New Investigator Award FAQ

AACP Article

Submission

Do I have to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to submit a full application?

Yes; completion of the LOI form on the NIA submission portal is required before an applicant may submit a full application. The purpose of the LOI is for AACP to verify eligibility of the applicant and for preliminary reviewer assignments to be made based on the submitted 250-word abstract within the LOI form.

How do I submit my LOI or application?

LOIs and applications must be submitted through the online submission portal. A link to the portal can be found on the AACP website when the application cycle opens in July. Applications will not be accepted on the submission portal until after LOIs have been reviewed by AACP staff. At that time, applications should be uploaded as a single PDF in the same submission portal. Before proceeding, please carefully read the Application Instructions that available on the AACP website. If you have any further questions, please contact us at NIA@aacp.org.

I submitted my application but realized that I made a few errors and my application package was incomplete. Can I submit a revised application?

Yes; you may revise your application package as many times as you wish before the application deadline. After the deadline, no revisions or corrections will be accepted. To submit a revised application, please delete all previously uploaded applications, leaving only your final application in the submission portal. Please be sure to check your uploaded file to ensure its accuracy and completeness.

Eligibility

My institution has been granted Precandidate status by ACPE and I am a new faculty. Am I eligible to apply?

No; only qualified new faculty investigators from ACPE accredited colleges or schools of pharmacy with Accredited or Candidate status are eligible to apply.

My institution is a non-U.S. academic organizational member of AACP. Am I eligible to apply?

No; only faculty investigators from U.S. colleges and schools of pharmacy that are regular institutional members are eligible to apply.

I have been a PI on a Young Investigator Award from ACCP, am I still eligible for an AACP NIA?

No; the AACP NIA is open only for an early career faculty investigator who is attempting to secure his or her first extramural grant award as a PI.

I was an assistant professor at a school of pharmacy for two years but left for a non-academic job for five years. Two years ago, I joined another college of pharmacy, again as an assistant professor. Am I still eligible to apply for an NIA?

Yes; your total years of employment at colleges or schools of pharmacy as an assistant professor would count towards your five-year eligibility as a new investigator. The period of time in which you were not employed in an academic position does not count towards your eligibility window.

Do extramural pre- or postdoctoral fellowships count as grants that would disqualify me?

No; only extramural PI grants awarded to you while you are a faculty investigator will disqualify you.

I am appointed as a Research (or Clinical) Assistant Professor at my college of pharmacy. Would I be eligible to apply for an NIA?

It all depends on the nature of your appointment. If you have a full-time University appointment, your salary support covers your research endeavors as proposed in the NIA application, and your college is committed to your faculty development plan including research scholarship, then you are eligible. However, if you are a faculty paid 100% by a senior faculty’s research grant, then you are ineligible to apply for the NIA because you are supposed to work full-time on your sponsor’s research project. If you are a University-affiliated hospital pharmacist/faculty whose full responsibility is to provide clinical service and teach students and your research time is not covered by your college, then you are ineligible. For a Research (or Clinical) Assistant Professor to apply, we require the submission of an appointment letter describing how your job requirements are allocated in terms of %FTE and how they are funded. We also require a letter from your Department Chair or Dean indicating that your research time is protected and paid by university funds for you to pursue an independent research project.

Can I apply for an NIA with a Co-PI?

An experienced researcher is required to serve as a mentor to you but is not a PI on your project. The applicant must initiate a totally independent project (your idea, not someone else’s). You may collaborate with another eligible new investigator as a Co-PI on a joint research project; however, the combined maximum budget is still $10,000. Be sure to specify the individual roles that the PI and Co-PI play in the application and an agreement letter should be submitted by the Co-PI. If funded, the PI will be the contact person for correspondence, for receiving the entire award, and for submitting the final project and financial report. The PI’s institution is responsible for making financial arrangement between the PI and Co-PI through contract agreement. Furthermore, if the submitted NIA proposal is funded, the Co-PI may not be eligible for future NIA application.

Title Page

Would typing the names in the signature lines be acceptable?

Yes; as of 2019, electronic signatures are accepted in addition to wet signatures. The approval signatures certify that all of the information contained in the application is truthful and accurate, and that the proposed research is aligned with your institution’s mission.

I am unable to obtain all three signatures on the same title page. Is it acceptable to submit three copies of the title page to ensure that all signatures are original?

Yes; you may submit multiple copies of the title page if it is necessary to obtain signatures separately. All copies of the title page should be included at the beginning of the application package.

Can the title and content of the project be changed after the LOI submission?

To some degree, yes; the title and content in the LOI may be modified for improvement, but not to the extent that it is a totally different project. A significant change may cause a delay in reviewing your proposal or it may be reviewed by someone who is qualified to review your project based on the LOI but not your changed project. 

Budget

My original budget included salary for trainee; instead, I did all of the work myself. Can I pay myself with this approved budget?

No; the NIA does not allow any type of monetary compensation for the PI. Any request for major budgetary reallocation after the award is funded requires AACP approval.

Can a yearly AACP membership be included in the budget request?

No; all budget items should be directly associated with the specific project aims and research data collection as proposed in the application.

Can I request travel funds for me and my assistant to attend AACP or other professional meetings (e.g. ACCP, AAPS, ASHP, ACS, FASEB, etc.)?

No; only travel associated with data collection or analysis may be included in the budget. However, AACP will provide $1,000 separately for the PI to attend and present the research findings at the following year’s AACP Annual Meeting when the project is completed, final project and financial reports are submitted, and a poster abstract is submitted before the deadline. Do not include this travel award in your budget request.

Can I request the purchase of a desktop, laptop, printer, or a Smart Phone that I will use for my research?

No; basic computer and electronic devices that are required for your job performance, including those used for research, should be provided by your university.

Can I request funds for the purchase of software?

Yes; NIA funds may be used for the purchase of software that is required for collection or analysis of data.

If my project costs more than $10,000, may I use my new faculty start-up funds from my institution to supplement this project?

Yes; you may do so, but you must include that information on your budget plan in the application so that reviewers will not question on how you are able to complete the project, if the proposed project aims and budget do not match.

Biographical Sketch

In the biographical sketch form there is a section for publications relevant to this application; does this include any publication relevant to the topic or only publications I have produced?

This is the biographic sketch of the applicant, so you should only list the publications that you have produced as an author or co-author. If your list is long, then list only those relevant to this application.  Other references that you cite to support your research project should be included in the 6-page Research Narrative.

Can I submit my NIH biosketch with my full application?

No; please provide only the information requested on the application forms. Do not submit an NIH biosketch as part of your full application package.

Research Narrative

I applied for an NIA last year. Although I did not receive an award, the reviewers’ comments were highly helpful and encouraging. Can I resubmit my application with revisions?

Yes; be sure to indicate your submission is a resubmission in your LOI. In addition, please include a page at the beginning of the Research Narrative labeled Introduction in your application that clearly describes how you addressed the shortfalls of the previous application and how you revised the new submission.

The application instructions state that the 6-page limit for the narrative includes surveys and references. If I include the survey, it will take up too much of the allowed space. May I include it as an appendix?

No; submission of additional materials (figures, tables, surveys, publications) as appendices is not permitted. Applications containing materials submitted beyond the 6-page narrative will not be reviewed. A copy of detailed survey questionnaires is unnecessary; key information contained in the survey may be described in the Methods section with appropriate references.

I will have 1 to 2 pages of references cited in my proposal, are these references included in 6-page of research narrative?

Yes; references cited must be included in the 6-page limit. Cite only the most relevant references related to your proposed project. 

Are preliminary data and/or figures expected?

No; preliminary data are not required. However, it is highly encouraged that you include preliminary data if you have them.

How detailed should the methods section be in terms of concentration of materials and drugs to be screened?

Describe your methods in enough detail to show reviewers that you fully understand the procedures that you intend to use. If a method has already been published, simply give the reference.

Should the proposal be presented according to the weight of each section in the evaluation criteria?

Yes; allocating the narrative space and order according to the evaluation criteria would be helpful. Evaluation criteria can be found on the AACP website for reference.

Supporting Documents Section

Besides their signatures, should the CEO dean and/or mentor submit a separate letter of support?

A dean’s letter is required only if the applicant is a full-time research- or clinical-track faculty (see eligibility section above). It is optional but highly encouraged for a mentor to provide a letter describing the mentoring plans for the applicant.

Do you need final approval from IRB or IACUC by the application deadline?

No; final IRB/IACUC approval is not needed by the application deadline.  However, your research protocol must be submitted to your IRB/IACUC by the application deadline. An electronic copy of your IRB/IACUC submission cover letter must be included with your application package. An electronic copy of the final IRB/IACUC approval letter must be received by AACP by December 1 (email to NIA@aacp.org). If your proposal is chosen for an award, but the required approval letters have not been received, the proposal may be removed from consideration or funding may be delayed.

Miscellaneous

The LOI allows me to suggest potential reviewers. Do the recommended reviewers need to be AACP members?

No; recommended reviewers do not have to be current members; however, it is required that they are faculty investigators within colleges of pharmacy.

How many awards will you grant for each section this year?

The number of awards is not necessarily distributed according to the number of applications received per Section. Each application is evaluated by a group of discipline-specific reviewers, but final selection of award recipients is based on the scientific merit regardless of the Section to which each application was submitted.

Will applicants receive comments from reviewers at the end?

Yes; comments but not numerical scores will be sent to applicants after the NIA recipients are announced.