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NCCIH Research Blog

Talking to NCCIH Program Staff Can Be Beneficial

February 26, 2019

Anita McRae-Williams, M.A.

Anita McRae-Williams, M.A.

Outreach Communications Program Manager

Division of Extramural Research

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

View biographical sketch

Early in the planning stage of your grant application, consulting with a member of the Division of Extramural Research (DER) program staff can be very beneficial. DER Program Directors (PDs) are your primary source of information for scientific, funding, and programmatic matters. We encourage you to discuss your proposed research with a PD prior to submitting a grant application. Each PD is responsible for overseeing and coordinating different scientific research portfolios and can advise you regarding the following:

  • To determine NCCIH’s enthusiasm about your research area and potential application topics;
  • To determine the appropriate FOA through which to apply;
  • To discuss investigator-initiated research—topics of interest and new scientific directions;
  • To discuss requirements for special areas such as human subjects and vertebrate animal research; and
  • To advise you on the appropriate study section to request in your cover letter.

NCCIH PDs are very interested in engaging with scientists interested in research funding opportunities. I can assure you that my colleagues enjoy speaking with grantees and applicants and answering their questions. Our goal at NCCIH is to fund the best research that aligns with NCCIH’s strategic goals and objectives; thus, communicating with you is an important part of our mission to advance the science in the complementary and integrative health field.

If you have selected a funding opportunity of interest in which NCCIH is participating, you can find information for NCCIH’s PD contact under the “Scientific/Research Contact(s)” section of the FOA. You can also determine which PD is likely to be involved in your research area by reviewing the list of NCCIH Division of Extramural Research Program Directors.

Once you have selected a PD to contact, please email the PD with a brief description of yourself, the funding opportunity(ies) to which you are interested in applying, and your draft research aims. You can also submit your information through our online system. We developed this research inquiry response system to track and respond to all researcher inquiries in a timely manner.

I hope this advice clarifies the best method to contact program staff. Best wishes in your research pursuits and feel free to reach out to me if you have further questions.

For more information, see When To Contact a Program Director.


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