NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 40, December 19, 1997


National Institutes of Health

New investigators are important to the future of biomedical research. In order
to allow new investigators maximum freedom in identifying the level and period
of support needed for the work they are planning and thus enhance their
opportunities to establish careers in research, NIH has announced a new
policy. Under this policy, new investigators are encouraged to submit
traditional research project grant (R01) applications, which will be clearly
identified as being from new investigators.  At the same time, First
Independent Research and Transition (FIRST; R29) award applications  will no
longer be accepted (effective June 1998.)  This notice will address questions
that may arise during the period between this announcement and the full
implementation of that policy. During this time of transition, NIH will make
every effort to ensure that new investigators are not disadvantaged and to
accommodate their needs.

For the January - May 1998 receipt dates for grant applications, new and
amended R29 applications will be accepted but, in view of the new policy to be
implemented in June 1998, new investigators may want to submit these
applications as R01s.  That is their choice, and they can make their most
informed choice by talking with program staff in the relevant Institute or
Center.  We anticipate most of the questions would center around what to do if
a new investigator wishes to resubmit an R29 application that has been
reviewed but not funded.

An investigator whose R29 application will not be funded has three choices for
the January-May 1998 receipt dates:

o  Submit an amended R29, with an Introduction (as indicated in the PHS 398
application form instructions, p.15, C 9, Research Plan) and include letters
of recommendation.

o  Submit an amended application but change this application from an R29 to an
R01; this application also should have an Introduction addressing changes to
the application in response to the critiques of the previous review; it should
not include letters of recommendation. Whether the amended application is an
R29 or an R01, it would receive the same grant application identification
number as the original application, with an "A1" or "A2" added to that number.
In the review process, the summary statement of the previous review would be
included in the review materials considered by the scientific peer review
group (according to standard NIH peer review procedures.)

o  Make substantial changes in the application and submit it as a new R01;
such an application should NOT contain an Introduction and should have a new
title (different from the R29 title.)  New applications, even when derived
from ideas presented in a previous application, are not accompanied by
information about any previous reviews of applications by that investigator.

Starting with the June 1998 grant application receipt date, no R29
applications will be accepted, whether new or amended.  An investigator who
wishes to amend an R29 application has two choices:

o  Submit an amended application as an R01; it will have the same grant
application identification number as the R29, with an "A1" or "A2" added to
that number.  This application should contain an Introduction but should not
be accompanied by letters of recommendation.  The summary statement of the
previous review will be provided to the scientific peer review group along
with the amended application.

o  Submit a new R01 application using ideas derived from the previous R29.  In
this case, as with all new R01 applications, there should be no Introduction
and the title should be one that has not been used before.

For additional guidance on these issues, investigators should speak with their
program administrators in the relevant Institutes or Centers.

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