Branch

    Do I need to select a study section (review group) before sending in my grant application?

    The short answer is no. If an application responds to a special initiative (such as the NIAMS small grants program), it will be reviewed by an ad hoc committee convened by the Institute, and there is no choice to be made. In most other cases, applications will be reviewed in one of the many study sections managed by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). CSR is independent of the funding Institutes, so there is no obligate relationship between any CSR study section and any particular Institute. The Orthopedics and Musculoskeletal Study Section, for example, typically reviews applications assigned to three or four different Institutes, including NIAMS.

    Applicants are encouraged to recommend a study section with the appropriate expertise in a cover letter accompanying the grant application. The website for the Center for Scientific Review has a wealth of information on the study section meeting schedules, policies, and the rosters of the study sections: www.csr.nih.gov/studysec.htm. The rosters can help an applicant by indicating which of the review groups has the expertise to review the application. If there seems to be a good match, then it is a good idea to point that out in the cover letter accompanying the grant application.

    If it all seems confusing, the NIAMS website also contains contact information for review administrators who can be very helpful in suggesting study sections. If you fail to do anything about searching for a review group, the CSR does a very good job in matching an application with a suitable review group. Even after receiving an assignment, you can discuss the issue of the appropriateness of the review group with the Scientific Review Administrator (SRA) in charge of the review group.

    Back to Top

    NIH Research Funding: Website Resources

    NIH Funding Opportunities Website:

    Back to Top

    NIH Loan Repayment Program

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) invites health professionals engaged in biomedical and behavioral research to apply for the NIH's Loan Repayment Program (LRP). The LRP application cycle is open through May 1, 2008 and the NIH will repay eligible student loans up to $10,000 per calendar year with a $60,000 lifetime maximum. The programs also provide coverage for Federal and state tax liabilities.

    For more details and how to apply, visit www.lrp.nih.gov or contact Sheila Monroe at (301) 496-0377 .

    Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health

    This site offers a wealth of information on NIH study sections, grant applications and instructions, as well as links to other related sites.


    The Center for Scientific Review has produced a video of a mock study section meeting to provide an inside look at how NIH grant applications are reviewed for scientific and technical merit. The video shows how outside experts assess applications and how review meetings are conducted to ensure fairness. The video also includes information on what applicants can do to improve the chances their applications will receive a positive review.


    Back to Top

    NIAMS Releases Requests for Applications for Basic and Clinical Research

    The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases has announced several requests for applications for research funding, including the following:

    • Basic and Clinical Research on Fibromyalgia
    • Small Grant Program for the NIAMS
    • Specialized Centers of Research (SCORs) in Osteoporosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and Scleroderma
    • Core Centers for Musculoskeletal Disorders
    • Generation and Maintenance of Immunological Memory
    • Innovative Approaches to Disease Prevention through Behavior Change
    • The NIH Osteoporosis and Related Bone Diseases Resource Center
    • Acupuncture Clinical Trial Pilot Grants
    • Pathogenesis and Therapy of the Muscular Dystrophies
    • Imaging in Medical Rehabilitation

    For details on these and other funding opportunities, see the NIAMS website at http://www.nih.gov/niams/grants/ or contact the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Service, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2350, USA.

    Back to Top

    NIH Director's Pioneer Award

    A key component of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research, the NIH Director's Pioneer Award supports exceptionally creative scientists who propose pioneering approaches to major challenges in biomedical research.

    In 2008, NIH expects to make 5 to 10 new awards of up to $500,000 in direct costs per year for 5 years.

    Women, members of groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, and individuals in the early to middle stages of their careers are especially encouraged to apply.

    Open to Scientists Who Are:

    • U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or permanent residents
    • Currently engaged in any field of research
    • Interested in exploring biomedically relevant topics
    • Willing to commit at least 51% of their research effort to the Pioneer Award project

    Apply Online

    More Information

    Funding Opportunities at NIDDK

    The National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) supports both clinical and basic research in bone and bone-related diseases:

    • Hormonal Regulation of Bone
    • Body Composition and Effects on Bone Strength
    • Vitamin D and Calcium in the Diet
    • Anabolic Hormones in the Treatment of Osteoporosis
    • Nuclear Receptor Superfamily and the Effects of Serms in Bone
    • Growth Factors and Their Receptors

    Research Training and Career Development:

    • Fellowship Training Through Individual and Institutional NRSAs
    • Career Development Awards for Ph.D.s and M.D.s
    • Small Grants for Pilot and Feasibility Studies

    Regular Research:

    • R01
    • P01
    • Centers

    National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
    National Institutes of Health
    Building 45, Room 5AN-12J
    45 Center Drive MSC 6600
    Bethesda, MD 20892-6600
    Phone: (301) 594-8819
    Fax:       (301) 480-3503

    Back to Top

    National Science Foundation - Opportunities for Funding for Skeletal Research

    ASBMR members who are involved with fundamental structural, functional and historical problems related to bone tissues and to skeletons should know that the National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a similar role in funding social, life and physical sciences as NIH plays in biomedical research. NSF Directorates that are relevant to interdisciplinary bone and skeletal research include: Biological Sciences; Computer and Information Science & Engineering; Geosciences; Mathematical and Physical Sciences; and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. Visit them at http://www.nsf.gov.

    The conceptual approach to such NSF-funded basic research may be stated as "Which level, if any, can be ignored or analyzed experimentally out of its organismal context?" This integration is necessary to understand the functional (mechanical/physiological) and adaptational significance of bone and skeletal structure more fully. In the social sciences, for example, research into population variation due to factors such as diet, disease, health and the economy of extant and past human groups is of major importance.

    Efforts to garner focused NSF support for comparative bone biology are now underway. Interested research scientists and educators may contact Tim Bromage at tbromage@hunter.cuny.edu to learn more.

    Tim Bromage
    Department of Anthropology
    Hunter College, CUNY
    695 Park Ave.
    New York, NY 10021
    Phone: (212) 772-5474
    Fax:       (212) 772-5419
    E-Mail: tbromage@hunter.cuny.edu

    Back to Top

    Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program Funding Opportunities

    The Fiscal Year 2009 (FY09) Defense Appropriations Act provides $50 million to the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP) to support scientifically meritorious proposals that may impact the field of research and/or patient care across a diverse range of diseases and disorders. Specifically, the FY09 PRMRP is soliciting research applications across the following 19 congressionally-directed topic areas: alcoholism research; autoimmune diseases; blood cancer; childhood asthma; drug abuse; epilepsy; kidney cancer; listeria vaccine for infectious diseases and cancer; lupus; mesothelioma; molecular signatures in tumors; neuroblastoma; osteoporosis and related bone disease; Paget's disease; pediatric cancer; polycystic kidney disease; social work research; tinnitus; and West Nile virus vaccine. Applications submitted to the FY09 PRMRP must address one of the topic areas listed above.

    This program is administered by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command through the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). A summary of FY09 PRMRP funding opportunities is provided below. Detailed descriptions of each of the FY09 PRMRP funding mechanisms, evaluation criteria, and submission requirements can be found in the corresponding Program Announcement and Application Instructions & General Information. Each Program Announcement is available electronically for downloading from the Grants.gov website (http://www.grants.gov), the CDMRP website (http://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prmrp.htm) and the CDMRP eReceipt Website (https://cdmrp.org).

    Submission Deadlines:

    Investigator-Initiated Research Award
    Pre-Application Letter of Intent: March 19, 2009
    Application: April 16, 2009

    Technology/Therapeutic Development Award Pre-Application Letter of Intent: March 19, 2009
    Application: April 16, 2009

    Clinical Trial Award
    Pre-Application Letter of Intent: March 19, 2009
    Application: April 16, 2009

    Pre-application submission is required and must be completed through the CDMRP eReceipt website, <https://cdmrp.org>, prior to application submission. As of 2007, all applications requesting funding from the CDMRP must be submitted through the Federal Government's single entry portal, www.Grants.gov, in compliance with Public Law 106-107. Each individual Program Announcement, Application Instructions & General Information, and required forms can be found on the Grants.gov website.

    Please visit http://cdmrp.army.mil for more information.