Beginning to Outline the R01eq.
So the first thing I did was write an aims page and then gather together a few people who are interested in working with me. Given that I am going to be writing a grant relating to diabetic eye care, I have collected a diabetes researcher (not a formal commitment yet, but it’s promising), an ophthalmic epidemiologist, an ophthalmologist (hopefully two), and of course, me. I will need a biostatistician, and it would be nice if I can get a national health policy dude to look at it as well. However, I have a problem.
The thing I was originally going to investigate was recently adopted. So I don’t have an Aim 3. Well, I have one, I just need to sort out how to make it awesome, and not redundant. And still relevant. If the powers that be decide that this issue is resolved, then they’re probably not going to fund a careful examination of it. So I came up with a slightly different approach to the framing. The diabetes researcher, who is highly placed in a diabetes research center of excellence, tells me that my approach “should have traction”. It essentially involves individualized care, tested and optimized in simulation.
So today, I’m going to put the outline together. Just outlining a grant of this size is very complex. It needs to have several basic sections: Background, Significance, Design and Methods, Implementation and Dissemination, and Project Management. These are the subsections recommended by the funding agency. Right now, I think my biggest problem is significance. Which is not a good problem to have. No one wants to fund insignificant research. However, I think I can peg this by discussing how common diabetes is, how serious and expensive loss of vision is, and how preventable vision loss is with good diabetic eye care.
I’m a bit at a loss as to where in this framework my preliminary data and results go. I have awesome preliminary data and results. Like, fabulous. I spent a year developing it, and it all worked great. I’m in the process of publishing it, which by itself will be a pretty massive coup. Pilot grants often don’t result in usable conclusions, much less in publishable results. Of course, I don’t know for certain that my results are publishable yet. They’re just under review. And I really want them to be in press by the time this grant goes out.
I divided the results from my pilot study into two papers. The first is a methods paper describing how I did what I did, and that’s under review now. The second is a results paper, which is written, but really needs to cite the first. So I’m hoping to get that first paper accepted, and then I’ll be able to submit the second (which is locked and loaded in the submission system in manuscript central, almost, but not quite, ready to press “submit”.). But the first is being reviewed in a European journal, and those grind to a halt over the summer.
Of course, in discussions with my epidemiologist, I’m learning that my disease may progress too slowly to look at what I want to look at, given the quality of the longitudinal data that I have access to. So maybe I should just go be a furniture salesman.