General formatting guidelines
Research Strategy - New for 2013
Filling out and submitting your application
Signatures for the cover sheet
What if I cannot obtain all the required signatures by the deadline?
Merging files into one PDF
What is a preceptor and which programs require a preceptor
Letters of support to include with your application
Human and animal subjects-IRB/IACUC
CORE Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
General Formatting Guidelines
NEW FOR 2013 - Research Strategy:
The three sections formerly comprising the Research Plan (Background and Significance, Preliminary Studies/Progress Report, and Research Design and Methods) have been streamlined into a single section called Research Strategy. The Research Strategy section must contain three components: Significance, Innovation and Approach.
All graphs, diagrams, tables, and charts should be in black ink. Any photographs or oversized documents should be included in the appendix. Supplementary charts, tables, and graphs and bibliography/references may be added in the Optional Appendix. The optional appendix will not be counted against your page limit. However, the appendix should not be used to circumvent page limits.Please observe the page limitations in the Research Strategy section.
Failure to adhere to the specified page limitations may result in an application being administratively withdrawn.
Use the template provided to construct your research strategy. Do not use a font size less than 11 pt. Include sufficient information in the research strategy to facilitate an effective review without reference to any previous application(s). Be specific and informative; do not assume that the reviewer will know what you mean. Reviewers often consider brevity and clarity in the presentation to be indicative of a principal investigator/program director's focused approach to a research objective and ability to achieve the specific aims of the project. A careless and disorganized application may lead reviewers to think that your research may be carried out in the same manner.
CORE is a paperless program, and requires applications to be submitted electronically via proposalCENTRAL.
Grant applications include several fillable templates. Save these MS Word templates from proposalCENTRAL to your local computer's hard drive. You may complete them using standard word processing software, including Macintosh formats. Complete the templates and be sure to include applicant's name in the right-hand corner of each page (in the MS Word template, this is located in the "header"). When you have completed the MS Word templates, convert the files to Adobe Acrobat PDF format. (For information on converting your files to PDF format, please see question 40 in the Frequently Asked Questions document.) Be sure to follow the page limitation and format requirements.
Once you have converted the completed MS Word templates to PDF files, return/attach them through proposalCENTRAL with the rest of your application. The CORE grant program requires applications to be submitted electronically, through proposalCENTRAL. Hard copies of applications will not be accepted. This includes the cover sheet which contains space for you to obtain the appropriate signatures. Once all signatures have been obtained, this document should be scanned, converted to a .pdf, and uploaded to your proposalCENTRAL account. This can take time so plan to complete your application ahead of time to allow the appropriate individuals to review and sign your application cover sheet. CORE is a paperless program; DO NOT mail hard copies to the AAO-HNS office.
Applications must be completed in proposalCENTRAL by the close of business on January 15th, without exception.
At a minimum, the application must be signed by the applicant, the sponsor or department head, an authorized official of the institution, and an authorized fiscal official of the institution. The online application will allow you to print a cover page which will indicate the signatures you need to obtain. Signatures must be original (not stamped or electronic signatures). It is the AAO-HNSF’s expectation that each person who signs the application has reviewed the application contents and accepts responsibility for accuracy prior to submission. By signing the application, the Principal Investigator and other officials are stating that they have reviewed the final proposal for compliance with the AAO-HNSF format and requirements.
We understand that getting the final signature page signed by all of the necessary staff may take some time. If you do not have all of the signatures by the January 15th deadline, please upload what you do have to proposalCENTRAL. proposalCENTRAL will not let you submit your application if you omit required pages. In proposalCENTRAL, you may upload a placholder page with "Signature Page placeholder" noted on it, convert it to a PDF and upload it to your account in order to submit you applciation byt the January 15th deadline. Once you have the fully signed signature page, please scan the PDF document and email to Stephanie L Jones or Sarah O'Connor to upload the signed document to your application no later than February 15. Please be advised that no grants will be awarded without a fully signed signature page.
Merging files into one PDF
Below are instructions on how to merge multiple PDFs into one file:
Merging files with Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Professional or later:
1. With the source document open, choose Document > Insert Pages.
2. In the Select File to Insert dialog box, select the source document you want to insert into the target document, and click select.* *Note: You may highlight all necessary files by holding the shift button down and clicking all necessary files needed.
3. In the Insert Pages dialog box, specify where you want to insert the document, and click OK. Most often, any pages that will be inserted will be placed after the source document.
4. Save the document under a new file name.
You may contact proposalCENTRAL customer service at 1-800 875 2562 (Toll-free U.S. and Canada), +1 703 964 5840 (Direct Dial International) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not have access to a scanner or have difficulty with this process.
An application will be considered incomplete if:
Unless specifically required by these instructions (e.g., IRB or IACUC approvals, change in other support), do not send supplementary or corrective material pertinent to an application after the receipt date without its being specifically solicited or agreed to by prior discussion with the CORE administrative staff. Applications must be completed in proposalCENTRAL by midnight eastern standard time on January 15, 2013. This receipt date CANNOT be waived. Please allow time to obtain necessary approvals and signatures.
The applicant is responsible for selecting a research preceptor at an academic or nonprofit research institution and for making arrangements to work with that person. The designated preceptor must be the faculty member who will directly supervise the proposed research training and evaluate the awardee's progress. An applicant may have a co-preceptor if his/her research interests cross areas of expertise. Selection of a preceptor is a key step in the application process and will constitute an important review criterion. In general, the applicant should seek a successful clinical researcher who has recent publications in the area of research, experience in the research techniques to be studied, and, optimally, external grant support from NIH or other major agencies.
Location in a department that will provide a stimulating and supportive research environment is an additional factor to consider. The applicant's preceptor should be an active investigator in the area of the proposed research who will directly supervise the candidate's research. The preceptor must document the availability of staff, research support, and the curriculum and facilities for high-quality clinical research training. The proposed training shall be designed in collaboration with the designated mentor and approved by the applicant's Department/Division Chair and institution. Training should be specifically focused on the acquisition and refinement of patient-oriented clinical research skills and may include both didactic course work and applied experience. A structured program of study (as opposed to informal directed readings) will be reviewed most favorably.
Applications must be accompanied by letters of support from both the applicant's preceptor and from the Department/Division Chair, verifying that the applicant will be permitted to devote the specified amount of time to the proposed research and research training activities.
A preceptor is required for the following grants:
Letters of Support
Letters should be obtained from the following:
Biographical Sketches (Biosketch)
Include a biosketch for all key personnel. Start with the principal investigator. List any collaborating investigators who participate in the scientific development/execution of the project. Include all degrees for every individual. Biographical sketches and other support must be included for each individual named. A sample biosketch is available here.
If you have any documentation concerning IRB or IACUC approvals, be sure to include this with your application (this can be scanned). All required documents are due prior to the date an award commences. If you are selected for a grant and you have not yet received your final IRB or IACUC approval, you grant funds will not be issued until it is received.
Human Subjects: Applicants should submit their projects to the appropriate human subjects Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the time of application. If your research requires an IRB approval, place actual date approved or “pending” (if submitted to IRB but not yet approved). If exempt from IRB approval within your institution, place “exempt” and the date the exemption was approved. If the proposed research project involves human subjects, the population sampled shall be inclusive of the general population, of relevance to the scientific question posed, without restriction in regard to gender, race, age, and socioeconomic status. Proposals that intentionally restrict the population sampled must include a compelling scientific rationale for such design. No award will be made until the appropriate documentation is received by the AAO-HNSF.
Animal Subjects: If your proposal involves animals and your institution does not have unqualified accreditation from the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC), a current Public Health Service (PHS) Animal Welfare Assurance, accreditation from the United States Department of Agriculture, or accreditation from the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC), you are not eligible to apply. It is to the applicant’s benefit to include institutional endorsements with the application. If such endorsements are pending when the application is mailed to the AAO-HNSF, the applicant should make every effort to mail in the endorsement documents prior to January 15. Endorsements should specifically cite the applicant’s name and project title.
If you will not have your final IRB/IACUC approval letter prior to the January 15th application deadline, then submit the associated documentation that you do have (e.g. what you have provided to your IRB/IACUC committee, when they will be meeting to review and the date you anticipate obtaining the final approval). We understand that some committees only meet quarterly or have very full agendas and it may take some time for you to get on their schedule. If needed, in proposalCENTRAL, you may upload a placeholder page with "IRB/IACUC approval placeholer noted on it, convert it to a PDF and upload it to your account in order to submit your application by January 15th. Once you receive the final approval (after the Jan 15th deadline), please scan the PDF document and email to Stephanie L Jones or Sarah O'Connor to upload to your application no later than February 15. Please be advised that no grants will be awarded without the final IRB/IACUC approval.