Grant Writing Lecture
• What are the major types of grants available in mental
health research?
• What is the process of grant preparation and submission?
• What are some general principles that apply to writing
most grant applications?
• What grants might you apply for while in graduate school?
• What can you do to increase the chance that your grant will
be funded?
Grant Writing
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Sources of Funding in
Mental Health
• Federal agencies (NIMH, NIAAA, NIDA,
NSF)
• State agencies (e.g.,Texas State Alcohol
Beverage Commission)
• Private foundations (Hogg Foundation)
• Other specific organizations (Anxiety
Disorders Association of America)
Grant Writing
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Types of NIH Grants
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Investigator-initiated research grants (R01)
Collaborative research project grants (R01)
Treatment development grants (R21)
Career development awards (K awards)
Institutional training grant (T awards)
Conference grants (R13)
*Fellowship training grants (F31,F32)
*Dissertation research grants (R03)
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Major Sections of Most NIH
Grant Applications
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Specific aims
Background/significance of the problem
Previous work/preliminary studies
Research methods
Human subjects
References
Appendices
Grant Writing
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What are the Ingredients of a
Strong Mental Health
Grant Application?
Grant Writing
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What Makes a Good
Research Grant?
• Significance
– Does the project address an important mental
health problem?
– Will findings significantly advance scientific
knowledge?
– Will findings significantly enhance clinical
practice?
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What Makes a Good
Research Grant?
• Innovativeness of the proposed project
– Does it investigate a new problem?
– Does it investigate a new theory?
– Does it investigate new methods?
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What Makes a Good
Research Grant?
• Strength of the approach
– Adequacy of the design to address the major research
aims
– Methods for recruiting, screening, and selecting
participants
– Adequacy of assessment methods
– Adequacy of interventions/manipulations
– Adequacy of sample size and statistical analyses
– Adequacy of methods for protecting human subjects
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What Makes a Good
Research Grant?
• Strength of the principal investigator
– Previous scientific contributions of the
investigator
– Scientific contribution in the proposed
research area
– Publication record
– Track record in obtaining grant funding
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What Makes a Good
Research Grant?
• Strength of the research environment
– Environment that supports research
– Clinical and research facilities
– Collaborative arrangements with
agencies/clinics
– Quality of collaborators
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Objective of grant mechanism
– Provide funds to facilitate the training of
predoctoral applicants to become productive
mental health researchers
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Eligibility
– Currently in an accredited M.D. or Ph.D.
clinical training program
– Must have an established researcher willing to
sponsor the applicant
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Scope of Support
– The annual stipend for Predoctoral Fellows
with disabilities is $10,008; a maximum of five
years of support is available. Funds will also be
provided for tuition and fees per 12-month
period to the predoctoral fellows sponsoring
institution to help defray such trainee expenses
as research supplies and equipment
Grant Writing
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation criteria
– Strength of the applicant
Grant Writing
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the applicant
– Evidence of the applicant’s commitment to a research
career
– Demonstrated potential for a productive research career
– Quality of the applicant’s academic record, awards, and
honors
– Extent and quality of applicant’s previous research
and/or clinical training
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation criteria
– Strength of the applicant
– Strength of the proposed research training plan
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the research training plan
– Specificity and clarity of the description of the
knowledge and research skills to be acquired
– Overall potential of the plan to provide the fellow with
individualized supervised experiences that will foster
research skills
– Clarity, completeness, and significance of the goals of
the research training plan
– Knowledge of relevant literature and methods in the
proposed research area
Grant Writing
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the research training plan (cont.)
– Adequacy of the plans for protection of human subjects
– Adequacy of the plans to include women, minorities,
and children in the research, if applicable
– Adequacy of the plans for training fellow in the
responsible scientific conduct of research
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation criteria
– Strength of the applicant
– Strength of the proposed research training plan
– Strength of the faculty sponsor
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the research training environment
– Evidence that there is an established M.D/Ph.D. program
– Access to facilities and related resources (e.g., equipment,
space, computer time, subject populations) necessary to
provide the applicant a high-quality training environment
– Strength of the institution’s commitment to research training
as demonstrated by ongoing programs, experienced faculty,
and in particular, commitment to the proposed M.D./Ph.D.
student
– Track record of the department and sponsor in training
students to become active researchers
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the applicant’s references
– Strength and specificity of the proposed sponsors
endorsement of the applicant, including identification of the
applicant’s strengths and weaknesses
– Strength and specificity of additional references as well as
adequacy of these reports based on the referees opportunity
to observe and evaluate the applicant’s potential as a
research scientist
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation criteria
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Strength of the applicant
Strength of the proposed research training plan
Strength of the faculty sponsor
Strength of the training environment
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Strength of the research environment
– Environment that supports research
– Clinical and research facilities
– Collaborative arrangements with
agencies/clinics
– Quality of collaborators
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Objective
– Provide funds for promising applicants to to
conduct dissertation research on a significant
problem in mental health
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Eligibility
– Currently in an accredited Ph.D. training program
– Must have completed all requirements except
dissertation and internship
– Must have dissertation approved by their committee
– Research must focus on one of the following areas:
• Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychopathology
• HIV/AIDS Research
• Mental Health Services Research
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation criteria
– Significance of the problem
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Significance of the problem
– The project is focused primarily on a significant
problem in mental health, or in child/adolescent
developmental psychopathology, HIV research,
or mental health services research
– Potential generalizability, heuristic value, and
usefulness of the research findings
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation criteria
– Significance of the problem
– Research design and methods
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation of research design and methods
– The problem to be addressed is clearly defined
– The grant application shows an excellent grasp of
scientific principles and adequate knowledge of other
research related to the problem
– The research methods are fully described including
sampling procedures, description of experimental
groups, description of types and sources of data to be
gathered, discussion of possible methodological
problems, and description of specific analyses to be
performed
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation criteria
– Significance of the problem
– Research design and methods
– Qualifications of the applicant and support
structure
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation of the applicant and support structure
– The applicant shows promise as a research investigator
in areas relevant to the application
– The experience and training of the applicant are
sufficient to carry out the research
– The proposed project is consistent with the long-term
research interests of the applicant
– Strength and specificity of the endorsements of the
references concerning the applicants potential to
contribute to mental health research
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Evaluation of the applicant and support (cont.)
– Faculty advice, support, and necessary supervision are
available and suitable
– The available facilities and organizational arrangements
are appropriate to the research
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
NRSA
• Submission process
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Prepare application forms (PHS 416-1)
Send original application and two copies
Receipt dates (Apr, Aug, Dec)
Review dates (Jun, Oct, Feb)
Funding dates (Aug, Dec, Apr)
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NIMH Dissertation
Research Grant
• Submission process
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Prepare application form PHS 398 (REV 9/91)
10 page limit (not including human subjects)
Send original application and two copies
Receipt dates (Aug, Dec, Apr)
Review dates (Oct, Feb, June)
Funding dates (Dec, Apr, Aug)
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NIMH Predoctoral Fellowship
• Evaluation of the faculty sponsor
– Adequacy and relevance of sponsor’s academic and research
qualifications and experience in providing research supervision to
trainees
– Evidence of the proposed sponsor’s understanding and
commitment to fulfilling the role of sponsor
– Evidence that the sponsor understands the applicant’s research
training needs and the sponsor’s ability to assist in meeting these
needs
– Adequacy of the sponsors ongoing research program as a context
for the expected research training
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