Helpful Small Mechanisms
Posted on March 30, 2009
Keith A. Trujillo (bio) suggests the R13 and the SC3 funding for smaller projects.
In terms of grant funding, particularly in the biomedical sciences, the standard is the RO1, the independent investigator research project. But there are many, many other types of mechanisms out there, and I encourage people to be as broad as possible as they look toward funding. Look into other mechanisms, the K awards, the RO3s, anything that helps them take small steps along the line to develop the RO1. The RO1 is very competitive and very hard to get, and so we need to try and get people to think much more broadly than that.
And turn to the foundations, if we go beyond the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, there are many foundations out there that support, for example, particular diseases or particular areas of research and to look into those. Even ten thousand dollars or small pots of money can be very useful in helping to establish that career and make the steps that you need to get the data in order to get the RO1.
R15 is called AREA, and it's a fairly small grant that's targeted toward institutions that don't have a high level of success at the RO1 level. And my university is primarily an undergraduate institution, and AREA is designed for undergraduate institutions and small medical colleges and things like that. And so it allows people at those institutions to be able to carry on good research projects and train students in those areas of research.
So the SC3 comes from the Minority Opportunities and Research Program at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, and it's targeted toward institutions that have a high percentage of students from underrepresented groups. And it's to allow researchers at those institutions to get funding so students have research opportunities at their home institution, and that will allow them to get that training that will help them move on to doctoral-level work.