National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®

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N C C A M Research Blog

NCCAM Research Blog

NCCAM blogs about research developments related to complementary health practices. Check in regularly to keep up with the latest findings.

Dale Birkle Dreer, Ph.D.
July 28, 2014
Dale Birkle Dreer, Ph.D.

NIH has, for many years, limited the number of times a project could be submitted for consideration for funding. Until about 3 months ago, investigators who were not successful after the first submission of a project could resubmit the application once, addressing the reviewers’ concerns and improving (hopefully) the research proposed. After that, investigators would need to substantially modify the project so that NIH would consider it a new project before they could submit it for consideration.

As of April 2014, the policy has changed. After an unsuccessful submission, an applicant can revise and resubmit once, as before, or submit the project, modified or not, as a new application, with no reference to or association with any prior submission. There are some nuances to the policy, so I highly recommend that you read the FAQs.

So, should you submit a resubmission application or a new application?

  • Generally speaking, if you can address the reviewers’ criticisms and the identified weaknesses, a resubmission is the way to go, particularly if there was enthusiasm and acknowledgment of the potential impact of the work. Resubmitted applications generally go back to the same review panel (and sometimes the same reviewers). The panel has access to the original summary statement and considers your responses to the prior critiques.
  • On the other hand, if the problem with your application was low impact or a lack of strengths, it is better to rethink your project and submit a new application.

Should you dust off your unsuccessful applications and send them in again? It depends! There were reasons why the applications were unsuccessful. Can you address those issues? For example:

  • Maybe you think the study section that reviewed the project did not have the right expertise. The Center for Scientific Review makes the rosters and descriptions of all study sections publicly available and searchable on their Web site. Can you identify a study section that would fit better? If so, you may request it in the cover letter for your application.
  • Maybe the reviewers thought the project was premature or overly ambitious. Have you continued work on the topic? Can you now focus on specific hypotheses? Do you now have more supporting data? Has your field changed in a way that would increase the impact of your work?

We at NCCAM are interested in hearing feedback from the scientific community about this change in policy and how it affects your work as an applicant, grantee, and peer reviewer. Let me know your thoughts about the process.

July 21, 2014
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

In this blog post, NCCAM Director Dr. Josephine Briggs explains the achievements of NIH’s Common Fund during its first 10 years and NCCAM’s key role in two Common Fund initiatives.

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July 14, 2014
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.
Josephine P. Briggs, M.D.

In this blog post, NCCAM Director Dr. Josephine Briggs explains the Center’s efforts to help address the serious problems of chronic pain and opioid use among members of the U.S. military.

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July 07, 2014
John S. Williamson, Ph.D.
Portrait of John S. Williamson

NCCAM’s Dr. John S. Williamson discusses NIH research funding opportunities available to small businesses under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs in this blog post.

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July 01, 2014
Wendy Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.
Wendy J. Weber, N.D., Ph.D., M.P.H.

In this blog post, Dr. Wendy Weber describes an upcoming job opening for a program director at NCCAM. This is an exciting opportunity to work at one of the largest funding agencies for complementary health research in the world.

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June 24, 2014
Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.
Portrait of Dr. Edwards

In this blog post, Dr. Emmeline Edwards, director of the Division of Extramural Research, reflects on the International Research Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health (IRCIMH) meeting in Miami.

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