In the SRA’s comments on R03: proposals in this mechanism at this IC don’t need to show sustained impact on field, that is for a subsequent R01 (which at this IC, MUST be part of the r03 proposal). Furthermore, it is specifically (again, at this IC) for junior investigators to develop independence.
Now, I must really get back to other things.
From my study section notes. Live blogging seemed to be a bad idea.
Only one NIH PO had a coat and tie on. One sports jacket (the chair), but lots of collared shirts (male and female). No t-shirts. Lots of sweaters on females. Average age: grey beard and blue hair. Two yalmakas. 20% Asian membership, 2 Europeans (by accent). A couple of associate profs (very young looking but I didn’t ask the age). No assistant profs. I mentioned that to Staff.
I’ve just finished an IC-specific study section that reviewed K awards and R03s.
A few thoughts on how K99/R00′s get reviewed.
Of the different components, its clear that the Research Plan is most important, certainly more than others., However, a bad training plan can sink the score even if research is rated “1”. Rule of thumb if you are writing one: Excellence in everything, but some things need to be more excellent than others. The quality of the mentors clearly ways heavily and can carry the “environment” part of the score.
Things that we were explicitly told is that the applicant needs to have a transition plan from K to R phase. It isn’t enough to say “it will flow naturally”- it needs to show how the work will transition from one place to another, from one career stage to another, and how the mentor sees it.
More technical concerns: the applicant needs to be senior postdoc, not for initial phases of postdoc training. But… applicant must justify training in the k-years. Its not good enough to say that “I will finish up a project I’ve already started”. Finally, at least at this IC, the qualification for application is going from 5 years post terminal degree to 4 years post terminal degree. However, if there is time off between degree and start of first postdoc, then the start of the job will be counted as the starting point.
I am not a person of color. I am not a person with significant disabilities. I strive and work towards being an ally to all sorts of under-represented people. I’m not the one to judge if I am there yet. All I can do is try.
I thought about this over the weekend when I heard an interview with Kasi Lemmons, the director of Black Nativity on NPR. I’m not thrilled about Christmas movies, or family movies at this point in my life, though I’d go hear Angela Bassett read the phone book. I thought about why. Well, it sounds like a good cast with great music.
One of the strongest arguments for affirmative action (and it breaks my heart that its become a negative expression), is that all of us need to see diversity. And diversity is more than color of skin. So I ask myself, and I ask you to ask yourself, not just how many friends do you have of a different color, race, religion, or language, but how many friends do you have (not family!) who are at least 20 or 30 years different in age from you? If your children have left home, how many grade school kids do you know? If you have toddlers, do you know and talk with any teenagers? How many friends do you have who are not able-bodied, and in a wheelchair? How many friends who are cognitively different? Who have speech or language difficulties? When is the last time you went somewhere with only stairs and thought about what friends couldn’t do that with you?
One of my personal strongest commitments is to people with disabilities. The physical barriers are often like separate water fountains and sitting at the back of the bus. The ADA is like the civil rights legislation of the 60s. Both still need work in implementation.
NIDCD has just updated their advice to young investigators. It’s called Launching Your NIDCD Research Career. Lots of the advice is IC specific, but lots can be transferred to others ICs.
What am I eligible for?
Each of the award mechanisms for supporting research training and career development addresses a specific career stage and set of training needs. You should review the eligibility criteria and provisions of the funding mechanism in which you are interested. In addition, we strongly encourage you to contact the designated NIDCD program officer for your desired research training mechanism.
This is a useful list of the NIDCD contact people.
What factors should I consider in choosing the most appropriate funding mechanism?
Your level of education and research experience
Predoctoral level, postdoctoral level, or newly independent investigator
Citizenship status requirements
U.S. citizenship, permanent residency, non-citizen national (living in U.S. territories) status, foreign national in the United States on a temporary visa
Whether you are a member of an underrepresented group in biomedical or behavioral research
Including racial and ethnic minority groups, or people from disadvantaged backgrounds or who have disabilities
The kind of support you are seeking
Stipend or salary support
Research development support (e.g., equipment, supplies, technical support)
Duration of support
This info is valid for everyone. There is also a list of mechanisms, things to think about as you assemble your application. I also like:
What makes a K08/K23 application successful? When considering whether to apply for a mentored K award, consider the questions below:
Do you have prior research experience?
Have you been first author on published or in-press experimental research papers?
Have you held a small, peer-reviewed research or seed grant from a funding agency or professional society?
Do you have strong institutional support (a favorable research start-up package or protected research time)?
If you are submitting a revised application, have you provided strong responses to reviewer critiques?
Have you contacted the NIDCD program officer responsible for the K award program?
I started to highlight one of these, but realized all are important.
I cannot begin to say how wrong this is. A fake slum. For tourists. In South Africa.
I did not grow up in poverty. My parents did. They worked every damn day of their life to make sure their children would not go through what they did. I visited grandparents, who were living a lot better because my parents sent them money. I remember the lectures from my mother, not about being “grateful”. Not about how some deity blessed us so we didn’t live that way. The lectures were about hard work, and a society that made it possible to succeed. And that society did not view all people that way. Not all people had the luck or freedom to be able to work hard and live in comfort. And that it was the responsibility of all people who benefited from society to help others who didn’t.
But I digress. The main point was that my mother, when she could, wanted nicer things that she had as a child, or things period that she didn’t have as a child. Isis’ poignant story about her and her brother’s attitude towards food (must read, really, you must read this) rang true with me. I did not live that, but that my mother did. I can just hear my mother’s scorn for a tourist slum.
What do children who visit this place learn? That poverty is fun? That food is always available, as is wifi? They do not see that poverty is a scary mix of violence and fear and illness and hunger. I do not care if it gives people jobs (as one commentator at Gizmodo said). I do not care if this is “just another theme park”. It’s not. It trivializes real problems that real people have.
I leave you with this image.