Archive for October, 2023

Announcing a Simplified Review Framework for NIH Research Project Grant Applications

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on October 19, 2023

Cross-posted on Open Mike. As we have discussed in previous blogs, NIH has heard concerns from the extramural community about the complexity of the peer review process for research project grants (RPGs) and the increasing responsibilities of peer reviewers in policy compliance. NIH has also heard concerns about the potential for reputational bias to affect peer review outcomes. After careful input gathering, development, and discussion, NIH is pleased to announce that a Simplified Review Framework will be implemented for grant receipt deadlines of January 25, 2025 and beyond. The simplified framework is expected to better focus peer reviewers on the key questions needed to assess the scientific and technical merit of proposed research projects: “Can and should the proposed research project be conducted?” To achieve this, the five current review criteria (defined as Significance, Innovation, Approach, Investigator, and Environment; derived from NIH peer review regulations 42 C.F.R. Part 52h.8) are
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Update on Improving NRSA Fellowship Review: Analysis of Comments from the Request for Information

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on October 12, 2023

As outlined in “Update on Improving Fellowship Review: A Request for Information (RFI),” NIH issued an RFI—from April 17 through June 23, 2023—seeking input on the proposed changes to the peer review of Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowship applications by restructuring the review criteria and modifying some sections of the PHS Fellowship Supplemental Form that are specific to NRSAs. The RFI was published as a Guide Notice, in the Federal Register, and on our CSR Review Matters and NIH Open Mike blogs. It was pushed out through social media channels across NIH and we directly emailed leadership at almost 500 institutions across the United States. NIH received 164 unique responses to the RFI: 147 from individuals, 10 from scientific societies, and 7 from academic institutions. Regarding review criteria, many respondents were supportive of efforts to simplify the review of NRSA fellowships to emphasize the potential of
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