Implementing Rigor and Transparency in NIH Grant and Career Development Applications
|Scientific premise of the proposed research
|Rigorous experimental design for robust & unbiased results
|Consideration of relevant biological variables
|Authentication of key biologicals and/or chemicals
How will this affect the scoring (and ultimate fundability) of your grant?
- Significance: Is there a strong scientific premise for the project? (required for fundability)
- Robust Approach: Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? (required for fundability)
- Relevant biological variables: Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects? (required for fundability)
Work with our experts to sharpen your science and meet NIH rigor, responsibility, and transparency requirements:
Our BERD experts partner with investigators in support of rigorous design, data management, and biostatistical analysis. Experts are available at standing walk-in clinics and by appointment every day.
We are here to help you brainstorm ideas, generate research questions, meet possible collaborators, fine-tune study design and sharpen your proposals. Whether you want a multidisciplinary panel for your proposal or a quick, more tailored group, we assemble whatever expertise is needed to work with you to strengthen your project. Meet with a team of scientific experts who have perused your application as a first level of peer review.
Work with experts to optimize data management, version control, and archiving.
Contact CCTS Research Commons to schedule an appointment or to learn more:
Additional CCTS Rigor, Reproducibility, and Transparency Resources
CCTS YouTube Rigor and Transparency Playlist
NIH Expectations: Are You Ready? (Dec. 2015 Forum presentation)
Rigor & Transparency: Tips from Study Section Reviewers (June 2016 Forum presentation)
Rigor, Reproducibility, and Transparency (slide deck from the December 2016 presentation at Auburn University)
CCTS Grant Library
See examples of successful grant applications, including a new section showing how fellow investigators are tackling the NIH requirement for “Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources.”
Note: Samples provided are currently pending study section review.
Programs in Formal Instruction of Rigor and Transparency
Mastering the Art of Reproducible Science (Yoder, Brooks, Lorenz, Patel, Redden; Fall 2016)
The problem of non-reproducible outcomes in the scientific literature is rapidly eroding the credibility of biomedical research. The goal of the Mastering the Art of Reproducible Science course is to advance the visibility and awareness of this critical issue and to equip students to better recognize and eliminate sources of irreproducibility. The course will explore the fundamental causes and consequence of data irreproducibility, discuss best-practice procedures to minimize data irreproducibility, and discuss the responsibility of the scientific community to confront the irreproducibility crisis. The course is structured around four one-month long modules using a team based learning strategy.
The course will cover:
Each module will consist of four one-week long blocks that will involve independent reading and assessment, literature based research, and team preparation for in class presentations that will facilitate active debate on major issues of reproducibly of scientific findings. A final class will consist of a panel forum consisting of researchers, journal editors, peer reviewers, clinicians, academic and industry scientists who will discuss their roles in addressing the reproducibility crisis in scientific and clinical research.
Questions? Contact Research Commons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205.934.7442
Additional External Resources
- NIH Policy: Enhancing Reproducibility through Rigor and Transparency (NIH Presentation)
- NIH Website - Principles and Guidelines for Reporting Preclinical Research
- Your One Page Guide to Rigor and Reproducibility (NIH PDF)
- NIH Presentation - Rigor and Reproducibility: Back to Basics
- Implementing Rigor and Transparency Policies in Review--Lessons Learned
- Lorsch JR, Collins FS, Lippincott-Schwartz J. Cell Biology. Fixing problems with cell lines. Science. 2014 Dec 19;346(6216):1452-3
- Database of Cross-contaminated or Misidentified Cell Lines
- Hundreds of researchers are using the wrong cells. That’s a major problem. By Amanda Capes-Davis, PhD, chair of the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC)
- Improving Reproducibility: Best Practices for Antibodies - Sigma Aldrich Publications
- Clayton, JA. Studying Both Sexes: A Guiding Principle for Biomedicine. FASEB J. 2016 30:1-6
- Collins FS, Tabak LA. Policy: NIH plans to enhance reproducibility. Nature. 2014 Jan 30;505(7485):612-3
- Nuzzo R. How scientists fool themselves - and how they can stop. Nature. 2015 Oct 8;526(7572):182-5
- Clayton JA, Collins FS. Policy: NIH to balance sex in cell and animal studies. Nature. 2014 May 15;509(7500):282-3
- What are the problems? How can we fix them? What happens if we don’t? (American Physiological Society Presentations)