TTUHSC Research

News and Announcements

 NIH eSubmission Items of Interest

Systematic Application Compliance Checking-What it is and What it's not

Automated enforcement of business rules by NIH eRA systems plays an important role in the application submission process – it helps you and it helps NIH. Understanding what that role covers can be the difference between your application moving forward to review and not. System-enforced application validations are what they are – nothing more, nothing less.

They ARE:

  • a strategy for providing users with the opportunity to identify and fix many showstopper errors prior to submission deadlines
  • a mechanism to reduce the number of applications NIH staff have to turn back for noncompliance
  • an efficient method of ensuring large numbers of applications follow the same general rules and that the rules are enforced with consistency and fairness
  • a way to ensure application information is formatted appropriately for NIH systems and can be assembled into a consolidated application image for review
  • a way to reduce the number of applications received to bump up our success rates
  • a substitute for following the instructions provided in FOAs, application guides and notices in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts
  • helpful, unless you submit early enough (as in days, not hours or minutes) to have time to fix identified errors
  • a guarantee your application will be accepted for review and funding consideration if you pass them

That last point may be the most important of all. Although it is true that an application cannot move forward to review without first passing systematic compliance checks, the opposite is not necessarily true. Passing the system-enforced checks does not guarantee your application will be accepted for review and funding consideration.

NIH tries to catch as many showstopper conditions with automated validations as possible. However, there are a number of manual checks done by NIH staff after submission that can also prevent an application from moving forward.


  • Staff can reject an application for not following font, margin and page size requirements outlined in the application guide. Automated validations will give an error for a 15-page Research Strategy on an R01 application, but not for a 12-page Research Strategy with 9 pt font
  • Programmatic or funding opportunity announcement specific requirements, especially those listed in FOA Section IV - Application and Submission Information, are typically highly specialized and manually validated
  • Staff can reject an application for issues with application attachment content, like including additional Research Strategy information in other attachments not restricted by page limits (we internally call this 'overstuffing' an application)

10 Good Submission Practices Every Submitter Should Know a minute? How about 7 minutes and 40 seconds? That's how long it will take to watch the new 'Tips for Electronic Grant Submission Success' video. If you follow all 10 tips in the video then you shouldn't have any problems with the submission process. How many of the tips are you already following? Is following Tip #3 really harder than dealing with the potential consequences?

important reminder for early stage investigators

In order for eRA systems to identify a Project Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) on a R01 or DP2 application as having Early Stage Investigator (ESI) status, the PD/PI's degree completion and/or the end of residency date must be correctly entered in their eRA Commons profile at the time of submission. If you have already submitted an application and it doesn't reflect the correct ESI status, you can open a ticket with the eRA Commons Help Desk to request a correction of the ESI status for the submitted application.

Pursue your financial freedom-Apply for NIH Loan Repayment

The National Institutes of Health Loan Repayment Programs (LRPs) repay the student loans of doctoral level, biomedical or behavioral scientists conducting research funded by nonprofit institutions. The application cycle opens on September 1, 2014 and closes on November 17, 2014. You may be eligible to receive up to $70,000 of qualified educational debt repayment with a 2 year contract.

Apply here: NIH Division of Loan Repayment Once you apply, please notify your TTUHSC representative: who will be required to verify your employment and research commitment.   

Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Medical Research Fellows Programs

In order to encourage more medical students to pursue academic and research careers, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) offers outstanding year-long and summer research training programs for students enrolled in schools in the U.S. Women and under-represented minorities are particularly encouraged to apply. Students enrolled in MD/PhD programs are not eligible to apply.

For 2nd and 3rd Year Students: 1) HHMI Medical Research Fellows Program enables medical, dental, and veterinary students at schools located in the U.S. to spend a year conducting basic, translational, or applied biomedical research at any academic or nonprofit research institution in the United States except federal government agencies. HHMI will award 60 fellowships in 2015.

Additional Medical Fellows conducting research in the following areas may be supported by organizations partnering with HHMI:

  • Duchenne muscular dystrophy research (Partner: Duchenne Research Fund)
  • Epilepsy research (Partner: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy)
  • HIV or TB research (Partner: K-RITH)
  • Inherited retinal degenerative disease research (Partner: Foundation Fighting Blindness)
  • Orthopaedic research (Partner: Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation)
  • Parkinson's disease research (Partner: Parkinson's Disease Foundation)
  • Preclinical research in interventional radiology (Partner: Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation)

For the 2015-2016 program year, Fellows will receive a $30,000 stipend; a $5,500 fellow's allowance for health, dental and vision insurance and some education-related expenses; and a $5,500 research allowance for research-related enrichment activities and some research costs. The Competition System is now open and the application deadline is January 12, 2015.

2) The Medical Research Fellows Program at Janelia offers students with an interest in neuronal networking and/or imaging at the cellular and molecular level an intense year-long research training experience, living and working at HHMI's Janelia Research Campus, a world-class research center in the Washington, D.C., area. Students must submit a prescreening application by November 3, 2014 and comply with specific eligibility and application requirements.

3) The Medical Research Fellows Program at K-RITH is targeted to students interested in conducting research in HIV, TB, or co-infection in a state-of-the-art research institute at the heart of the TB and HIV epidemics in Durban, South Africa. Students must submit a prescreening application by November 3, 2014 and comply with specific eligibility and application requirements.

For 1st Year Students: HHMI Summer Medical Fellows Program will support up to 20 students working in HHMI laboratories for 8-10 weeks. Students must be in good standing at a medical, dental, or veterinary school located in the U.S. Those who are enrolled in a combined professional degree/Ph.D. program or who have already received a one-year award from any year-out research training program are not eligible to apply. The program is primarily aimed at those students who wish to explore the summer research experience with the intent of applying for the year-long program. For the 2015 summer program, students will receive a stipend of $5,000 for 10 weeks ($500/week for less than 10 weeks) and up to $1,000 for roundtrip relocation costs. The Competition System opens on November 3, 2014 and the application deadline is February 16, 2015.

For further information, visit: Howard Hughes Medical Institute or e-mail


NIH to implement major changes to Biosketch

NIH will be rolling out a new biosketch format intended to further emphasize an individual's accomplishments by focusing on the magnitude and significance of the scientific advances associated with a researcher's discoveries. Implementation of the new biosketch will be in phases. The first round concluded last year; the second round will be launched in June, 2014 with the pilot biosketch included in several specific RFAs. Currently, the pilot biosketch is included in one active RFA.

The new 5-page format will allow space for researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research. This description can outline the central finding(s) of their work, the influence of those finding(s) on their field and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology. See the full NIH Notice here.

In addition to the descriptions of their contributions, researchers will be able to include a link to a full list of their published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as MyBibliography or SciENcv. Two new forms,  a pilot biosketch format page (MS Word) and the instructions and a sample using the modified format (MS Word) have been posted, and can be found on the page that describes the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information. Please note that the use of the enhanced biosketch format is restricted to those RFAs included in the pilot. According to Rock Talk with Dr. Sally Rockey, the new biosketch format will be fully implemented in early 2015.

NIH and AHRQ Announce Updated Policy for Application Submission

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) announce a change in policy on application submissions. Effective immediately, for application due dates after April 16, 2014, following an unsuccessful resubmission (A1) application, applicants may submit the same idea as a new (A0) application for the next appropriate due date. The NIH and AHRQ will not assess the similarity of the science in the new (A0) application to any previously reviewed submission when accepting an application for review. Although a new (A0) application does not allow an introduction or responses to the previous reviews, the NIH and AHRQ encourage applicants to refine and strengthen all application submissions.

Clarifications to the NIH and AHRQ Policy for Application Submission

 Clarifications are provided in the above link for certain key points that were raised in questions NIH received.

Receive Customized NIH Guide Listings via Email                                               

Do you find yourself repeating the same NIH Guide search over and over again looking for funding opportunity announcements?  If the answer is yes, then we have a new tool you are sure to love. The NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts now allows you to be notified when new NIH Guide postings match your search criteria. To get started, visit and perform your search, then from the Results page click "Save Your Search" to sign up for alerts based on that search criteria. The system can email you with new funding opportunity announcements and/or notices related to your search on a daily, weekly or monthly basis (your choice!).

You can also subscribe to a weekly LISTSERV email with new NIH Guide Postings. At the end of each work week NIH transmits an email to subscribers with the current weekly table of contents (TOC) including links to announcements published during the week. 

NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.  Click here for more information: NIH Public Access page.