Request for Information for NIH

Even though the government is currently shut down, there are some outstanding Request for Information (RFI) notices out there for which the National Institutes of Health are seeking public comments.  These RFIs provide opportunities for you to have your comments and thoughts heard on specific topics, so let your voice be heard.  Here are some current RFIs still seeking comments:

Request for Information: Input on the Draft NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy
Notice Number: NOT-OD-13-119

Deadline for comments: November 20, 2013

Background: NIH’s mission is to seek fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems and the application of that knowledge to enhance health, lengthen life, and reduce illness and disability. The draft GDS Policy supports this mission by promoting the sharing of genomic research data, which maximizes the knowledge gained. Not only does data sharing allow data generated from one research study to be used to explore a wide range of additional research questions, it also enables data from multiple projects to be combined, amplifying the scientific value of data many times. Broad research use of the data enhances public benefit by helping to speed discoveries that increase the understanding of biological processes that affect human health and the development of better ways to diagnose, treat, and prevent disease….  Read the full notice for more information.

Request for Information on Proposed NCI Policy Ensuring Public Availability of Results from NCI-Supported Clinical Trials
Notice Number: NOT-CA-13-019

Deadine for comments: November 20, 2013

Background: NCI, a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), is dedicated to improving the health of Americans by conducting and funding biomedical research through an extensive portfolio of clinical trials and clinical trials-related research. A fundamental premise of all NIH-funded research is that the results of such work must be shared in order to contribute to the general body of science and ultimately, to the public health. Grantee institutions are expected to make the results and accomplishments of their activities available to the research community and to the public at large.

NIH funding recipients ensure the timely disclosure of their scientists’ research findings through publications, presentations at scientific meetings as well as by sharing research tools, depositing information into databases and materials into repositories and through other means. NIH has many policies in place to educate funding recipients about their responsibility to share the results of NIH-funded work, and to facilitate such sharing…. Read the full notice for more information.

One-stop Health Sciences Funding Portal

At the University of Michigan we’re pretty blessed to have access to the plethora of resources our university has – but navigating those resources when they’re managed by a variety of different schools and departments can be challenging. In an effort to address that challenge, your liaison librarians have developed a research guide that aims to consolidate the disparate resources at your disposal: the Health Sciences Grant Information Portal, or HS-GIP. The guide takes you through the steps of the funding cycle:

  1. Finding funding sources
  2. Grant writing
  3. Post-award processing

This post will walk you through a couple of the guide’s key features, then leave you to explore and give us your feedback if you so desire!

The main page lets you navigate – via the gold tabs – to funding resources for students, health-sciences specific funding (more on that below) and general funding databases that let you search across disciplines & funding types:


That Health Sciences Specific Funding tab I mentioned earlier leads you to an area that encompasses information on specific government agencies, including NIH, NSF, and the DoD:

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 10.22.06 AM

There is also an  area to help you locate collaborators, whether within your research field or if you are looking for interdisciplinary participants:

hgip collaborators

I hope you’ll forgive me for including a plug for my 2nd year project as a ULA – but you can also find a link to the wonderful portal (U Mich log-in required) – which is geared toward faculty looking for foundation funding on the main page:


Is there anything you’d like to see on the Health Sciences Grant Information Portal, or have any other suggestions? Send us an email at:

White House Neuroscience Initiative

In case you missed it, the White House announced this week their new initiative to fund research focusing on neuroscience innovation.

“The BRAIN Initiative — short for Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies — builds on the President’s State of the Union call for historic investments in research and development to fuel the innovation, job creation, and economic growth that together create a thriving middle class.” BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind

Here is a brief introduction to the project from NIH Director, Francis Crick.

On The Clock: The BRAIN Initiative

For more information, please see:

NIH: Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative:

Escaping the Paywall: Taxpayer-funded research will be free

Open Access LogoOver the summer I wrote about a We the People petition asking the White House to mandate measures similar to the NIH Public Access Policy (in place since 2008)for more Federal agencies.  A quick review, the NIH PAP  has results from NIH-funded projects (eventually) published in open access journals and repositories.

That petition has gotten a response (from Dr. John Holdren, the Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy)! One paragraph from Dr. Holdren’s response is particularly salient:

The logic behind enhanced public access is plain. We know that scientific research supported by the Federal Government spurs scientific breakthroughs and economic advances when research results are made available to innovators. Policies that mobilize these intellectual assets for re-use through broader access can accelerate scientific breakthroughs, increase innovation, and promote economic growth. That’s why the Obama Administration is committed to ensuring that the results of federally-funded scientific research are made available to and useful for the public, industry, and the scientific community.

But what does that actually do? The Office of Science and Technology Policy also issued a memo to the heads of federal agencies to the effect that those spending over $100 million on research & development should make the results of that research publicly available 12 months after publication (the standard embargo time).

Ah – democracy in action!

It’s not just about open access publication either – there are provisions regarding the “management and sharing of scientific data produced with Federal funding,” which I have a feeling may be the next version of the open access movement we see, if the 2012 Medical Library Association meeting is any indication.

Most of the coverage I’ve seen online is pretty positive regarding the measure – the Association of Research Libraries issued a press release supporting the action; the Huffington Post linked the move to Internet activist & programmer wunderkind Aaron Swartz; and the Chronicle of Education noted that even publishers were OK with the shift and that certain agencies, notable the National Science Foundation, had already rolled out timelines to implement open access publications. Now, not all of the coverage was entirely glowing – some argued that the measure doesn’t go far enough (full disclosure – that’s my alma mater there [Go Bears!] but I have no affiliation with the department or author). But all seem to agree that it is at least a series of steps in the right direction.

To top it all off, the House and Senate have recently introduced legislation (FASTR, or the Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act) that would reduce that embargo period to 6 months! Our fearless open access soapbox librarian Jean recommends this site to follow FASTR’s developments in Congress.

Funding Pulse: January 2013

Government Grants Update: In an effort to decrease the perception of bias in its grant awards, the National Institutes of Health is considering a pilot program that would blind grant reviewers, making the application process anonymous. Read the press release from NIH, as well as an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.


Funding Opportunity:  The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) Pilot Grant Program deadline is approaching on February 15, 2013. Offering grants to encourage translational medicine and interdisciplinary collaboration, funding ranges from $25,000 to $75,000 through the following programs:

·        T1 Bench to Bedside Translation ($75,000 maximum)
·        T1 Endowment for Basic Sciences Partnership Accelerating Translation ($50,000 maximum)
·        T2 Translational Science ($50,000 maximum)
·        T3 CURES: Community University Research Partnership ($25,000 maximum)
·        T3 RIP: Research Into Practice Networks ($50,000 maximum)
·        Collaborative Mental Health Research Award ($25,000 maximum)

Get the full proposal guidelines here, and contact the pilot program coordinator, Debra Warrick (at if you have any questions.



As previously mentioned, two Taubman librarians have been awarded MCubed grants! If you’re seeking funding for your own interdisciplinary work, find out about the upcoming third round of “cubing” through the MCubed site.

NIH to recruit Associate Director for Data Science

Reposted from the NIH News:

For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 10, 2013
NIH Office of Communications

NIH to recruit Associate Director for Data Science
National Institutes of Health Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., today announced plans to recruit a new senior scientific position, the Associate Director for Data Science. The associate director will lead a series of NIH-wide strategic initiatives that collectively aim to capitalize on the exponential growth of biomedical research data, such as from genomics, imaging, and electronic health records. Dr. Collins recently charged a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director (ACD) to examine the growing data and informatics challenges associated with biomedical research. One of the major recommendations made by that working group in June 2012 is the creation of a new NIH leadership position focused on data science.

“There is an urgent need and increased opportunities for advanced collaboration and coordination of access to, and analysis of, the rapidly expanding collections of biomedical data,” Dr. Collins said. “NIH aims to play a catalytic lead role in addressing these complex issues — not only internally, but also with stakeholders in the research community, other government agencies, and private organizations involved in scientific data generation, management, and analysis.”

Dr. Collins has asked Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D., to serve as the Acting Associate Director for Data Science. Dr. Green was appointed as the third director of the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in 2009. Dr. Green has been at the forefront of efforts to map, sequence, and understand eukaryotic genomes. He played a leadership role in the Human Genome Project and subsequently pioneered work in comparative genomics that provided important insights about genome structure, function, and evolution. Among his many honors, Dr. Green was inducted into the Association of American Physicians in 2007, and received the Cotlove Award from the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists in 2011 and the Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry in 2012. He will continue to serve in his current role at NHGRI while serving in this acting leadership position…

Read the full news item here.

NIHPAP Compliance Changes

A new notice, NOT-OD-12-160, was posted last week by the National Institutes of Health in regards to compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy that explictly states:

….Since 2008, compliance with the NIH public access policy has been a statutory requirement and a term and condition of all grant awards and cooperative agreements. NIH and its awardees have developed increasingly effective ways to track and report compliance with the public access policy.  To this end, NIH has provided outreach and worked to assist applicants with understanding the policy.  However, there is a need to improve grantee compliance.

Upcoming Process Change:
With this Notice, NIH informs grantees that in Spring, 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.  This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards in the Spring of 2013 (see NIH NOT-OD-12-142).

NIH will simultaneously implement the procedural change outlined below to facilitate public access reporting in paper progress reports (PHS 2590) submitted on or after this ‘to be announced’ spring date…

The Taubman Health Sciences Library provides a research guide to assist you with compliance requirements at:


Funding Pulse – November

“Fund” 2012 from United Nations OCHA on the Noun Project – public domain

Welcome to the November issue of Funding Pulse – an aggregation of health-related funding news from the previous month to keep you updated on the latest fiscal trends at UMHS and related entities, and upcoming opportunities:

Information Session: W. M. Keck Foundation Call for Concept Papers (internal submissions)

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012, 9:30-10:30 am, Palmer Commons Boardroom 5 (6th Floor)

If your work focuses on basic science (rather than clinical or translational), and you are working on or considering “high-risk/high reward projects focused on the development of pioneering instrumentation, new technologies and novel methodologies that advance and facilitate research (not medical treatment),” this session is for you! Contact Ann Verhey-Henke for more information about the internal competition at


Flat federal grants force U-M cancer center researchers to find creative funding sources –

U-M Cancer Center gets $28.4 million grant from NCI – U of M Health News

Mary Sue Coleman on U-M’s safety overhaul, Coursera and how fundraising ‘comes naturally’ –

U-M researcher receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant for research in global health – U of M Health News

National Institutes of Health supports emerging research to diagnose, prevent diseases with metabolic profiling – U of M Health News