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NIH Update: Grant Advice

MDF strives to help National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant applicants compete for research funding. The Categorical Spending, by condition or disease, for fiscal year 2016 was released on May 26, 2017 and is available online. These data are organized a bit differently than NIH RePORTER—instead of searching by principal investigator (PI), institution, key words, etc., the Categorical Spending database reports grants by defined disease categories. This is an easy way to overview currently active grants in DM. Note that these data are not released until after the end of a fiscal year, typically in spring of the following year—2017 data then are roughly a year from release.

Fiscal 2016 NIH funding for the Myotonic Dystrophy category was $8.82 million, down from $9.46 million in fiscal 2015. By clicking on the dollar amount listed under each fiscal year, you can obtain a listing of all active grants. This NIH funding database is an invaluable tool in that the types of research funded and abstracts for each awarded grant are available.

Every issue of the DM Research News contains a listing of active funding opportunities that can be taken advantage of by DM investigators. When appropriate, specific guidance (often information from NIH Program Directors) is included in DM Research News articles. 

MDF holds a session at the MDF Annual Conference for trainees and junior faculty. The slide set for the 2016 session, from Dr. Tom Cheever, program director of the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), is available (pdf). New applicants should review this information and all applicants should also consult with the NIH Program Directors responsible for DM, Drs. Glen Nuckolls and Tom Cheever, early in preparation of an application.

Nature recently published advice for investigators in an article titled "The Best-kept Secrets to Winning Grants." Though the article is written as advice for young investigators, but may be valuable to all who are preparing an NIH grant application. 

The Best-kept Secrets to Winning Grants.
Powell K. Nature. 2017 May 24;545(7655):399-402. doi: 10.1038/545399a.

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