Get a GRIP: An AAI program designed to help New Investigators prepare their NIH grant proposals
AAI is pleased to announce a new program to match new PI's with established PI's who have significant, successful grant writing careers. The Grant Review for Immunologists Program ("GRIP") invites new PI's to submit an outline or NIH-style abstract to the GRIP coordinator who, with the assistance of a small volunteer subcommittee, will attempt to match the topic of the proposal with the research experience of an established PI. Matches will be made as quickly as possible to allow new PI's to meet upcoming NIH grant deadlines. Participation is strictly voluntary and is not intended to preclude internal mentoring programs.
GRIP is now soliciting both new PI and established PI participants. Please send your CV and a brief description of either your potential research project (new PI's) or grant reviewing experience (established PI's) to email@example.com (please write "GRIP" in the subject line).
Goal: To provide a resource of expert advice for new Principal Investigators (PI's) as they embark on an independent immunology research career. This program is aimed at new PI's who would benefit from expertise in the proposed area of research that may not be available at the new PI's own institution. (The program is not aimed at replacing internal mentoring.)
Program: GRIP will serve as a referral resource to match newly appointed PI's with established PI's that have significant, successful grant writing careers. AAI will solicit participants (reviewers and new PI's) through announcements on the AAI website and in the AAI Newsletter. Every effort will be made to enable them to meet during the AAI annual meeting, although this will not be required. To initiate the process, the new PI will submit an outline or NIH-style abstract to the GRIP coordinator (an AAI member who has been appointed by the AAI Council) who, with the assistance of a small subcommittee, will match the topic of the proposal with the research experience of an established PI. The GRIP Coordinator will then contact the established PI to describe the proposal and determine if this will be a suitable match. The established PI has the right of refusal for any reason whatsoever (time commitment, conflict-of-interest, etc.). Once united, the two PI's can communicate by phone or email to establish an understanding on the proposal, potential study sections that may review the proposal, and the time frame for the new PI to send the proposal to the established PI. The proposal must arrive no later than 4 weeks prior to the face-to-face meeting at the annual meeting or prior to the scheduled phone conversation.
Participation by established PI's will be strictly voluntary. They may, for example, respond to postings in the AAI newsletter or on the website. Another possibility would be for other AAI members to recommend someone to the GRIP coordinator, resulting in a collegial invitation. Established PI's will know that it is possible to decline an invitation to participate and that it is possible that their expertise may not be required. It is estimated that the total annual time commitment for established PI's is anticipated to be less than 10 hours. PI's will be matched based on similar areas of expertise.
Enrollment of new PI's will be through advertisement. New PI's should be aware of the dual commitment involved: the established PI is making a strong voluntary commitment so the new PI must make a commitment to a professional effort in the grant writing and review process. New PI's must be aware that there is a strong possibility that their proposal may not be selected for the GRIP program; reasons for this may include a shortage of established PI's or a lack of established PIs with appropriate expertise.
Fine print: The decision of the GRIP coordinator with respect to accepting a new PI's proposal is final. New PI's should have no false expectations of fundability for the grant, and neither AAI nor the established PI is responsible in any way for a proposal's ultimate funding or lack thereof. New PI's must be members in good standing of the AAI at the time the proposal is submitted. A few added points: