In the past I’ve written several articles on the importance of finding and connecting with your Program Officer early and often. This person can be your key to success and is vital in ensuring your application is suitable and memorable.

The NIH has added a new tool to the RePORTER website to help make the task of identifying your Program Officer easier! Here’s how to locate and use the new matchmaker tool:

  1. Look at the top of the RePORTER search form and find the navigation tabs.
  2. Go to the Matchmaker tab.
  3. Paste or type any text in the Matchmaker form field, such as keywords or a scientific abstract.
  4. Choose the new “Similar Program Officials” button at the bottom of the Matchmaker form.

Once the results are returned, view the abstracts listed on the linked projects to narrow down the Program Officer whose projects most closely match your interests. Like all technology, it’s not 100% accurate all of the time, but it’s highly likely that one of the top matching Program Officers listed will be able to direct you to the right person.

You can learn more about the new program here.