Peer Review and the Challenge Grants


The NIH recently unveiled the NIH Challenge Grants in Health and Science Research, one of several funding opportunities available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The Challenge Grants program invites applications from domestic institutions and organizations proposing novel research in areas that address specific knowledge gaps, scientific opportunities, new technologies, data generation, or research methods that would benefit from an influx of funds to quickly advance the area in significant ways. The program is designed to support research in the “Challenge area” topics identified by NIH Institutes and Centers.

The NIH announced (NOT-OD-09-054) that the initial peer review of all Recovery Act applications will utilize: 1) enhanced review criteria (NOT-OD-09-025) , as applicable for the activity code(s) involved, and 2) the new nine-point scoring system, including scoring of individual review criteria(NOT-OD-09-024). In addition, the NIH will not accept appeals of the outcome of the initial peer review for Recovery Act applications.

All Challenge Grant applications submitted in response to RFA-OD-09-003 will undergo initial peer review in Special Emphasis Panels convened by the Center for Scientific Review (CSR). The tentative timeline for the Challenge Grant review process is outlined here. Applicants submitting Challenge Grant applications may expect their scores and summary statements to be available in the eRA Commons by July 31st.