Applicants are encouraged to contact the Program Officers by email or phone (see below for more details). The contact information and the mechanisms (career development and training awards) they are involved can be found in this link: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/grant-funding/application-process/niaaa-contacts-training-and-career-awards. The NIAAA Program Contact information is also listed in the FOAs issued by NIAAA as well as in other NIH-wide announcements where NIAAA is a participating institute. Applicants may seek advice on NIAAA’s program priorities and active funding opportunities announcements (FOA) that are accessible through this link: http://www.niaaa.nih.gov/grant-funding/funding-opportunities.
Investigators benefit from communications with NIAAA Program Officers throughout many stages of the grant life cycle. They may wish to discuss new research findings, ideas for grant proposals, and ask questions about grant reviews. Communicating with extramural scientists is also a vital part of the Program Officer’s job. Below, we provide suggestions to facilitate communications with your Program Officer.
- E-mail Program Officer to identify dates and times to talk at length. Communicating with investigators is only one part of the Program Officer’s job. They also serve on committees, write reports, and attend seminars and symposia. Scheduling a time to talk at length will assure that you will get the attention you require.
- Don’t hesitate to send a reminder e-mail if PO hasn’t responded to initial e-mail after a few days. E-mail traffic tends to be very heavy for many Program Officers.
- Only “cold call” if your question is very simple or you need a quick confirmation. You may be placing your call 5 minutes before the Program Officer is due at a meeting.
- Allow Program Officer sufficient time to read and evaluate proposal ideas (i.e., abstract and aims) before discussion. Program officers are often juggling deadlines and multiple projects (and are interacting with other investigators such as yourself). You should allow them a reasonable time to read material that you send them.
- Please do not contact program staff members "just to chat.” Remember you are calling your Program Officer at work.
- Do your homework. You may find answers to your questions on NIH and NIAAA websites. If you don't, you'll at least be able to frame your questions better.
- Be focused. It is better to devote attention to one or two topics rather than a string of what may be perceived as an endless string of unrelated questions.
Complex issues require time and Program Officers also have many other investigators to assist. Applicants should take reasonable approaches to remind Program Staff.
REVIEW: After submission of grant applications, applicants may contact the Scientific Review Officers about review issues. Their names and contact information are listed in the applicants’ grants folder in the eRA Commons. After the release of the summary statements, applicants may call on the Program Officers assigned to their applications for advice.
GRANTS MANAGEMENT: For issues associated with pending grants or grants already funded, the applicants must contact the Grants Management Specialist whose contact information is also listed in the applicant’s eRA Commons Account and Notice of Award (NOA).