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NCCIH Research Blog

Funding Your Research: Going Beyond the Standard NIH R01

May 13, 2016

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.

Emmeline Edwards, Ph.D.


Division of Extramural Research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

In the past few years, securing research funding has been a major challenge for investigators in the biomedical, behavioral, and social sciences fields at all career stages. As you contemplate applying for funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), consider how your research may fit in at NIH. First, assess whether your area of science falls within NIH's mission. If it does, determine which type of grant mechanism to pursue since NIH has many types of awards for scientists at different career levels with various research needs.

During the 2016 International Congress on Integrative Medicine & Health (ICIMH) to be held next week, NCCIH will sponsor a session to highlight funding opportunities from the NIH Common Fund and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). Dr. Christine Goertz, Vice Chancellor for Research and Health Policy at Palmer College of Chiropractic, and I will present different options to leverage federally-funded existing research infrastructure and advance research and capacity building in complementary and integrative health.

The NIH Common Fund was enacted into law by Congress through the 2006 NIH Reform Act to support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs that require participation by at least two NIH institutes or centers (ICs) or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. I will discuss High-Risk, High-Reward Research programs including the Pioneer, Innovator, Transformative R01 awards and the Early Independence Investigator award. I’ll provide examples of research funded through these grant opportunities.

PCORI is an independent nonprofit, non-Governmental research organization with a mandate to improve the quality and relevance of evidence available to help patients, caregivers, clinicians, employers, insurers, and policymakers make informed health decisions. Specifically, PCORI funds comparative clinical effectiveness research, or CER, as well as supports work that will improve the methods used to conduct such studies. Dr. Goertz will discuss two distinct approaches to the initial funding of CER: 1) Broad PCORI funding announcements (PFAs) soliciting CER proposals that are aligned with national priorities and meet requirements for patient-centeredness and stakeholder engagement; and 2) “Targeted” PFAs focused on a single question or a slightly broader topical area selected with strong input from patients and other key stakeholders with the purpose of making large investments in research questions and areas of national importance.

We hope you’ll be able to join us for this insightful session designed to “give you the scoop” on different NIH funding opportunities and mechanisms that serve your research interests at various stages of your career.


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