Reminder: NIH Will Continue to Accept Preliminary Data as Post-Submission Material Through August/October 2021 Councils

In recognition of the fact that COVID-19 may still be adversely affecting the ability of applicants to generate preliminary data, NIH will continue to accept a one-page update with preliminary data as post-submission materials for applications submitted for the August/October 2021 council (beginning with applications submitted for the January 25, 2021 due date for Summer 2021 review meetings), ONLY if the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) used for submission allowed preliminary data in the application. Continue reading

Extended Guidance for Applicants Preparing Applications During the COVID-19 Pandemic

NIH grant applications should NOT include contingency plans that would outline steps needed to recover from temporary, emergency situations, or institutional return-to-the-workplace plans, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Contingency plans will not be considered in peer review but, if needed, COVID-19 contingency plans will be requested and carefully considered by NIH staff before funding. Continue reading

Should We Keep Meeting This Way?

How will study sections meet in the future? NIH peer review depends on robust meetings where groups of scientists, through vigorous discussion, identify the applications of highest merit. For the last 75 years, until last March, nearly all chartered review committee meetings were held in-person. Today, in response to the pandemic, 90% of all CSR review meetings are run as video (“Zoom”) meetings. CSR is taking steps now so that when all options are back on the table, we can make informed choices about how best to convene review meetings. Continue reading

Encouraging Participation in Upcoming NIH Surveys to Identify Impacts of COVID-19 on Extramural Research

NIH has been working diligently to support the extramural research community since the pandemic began in March. We are now preparing to reach out with surveys to gather data on how COVID-19 is impacting our extramural researchers and their institutions. If you receive such a survey, we hope that you will take the time to provide us with your perspective. The results of the surveys  will be extremely valuable to inform policy and program decisions as NIH seeks to identify ways to continue to support the biomedical research enterprise as we move forward. Continue reading

Temporary Extension of Eligibility for the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award During COVID-19 Pandemic

Due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, NIH will be providing up to a two-receipt cycle extension (roughly eight additional months) of eligibility for prospective applicants meeting the requirements for submission of a K99/R00 application from the June/July 2020 … Continue reading

An Early Look at Applications Submitted During the Pandemic

It has been four months since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered laboratories and clinical studies across the country and the world. On April 10, only a few weeks into the pandemic, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a report describing the consequences of social distancing and other pandemic mitigation measures. These consequences included laboratory closures, de-prioritized projects, cancellation of meetings and conferences, loss of revenue, disrupted personnel processes, supply-chain interruptions, and, overlying all of these, a great deal of uncertainty. Since the CRS report was issued, we have learned more about the pandemic’s effects on non-COVID research and on the research workforce. Continue reading

Temporary, Emergency Situations Due to COVID-19 and Application Scores Received During Peer Review

As we continue to address the effects of the COVID-19 public health emergency on NIH-supported research, we are aware of applicant concerns about the potential impact of this temporary emergency situation on the outcome of peer review. We want to reassure applicants that we released guidance for reviewers that makes it clear that, when reviewing applications during the coronavirus pandemic national emergency, reviewers should assume that issues resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, such as the following, should not affect scores. Continue reading