Goal 4: Develop Workforce and Resources

Promoting Translational Research training using the R03 mechanism

We in Wisconsin have developed a robust training program for mixed MD and PhD postdocs in a clinical dept and yet their future in research is blocked by few faculty positions, poor funding and over complicated NIH applications. One of the simplest grants is the R03 and we have already had graduates with only a few years postdoc experience succeed in gaining R03 funding. The R03 is a very simple very flexible mechanism. Change the rules to make a Translational R03 which is modular for 50k a year for the project alone and allows up to 50k as salary for the PI. Then drop the R21 altogether (instead use reduced years R01 up to 150k/year for up to 3 years). Do not allow R03 to exclude eligibiltiy for K99R00.

Tags (Keywords associated with the idea)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

More MD and PhD Postdoc trainees will spend more time focused on work and less writing grants - and the efficiency of expenditures by NIH would go up in terms of paper generated per dollar. MDs who may have a desire to dip in and out of funded research as their clinical path demands would be able to do that. R03 funding does not at any time change your status as a new or early career investigator. Its perfectly reasonable to hold more than one even without a faculty title but as a PhD scientist or practicing clinciian.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Its easy to do - just decide to do it. Also writing an R03 is the best possible training for writing an R01. I run a T32 for predocs and I mentor K12 postdocs. I know what NIH INTENDS in its training grants. But also recognize just to take on the longer and longer and more demanding K application after already being well trained is a real disincentive to everyone, even if those pages in training plan are well intentioned. IF omeone has not had the chance to train or is cross training to a new area then a K99 is perfect. But someone who is well trained, may stay in their area and has already proven themselves needs a fast submission fast review process to get funding NOW that may be the difference between continued employment though this funding crisis or not. This could provide that for them. Especially with expedited review!

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Ian Bird


-1 net votes
10 up votes
11 down votes
Idea No. 537