NIGMS Feedback Loop home page

March 29, 2005

The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) is one of the National Institutes of Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. By supporting basic biomedical research and training nationwide, NIGMS lays the foundation for advances in disease diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

The NIGMS Feedback Loop is an e-mail newsletter alerting researchers to NIGMS funding opportunities, trends, and plans. We encourage your input and feedback on Institute activities.

All NIGMS grantees are automatically subscribed to the NIGMS Feedback Loop; other interested individuals are encouraged to subscribe themselves. To subscribe, change your subscription options, or unsubscribe, visit the NIGMS Feedback Loop subscription page on the NIH LISTSERV Web site at

A Message from the NIGMS Director

Welcome to the first issue of the NIGMS Feedback Loop. This e-newsletter is intended to be a catalyst for interaction between NIGMS and the scientific community, alerting investigators to Institute funding opportunities, trends, and plans.

We will announce concept clearances and other important actions following meetings of the National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council to give interested parties more time to prepare grant applications. We will also announce upcoming meetings and opportunities for you to give us input on specific activities and plans.

The goal of this e-newsletter is for every item to have an action (often, an opportunity for interaction with NIGMS) that interested readers can take, such as applying for a grant, attending a meeting, or commenting on a document.

The Feedback Loop represents the first phase of an array of Internet-based outreach mechanisms that we are planning. Our goal is to raise awareness of NIGMS activities and make them as transparent as possible to the scientific community.

Following this inaugural issue, our plan is to produce a new edition of the Feedback Loop about a month after each advisory council meeting, or three issues a year. Should there be enough content for additional issues, they will be produced on an as-needed basis.

If you have questions or suggestions about either this e-newsletter or the larger outreach plan, please contact me or Feedback Loop coordinator James Deatherage at or 301-594-0828. We welcome your ideas.

Jeremy M. Berg
National Institute of General Medical Sciences

NIGMS Funding Trends

The President's Budget for FY 2006 was presented on February 7. This budget calls for a 0.6 percent increase for NIH overall and a 0.6 percent increase for NIGMS. The overall budget proposed for NIGMS is $1.955 billion. The President's Budget also requires that noncompeting research project grants (RPGs) be held at FY 2005 levels and that average costs for competing RPGs be held at FY 2005 levels.

Based on these parameters, we anticipate a success rate for competing RPGs of 26-28 percent based on funding approximately 960 competing RPGs out of approximately 3,600 applications in FY 2006. This compares with an anticipated success rate of 25-26 percent for FY 2005 based on funding approximately 916 RPGs out of an estimated 3,600 applications.

To place these figures in context, consider these results for FY 2003 and FY 2004:

FY 2003
FY 2004
Number of competing RPG applications
Number of RPGs funded
RPG Success Rate
Number of competing R01s funded
Number* of R01 applications
R01 success rate
Success rate for new R01 applications
Success rate for competing continuation R01 applications
Success rate for original, unamended R01 applications
Success rate for first amended (A1) R01 applications
Success rate for second amended (A2) applications

*The number of applications is corrected to exclude applications for the same grant that are received within the same fiscal year.

We will update this analysis when the actual FY 2006 budget is enacted by Congress. We welcome your comments.

Pending Application and Award Information Available Online

The NIH eRA Commons is an online connection to NIH for information on pending applications and awarded grants. Four modules are currently operational (Status, eSNAP, Internet-Assisted Review, and Financial Status Report). The two modules of immediate importance to NIGMS applicants and principal investigators are Status and eSNAP.

Status: For your pending applications, you can retrieve your review assignment, priority score/percentile, and summary statement online. If NIH requests "just-in-time" information for your application, you can enter it in Status and route it to your institution's business official (the person who signs your grant application) for submission to NIH. You can also use Status to see your Notice of Grant Award and, if you are eligible, to obtain a no-cost extension of your grant.

eSNAP (Electronic Streamlined Noncompeting Award Process): You can enter your yearly noncompeting continuation grant application and progress report through the eSNAP module. This material also needs to be routed through a business official for submission to NIH.

The Commons is set up so that each principal investigator can have a personal account, identified by a unique combination of user name and password, to access Status and eSNAP. Providing your Commons user name in grant applications will help ensure that your information is both complete and up to date.

Whether you are an NIGMS applicant or grantee, it is important to check the accuracy of your eRA Commons account information. To set up your eRA Commons account for Status and eSNAP, contact your institution's sponsored research office for instructions.

NIGMS-Sponsored Events

Pharmacogenetics Educational Session

Rochelle M. Long, chief of the NIGMS Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences Branch, invites scientists interested in pharmacogenetics to attend an educational session about the application of pharmacogenomics to the treatment of breast cancer, moving beyond the analysis of the effects of single genes and the contribution of alternative splicing to pharmacogenomic variation. This event will be held at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, April 16, 2005, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, CA.

View the session agenda (82KB PDF, requires free Acrobat Reader) or register using the AACR Web site. For more information, contact Dr. Long at

Functional Genomics of Critical Illness and Injury Symposium

NIGMS program director Scott Somers invites interested scientists to attend a symposium about the functional genomics of critical illness and injury on April 21-22, 2005, at the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD.

This meeting will provide opportunities for communication among experts in the various disciplines of critical care medicine and the field of functional genomics. It will showcase the latest research findings, facilitate the exchange of information on state-of-the-art methodologies, and highlight current and future challenges.

Previous symposia in this series were attended by several hundred investigators from more than 10 countries.

For more information, visit the meeting Web site or contact Dr. Somers at

Consortium for Functional Glycomics Annual Meeting

NIGMS program director Pamela Marino invites researchers whose work involves glycans and glycan-protein interactions to attend the scientific program at the annual meeting of the Consortium for Functional Glycomics (CFG), May 17-18, 2005, at the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD. The CFG is an NIGMS-supported large collaborative (or "glue grant") project composed of more than 180 laboratories working to understand the role of carbohydrate-protein interactions at the cell surface that are involved in cell-to-cell communication.

This meeting will highlight progress on the development of unique consortium resources including glycan arrays, a focused glyco-gene chip microarray, and mouse and human glycomics initiatives and databases. Participating CFG investigators will present studies on a variety of glycan-binding proteins and their ligands that were performed using consortium resources. Special sessions include "Frontiers in Carbohydrate Chemistry" and a "Database Development Roundtable."

Due to space limitations, preregistration for the scientific program is required. For more information, contact Dr. Marino at

Structural Analysis of Large Assemblies Symposium

NIGMS program director Ravi Basavappa invites interested researchers to a symposium titled "Structural Analysis of Large Assemblies: Sizing Up the Challenges" on June 2-3, 2005, at the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD.

The structural analysis of large assemblies is a critical emerging area of structural biology. This symposium will address challenges such as methods for identifying and purifying large assemblies, dealing with transient complexes, special obstacles posed by membrane-associated complexes, and directions for new approaches.

For more information, see or contact Dr. Basavappa at

Evolution of Infectious Diseases Symposium

NIGMS program director Irene Eckstrand encourages investigators at all levels—including graduate students and postdocs—to attend a symposium on the evolution of infectious diseases on July 14-15, 2005, at the NIH Natcher Conference Center, Bethesda, MD.

The purpose of this symposium is to provide a forum for current research on the evolution of infectious diseases, identify opportunities for future research, stimulate collaborations, and increase interest in and recruitment into the field. Details about the meeting agenda, as well as a Web site for online registration and local hotel information, will be posted on the NIGMS Web site meetings page soon.

For more information, contact Dr. Eckstrand at