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Abstract—A succinct description of all major aspects of the proposed project; often posted separately from the text of the proposal. It is best written last, after the grant itself is written.

Activity Code—A code assigned by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify groupings of support mechanisms. General categories include research grants, contracts, training, and fellowships. Research grants, in turn, can be subdivided into research projects, research centers, and other research grants. (For definitions of individual codes, see Activity Codes, Organization Codes, and Definitions Used in Extramural Programs, June 1995, NIH Manual Issuance 4101-6304-2.)

ADAMHA (Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration)—Effective FY 1993, the service components of the ADAMHA became the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The three research components of the ADAMHA -- the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) -- became part of the NIH.

Amendment (amended or revised applications)—Resubmission of an unfunded application that has been revised in response to a prior review.

Appendix—Unessential and supplemental information that may be added to your application, including publications, manuscripts, abstracts, patents, questionnaires, data collection instruments, and photographs. No reviewer is obligated to review anything in an appendix.

Application—A request for support of a project or comparable activity.

Application Type
Type 1 -- New
Type 2 -- Competing Continuation (or Renewal)
Type 3 -- Supplement
Type 4 -- Extension
Type 5 -- Noncompeting Continuation
Type 7 -- Change of Grantee or Training Institution
Type 9 -- Change of Institute or Division (Competing Continuation)
(See also New, Competing Continuation, Noncompeting Continuation, and Supplement.)

Award—A statement that funds have been obligated. This includes both direct and indirect costs unless otherwise indicated. (See also Grant.)

BRDPI (Biomedical Research and Development Price Index)—The BRDPI was developed for the NIH to measure annual changes in the prices of items and services required for its research and development (R&D) activities. (See also Constant Dollars, Current Dollars.)

Competing Continuation—An application that requires competitive peer review and institute or center action to continue beyond the current competitive segment. Also known as a Renewal or Type 2.

Competing RPG (Research Project Grant)—Number of obligations reported for budget purposes, which serves as the numerator of the success rate.

Constant Dollars—Dollar amounts adjusted for inflation, based on buying power in a certain base year. The BRDPI is used to find the constant dollar amounts from current dollar figures.

Consultant—An individual brought into a project to provide expert advice in a particular field. A consultant may be written into the budget of a grant.

Contract—See R&D Contract.

Council or Board—Statutorily mandated National Advisory Council or Board that provides the second level of review for grant applications for each institute or center that awards grants. The councils or boards are comprised of both scientific and lay representatives. Council or board recommendations are based not only on the consideration of scientific merit (as judged by the initial review groups), but also on the relevance of the proposed study to an institute's programs and priorities. With some exceptions, grants cannot be awarded without recommendations for approval by a council or board. Councils or boards make recommendations on funding to institute staff and advise on the overall program of the institute they serve. (See also IRG.)

Council Review—The second step of the review process. The council review’s goal is to determine if the project fits with the program goals of the funding institute. The institute can choose to fund or not to fund the application at this point.

Count—Unless noted, the number of projects shown excludes the number of administrative supplements.

Cover Letter—A letter that may be attached to a proposal in which a review group and institute is recommended. Individuals or organizations that may present a conflict of interest if they were to review your grant may also be mentioned.

CPI (Consumer Price Index)—Measurement of changes in prices of a broad range of consumer items. (See also BRDPI.)

Current Dollars—Actual dollars awarded, without adjustment for inflation. (See also Constant Dollars.)

DHHS (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)—Federal executive department of which the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) is a component.

Direct Cost—Costs for equipment, personnel, travel, and other expenses necessary to carry out a research application. (Compare with Indirect Cost, Total Cost.)

DRG (Division of Research Grants), NIH—The NIH component responsible for the receipt and referral of applications to the PHS, as well as the initial review for scientific merit of most applications submitted to the NIH.

Dual Peer Review—The dual-level examination of an application for scientific merit and program relevance. (See also Council, IRG.)

Extramural Awards—Funds provided by the NIH to organizations outside the NIH. (See also Intramural.)

Fellowship—An NIH training program award to an individual, where the NIH specifies the person receiving the award. Fellowships comprise the "F" activity codes. (See also Training.)

Fiscal Year of IRG Review—Fiscal year in which an initial review group (IRG) meets.

Funded Carryover—A competing application that is unfunded at the end of a fiscal year but carried over to and subsequently funded in a future fiscal year.

FY (Fiscal Year)—The annual period established for government accounting purposes. Fiscal year 1995, for example, began October 1, 1994, and ended September 30, 1995.

Grant (award)—An assistance mechanism of funding by one of the NIH's institutes or centers for a particular scientific inquiry.

IMPAC (Information for Management, Planning, Analysis, and Coordination)—The database that is the primary source of information for this publication. IMPAC is a computer-based system developed and maintained by the Office of Extramural Research for information concerning PHS extramural programs. (For definitions of each item in IMPAC, see IMPAC Definitions and Specifications, Master File, July 1995.)

Indirect Cost—Award component provided to help defray costs of institutional overhead and grant administration. The amount of indirect cost awarded is usually derived from the “indirect-cost rate,” a prearranged, negotiated percentage of the direct cost award. Separate rates are negotiated with each institution. Several research grant mechanisms are not eligible for full indirect cost reimbursement: foreign research grants; conference grants (R13s); education grants (R25s); biomedical research support grants (S07s, S10s); small instrumentation grants (S15s); research development grants (S08s); research career program awards (Ks); minority student apprentice programs (S03s); and hazardous waste worker health and safety training programs (D42s). (Compare with Direct Cost, Total Cost.)

Institute, Center, or Division—Components of the NIH (includes the National Library of Medicine). Institutes or centers can make extramural awards. Institutes, centers, or divisions include:

AA National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
AG National Institute on Aging (NIA)
AI National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
AR National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
CA National Cancer Institute (NCI)
CRC Clinical Research Center (CRC)*
CT Division of Computer Research and Technology (DCRT)
DA National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
DC National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
DE National Institute of Dental Research (NIDR)
DK National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
DS Division of Safety (DS)*
ES National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)
EY National Eye Institute (NEI)
GM National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
HD National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
HG National Center for Human Genome Research (NCHGR)
HL National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
LM National Library of Medicine (NLM)
MH National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
NR National Institute for Nursing Research (NINR)
NS National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
OD Office of the Director (NIH)
RG Division of Research Grants (DRG)
RR National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
TW Fogarty International Center (FIC)

* Did not receive Extramural Awards

Intramural—Research conducted by, or in support of, employees of the NIH. (See also Extramural.)

IRG (Initial Review Group)—A group of about 12 active and productive researchers who are chosen by other scientists and institute staff members with special emphasis on the personal qualities of objectivity, ethics, integrity, mature judgement, and the ability to work as a member of a team. IRGs are responsible for the preliminary review of applications and give each application a score between 1.0 and 5.0, with 1.0 being the best score.

MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers)—A program to provide special research training opportunities in the biomedical sciences for students and faculty at 4-year colleges and health professional schools in which substantial student enrollments are drawn from minority groups.

MBRS (Minority Biomedical Research Support)—A program to strengthen the biomedical research and research training capability of ethnic minority institutions and thus establish a more favorable milieu for increasing the involvement of minority faculty and students in biomedical research.

Mechanism—See Activity Code.

New (application, award, grant)—Refers to an application that has not received prior funding. Also known as a Type 1. (Compare with Competing Continuation, Noncompeting Continuation, Supplement.)

NIH (National Institutes of Health)—A Federal agency whose mission is to improve the health of the people of the United States. The NIH is part of the PHS, which is part of the U.S. DHHS.

NIH/OD—National Institutes of Health, Office of the Director.

Noncompeting Continuation—A year of continued support for a funded grant. Applications for this continued support do not undergo peer review, but are administratively reviewed by the institute or center, and receive an award based on prior award commitments. Also known as a Type 5. (See New, Competing Continuation, Supplement.)

NRFC (Not Recommended for Further Consideration)—Starting in FY 1992, as a result of study section review, an application may be considered not recommended for further consideration if it does not have “significant and substantial merit.” NRFC is a broader category than “disapproval,” a term which is no longer used in the review process. In FY 1995, the NIH implemented streamlined review, and the term NRFC was replaced by “Unscored”.

NRSA (National Research Service Award)—Awards to both individuals and institutions to provide research training in specified health-related areas.

Obligation Basis—Data based on funds that have been obligated, not just approved but actually awarded, by an NIH institute or center.

OFM—Office of Financial Management, Office of the Director, NIH.

Other Research Grants—All research grants not coded as research projects or research centers. (See also Research Centers, Research Projects).

Percentile Rank—For an application, the percent age of reviewed applications with priority scores equal to or better than that particular application. An application is usually percentiled based on all the applications reviewed within its own study section in three consecutive meetings. (See also Percentiling, Priority Score.)

Percentiling—The statistical mechanism that, since the October 1988 Advisory Council round, has been the major determinant of the funding decisions of all NIH institutes or centers. Study sections applications are ranked in percentiles according to priority score. As with priority scores, the lower the numerical value, the greater the merit of the application. A basic assumption of percentiling is that the quality of reviewed applications is roughly equivalent among all study sections. (See also Percentile Rank, Priority Score.)

PHS (U.S. Public Health Service)—Part of the U.S. DHHS. The NIH is the largest agency within the PHS.

Principal Investigator—The person responsible for directing the study or project. He or she typically has experience doing similar types of research and is accountable to the funding institute for proper conduct of the study.

Priority Score—A number assigned to an application by an IRG. The score is a quantitative indicator of scientific and technical merit that ranges from 100 to 500. Individual IRG members assign scores from 1.0 (highest merit) to 5.0 (lowest merit). Votes are cast in 0.1 intervals. The priority scores are the average of member votes multiplied by 100. (See also IRG.)

Program Official or Project Officer (PO)—An expert in a certain area of science who keeps up with new research in their field. POs are expected to develop national programs of research in the assigned areas of expertise. POs are very valuable resources to new and minority researchers.

R&D Contract—A funding mechanism by which the NIH procures specified services. These are negotiated contracts that may be funded from intramural or extramural accounts. For the purpose of this publication, it excludes inter- or intra-agency agreements (Y01s and Y02s), resource and support contracts (N02s), and station support contracts (N03s).

Race or Ethnic Origin—The Office of Management and Budget Directive No. 15 defines the minimum standard of basic racial and ethnic categories, which are described below. A Native American is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of North America and who maintains a cultural identification through tribal affiliation or community. An Asian or Pacific Islander is a person having origins in any of the peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, and the Indian subcontinent or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, India, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Islands, and Samoa. An African American is a person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa. A Hispanic is a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, Central or South American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race. A White, not of Hispanic origin, is a person having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, North Africa, or the Middle East.

Renewal—See Competing Continuation.

Research Centers—Grants that support multidisciplinary, long-term research and development programs at research centers. Research centers usually have a clinical orientation and include all “P” activities (excluding NLM for all years and NINR for FY 1986) that are not included in research projects; M01 activities; selected U activities (U41, U42, U54); R07 and G12.

Research Grants—Extramural awards made for other research grants, research centers, research projects, and SBIR/STTRs.

Research Projects—Primarily investigator-initiated, basic scientific research. Activity codes for research projects in FY 1995 are as follows: R01, R03, R21 (except NCRR), R22 (no awards in FY 1995), R23 (no awards in FY 1995), R29, R35, R37, R55, P01, P42, U01, U19, and NIGMS P41 (no awards in FY 1995). Excludes NCRR for fiscal years prior to FY 1990, NLM for all years, NINR for FY 1986, and U01 for FYs 1980 and 1981. For definitions of these codes, see Activity Codes, Organization Codes, and Definitions Used in Extramural Programs, June 1995, NIH Manual Issuance 4101-6304-2.

RFA (Request for Applications)—The official statement that invites grant or cooperative agreement applications to accomplish a specific program purpose, indicates the amount of funds set aside for the competition, and generally identifies a single application receipt date.

RPG (Research Project Grant)—See Research Projects.

SBIR Award (Small Business Innovation Research)—An award designed to support projects from small businesses that may ultimately have commercial viability. For the computation of success rates, SBIRs are not included in the count of RPGs.

Scientific Review Administrator (SRA)—Responsible for organizing the IRG meetings. The SRA determines the reviewers of the application, reviews the application for completeness, and serves as a liaison between the IRG and the PI. Any updates to your application go through the SRA.

Scored—In the DRG peer review process, applications that are judged by a study section to be competitive, and that is generally in the upper half of the applications to be reviewed. These applications are given a priority score and forwarded to the appropriate institute or center for a second level review and potential funding.

Statistical Consultation—Statistical consultation is important in that it improves your application. It should be used even before pilot data are collected. Applications prepared without statistical consultation have a much higher failure rate.

Streamlined Review Process (formerly triage)—In the DRG peer review process, applications that are judged by a study section to be in the worst half of the applications to be evaluated are generally not reviewed during the study section meeting but are returned to the applicant with the assigned reviewers' written comments.

STTR Award (Small Business Technology Transfer)—A 3-year pilot program begun in FY 1994 under the Small Business Innovation Research Program that is designed to foster technological innovations through cooperative efforts between small businesses and research institutions. The STTR awards are for projects that have potential for commercialization. For the computation of success rates, STTRs are not included in the count of RPGs.

Study Section—An IRG that is within the DRG.

Subcontractor—A company or organization that has expertise in a particular area that the proposed project team lacks. A subcontractor is usually written into a grant to perform a specific function.

Success Rate—Indicates the percentage of reviewed applications that receive funding and is computed on a fiscal year basis. It is computed by dividing the number of competing applications funded by the sum of the total number of competing applications reviewed (including the number of applications subjected to a streamlined review process), and the number of funded carryovers. Applications that have one or more amendments in the same fiscal year are counted only once in success rate computation. The common practice for success rates is to use RPGs and exclude SBIRs or STTRs. (See also Funded Carryover, Streamlined Review Process.)

Success Rate Base—The basis for computing the success rate. It includes the total number of competing applications reviewed (including the number of applications subjected to a streamlined review process) and the number of funded carryovers. The common practice for computing success rates is to use RPGs and exclude SBIRs or STTRs.

Summary Statement—The summary statement, which is mailed to each applicant, contains the reviewers' comments about the application. It is an invaluable document if you are going to resubmit your application

Supplement—A request for additional funds either for the current operating year or for any future year recommended previously. Also known as a Type 3, a supplement can be either noncompeting (administrative) or competing (subject to peer review).

Total Cost—The sum of the Direct Cost plus the Indirect Cost.

Traditional Research Project Award (R01)—Supports discrete, specified, circumscribed projects to be performed by named investigators in areas representing their specific interest and competencies.

Training Awards—Awards designed to support the research training of scientists for careers in the behavioral and biomedical sciences, as well as help professional schools to establish, expand, or improve programs of continuing professional education. Training awards consist of institutional training grants (T mechanisms) and individual fellowships (F mechanisms). (See also Fellowship.)

Type—See Application Type.

Unscored—In the DRG peer review process, applications that are judged by a study section to be noncompetitive, and is generally in the lower half of applications to be reviewed. These applications are not given a priority score, although they are reviewed and applicants receive a summary statement.



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Last updated: August 12, 2003.