The first post on AREA (R15 grants) is here. I just received more info from the SRO of the study section on which I sit. It strongly reiterates what I said before, including the three main goals:
Please note that the Goals of this Award are
- To support meritorious research
- To strengthen the research environment of the institution
- To expose undergraduate and/or graduate students to research
Two things worth noting:
Preliminary data are NOT required in this PA.
This seems consistent with the goals of this mechanism. Lots of people at smaller places will not necessarily have the wherewithal to generate preliminary data.
There is also a new webpage devoted to R15 review guidance: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/critiques/r15_D.htm
If you are intending to submit an R15, is well worth looking at this page to understand how the criteria for this mechanism differs from other R-awards. There are explicit questions about student involvement that are not part of other non-training mechanisms. These include, but are not the only questions for each portion of the review (and again, my emphasis):
If funded, will the AREA award have a substantial effect on the school/academic component in terms of strengthening the research environment and exposing students to research?
Do the PD(s)/PI(s) have suitable experience in supervising students in research?
Does the application provide sufficient evidence that the project can stimulate the interests of students so that they consider a career in the biomedical or behavioral sciences?
Does the application demonstrate the likely availability of well-qualified students to participate in the research project? Does the application provide sufficient evidence that students have in the past or are likely to pursue careers in the biomedical or behavioral sciences?