A researcher can secure funding for a clinical study from a variety of sources, including the federal government. In many cases, especially for large or long-term studies, funding may come from more than one source.
To secure federal funding, researchers must follow a specific process, which includes a variety of steps, such as planning an application, writing an application, submitting an application, and going through the peer-review process.
If there is a study specific area of research that the NIH or one of its Institutes, such as the NICHD, is interested in, the agency will publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to solicit proposals or applications related to that research area. FOAs may include:
If an investigator has a topic he or she would like to study and there is no FOA related to that topic, he or she may apply for an investigator-initiated grant. These grants fall under what are called "parent announcements" —an FOA that covers ideas and concepts for study that come from investigators themselves.
The NICHD Director works with the project officers within its Branches, Centers, and Divisions to define specific guidelines for a study, such as its scope and deadlines, and to assign the project to be funded by a particular organizational part of the Institute.
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