Below are links to a document and two helpful, well-produced videos from the NIH Office of the Director (NIHOD). These are must-watch/read for all new prospective applicants, and it's not a bad idea to watch the Peer Review and Tips videos even if you are an experienced applicant, to help get you in the proper mindset as you begin to prepare your new or renewal application.
What Happens to Your NIH Grant application
This document explains the steps in processing, assignment and review of your grant NIH application, describes review & scoring criteria, and provides steps & advice to follow when preparing your application.
CSR Peer Review Videos - NIH Center for Scientific Review
Explains the structure and function of NIH peer-review study section, and includes sample review discussions of 2 applications. The applications are fictional but plausible, but the study section peer reviewers are actual study section members and experienced peer reviewers.
NIH Tips for Applicants video (4:38)
Positive advice and common pitfalls to avoid from NIH officers and from a study section chair and members.
In general, you cannot use NIH grant funds to pay for assistance with NIH grant proposals-because federal funds are not supposed to be used directly for obtaining additional federal funds. However, those with Mentored Career Development Awards are allowed to use the award funds to pay for assistance preparing grant proposals and manuscripts for publication alike! See the following link: Proposal Preparation Costs Allowable as a Direct Charge for Mentored Career Development Awards
If you're not so fortunate as to have a mentored grant, try your department chair, or even try to persuade him/her to approach instititutional officials for programmatic funds to enhance the competitive prospects of you and other faculty. Increasingly, departments and institutions are taking this approach to improving their investigators' award success rates and funding situations. Times are indeed very hard--but to those willing to invest in GrantRescue's or WinningSubmissions' services, the tiny fraction of the total funds flowing from a major grant that are represented by our fees can be highly-rewarded.
National Science Foundation (NSF) Funding Broad array of federal funding initiatives in basic scientific research and higher education
Department of Defense (DOD) Grant Program Mission-targeted and career development grants
Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program Congressionally-mandated set-aside funding which allows US-owned and operated small businesses to engage in research and development toward marketable products, including NIH-sponsored commercialization of innovative biomedical technologies, and other scientific and technological innovation.