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Home No. 2: New to USA? How to Find the Funding You Need

Mar 23

No. 2: New to USA? How to Find the Funding You Need

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New to USA? How to Find the Funding You Need

Reader question: I am a senior researcher with 20 years’ experience who is new to the United States. What is the best strategy for me to use to gain access to NIH funding?

Expert Comments:

You should break in at the R01 level, and do it as quickly as possible. Starting with NIH right now, even maintaining your funding if you’re a long-term investigator, is going to be very challenging because of the current budget situation.

The R01 has three deadlines for new applications in June, October and February. The June 5 deadline is very soon, and you may not have enough time. Assuming that you were funded in your past country, you would have had grant applications. Thus you may be able to use materials from these proposals as part of your NIH research application because it’s fairly standard. Then you may be able to meet the deadline. Yours would be an investigator-initiated project, unless there’s a specific funding announcement that matches your research.

Another avenue to consider would be to collaborate with a well-funded researcher as a co-PI on an application. Not knowing your circumstances, you may need to make contacts. If this is the case, the most basic way to connect with potential collaborators would be to read publications in your area and contact the authors. At the very least, you could find potential collaborators from journal articles in your field of interest.

There are also several databases, such as www.scholaruniverse.com, which we use, that would be helpful. You can type in keywords to find people in your field. Obviously, if you’ve come to a research institution, presumably there will be people in your field or related to your field who can help.

Keep in mind that, depending on your circumstances, the longer the gap without funding, the more difficulty you will have re-establishing money. Also, the longer it takes, the older your data becomes. If you don’t have an active lab, your chances for funding become more difficult each year that passes.

Also, as a PI new to the United States, if English is not your primary language, you might consider working with a grant writer or editor to ensure your grant application reads clearly. And you should speak with the Program Officer in your area of research interest if you have any questions regarding how your proposal fits within the agency’s funding goals or specific sections of the application.

Expert Comments by Barbara Humphrey, research development coordinator at the State University of New York Upstate Medical University.

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