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UP 2 NIH Supports Faculty Interested in Pursuing Funding

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Many UNH faculty have research interests and expertise in health, biomedical and behavioral sciences, yet their success in competing for extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been limited.  In FY10, NIH funding represented only $2M of UNH’s total $120M funding profile that year, yet New Hampshire universities received approximately $90M in NIH funding (primarily to Dartmouth Medical School.)  Other state universities without medical schools were able to obtain significant NIH funding in 2010.  For example, Maine received $65M and Delaware received $31M (NIH Research Reporting Tools, 2010). 

To address UNH’s relative lack of success in securing NIH awards, Senior Vice Provost for Research (SVPR) staff and a representative group of UNH faculty with NIH experience have proposed a strategy to increase our faculty’s competitiveness to receive NIH funding for their research.  We are now implementing this strategy, which includes the following:

  1. An internal competition in April-May 2012 to select up to five UNH faculty members, interested in securing funding from NIH, to receive focused support from the SVPR/ Research Office over a 12-month period beginning in Summer 2012.   
  2. An affinity group of the selected faculty.
  3. SVPR resources for the selected faculty members once each has developed and submitted an individualized plan.  The plans must include identification of a mentor/coach or collaborator at UNH or at another university AND commitment to:
    1. Attend an NIH training program or “boot-camp” designed to improve competitive success in the grant-writing process;
    2. Visit NIH prior to proposal submission to discuss research with appropriate Institute/Center program staff;
    3. Meet regularly with the other affinity group members, coaches, and Research Development and Communications staff to discuss progress and strategies; and
    4. Submit (and re-submit as needed) a research proposal to NIH.
  4. During Summer or Fall 2012, each selected faculty member will receive up to $15K from SVPR internal funds to finalize preliminary data collection activities and begin the NIH proposal development process.  Up to another $5K will be available from the SVPR to support registration fees and travel costs for each faculty member to attend a training program and to visit agency program staff.

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