Some misc. thoughts on writing SA’s for NIH. Make it an inverse pyramid – most general to most specific. Each of the points below is 1-2 sentences.
Remember, if it is too long (more than a page) you are saying too much.
Para1: Intro Paragraph – this is a paragraph. do not alternate bits of (2) &(3) below – it will be too long & too confusing for reviewers.
- Opening sentence:First sentence should be strong, active voice and include the significance to NIH’s mission.
- What is known. This is not a lit review. This is 1-2 sentences that sets up the context for the reviewers who are not involved in bunny hopping research.
- What is not known? Again, short, short 1-2 sentences, why we need to do this research for the betterment of all people-kind.
- Frame this unknown as a problem that you can solve. (your help should be implicit at this point).
Para2: “Who the heck are you and why are you doing this” para
- Brief intro to you – what are your goals for the longterm (ie investing in you). Understood that this is a multi-grant, many-yeared lifetime statement.
- What is the BIG QUESTION for this proposal. The link to previous sentence should be fairly obvious.
- A statement of your central hypothesis. – your ‘best bet’ on what you will find.
- Why do you want to do this – what will you be changing in the field as a result of this
- End with why you are the royalty of the field – why they should think that you should do this.
Para3: Specifics Paragraph
This should be the specifics aims of the grant. Should be short, and preferably in bold. Reverse indent if you need to, make this EASY to read. Non-assigned reviewers should be able to find this para easily. Can include hypotheses & alternatives if you can keep them short. Leave out methods here.
Para4: Concluding para – I’ve heard it called: Payoff Paragraph
- summary of what is innovative
- Summary of what this will do to change the field
- Something about expected outcomes in broad sense “cancer will be cured”.