TTUHSC Research

News and Announcements

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.

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 2015, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (Public Law 113-235), signed into law on December 16, 2014, 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 $181,500, increasing to $183,300 effective January 11, 2015.

NIH to implement major changes to Biosketch

NIH will be rolling out a new biosketch format intended to further emphasize an individual's accomplishments by focusing on the magnitude and significance of the scientific advances associated with a researcher's discoveries. Implementation of the new biosketch will be in phases. The first round concluded last year; the second round will be launched in June, 2014 with the pilot biosketch included in several specific RFAs. Currently, the pilot biosketch is included in one active RFA

The new 5-page format will allow space for researchers to describe up to five of their most significant contributions to science along with the historical background that framed their research. This description can outline the central finding(s) of their work, the influence of those finding(s) on their field and how those findings may have contributed to improvements in health or technology. See the full NIH Notice here

 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.