Principal Investigators Association
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InnovativeResearchBlog2 How do you stay between the lines of keeping your research innovative but not too risky?
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Your research doesn’t have to create a new paradigm to be innovative. In fact the NIH says “you want to think outside of the box—but not too far.” They go on to say “the goal then is significant incremental progress, not a giant leap forward.” Innovation, then, can be combining known methods to do something novel. Use these tips to demonstrate your innovation.
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First, explain how you are challenging or seeking to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms. How are things done now; how are you going to change it; and why is it better than how it’s being done currently?
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Second, describe novel concepts, approaches, methods, instruments or interventions that you will develop and/or use. Then explain how this is an advantage over the existing method, instrumentation or intervention. Ask yourself; “how is your method or instrumentation going to be better? How are they going to serve research?”
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Then, third, what are your refinements or improvements? Detail the application of new concepts, approaches, methods, instrumentation or interventions that you’re going to use. These should describe how you are going to refine or change anything that is new.
Being innovative and knowing how your research is innovative is critical. It’s less risky to use an innovative approach to solve an existing problem than to take on a problem that’s highly innovative. For the reviewers, it’s going to be harder to gain acceptance if your ideas are outside the mainstream, especially if you’re not experienced. You need to make a strong case for why you’re challenging the existing paradigm and have data to support it.

Do you want more information about writing your grant applications …
but find there is little information available about what peer reviewers specifically look for?  What will influence them, and therefore, influence how each of the five review criteria are scored and how the grant is viewed overall? Investigators are often unaware of the many details that can derail their grant review, and of the many tactics they can use to positively influence the peer reviewer. This comprehensive guide provides insider guidance for understanding NIH requirements, effectively impressing reviewers and writing competitive NIH proposals.
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