When starting a new grant application, early career and established scientists note that access to funded grants in the same category is critical to their success. Funded examples demonstrate how to communicate scientific approaches, how to write specific grant sections, and how reviewers evaluate proposals. Typically, funded grants were obtained from friends and colleagues, but access was uneven and difficult for some grant programs. To meet this need, the Office of Physician-Scientist and Scientist Development (OPSSD) has created a secure library to house funded grant applications for access by Yale faculty, trainees and students. The grant library will host grant applications for a variety of funding mechanisms including fellowships, career development awards, research grants, and program grants. Since establishing the grant library, OPSSD has focused on collecting NIH grants that are funded by K and T funding mechanisms, and more than 65 faculty have agreed to have their grants included. During the first year, OPSSD will focus on collecting NIH grant applications but plans to expand to grant applications from other federal agencies, foundations and internal funding mechanisms in the future.
The grant library is designed to minimize the burden for those who deposit applications. Those with eligible funded grants receive an invitation to consent to include their application in the library upon funding. If they agree to contribute their grant, they are asked to provide reviews and/or a summary statement and OPSSD works with the Office of Sponsored Projects to obtain a copy of the application. Those who deposit grants specify whether the entire grant, or just specific sections such as the specific aims and research strategy are included. OPSSD redacts salary and/or sensitive information prior to the grant application being added to the library, and investigators have the opportunity to review the grant prior to access by others. They can also specify that their grant be embargoed for a period of time after deposition to protect intellectual property.
Grants are stored in a secure library with access restricted to Yale faculty, trainees, and students who request access to grants within a specific funding mechanism. Individuals accessing the library must agree to a code of conduct which specifies that grant contents are confidential and cannot be shared, that no text can be duplicated in applications, and that those who access the library may be subject to review of new applications to ensure compliance with the code of conduct. Access to individual grant applications is recorded by the library.
Keith Choate, MD, PhD, associate dean for physician-scientist development and director of OPSSD, says of the grants library, “we’re excited to launch this resource for the community. It’s clear that initial funding success is enhanced by access to prior funded awards, and we’re hopeful that the grants library will enable investigators to prepare focused applications responsive to funding agencies. We look forward to expanding the library in the coming months to additional mechanisms, with a particular focus on R01 applications.”
Individuals who would like to access to the grant library or deposit a grant can contact OPSSD at OPSSD@yale.edu.