The most successful scientific researchers are honing their grant writing skills in order to compete for increasingly scarce funding. In fiscal year 2011, only about 17 to 18 percent of researchers receive grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). That means only about one in six grant applications are funded, the lowest rate in NIH's history.
At the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), we want to help you write successful grant applications. Below are some tips to guide you through the process from Bettie Graham, Ph.D., who has been involved in grants administration for more than 30 years.
Dr. Graham, director of the Division of Extramural Operations, said her number one piece of advice is to talk to an NIH program officer when you're developing a research concept. This is true whether you are a first time applicant or a seasoned researcher.
"For researchers, writing grants is an essential skill that improves with experience. Successful applications share certain qualities that I'm happy to pass along to you," said Dr. Graham.
Come up with a novel or innovative idea.
Visit Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORT) at http://report.nih.gov for examples of NIH-funded research.
Conduct a literature search.
Familiarize yourself with the research interests of the institute or center, www.nih.gov.