When you look at these five basic ethical principles, it may appear obvious that your dissertation should include these. However, there are many instances where it is not possible or desirable to obtain informed consent from research participants. Similarly, there may be instances where you seek permission from participants not to protect their anonymity. More often than not, such choices should reflect the research strategy that you adopt to guide your dissertation.
The Mental Health Dissertation Research Grant to Increase Diversity allows for budget requests to cover full-time salary support and modest research funds for up to two years, but no less than 12 months, for eligible students to facilitate completion of their doctoral research project and dissertation in a research area relevant to the NIMH mission and strategic research priorities (). These awards are available to predoctoral students who are enrolled in good standing at accredited domestic or foreign institutions and who have an approved dissertation proposal at the time of the award. Applicants must have the goal of becoming successful researchers in areas of biomedical or behavioral science relevant to the mission of the NIMH.
The purpose of this program is to facilitate completion of a doctoral research project and dissertation in a research area relevant to the NIMH mission and research priorities, as articulated in the NIMH Strategic Plan. Because the Research Plan component is restricted to 6 pages, a dissertation research grant application will not have the same level of detail or extensive discussion found in an R01 application. Accordingly, reviewers should evaluate the conceptual framework and general approach to the problem, rather than methodological details and preliminary data. Appropriate justification for the proposed work may be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required.
The only allowable tuition-related costs are those associated with dissertation credits and matriculation fees that are required during the course of the grant period. Tuition related costs should be itemized in the budget. If requested, health insurance fees should also be listed in the budget, as well as other direct costs associated with completing the dissertation, such as materials, supplies and ADP services.
Allowable Costs: The Candidate is the person completing the dissertation. Stipend/salary compensation can be requested for the Candidate up to the current fiscal year NRSA pre-doctoral stipend level (information for FY 2012 can be found at ). Salary must be consistent with the established salary structure at the institution if it were using its own funds to support other staff members of equivalent qualifications, rank, and responsibilities at the institution. Fringe benefits can be requested only if the candidate is employed by the applicant organization.
Scored Review Criteria. Reviewers will consider each of the review criteria below in the determination of scientific and technical merit of the proposed research project and the candidate, and give a separate score for each criterion. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.
In the Final Progress Report, the PD/PI must provide information on the status of his/her dissertation research project, the actual or anticipated dissertation defense date, the actual or anticipated graduation date, and post-doctoral career plans (e.g., if he/she has accepted a job or post-doctoral research position, and if so, the position title and the employer).
The mission of AHRQ is to improve the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. As part of this mission, applications submitted to AHRQ to support health services research dissertations are evaluated for scientific and technical merit through the AHRQ peer review system. Reviewers will include in their overall and individual assessments both the research project and the potential of the candidate to become an independent health services researcher (based on assessments of such items as: letters submitted, biosketches, etc.)
Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).
Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
The Healthcare Research and Quality Act of 1999, in amending the Public Health Service Act, directed AHRQ, in carrying out its mission, to conduct and support research and evaluations, and to support demonstration projects, with respect to the delivery of health care in inner-city and rural areas (including frontier areas), and health care for priority populations. Priority populations include low income groups; minority groups; women; children; the elderly; and individuals with special health care needs, including individuals with disabilities and individuals who need chronic care or end-of-life health care. This authority is found at 42 USC 299(c). To implement this statutory mandate, AHRQ published a Notice in the NIH Guide on February 28, 2003, establishing a new Agency policy on the Inclusion of Priority Populations in health services research (see ). Applicants under this FOA should consider and discuss including priority populations in the research design as specified in this Notice. AHRQ policy also requires that women and members of minority groups be included in all AHRQ-supported research projects involving human subjects, unless a clear and compelling rationale and justification is provided that inclusion is inappropriate with respect to the health of the subjects or the purpose of the research.
Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed? Innovation should be considered within the context of the doctoral dissertation: Is the level of innovation appropriate for the PD/PI’s career stage?