Glossary

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New Investigator

A PD/PI who has not previously competed successfully as a PD/PI for a substantial independent research award is considered a New Investigator.

A

A1 application

The A1 suffix is typically seen as part of an application identification number or grant number and "A1" is often used to refer to a new, renewal, or revision application that is amended and resubmitted after the review of a previous application with the same project number.

B

BRAIN

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative aims to accelerate the development and application of innovate technologies to produce a new, dynamic picture of the brain.

Bridge Awards

Bridge awards provide continued but limited interim support (bridge funding) for meritorious investigators who just miss the funding cutoff and have minimal support from other sources. The continued funding will permit the PD/PI additional time to strengthen a resubmission application. A Bridge award recipient usually will receive an R56 award for a single year. Investigators may not apply for R56 grants. Applications for conversion to an R56 will be selected by IC staff from reviewed applications that fall at or near the payline margins.

C

Clinical Research

Research with human subjects that is:

1) Patient-oriented research. Research conducted with human subjects (or on material of human origin such as tissues, specimens, and cognitive phenomena) for which an investigator (or colleague) directly interacts with human subjects. Excluded from this definition are in vitro studies that utilize human tissues that cannot be linked to a living individual. It includes: (a) mechanisms of human disease, (b), therapeutic interventions, (c) clinical trials, or (d) development of new technologies.

2) Epidemiological and behavioral studies.

3) Outcomes research and health services research

Studies falling under 45 CFR 46.101(b) (4) (Exemption 4) are not considered clinical research by this definition.

Clinical Trial

A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.

See Common Rule definition of research at 45 CFR 46.102(d)

See Common Rule definition of human subject at 45 CFR 46.102(f)

The term "prospectively assigned" refers to a pre-defined process (e.g., randomization) specified in an approved protocol that stipulates the assignment of research subjects (individually or in clusters) to one or more arms (e.g., intervention, placebo or other control) of the clinical trial.

An intervention is defined as a manipulation of the subject or subject's environment for the purpose of modifying one or more health-related processes and/or endpoints. Examples include, but are not limited, to: drugs/small molecules/compounds, biologics, devices; procedures (e.g., surgical techniques); delivery systems (e.g., telemedicine, face-to-face); strategies to change health-related behavior (e.g., diet, cognitive therapy, exercise, development of new habits); and, treatment, prevention, and diagnostic strategies.

A health-related biomedical or behavioral outcome is defined as the pre-specified effect of an intervention on the study subjects. Examples include positive or negative changes to physiological or biological parameters (e.g., improvement of lung capacity, gene expression); psychological or neurodevelopmental parameters (e.g., mood management intervention for smokers; reading comprehension and/or information retention); disease processes; health-related behavior; and, well-being or quality of life

Biomedical clinical trials of an experimental drug, treatment, device, or behavioral intervention may proceed through four phases:

Phase I. Tests a new biomedical intervention in a small group of people (e.g. 20-80) for the first time to determine efficacy and evaluate safety (e.g., determine a safe dosage range and identify side effects).

Phase II. Study the biomedical or behavioral intervention in a larger group of people (several hundred) to determine efficacy and further evaluate safety.

Phase III. Study to determine efficacy of the biomedical or behavioral intervention in large groups of people (from several hundred to several thousand) by comparing the intervention to other standard or experimental interventions as well as to monitor adverse effects, and to collect information that will allow the interventions to be used safely.

Phase IV. Studies conducted after the intervention has been marketed. These studies are designed to monitor the effectiveness of the approved intervention in the general population and to collect information about any adverse effects associated with widespread use.

Competing Applications

Competing applications are applications for a new, renewal, or resubmission research project grants(RPG), including R01s, R21s, and related mechanisms, that require competitive peer review

Competing Continuation

Competitive Revision

A request for (or the award of) additional funds during a current project period to support new or additional activities which are not identified in the current award that reflect an expansion of the scope of the grant-approved activities. Competitive revisions require peer review.

Contact PD/PI

When multiple PD/PIs are designated, NIH requires that the applicant organization identify one of the PD/PIs as the Contact PD/PI to serve as a primary point of contact. Serving as Contact PD/PI confers no special authorities or responsibilities within the project team. The Contact PD/PI must meet all eligibility requirements for PD/PI status. However, as with the single PD/PI model, if the Contact PD/PI is not an employee, the applicant organization must have a formal written agreement with the Contact PD/PI that specifies an official relationship between the parties. (See NIH Grants Policy Statement: 9 Multiple Program director/Principal Investigator Applications and Awards)

D

Data and Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB)

A formal, independent board of experts including investigators and biostatisticians that advise study investigators regarding the safety progression of a study. In general, NIH requires the establishment of DSMBs for multi-site clinical trials involving interventions that entail potential risk to the participants and for all Phase III clinical trials. As necessary, a DSMB may be appropriate for Phase I and Phase II or other clinical trials if the studies are blinded (masked), employ high-risk interventions, or involve vulnerable populations.

E

Early Established Investigator (EEI)

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who is within 10 years of receiving their first substantial, independent competing NIH R01 equivalent research award as an Early Stage Investigator (ESI).

Early Stage Investigator (ESI)

A Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award. A list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI can be found at https://grants.nih.gov/policy/early-investigators/list-smaller-grants.htm.

Early Stage Investigator ESI

An Early Stage Investigator is a Program Director / Principal Investigator (PD/PI) who has completed their terminal research degree or end of post-graduate clinical training, whichever date is later, within the past 10 years and who has not previously competed successfully as PD/PI for a substantial NIH independent research award.  See our list of NIH grants that a PD/PI can hold and still be considered an ESI. For more information, please click here.

H

Human Subject

A living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains data through intervention or interaction with the individual or obtains identifiable private information. Regulations governing the use of human subjects in research extend to use of human organs, tissues, and body fluids from identifiable individuals as human subjects and to graphic, written, or recorded information derived from such individuals. (See Public Policy Requirements and Objectives-Human Subjects Protections).

I

Independent Clinical Trial

An independent clinical trial is one for which the researcher proposing the study has primary or lead responsibility for conducting and executing the trial. NIH policy permits individual career development awardees and individuals appointed to institutional career development awards to be involved in a range of clinical trial activities, including leading independent clinical trials. For NRSA trainees or fellows, however, NIH policy precludes leading an independent clinical trial as part of their training experience. Instead, NRSA trainees and fellows interested in clinical trials may gain clinical trial research experience by working on a trial led by their mentor or another investigator.

Person's voluntary agreement, based upon adequate knowledge and understanding, to participate in human subjects research or undergo a medical procedure.

In giving informed consent, people may not waive legal rights or release or appear to release an investigator or sponsor from liability for negligence. Go to 21 CFR 50.20 and 50.25

Investigational New Drug Application

Under regulation 21 CFR 312, application filed by a drug sponsor with FDA on Form FDA 1571 to conduct clinical trials, including detailed descriptions of all phases, protocols, IRB members, and investigators.

Investigator-Initiated Research

Research funded as a result of an investigator, on his or her own, submitting a research application.

N

New Investigator

A PD/PI who has not previously competed successfully as a PD/PI for a substantial independent research award is considered a New Investigator.

P

Parent Announcement

NIH-wide FOA enabling applicants to electronically submit investigator-initiated grant application for a specific activity code, e.g., Research Project Grant (Parent R01).

Learn more about types of funding opportunity announcements .

Peer Review Criteria

The reviewers judge the overall impact for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) based on five criteria: Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment.

Phase IIB Competing Renewal

An application requiring competitive peer review and Institute/Center action to continue beyond the SBIR/STTR Phase II award.

Program Announcement

A PA is a formal statement about a new or ongoing extramural activity or program. It may serve as a reminder of continuing interest in a research area, describe modification in an activity or program, and/or invite applications for grant support. Most applications in response to PAs may be submitted to a standing submission date and are reviewed with all other applications received at that time using standard peer review processes. NIH may also make funds available through PARs (PAs with special receipt, referral, and/or review considerations) and PASs (PAs with set-aside funds).

PAs may be used for any support mechanism other than construction awards. Unless otherwise specified in the PA, new applications (and associated renewal and revision applications) submitted in response to PAs are treated as investigator-initiated. PAs also are used to annually solicit applications for the SBIR and STTR programs. Those applications must be received by the dates specified in the PA.

Program Announcements (PA) are published in the NIH Guide for Grants and Contracts. Go to Program Announcements. Learn more about types of funding opportunity announcements.

R

Renewal Application

An application requesting additional funding for a period subsequent to that provided by a current award. Renewal applications compete for funds with all other peer reviewed applications.

Research Centers

Center grants are awarded to institutions on behalf of program directors and groups of collaborating investigators. They support long-term, multi-disciplinary programs of research and development.

Research Grants

Major extramural research grants awarded to institutions, hospitals, and other research organizations, including small businesses, to support circumscribed research led by investigators, create developmental opportunities, and to provide research related resources under programs such as Research Careers, Research Centers, Research Projects, SBIR/STTRs, and Other Research.

S

Scored Review Criteria

For research grant applications, and most other types of applications, reviewers judge the overall impact to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, taking into account five criteria, among other pertinent factors: Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, and Environment. These scored review criteria may not be applicable for some types of applications. When these criteria are not applicable, the FOA will include the specific review criteria. Reviewers will consider each of the five criteria in the determination of scientific and technical merit, and give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have a major scientific impact. See Peer Review Process/Scoring for additional information.

Specific Aims

A component of an application's Research Plan which describes concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarizes the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved.. Includes the specific objectives of the research proposed (e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology).

X

xTrain

xTrain provides program directors/principal investigators, university administrators, and trainees the ability to electronically prepare and submit PHS 2271 Statement of Appointment forms and PHS 416-7 Termination Notices associated with institutional research training grants, institutional career development awards, individual fellowships and research education awards.
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Form Approved OMB# 0925-0648 Exp. Date 05/31/2021