New Policy Eliminates Most Appendix Material for NIH/AHRQ/NIOSH Applications Submitted for Due Dates On or After January 25, 2017

This Notice alerts the scientific research community of plans to eliminate most appendix materials for applications submitted to the NIH, AHRQ or NIOSH for due dates on or after January 25, 2017. Application instructions will be updated by November 25, 2016 to reflect this change.

The Notice also clarifies:

Status of appendix materials in peer review
Allowable appendix materials
Consequences for submitting disallowed appendix materials
The NIH, AHRQ, and NIOSH strive to ensure fairness in peer review for all grant applicants by specifying the types and amount of application material that are accepted for peer review. At the same time, these agencies appreciate both the need for applications to provide sufficient information to allow for an informed, expert review process and the importance of limiting the burden on peer reviewers.

Elimination of most appendix materials is intended to rectify inequities in the peer review process that can arise from submission of inappropriate or excessive appendix materials by some applicants and consideration of appendix materials in peer review by some, but not all reviewers.
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Faculty Research Networking

Funding agencies are increasingly structuring proposal solicitations to favor the involvement of interdisciplinary research teams. The federal government, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, now supports projects that ask for researchers in different disciplines to work together. Additionally, universities are increasingly supportive of focusing on collaboration between researchers who offer different and complementary perspectives, knowledge, experience, and skills that can result in innovative approaches to problem solving. Because of this increased emphasis on interdisciplinary teaming, research teams comprised of members, each with an expertise in a relevant discipline, may offer greater options in obtaining research funding.

In order to help BYU faculty members learn more about research taking place across the university and to find and establish collaborative research relationships, Research Development is sponsoring the 5th Research (Speed) Networking Event. The objective of speed networking is for faculty to gain knowledge about research in different colleges and disciplines and to network for possible collaboration opportunities with colleagues in these disciplines. This event features 3 minute research presentations from 30-40 faculty with additional attendees who will listen but not present. The event will take place on Tuesday August 23, 2015 (the second day of the Annual University Conference) starting at 9:30 am in W111 BNSN with lunch to follow at noon.

Faculty who participated in our previous Research (Speed) Networking events identified potential research collaborations and gained a greater understanding of research activities across different disciplines. They were very positive about the experience. To sign up as a presenter or participant, please go to Networking Sign Up. For additional information contact Sarah Dorff at If you would like to view presentations from past events, go to the Faculty Research page.

Dear Colleague Letter: Improving Graduate Student Preparedness for Entering the Workforce, Opportunities for Supplemental Support

NSF has identified improvement in graduate student preparedness for entering the workforce (read more) as one of its Agency Priority Goals. As part of this goal, supplemental funding is available in FY 2016 and FY 2017 to support science and engineering doctoral students so that they can acquire the knowledge, experience, and skills needed for highly productive careers, inside and outside of academe. NSF currently invests in a number of graduate student preparedness activities, and has historically encouraged investigators to include such activities in proposals. This Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) describes a variety of opportunities across the Foundation designed to explore approaches that will position NSF-funded graduate students for success in the 21st century Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) workforce.
NSF will consider support for supplements to existing research awards to enhance professional development opportunities for students in PhD programs as described by each Directorate/Office. These descriptions can be found below. Interested investigators should contact the cognizant program officers listed on the opportunities.
Read more: NSF 16-067

An interesting new development on the citizen science/open science front:

I am pleased to announce the launch of a new hub for biomedical citizen science! In an effort to help connect the widely dispersed practitioners and resources of biomedical citizen science, we (NIH) have teamed up with HUBzero to build The hub is designed to be a collaborative virtual environment, and to be complementary to existing citizen science and crowdsourcing websites, toolkits, and project databases.

The Biomedical Citizen Science Hub is sponsored by the Division of Cancer Biology and the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute, one of the 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health. Our intent is to create an online collaboration space for the growing and virtually dispersed biomedical citizen science resources, projects, references, methods, and communities to be discovered and engaged by interested stakeholders. CitSciBio is open to the public and free to join. Resources (such as videos, fact sheets, and power point presentations) are publicly available. Join in, and you can create groups to collaborate on projects, write papers, and more.

Bio Medical Research Collaborative Research Travel Grants

The Collaborative Research Travel Grant (CRTG) program provides up to $15,000 in support for relatively unrestricted travel funds to academic scientists and trainees (postdocs or fellows) at U.S. or Canadian degree-granting institutions. Grants must be used for domestic or international travel to another lab to learn new research techniques or begin or continue a collaboration to address biomedical questions. Special consideration will be given to applicants who have doctorate level training in the physical, mathematical, or engineering sciences and are working on biomedical problems.