Extramural Research FAQ's
I’m not sure whether to apply for a grant or cooperative agreement. How do they differ?
The main difference between a grant and cooperative agreement is the level of NCIPC’s involvement. For a grant, NCIPC is not substantially involved in the execution of the research. For a cooperative agreement, NCIPC may have substantial involvement. The amount of involvement by NCIPC in a cooperative agreement will be specified in the program announcement.
Can I submit more than one application for the same program announcement?
You are encouraged to submit only one application in response to a particular program announcement. With few exceptions (e.g., research issues needing immediate public health attention), only one application per principal investigator will be funded per program announcement.
Can I apply to more than one program announcement?
Yes, there are no restrictions on the number of program announcements to which a principal investigator can apply.
I have other funding for part of our project/research and want to apply for NCIPC funding to extend our work. Is this ok?
Yes, you can apply to NCIPC to fund research that is partially funded by another source. However, the proposed research needs to be different than that which is already funded; NCIPC will not pay for duplicate research.
I can’t get an application together before the deadline. Will this type of research be funded again in the future?
NCIPC traditionally publishes program announcements once per year. NCIPC expects to publish program announcements every year for the individual research grants (acute care, violence prevention, unintentional injury, biomechanics and dissertation awards). However, the research objectives of those program announcements change from year to year. If you plan on waiting and submitting to a future program announcement, make sure your application meets the research objectives of that program announcement. Research cooperative agreements, on the other hand, are typically published only once. It is rare that the same announcement will be published the following year.
I submitted an application last year, and it was deemed nonresponsive. Why?
The most likely reasons your application was deemed nonresponsive are:
1) proposed research did not match one of the research objectives outlined in the program announcement;
2) the proposed budget exceeded the award ceiling listed in the program announcement;
3) the principal investigator did not meet the eligibility requirements listed in the program announcement.
My application from last year was not funded; can I resubmit it this year?
You may resubmit your application provided the proposed research meets the research objectives of a new program announcement. The research objectives of the program announcements change from year to year, so it is important that your application meets the current objectives. A resubmitted application will receive any special treatment; it will be reviewed as a new submission. However, you will improve your chances of success if you consider the issues addressed in your previous reviewers’ summary statement.
The program announcement says you’re only funding two awards—is there any flexibility on this?
NCIPC typically funds only the number of awards listed in the program announcement. However, if additional funds become available, more awards may be funded.
If there are multiple highly rated applications from the same geographic area, does that lower our chances of being funded?
If the secondary review criteria listed in the program announcement include geographic balance, the decision to fund your competitive application could be affected by another competitive application from your geographic region.
If I am not yet sure what intervention (or what population) I will use, how can I give the detailed description asked for in the application?
You need to provide as much detail in your application as possible about your experimental design. If you are still trying to decide between two interventions (or two study populations), you must explain both in your application. You must also explain how and when you will decide which intervention (or population) to use.
If you are undecided on a specific intervention (or study population), you might consider waiting for a future program announcement when you have better defined your experimental design.
What if I’m not sure whether my proposed research fits the research objectives of the program announcement?
First, read the research objectives in your particular program announcement carefully. Second, contact the project officer listed for your particular program announcement. The project officer will be happy to discuss your proposed research with you.
Application Process and Requirements
What form do I use to submit my application?
CDC uses the SF424 and has adopted the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide located at this Web site: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/how-to-apply-application-guide.htm.
Where do I obtain additional information on the SF424 and electronic submission?
For general information on SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission, see the following Web sites: SF424 (R&R) Application and Electronic Submission Information.
Is a letter of intent required?
A letter of intent is not required and will not enter into the review of your subsequent application. However, we ask that you do submit a letter of intent. NCIPC uses letters of intent to gauge the level of interest in the program announcement and plan for the application review.
If I missed the deadline for submitting a letter of intent, can I still submit an application?
Yes, you can submit an application without first submitting a letter of intent. The letter of intent is not required and is nonbinding.
Must I have all my IRB assurances to submit my application?
You do not need IRB approval when you submit your application. However, if you receive an award, a portion of your funds will be restricted until all of your IRB assurances are in place.
Under eligibility criteria, my type of institution isn’t specifically mentioned (e.g., city government, school districts). Am I eligible?
If your institution isn’t specifically mentioned in the program announcement, contact the project officer listed for your particular program announcement to discuss whether your institution is eligible.
Are there requirements formatting requirements for the application?
Requirement may vary by announcement.
What if I exceed the 25 pages allotted for the research plan section of my application?
Your application will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be considered for peer review. The research plan must not exceed 25 pages.
Who will review my application?
First your application will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit by an external peer review panel convened by NCIPC. Applications judged to have sufficient technical and scientific merit will then undergo a secondary review. The secondary review will be conducted by the Science and Program Review Subcommittee of the DHHS Secretary’s Advisory Committee for Injury Prevention and Control (ACIPC). ACIPC will develop funding recommendations for the NCIPC director based on the results of the primary review, the relevance and balance of proposed research relative to NCIPC programs and priorities, and the avoidance of unwarranted duplication of federally funded research.
Program announcements from other granting agencies have offered a conference call-in time for potential applicants to ask questions. Can my research team set up a conference call with you?
Often NCIPC does set conference call-in times for questions. Please contact the project officer listed for your particular program announcement for details.
Do you have examples of successful applications I can use as a model?
No, NCIPC does not have examples of previously funded applications that you can use as a model.
Principal Investigators and Mentors
How strict will you be in assessing the eligibility requirements of the principal investigator?
For example, some program announcements require that the principal investigator has published in peer-reviewed journals.
Applications from principal investigators who do not meet the eligibility requirements outlined in the program announcement will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be considered for further review. This includes the requirement in some program announcements that the principal investigator has published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Must the principal investigator be employed by the organization applying for the award?
The principal investigator need not be employed by the applicant organization. However, the relationship between the principal investigator and the applicant organization must be clearly stated in the application.
How can a small nonprofit or community-based organization find a qualified principal investigator?
We suggest they contact local universities to see if someone who meets the requirements of principal investigator is willing to collaborate with them on the application.
Is the average award amount listed in the program announcement for the first year of the award or for the entire project period?
The award amount listed in the program announcement is for the first 12-month budget period. An equal award amount is available for the subsequent years of the award. For example, if the program announcement listed the length of the project period as three years and an award amount of $300,000, then a total of $900,000 would be available over the life of the award.
Does the award amount listed in the program announcement include indirect costs?
The award amount listed in the program announcement includes both direct and indirect costs. For example, if the program announcement lists the award amount for the first 12-month budget period as $300,000, then your first-year budget for both direct and indirect costs must not exceed $300,000.
What if my proposed budget exceeds the ceiling of award amount listed in the program announcement?
Your application will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be considered for further review. Please note that the award amount ceiling includes both direct and indirect costs. For example, if the program announcement lists the length of the project period as three years and the award amount for the first 12-month budget period as $300,000, then your total first-year budget may not exceed $300,000, and the total budget for the entire project period may not exceed $900,000.
Can I budget for a “planning year” or a “collaborative-forming” year?
Yes, a portion of the budget can be used for planning. However, the majority of the time and money should be used to address a research question.
Should the budget include only research/evaluation costs or can it also include program implementation costs?
The budget can include money for program implementation if the program is directly related to the research. Remember, however, that the purpose of these awards is to conduct research.
Can I hire subcontractors to do some of the work?
Yes, you can hire subcontractors.
NCIPC Translation Research
The following information is to be used as a resource for persons applying for dissemination research funding under PA 07-001.
Innovation—new knowledge or information of potential use to prevention efforts; also referred to as intervention in PA 07-001. Refers to the content of what is disseminated or implemented. We define the term broadly to encourage the dissemination of advances in a range of areas:
- Scientific findings (e.g., discovery of a protective factor);
- Specific programs (e.g., a prepackaged bullying-prevention program for schools, a specific home visitation program);
- Broad strategies (e.g., home visitation in general);
- Public health principles (e.g., focus on primary prevention);
- Processes (e.g., systematic program planning); and
- Policies (e.g., seat belt usage laws).
Effective Innovations—innovations shown to significantly influence intended outcomes as expected (e.g., adoption of safer behaviors, changes in attitudes, changes in physical or social environments, decreases in risk factors, increases in protective factors, decreases in negative health consequences). Effectiveness is demonstrated through experimental research studies (i.e., random assignment to groups) or quasi-experimental research studies* (i.e., comparison group designs, interrupted time-series designs). In addition, these studies should track the intended outcomes over time (i.e., above and beyond a pre- and post-test).
Cook TD, Campbell DT. Quasi-experimentation design and analysis issues for field settings. Boston (MA): Houghton Mifflin Co.: 1979.
Dissemination—intentional spreading of innovations from the developers or originators to the intended users.
Implementation—an innovation put to use. The implementation process involves steps such as the decision to use an innovation (adoption), initial use, and long-term use or maintenance.
Capacity—skills, resources, and motivation necessary to implement innovations.
Widespread Use—implementation of an innovation across many different locations, contexts, or populations.
Dissemination Research—the study of processes that lead to the improved spread and use of innovations. The process and methods for dissemination research are similar to other types of research (i.e., define the problem, develop a research question to address the problem, choose the study design that is most appropriate to answer the research question). Dissemination research differs from innovation research in one significant way: its outcomes of interest. The focus of dissemination research is on discovering the best ways to get spread or to support use of the innovation, not on discovering the effectiveness of the innovation.
DISSEMINATION RESEARCH IN THIS FUNDING ANNOUNCEMENT
In this funding announcement, dissemination research refers to research on the dissemination of effective innovations (i.e., interventions) to prevent or control unintentional injuries and violence. In this context, NCIPC’s goal for dissemination research is to better understand how, when, by whom, and under what circumstances effective innovations are spread and used by agencies, organizations, and frontline workers who conduct injury and violence prevention or control in communities, including health-care settings.
The research portion of this funding mechanism is NOT intended to support dissemination activities alone. A research component is needed to examine strategies for improved spread and use.
Examples of appropriate dissemination research questions may include the following:
- Who has the most potential for implementing effective innovations to prevent or control unintentional injuries or violence (i.e., which organizations, which types of practitioners)?
- Where do intended users seek out information on effective innovations or on programmatic decision making? What format should scientific translation take? What formats or outlets are most accessible and most useful to the intended audience?
- What is the existing individual, organizational, or community capacity to implement effective innovations? When lacking, how can capacity be enhanced? How should capacity be measured?
- What types of training, technical assistance, and coaching effectively support implementation in specific practice settings?
- How do organizational, political, and social processes affect the dissemination of effective innovations to prevent or control unintentional injuries and violence?
- What factors influence the long-term implementation of effective innovations?
Q1. We have developed Policy X, which we believe is effective and thus, would like to disseminate it widely. However, we have been encouraged to evaluate the program more rigorously before encouraging others to adopt it. Is this dissemination research?
A1. No. Demonstrating the effectiveness of an innovation/intervention is considered innovation research. To be considered dissemination research, you must demonstrate that the innovation being disseminated or implemented already shows effectiveness.
Q2. We have developed and evaluated Program X and know that it works. Can dissemination research funding help us widely disseminate Program X?
A2. It depends on the purpose of your project. Ask yourself two questions:
1. What is the evidence of Program X’s effectiveness?
2. What type of evaluation did you conduct?
According to our definition of effective innovations, Program X should have been tested through experimental or quasi-experimental research studies that tracked the intended outcomes over time. To meet the criteria for dissemination research, the results from these studies should show that Program X significantly influenced the intended outcomes.
However, even if you have such evidence of Program X’s effectiveness, dissemination activities alone are not considered dissemination research. You would need to propose a research question about the spread or use of Program X that would advance the state of the knowledge for the dissemination or implementation of effective innovations.
Q3. Program X is an effective innovation according to your definition. However, it has only been implemented with population Y. Could dissemination research test implementation of this effective innovation with a new population?
A3. It depends on your primary research question and outcomes of interest.
If your primary goal is to understand whether Program X is effective with population Y, then this is effectiveness research, not dissemination research. On the other hand, if your primary goal is to understand what is needed to implement Program X with a new population, this is dissemination research.
For example, you may be interested in determining if this innovation would be acceptable in the new community or what individual, organizational, or community capacity exists to implement this innovation. Remember, the major focus of dissemination research is on discovering the best ways to spread or use an innovation, not on discovering the effectiveness of the innovation.
Q4. Program X is an effective innovation according to your definition. However, I'm not sure program staff are implementing the program as originally tested. I would like to understand more about how Program X is being adapted and implemented (e.g., shortened versions of the program). Would this be considered dissemination research?
A4. Once again, it depends on your primary research question and outcomes of interest.
If your primary goal is to understand whether an adapted version of Program X is effective, then this is effectiveness research, not dissemination research. If your primary goal is to understand what factors influence how Program X is implemented in the field, then it is dissemination research.
For example, you may be interested in examining what individual and organizational factors are related to implementation outcomes (e.g., full dosage of the program, high levels of fidelity). Remember, the major focus of dissemination research is on discovering the best ways to spread or use an innovation, not on discovering the effectiveness of the innovation.
Q5. Strategy X is an effective innovation according to your definition. We want to study the factors that influence people accepting X, choosing X, and using it over time. Is this dissemination research?
A5. Yes. Questions about adoption and use relate directly to implementation and thus, are appropriate for these funds. As with any research proposal, you should focus your research questions on a gap in the current knowledge and propose the most appropriate study design to answer those questions.