Tag Archives: funding

How to Get NIH Funding

By Earlise C. Ward, PhD, LP (Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, School of Nursing)

Obtaining NIH grants has become even more competitive but there’s good news for early career researchers. In her Rock Talk blog, Dr. Sally Rockey, NIH’s Deputy Director for Extramural Research, wrote:

 NIH has made a concerted effort to make sure that faculty members in their early careers have a fair chance when they compete against more established investigators.

NIH recently adopted the Early Stage Investigator policy. That policy specifies that New Investigators within ten years of completing their terminal research degree or within ten years of completing their medical residency will be designated Early Stage Investigators (ESIs).

Traditional NIH research grant (R01s) applications from ESIs are identified and the career stage of the applicant will be considered at the time of review and award.

Here are some tips to help you win funding from NIH.

 Tips for Success: 

  1. Become familiar with relevant NIH Institutes based on your research interest. For example, if you are doing mental health research, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) might be of interest to you. If you are doing aging research, National Institute of Aging (NIA) might be of interest to you. If you are doing health disparities research, the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) might be of interest to you.
  2. Sign up for the NIH Guide ListServe. The Guide is emailed once a week, and contains Table of Contents with links to PAs, Notices, and RFAs.
  3. Review recently funded grants (RePORTER).
  4. Once you have identified an institute of interest, contact the program officer. It is helpful to get to know your program officer. You can also write a concept paper with your specific aims and ask your program officer to review and provide feedback as to whether your research falls within a priority area of the institute.
  5. When you decide to submit an NIH application, have a senior colleague review your research proposal. Also set up a mock review. If you have funding it is worth paying a consultant to review your grant.
  6. If you meet the criteria for an Early Stage Investigator (ESI), indicate your ESI status on your NIH grant application.

Given the competitiveness of securing NIH grant funding and the limited federal funding available, it is important to explore other options for funding. In other words, diversify your funding portfolio. I encourage you to explore funding from private organizations including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and other organizations relevant to your areas of research interest.

Winning grants for your research takes a lot of time. Plan ahead to make sure you have enough time to write the proposal, have it reviewed by colleagues, revise it and submit it on time. Once your grant is successfully submitted, be sure to take some time to celebrate your submission, as submission is a milestone. When you receive funding, celebrate again!

I look forward to hearing about other researchers’ tips for success.

Going to the APA Convention in Toronto (August 6-9, 2015)? Don’t miss the following opportunity!

Roundtable Discussion: An Insider’s Guide to NIH Research and Training Opportunities — Talk with NIH Staff

Date:                    Saturday, August 8, 10:00 a.m. -10:50 a.m.

Location:             Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Ontario Room

Sponsors:            APA Women’s Programs Office (WPO), APA Committee on Women in Psychology

Each year during the APA Convention, the WPO hosts an open meeting, An Insider’s Guide to NIH Research and Training Opportunities: Talk with NIH Staff, where individuals can talk to NIH program staff one-on-one. In an informal setting, staff from several NIH agencies will provide advice about funding and training opportunities.

Individuals can get tips on topics such as finding the right grant match for your needs, identifying research priorities, using the NIH Reporter grants information database, and asking the right questions of NIH staff, as well as learning more about the diversity supplement program, fellowship programs, research career development programs, the Extramural Associates Program for faculty at minority, women and small colleges, meeting grants and summer research programs, along with a range of other grant opportunities.


Looking for funding? APAGS can help!

APAGS has the following funding opportunities available for members. Apply today! The deadline for these grants is May 6th, 2015 at 11:59PM (ET). Don’t miss out!

Visit the APAGS Scholarships and Grants page for more information on eligibility and how to apply. Good luck!

Toronto skyline in the day

Early Convention Tips and Tricks

Are you planning to go to the APA Convention in Toronto on 2015? It may be tough to think about something that seems so far away, but it might be helpful to start planning since this year it will be in another country!

When preparing to trToronto skyline in the dayavel to Canada, the first thing you need is a passport. If you do not already have one, or need a replacement or renewal, you should definitely consider applying soon. Processing times take anywhere between 8 business days to 6 weeks depending on how urgent you need it. Get started today by visiting the Bureau of Consular Affairs. Passport

After getting your passport, there are other steps that you might want to consider planning in advance. If you submitted a proposal that was accepted for presentation and you are a first author, your registration fee will be waived if you are also an APAGS member!

Other ways to get some funding for travel would be to look at travel grants.  Different sections and divisions of APA offer various types of funding. APAGS offers the Convention Travel award for first time convention attendees.  The deadline to apply for this award is TODAY, April 1, 2015. The APA Science Directorate also offers assistance for psychology graduate students to travel to the Convention.

Some APA Divisions of APA also offer funding for Convention travel. Be sure to check with any Division to which you are a member to see what type of funding is provided for students to attend Convention. You may also consider joining your Division’s listserv to get information on services and funding provided by your Division.

After getting your passport, and applying for funding, low cost travel would be the next thing for you to consider. Sites like Expedia  and Kayak  are popular for cheap travel, while accommodation sites include Hostels.com and AirBnB  among others.

Do stay tuned for more tips and tricks to help you plan your Convention travel!

Awardee Brian Keum giving his first ever poster presentation at the 2013 Convention in Honolulu, HI

APAGS Convention Travel Award: Deadline April 1st

Traveling to Toronto, Canada for the APA Convention this August? Interested in becoming more involved with the APAGS? Then you’ll want to apply for the APAGS Convention Travel Award! This award provides reimbursement of $500 to up to five psychology graduate students who are first-time attendees at convention.

The Perks of the Award

In addition to the financial incentive (i.e., $500 in US currency equals roughly $640 in Canadian dollars at the moment!), this award gives you the fantastic opportunity of connecting with APAGS leadership through an organized networking opportunity at convention that connects you directly with student leaders already engaged in the ongoing  advocacy work of APAGS!

Past awardees have had great experiences at convention through their engagement with APAGS. Aubrey Carpenter of Boston University attended the 2014 Convention in Washington DC and described one of her favorite moments of convention:

“One of the convention highlights for me was attending the APAGS predoctoral internship presentation, which was much more in-depth and practical than I had anticipated…there was a range of students in the audience and yet everyone seemed to take away something personally meaningful.”

Katy Haynes Owen of the University of Kentucky, now a member of the APAGS Convention Committee, also enjoyed APAGS events at Convention in 2014, participating in an APAGS Social Hour:

“I met other graduate students from around the country and connected around our similar research and advocacy interests. Also, I met SEVERAL internship training directors and continued to correspond with them after Convention.”

Some Tips for your Application

Past award winners have some advice for interested graduate students that may help you structure a successful application.


Awardee Jeremy Jinkerson (far left) at the 2014 APA Convention in Washington, DC among other student members of Division 19

2014 awardee Jeremy Jinkerson of Fielding Graduate University noted, “What may have stood out about my application was that I had specific plans for what I would do at Convention. I really needed to be there. You might find success in taking a similar tactic.”

Another 2014 awardee Jackie Newman recommended seeing Convention as more than a one-time event and more as a step towards your future goals: “I would consider carefully not only how the conference might enable your growth right now, but also how you might be able to meet future professional goals by participating in convention.”

What to do to Apply

1) Check your eligibility! You must be a current APAGS member in your first four years of graduate training in psychology. You also have to be in good academic standing. The link above has all the information that you need!

2) Prepare a cover letter (up to 750 words) outlining your interest in becoming a leader in APAGS and APA along with your interest in attending convention. Also send in an abbreviated 2-page vita listing your past attendance and presentations at academic and professional conferences!

Awardee Brian Keum giving his first ever poster presentation at the 2013 Convention in Honolulu, HI

Awardee Brian Keum giving his first ever poster presentation at the 2013 Convention in Honolulu, HI

Affording and Repaying Grad School

New Tools for Affording and Repaying Graduate School

Affording and Repaying Grad School

On our APAGS website, we recently published a page with tools and materials sorted into four key areas:

  1. Education costs and affordability
  2. Aid, grants and funding opportunities
  3. Loan repayment and forgiveness
  4. Financial fitness

Please visit our new webpage to get information on any of these areas. No matter what phase of an academic career you’re in (a prospective, current, or recent graduate student) there’s likely a link or two to help you. Links consist of materials APA publishes and also materials vetted by APAGS staff.