The Competitive Grant Renewal
Bertha G. Holliday, PhD
The competing continuation grant application and appendices were submitted to NIGMS February 1, 1999. I must admit it was an extensive effort. The OEMA office initiated work on the application in early October. Extensive input and direction followed this from some team members at each of the project's 15 participating institutions. All of this activity culminated into a 90-page application and two voluminous sets of appendices.
On March 31, 1999, we received confirmation that the application had been received. Included in this correspondence was a copy of the MARC "Review Considerations for MARC Ancillary Training Activities Grants (T36)," used by committee members to guide their evaluations of applications, and an invitation to submit any additional information to the committee for its review. Of course, we took this opportunity and submitted an addendum to the committee for its review. This was submitted to NIGMS, May 7, 1999.
The review process for the application occurs in two phases. The MARC Review Subcommittee completed the first phase June 14-15, 1999. The NIGMS National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council performs the second phase September 23-24, 1999.
The renewal application is closely based on the original application, but has a few new aspects I would like to highlight.
The continuation grant requests funding for a 5-year period rather than a 3-year period as was requested in the original application. We believe extending the project will provide the necessary time for institutions to engage in thorough pre- and post-assessment of activities, to thoughtfully develop project demonstrations and products, and to refine project efforts.
Funds requested for each institution were increased by $5,000 per year. Thus, each institution would receive $20,000 a year, or a total of $100,000, for the life of the grant continuation period. The increase in funds has been earmarked for assessment and evaluation and product development activities.
A request was made for additional funds for three types of discretionary awards. The first is a Special (teaching and learning) Project Fund in the annual amount of $5,000. It is proposed that these funds be available for project students and faculty to engage in activities that will enhance scientific training. The "Best Practices" Awards would be competitively awarded annually to two institutions, each in the amount of $2,500. These funds would be used to support the development of an identified product that embodies "Best Practices," as determined by a panel of experts. Last, the Product Development and Dissemination (PDD) Fund in the amount of $20,000 annually would be used for (a) printing, producing, and manufacturing project products; (b) publicizing and disseminating project products; and (c) travel costs associated with representatives of participating institutions attending conferences where they would present papers on the processes and outcomes of project activities.