A DrugMonkey Glossary

Presented as a brief guide since I am often too lazy to fully spell out terms.

  1. The Borg- ScienceBlogs
  2. BSD- Big Swinging Dick, i.e., a major, important person in your field of science
  3. Bunny Hopper- A term coined by commenter whimple. It is a generic reference to insular, self-referential sub-sub-sub-disciplines of science.
  4. Council- National Advisory Council of the various ICs. A group of relatively senior peer scientists act as the second layer of peer review in the NIH grant approval process.
  5. CRISP– Computerized Retrieval of Information on Scientific Projects
  6. (replaced by RePORTER)

  7. FSM- Flying Spaghetti Monster
  8. DTF- Deadwood Tenured Fucks. Self-explanatory. (I keed, I keed….because I love. sortof)
  9. Dr. Greybeard and/or Professor Bluehair- My shorthand for (very) senior scientists with long established track records who disproportionately (as a demographic) suck up the grant funding.
  10. Dump journal- A scientific journal in your field for which you feel highly confident of getting your manuscript accepted if no “better” journal will accept it for publication.
  11. IC- Institutes and Centers that make up the NIH. E.g., National Institute on Mental Health (NIMH, as in “Mrs. Frisby and the rats of…”), National Cancer Institute, National Center for Research Resources, etc.
  12. MDMA- 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine; the recreational drug commonly referred to as “Ecstasy”
  13. “Mechanism”- The NIH has a series of grant “mechanisms” or types which have different purposes and limitations in duration and size ($$$) as summarized on the List of Activity Codes.
  14. NIH– The National Institutes of Health
  15. PI- Principal Investigator. The main scientific role on a NIH grant, i.e. the one in charge of the research. Often shorthand for the most senior scientist leading the research group/laboratory.
  16. “Program”- The staff of the individual NIH Institutes and Centers who administer grants. Individually “Program Official/Officer” or “PO”
  17. PUI- Primarily Undergraduate Institution- College or University which focuses more on undergraduate instruction than it does on research.
  18. R01- The R01 is the default, most flexible and/or gold standard grant mechanism offered by the NIH. The awards are limited to no more than 5 years duration per proposal. Under current rules any dollar amount in direct research costs up to $250,000 per year is specified in $25,000 “modules”. Above this, the application requires a detailed budget listing specific costs and above $500,000 requires advance permission from a funding IC. The R01 may be competitively renewed at the end of an awarded funding interval by submitting another full length application.
  19. R21- The R21 is an Exploratory/Developmental mechanism in which the intent is to support research in the early or conceptual stage. The awards are limited to 2 years duration over which direct research costs of up to $275,000 overall may be split in $25,000 “modules” across the years as the applicant sees fit. These projects may not be subsequently renewed.
  20. RFA- Request for Applications. A NIH announcement requesting applications on a very narrowly defined scientific target. This is accompanied by a commitment on the part of the sponsoring IC to commit to X dollars in funding and an estimate of funding Y number of proposals submitted. Usually these will have special submission dates and be reviewed in Special Emphasis Panels convened for the purpose of a given RFA.
  21. SEP- Special Emphasis Panel is the term for the NIH peer review panels that are convened as one-offs for specific purposes including RFAs and to review the grants of members of standing study sections.
  22. SLAC- Small, Liberal Arts College.
  23. SRA/SRO– Scientific Review Administrator (renamed Scientific Review Officer in 2007). The staff person who runs a given study section. S/he assigns reviewers to the applications, puts the meeting together, keeps the meeting running on time, etc.
  24. Study Section- The specific review panels organized under “initial review groups” or IRG. The first and most important stage of review of your application to the NIH. Typically 3 of your scientific peers provide in depth critique of your application and then the group of some 15-30 people meet to discuss all the top half of applications assigned to that section for a given round of funding.
  25. YHN- Your Humble Narrator

No Responses Yet to “Glossary”

  1. This is new… good idea.


  2. bill Says:

    Missing an entry for #FWDAOTI.


  3. DrugMonkey Says:

    First rule, dude first rule


  4. […] postdoctoral name recognition. I had no familiarity with big labs or what I would learn to call BSD culture (we had other terms for it). I emailed about 6 people whose work I was familiar with, putting quite […]


  5. Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your content seem to be running off the
    screen in Safari. I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I figured
    I’d post to let you know. The layout look great though!

    Hope you get the issue solved soon. Kudos


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