Peer Review Enhancement Surveys

As the new decade begins, it is a time to look forward while learning from the past. A critical component of the Enhancing Peer Review initiative is the implementation of continuous review of the peer review process. This feedback is a crucial part of our commitment to optimize the quality and transparency of review and to uphold the core values of peer review.

To this end, OER is developing a series of brief surveys to assess the opinions of those who have experienced first-hand the changes: NIH grant and training award applicants, peer reviewers, National Advisory Council and Board members, Scientific Review Officers, and Program Officials. The surveys will gather feedback about the: new 1-9 scoring system; the scoring of individual review criteria; and the use of templates to collect more concise, bulleted critiques. The most recent changes to the NIH peer review system and those about to take place later this month (e.g. restructured applications and shorter page limits) will be addressed in future surveys.

The applicant and reviewer surveys were deployed in early December and will be in the field until the end of January. The Advisory Council surveys are set to go out in January and February, and the estimated date for surveys to go out to Scientific Review Officers and Program Officials is April 2010.

To ensure the confidentiality of participants’ responses as well as the objectivity of the assessment, RTI International, an independent research organization based in North Carolina, has been commissioned to collect and evaluate the responses to the surveys. A final report will be provided to the public on the Enhancing Peer Review initiative Web site when the surveys are complete.

Participation in the surveys is voluntary and anonymous. As always, we greatly value your opinions and appreciate your willingness to provide honest feedback about the impacts of the changes that have come about as a result of this initiative. In addition to the surveys, we welcome receiving your feedback about the Enhancing Peer Review initative. Please send any comments you have to EnhancingPeerReview@mail.nih.gov.

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