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Advice Corner



How do I number sections in the new NIH application format?


The NIH web site does not give you instructions about numbering sections of the new application format. So what should you do? Here is some advice from recent NIH study section members.

“When we looked at actual grant applications with perfect or near-perfect scores we saw that some people used numbers and some did not. While numbering sections and Specific Aims is not necessary, do make sure to include headers for each section, including the Research Strategy and its subsections.

In most cases, when you do not see an instruction from NIH, there is no requirement. This appears to be one of those cases.”

For more advice, see "Structuring the Research Strategy Section of Your Application” in NIH's Extramural Nexus.


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Do you need to follow rules for select agent research if you use only killed select agents?


Select agent rules apply only if the agent your are using is viable. Select agent rules grant an exception for research involving nonviable select agent organisms or nonfunctional toxins. The NIH suggests that you keep records that show you've tested your agent to prove it's not viable. For more on select agents, read NIAID Select Agents Award Explanatory Statement for Awardee Institutions and Program Staff.


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Team Science


As research increasingly taps the expertise of multidisciplinary collaborative groups, more scientists are dealing with the challenges of team science. Here is some advice about what you should consider when thinking about participating in team science along with some tips for smoothing the way.


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Advice for investigators submitting clinical research applications to NIH


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If I send a 12-page Research Strategy plus three pages of bibliography,  how does this affect the automatic page limit check?


Though your Research Strategy makes frequent reference to the bibliography, they aren't attached together, so validations are not affected.  Attach  your Bibliography and References Cited as Item 9 of the Research and Related Other Project Information component.


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Advice for New Investigators: Laying the Groundwork for Your Research Plan (pdf)



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