TTUHSC Research

News and Announcements


Master the techniques of writing superior winning proposals.  Sponsored by: The Grant Training Center

To be held at the: 

University of Texas, San Antonio, TX, July 27-28, 2017, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 



Dear Potential AHA Applicant:

AHA volunteer leaders are working diligently to create a re-imagined portfolio that meets the needs of the science community, is responsive to the current science landscape, and is focused on driving toward the AHA mission.  A proposed revised portfolio was discussed by the AHA Research Committee in May.  Changes are based on discussion from AHA leadership and input from scientific overview committees.  We expect to release information on plans for the new portfolio in July and anticipate staggered 2017-18 application deadlines to begin in the Fall.  We look forward to sharing more information about the new funding opportunities in the coming months.  You may monitor this Web page for announcements.  



NOT-OD-17-050 NIH to allow preprints and interim research products in applications. Preprints are complete and public draft manuscripts which have not gone through formal peer review, editing or journal publishing.  This notice affects applications submitted after May 25, 2017. Before including preprints or interim research products in your NIH application, please check with the Office of Research Commercialization for protection of intellectual property. 



NIH to impose grant cap to free up funds for more investigators 



INTERIM guidance on salary limitation for grants and cooperative agreements

This notice provides information regarding the salary limitation for NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards and extramural research and development contract awards (referred to here as grants).  The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale.  The Executive Level II salary was previously set at $185,100, and increased to $187,000 effective January 8, 2017.   

For awards issued in those years that were restricted to Executive Level II (see Salary Cap Summary, FY 1990 - FY 2016), including competing awards already issued in FY 2017, if adequate funds are available in active awards, and if the salary cap increase is consistent with the institutional base salary, grantees may re-budget to accommodate the current Executive Level II salary level. However, no additional funds will be provided to these grant awards. 

Once the Department of Health and Human Services Appropriation for FY 2017 is enacted, NIH will publish the annual Notice of legislative mandates to provide information on any statutory provisions that limit the use of NIH grant funds in FY 2017.  Additional guidance on the salary cap will also be provided at that time. 



Join CPRIT for a webinar designed to support current grantees in successfully navigating compliance and reporting requirements. The training will include an overview of required reporting, recent administrative rule changes, common reporting errors, and a Q&A with staff.  

CPRIT's administrative rule (703.22) requires all grantees to complete an annual compliance training by November 1 of each year. The Authorized Signing Official (ASO) and at least one other individual from each organization must attend the annual compliance training.  Attendance at this webinar will satisfy the training requirement  for 2017. 

The Webinar will occur Thursday, March 9  from 1:30-3:30 pm, CT.  CPRIT staff participating in the webinar will include representatives from the compliance department, program staff, operations staff, and the legal department.  

To register for the webinar, visit the Ethics and Compliance Page on the CPRIT website.  


NIH News:

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the creation of the Online Partnership to Accelerate Research (OnPar) program, which will partner unfunded NIH applicants with private funders from philanthropic organization and industy. Operated by Leidos LIfe Sciences, the program allows NIH program officers to select applicants whose proposals scored well but were not funded and have research topics that fall under the missions of the participating funders. The current list of participating funders includes Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), and Melanoma Research Alliance.

Applicants may submit materials to the OnPAR program for consideration by private funders by loading them onto the Leidos website. Leidos then will identify potential matches and extend invitations to researchers to submit their full application, scores, and summary statements for consideration by funders.

Here are the links for more information:

Pilot Partnership



NIH News:

Are Attempts at Renewal Successful?

In 2013, new investigators submitted 11,386 applications for new grants, and investigators within 6 years of their first R01 grant submitted 854 competing renewal applications. Experienced investigators submitted 11,488 applications for new grants, 1,210 applications for 1st renewal, 1,060 applications for 2nd renewal, and 1,240 applications for a 3rd renewal. 

Type of Application: Investigator Experience Fiscal Year Number of Applications Number of Awards
New New Investigators 2015 11,831 1,845
New Experienced Investigators 2015 12,851 2,124
1st Renewal New Investigators 2015 805 215
1st Renewal  Experienced Investigators 2015 1,182 366
2nd Renewal Experienced Investigators 2015 928 356
3rd Renewal Experienced Investigators 2015 1,129 459

Full article


NIH News:

Gearing Up for FORMS-D

NIH is gearing up to start posting updated applications forms (FORMS-D) to be used for due dates on or after May 25, 2016. The use of these updated application forms is a critical part of our implementation of Phase II of the 2016 policy changes outlined in NOT-OD-166-004. You will start seeing FORMS-D application packages hit the streets as early as mid-March. 

Along with the updated FORMS-D forms, you will find a completely revamped application guide that is much easier to use and understand. 

Curious what the new forms will look like and how new form fields will be enforced? Check out FORMS-D annotated form set



American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society has provided additional guidance for TTUHSC researchers who are interested in applying for funding on the upcoming April 1, 2016 deadline. The following links will direct you to the January 2016 webinar as well as the slide deck provided by the ACS representative about this year's funding opportunities. 

If you plan to apply for an American Cancer Society funding opportunity, please complete the TTUHSC Private Foundation Grant Proposal Notice of Intent. This Notice of Intent will be due to the Office of Sponsored Programs 3 weeks prior to the agency deadline. T

If you have any questions, please contact Marta Collier



South Plains Foundation

For this funding cycle, the South Plains Foundation has asked to receive five proposals from the School of Medicine, as well as one proposal from each of the other schools, that will support grants in the Lubbock area. The template and guidelines for the proposal are linked below. Proposals are due to Marta Collier by Monday, February 15th. Proposals will be narrowed down by each of the schools, depending on the number of submissions and reviewed by the TTUHSC Internal Grant Review Committee. The funding cycle for South Plains Foundation will be September 1, 2016 to August 31, 2017. 

Important Dates:

February 15, 2016: Proposals due to Marta Collier (Institutional Advancement) 

April 1, 2016: Final Proposals submitted to South Plains Foundation

August 1, 2016: Funded Proposals Announced

October 1, 2017: Final Reports due to Foundation

Guidelines for Proposal

Proposal Template



Notice on Salary Limitation on Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts

This notice provides information regarding the salary limitation for NIH grant and cooperative agreement awards and extramural research and development contract awards (referred to here as grants). For FY 2016, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016 (Public Law 114-113). signed into law on December 18, 2015, restricts the amount of direct salary to Executive Level II of the Federal Executive pay scale. The Executive Level II salary is currently set at $183,300, increasing to $185,100 effective January 10, 2016.


Inclusion of Children in Clinical Research: Change in NIH Definition (NOT-OD-16-010)

The purpose of this notice is to notify NIH applicants/offerors and grantees/contractors about a change related to the NIH policy on the inclusion of children in clinical research. NIH’s long-standing policy has been that children must be included in all human subjects’ research, conducted or supported by the NIH, unless there are scientific and ethical reasons not to include them. The policy was developed because medical treatments applied to children are often based upon testing done only in adults, and scientifically evaluated treatments are less available to children due to barriers to their inclusion in research studies. Therefore, applicants/offerors conducting human subjects’ research must include a description of plans for including children. If children (or a subset of children) will be excluded from the research, the application or proposal must present an acceptable justification.

What’s Changing: Starting with applications/proposals submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2016, for the purposes of inclusion policy, the age of a child will be defined as individuals under 18 years old instead of under 21 years old, the current NIH definition of a child for inclusion policy considerations. Applicants/offerors for NIH funding will still be expected to justify the age range of the proposed participants in their clinical research, with particular attention paid to addressing the inclusion (or exclusion) of children (or subsets of children). However, now that threshold applies to individuals under the age of 18 rather than under the age of 21.

Reason for Change: Consideration of children as a vulnerable population for human protections from research risk and the NIH child inclusion policy are often conflated. While these are distinct policies, many think of children as under 18 years of age, typically the age of consent. This has sometimes led to confusion on the part of applicants/offerors, peer reviewers, grantees/contractors, and even NIH staff about how to ensure compliance with the child inclusion policy. By aligning the NIH definition for the age of a child with the typical age of consent and the common perception of the age of adulthood, the NIH can continue to implement this policy in a manner that focuses on the group of children that need particular attention.

The NIH recognizes that development continues well beyond 18 (and even 21, the current age); however, there is particular concern about ensuring the appropriate inclusion of individuals under 18 while also safeguarding this vulnerable group. NIH policies on inclusion are aimed at ensuring that appropriate individuals are included in clinical research and clinical trials. Results need to be generalizable to individuals that comprise the population under study. This includes consideration of age as a factor in the scientific design.

For more information on the child inclusion policy: 

Private Foundation Grant Proposal Notice of Intent

Effective December 1, 2015, the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) will require a Notice of Intent (NOI) to Submit a Private Foundation Grant Proposal. This NOI will be due to OSP 3 weeks (21 days) prior to the agency deadline (excluding CH Foundation and South Plains Foundation proposals).

Questions regarding this process need to be directed to:

Jason Fryer (806) or Erin Woods (806) 743-4569 / in OSP. 

Connecting Kids to Coverage Funding Opportunity

The Department of Health and Human Services- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has released the FOA for the Connecting Kids to Coverage Cooperative Agreement. The award mechanism limits the number of institutional submissions. TTUHSC and TTUHSC El Paso are limited to 1 application.  If you are planning to apply for this mechanism, please send your Project Abstract to Erin Woods in OSP prior to December 7, 2015. If you are selected to submit, a required Letter of Intent is due to CMS by December 16, 2015.  

NIH Changing Submission Forms and Guidance

With the new year comes new forms and new grant policies (NOT-OD-16-004, NOT-OD-16-005).

Our updated application forms (we’ll be calling FORMS-D) must be used for applications for due dates on or after (but not before) May 25, 2016 and you’ll start seeing the updated forms and instructions showing up in funding opportunity announcements by March 25, 2016. You’ll be hearing a lot from me about FORMS-D between now and then.

Some of our policy changes couldn’t wait (or didn’t need to wait) for our FORMS-D forms and will take effect for applications for due dates on or after January 25, 2016. We have new instructions for research and career development applications that specify what we want to see in terms of rigor to enhance the reproducibility of NIH funded research. We redefined the age of a child for the purposes of NIH's inclusion policy to individuals under 18 years old instead of under 21 years old. We also updated guidance for the vertebrate animal and training program plan sections of applications – including a reduction in data collection. Wow – reduction in data collection – that’s a rare and wonderful concept!  

We strive to have revised guidance available to you at least 60 days prior to the first due dates for which the changes apply. For January changes, that means by November 25, 2015 we’ll post an updated FORMS-C application guide. By that date, you will also see a link to revised review language in our active research and career development funding opportunity announcements.

There are certainly a lot of changes ahead, but it was the same last year and the year before that. We are constantly in a state of change and somehow it always seems to work out just fine.

NSF and NIH cracking down on formatting issues:

We have learned that federal agencies, such as the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health, are cracking down on proposal formatting guidelines. Below is a list of the 5 most common errors that might cause your application to be rejected before review.

1) Font sizes on all documents

2) Margins

3) File names

4) Biosketch format (not just page limit)

5) Incomplete current and pending support documents

To ensure proper adherence to the guidelines, please read the requirements! If you have any questions, contact the grant management specialists in the Office of Sponsored Programs.


Last Friday, the Senate Approps advanced the FY16 Labor/ HHS /Education appropriations bill (16-14) and on Wednesday the House Approps advanced their L-HHS-Ed bill (30-21).  Though these bills have a long way to go to become law....and may be dumped in favor of a continuing resolution, it might be beneficial to begin considering where your expertise may match up with these increases in funding in case we have expertise in those areas.

Here are a few highlights to note in Senate bill:

  • increase funding for NIH ($32billion : increased by $2B)
  • increase Community Health Centers ($5.2b total: increase of $199.4 above FY15)
  • increase combating antibiotic resistant bacteria (CARB) ($664m : increase of $193 million (funding through NIH, BARDA, CDC, agency for healthcare research and quality)
  • increase for rural health care ($150.6: increase of $3.1million above fy15) report language on focusing on telehealth
  • new provision prohibiting ED from moving forward with new regs expanding fed gov role in higher Ed (including college rating system, gainful employment, define credit hour, framework for teacher prep program).

House bill:

  • increases NIH ($31.2 billion: $1.1 billion increase from fy15)
  • $1.5 billion CHC - flat
  • restriction on new regs for higher Ed (similar to Senate language)

Details on NIH funding - House Approps. Committee Report

The increase provided to NIH is generally distributed proportionately among NIH Institutes and Centers (ICs).  However, additional resources were added to specific ICs to support specific initiatives. The Committee has provided a $300,000,000 increase for Alzheimer's disease research initiative in the National Institute on Aging and a $95,000,000 increase for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative spread across the 10 ICs that participate in BRAIN.  The Committee also provides the requested level of $200,000,000 for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) with $130,000,000 within the Common Fund to support the trans-NIH project and $70,000,000 with National Cancer Institute for specific PMI projects.  Finally, the Committee also provides the requested $100,000,000 increase to support the antibiotic initiative in the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Office of Sponsored Programs News Letter

eRA Information: ASSIST Now Available for the Submission of R01s, U01s and Career Development Grant Applications

We are pleased to announce that ASSIST is now an option for the submission of R01, U01s and all Career Development (All Ks excep KM1 and K12) grant applications to the NIH (NOT-OD-15-098).

Since January 2015, ASSIST has been a submission option for most competing single-project applications (NOT-OD-15-044). The use of ASSIST is NOT requited. It is proved to you as another option for the submission of your application. We highly recommend you give it a try and take advantage of the many features it offers. Downloadable forms and institutional system-to-system solutions remain viable options for submission, as well. 

The Training Activity Codes (Ts and Ds), along with other research and related activities, are scheduled to be available using ASSIST in July 2015 (Target Timeline for Single-Project ASSIST Support).


The purpose of this notice is to remind applicants, both investigators and grant office officials, that to be fair to all concerned, the NIH needs to consistently apply standards for application compliance.


As you know, TTUHSC SOM has benefited substantially from R15 program at the NIH .This program serves Institutions with limited NIH funding and provides investigator funding for a 3-year period and up to $300K over the project period. 

Based on success in funding of the SOM, the NIH has determined that TTUHSC SOM no longer qualifies for this program, effective April 1, 2015. 

Accordingly, while all R15 applications that were submitted for the application deadline in late February will be reviewed and considered as R15 applications, TTUHSC SOM can no longer submit awards for this support mechanism going foward. We believe that the SON, SOP and Allied Health remain eligible for the R15 program.

Members of the SOM are encouraged to use R01 mechanism for support. The duration (typically up to 5 years) and budget (generally $250K-500K/year) of the R01 are superior to the R15 mechanism.

Please recall that the deadlines for the R01 differ from those of the R15. 

These are excellent resources for help in writing R01: Writing Your Application and Ten Steps to a Winning R01 Application.

Kindly refer questions to Erin Woods in The Office of Sponsored if you have any questions about the R01 mechanism.

 NIH Public Access Policy

The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.  Click here for more information: NIH Public Access page.