How Virtual Convenings Can Enhance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Our latest guest post describes the NIH Chief Officer for Scientific Workforce Diversity Office’s commitment to hold all seminars, conferences, and meetings entirely online throughout 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic-induced shift to online events has led to a growing body of research on the impact of virtual scientific convenings. A review of this literature suggests that an entirely or primarily virtual format can enhance meeting access, diversity, and climate.

Seeking Public Comment on CSR’s 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) draft strategic plan is now open for public comment. This 5-year plan (for 2022–2027) will serve as our roadmap as CSR advances its mission of seeing that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely scientific reviews—free from inappropriate influences—so NIH can fund the most promising research.

Inequalities in the Distribution of National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant Funding

This past September, my colleague and I published a paper in the journal eLife on inequalities in the support of scientists designated as Principal Investigators (PIs) of NIH Research Project Grant (RPG) awards. We found that funding inequality among PIs has increased over the past 25 years, but may have decreased modestly in more recent years. We also found greater levels of inequality across organizations.

Farewell 2021, Time to Bring in 2022

As the snow fell outside last week, I virtually sat down with Dr. David Kosub from the NIH Office of Extramural Research’s communications group to look back and reflect on 2021, and where we may be going in the new year. Please take a few minutes and join us for this conversation.

Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

An anniversary is a time for reflection on our history, the goals we’ve accomplished, the challenges we’ve surmounted, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way. Our video, “Catalyst of Hope and Health,” reflects on CSR’s work over the past 75 years to ensure that grant applications sent to NIH receive fair, independent, expert, and timely scientific reviews that are free from inappropriate influences, so NIH can fund the most promising research. Since its establishment, CSR has also sought to continually improve.

More Data on Applications Submitted During the Pandemic

Twice since the onset of the public health emergency we have taken a look at the number of research applications submitted together with some demographic information on the affiliated scientists. We are continuing to follow this analysis again here, focusing on NIH R01-equivalent and RPG application patterns during April 9 and August 8 over the past five years.

Clarifying NIH’s Approach to Granting ESI Extensions

There has been a lot of focus on early stage investigator (ESI) extension requests in the community recently. And we certainly understand why. The experience of the COVID-19 public health emergency has brought into sharp focus that the effects of the pandemic on careers and life in general may continue for years to come. This fact has led us to revisit our approach to granting ESI extension requests.