Anonymizing Peer Review for the NIH Director’s Transformative Research Award Applications

May 27, 2020

NIH is seeking applications for the 2021 Transformative Research awards through a new funding opportunity (RFA-RM-20-013) recently released on Friday, May 21, 2020. And, as a way to address concerns about bias in peer review while also enhancing diversity, this High Risk, High Reward program is going to anonymize the review of Transformative Research Award applications.

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

April 21, 2020

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.

Important Reminder: Revised Deadlines for Continuous Submission

March 3, 2020

The NIH Center for Scientific Review recently updated the continuous submission policy. Among the changes are revised cut-off dates for assignment to advisory council rounds. For example, applications submitted under the continuous submission policy for the standard February and March R01, R21 or R34 due dates must now be submitted by April 10 and applications … Continue reading “Important Reminder: Revised Deadlines for Continuous Submission”

Seeking Your Input on Simplifying Review Criteria

February 27, 2020

Over the past several years we have heard consistent concerns about the complexity of review criteria and administrative load of peer review. To address these concerns, CSR has convened a working group of our advisory council, charged with recommending changes to research project grant review criteria that will improve review outcomes and reduce reviewer burden. We would like to hear your thoughts on the issue. How might review criteria be modified to obtain the best evaluations of scientific merit?

Broadening the Pool of NIH Reviewers

January 27, 2020

The scientific peer review process benefits greatly when the study section reviewers bring not only strong scientific qualifications and expertise, but also a broad range of backgrounds and varying scientific perspectives. Bringing new viewpoints into the process replenishes and refreshes the study section, enhancing the quality of its output.

Case Study in Review Integrity: Asking for Favorable Treatment

January 10, 2020

What happens when a former colleague contacts you, a reviewer, out of the blue to ask if the application on which he is a principal investigator could be treated favorably at the review meeting? Do you brush off the investigator and figure you will not let the contact influence your review of that application? Or do you instead immediately notify NIH? Intrigued? We have a case for you (based on true stories, details have been changed slightly and names have been fictionalized). Read on.

Case Study in Review Integrity: Undisclosed Conflict of Interest

November 12, 2019

This series aims to raise awareness and inspire creative problem solving of the challenges in maintaining integrity in peer review. In this case, Dr. Smith, who is being considered as a reviewer for the application, is a professional associate of Dr. Jones, the PI on the application. However, Dr. Smith had not declared a conflict with that application.

New “All About Grants” Podcast on Managing Conflicts of Interest in Peer Review

October 28, 2019

In this next installment of the NIH’s All About Grants podcast series, we talk about how NIH manages conflicts of interest to ensure that we maintain integrity throughout the peer review process. Sally Amero, Ph.D., NIH’s Review Policy Officer, joins us and explains why it is important to manage these conflicts, what is and is not a potential conflict, how to disclose conflicts, and who is involved throughout the peer review process.