Miscellaneous

  • Budget-related suggestions
  • Consider budgeting travel money for graduate students.
  • Consultants costing over $5,000/year require sole source justifications. These are easy to obtain but require additional paperwork to justify. Leave sufficient time in your schedule to accomplish this task.
  • Similarly, sole source justifications are required to purchase equipment costing more than $5,000 from a specific vendor without competitive bidding.
  • Keep in mind that decreases in percent effort after a grant has been awarded that exceed 25% of the previously indicated amount require approval. Therefore, in preparing your grants, select initial effort percentages that will give you flexibility to decrease the level without prior approval should you want to do that.
  • If you are using human subjects, advertising costs are the most frequently under-budgeted items.
  • Getting the best review and avoiding misunderstandings
  • Cover letters are a good place to request particular review committees.
  • Be sure that you have any possible overlap in your current grant and grants listed on your biosketch.
  • Clarify how the grants differ.
  • Tables outlining the study measures and timeline are extremely helpful.
  • If you are listed on a few grants, you might need to make some clear reference explaining how you will have the time to complete the proposed project.
  • If you are junior, you should consider a local Co-I even for 2.5% effort to show there is some oversight.
  • Many review panels at NIH (possibly in other agencies as well) take points off with no statistical consultant even if the PI has demonstrated quantitative skills. So, if you don’t want someone, it might be useful to argue why a consultant is not needed.
  • Pilot data are not needed for NIH R21 or R03 applications but these days they might help. At minimum, reviewers of these types of grant look for evidence of feasibility with data from at least a few subjects.