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NYIT Faculty Benefit from NIH Grant Guru

February 11, 2019

NYIT faculty and Office of Sponsored Programs and Research staff had the opportunity last fall to receive invaluable insights on grant funding from Richard Nakamura, Ph.D., who recently retired as director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center for Scientific Review.

“Dr. Nakamura’s 39 years of experience at the NIH and his comprehensive knowledge of the greater governmental grant funding process was invaluable to our faculty-researchers, especially at a time when grant-funded research is at an all-time high here,” said Associate Provost Lou Reinisch, Ph.D. “Everyone who attended his presentations and had the opportunity to speak with him was impressed and benefitted from his in-depth and pragmatic knowledge.”

During his faculty presentations, Nakamura explained in detail the review process conducted by the NIH as it determines how to allocate and reward the nearly $28 billion the agency grants to researchers. From critical communication points ranging from cover letter positioning to the scope and details necessary for a proposal to succeed, Nakamura’s presentation also provided insights on the role of grant reviewers as well as their criteria and ranking processes during a grant’s review at the NIH and other government agencies.

Nakamura concluded his presentation with some helpful hints for faculty pursuing grant funding, centered around the importance of persistence, detail, and getting to know the program officer. “Work on your ‘hook’ to generate enthusiasm, eliminate weaknesses via collaboration, and sweat the details in your application,” he urged.

“NYIT is making a concerted effort to increase research and scholarship output, and grant funding goes hand-in-hand with this effort. Faculty research has always been important for the experiential learning opportunities afforded to our students and simply making the world a better place,” said Reinisch. “Efforts, like the visit of Dr. Nakamura, are helping NYIT to expand our research for the benefit of our students and society as a whole.” 

Reinisch noted that this professional development opportunity is among several planned programming initiatives NYIT will offer to assist faculty in seeking external research funding as well as internal funding from the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research.