A review of the NIH SF424 (R&R) Application Guide reminds us that the Facilities and Resources section for any NIH grant application is an opportunity to strengthen your application by providing details that don’t fit neatly into other sections of the proposal. There is no page limit on this section as long as the content relates to facilities and resources. Experienced grant writers are often able to leverage content to optimize scoring potential.All information referenced in this post is available in the NIH SF424 Application Guide.
Why should I pay attention to the Facilities/Resources section on the NIH grant application form?
Reviewers will assess the availability and capability of institutional resources to perform the work you propose. Under the NIH scoring system, this section is aligned with the scoring criterion “Environment” and it contains information relevant to potential for success (the essence of the “Overall Impact” score).
Any suggestions for writing?
- Customize information (avoid just dropping in boilerplate language without revision…take the time to make it specific to your proposal)
- Describe your institutional resources (people and equipment, organizational units and buildings) available to perform the specific work you are proposing to do
What information is required in the Facilities and Resources section?
- What facilities will be used? Include the following subheadings (indicate N/A if not applicable):
- Other, g., machine shop, electronic shop.
Describe:Capacities, square footage Pertinent capabilities Relative proximity Extent of availability to your project
- Are Biohazards or Other Potentially Dangerous Substances a part of your work? If you are using anything classified as Select Agent, describe any special facilities used for that work.
- How will the scientific environment in which the research is to be done contribute to the probability of success? …Address how the proposed studies benefit from unique features of the scientific environment or subject populations. Address useful collaborative arrangements.
Describe:Institutional support Physical resources Intellectual
Are there special considerations for Early Stage Investigators?
If you meet NIH criteria as a New or Early Stage Investigator describe:
- Institutional investment in your success, g., resources for classes, travel, training
- Collegial support, g., mentors provided through campus, college, division, departmental, or other process; career enrichment programs; assistance and guidance in the supervision of trainees involved with the project; and availability of organized peer groups
- Logistical support, g., administrative management and oversight and best practices training; and financial support such as protected time for research with salary support
Any hints for writing effective Facilities and Other Resource Sections?
- Elaborate on any collaborations and interdisciplinary aspects of the proposal (part of intellectual rapport).
- Emphasize any unique populations your project benefits, i.e., rural, vulnerable, etc.
- If a resource is geographically close to your lab, emphasize accessibility.
- Provide ample proof of institutional support, e.g., mentoring, lab management advisement, intramural grants.
- Refer reviewers to the Facilities and Resources section in the narrative of the Research Strategy section when appropriate.
- Confirm Facilities and Other Resources language is consistent with budget requests for the proposal. For example, if your budget request includes core facility fees include your access to that core facility in this section.
- Use adjectives in describing the resources, e.g., “modern laboratory,” “high- performance imaging,” “specially constructed unit,” “multifaceted clinical operations,” or “high- throughput analysis.” Other effective descriptive words: “fully accredited,” “specialized,” “centralized.”
- If there are multiple Project/Performance Sites describe the facilities and resources available at each site.