Author Archive : nonib

About   nonib

Director, CSR

Update on Simplifying Review Criteria: A Request for Information

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on December 8, 2022

Cross-posted on Open Mike. NIH has issued a request for information (RFI) seeking feedback on revising and simplifying the peer review framework for research project grant applications. The goal of this effort is to facilitate the mission of scientific peer review – identification of the strongest, highest-impact research. The proposed changes will allow peer reviewers to focus on scientific merit by evaluating 1) the scientific impact, research rigor, and feasibility of the proposed research without the distraction of administrative questions and 2) whether or not appropriate expertise and resources are available to conduct the research, thus mitigating the undue influence of the reputation of the institution or investigator. Currently, applications for research project grants (RPGs, such as R01s, R03s, R15s, R21s, R34s) are evaluated based on five scored criteria: Significance, Investigators, Innovation, Approach, and Environment (derived from NIH peer review regulations 42 C.F.R. Part 52h.8; see Definitions of Criteria and
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CSR 2022-2027 Strategic Plan

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on September 20, 2022

I am pleased to announce the release of the CSR 2022-2027 Strategic Plan. CSR is entrusted with most of the peer review that enables NIH to support a broad range of biomedical research. Our primary goal, to ensure that peer review identifies the strongest, most promising science, depends upon an evaluation process that is fair, independent, expert, timely and free from inappropriate influences. This plan delineates a forward-looking framework comprising five overarching goals that organize CSR’s current and future initiatives in support of our important mission.   Goal 1: Maintain scientific review groups that provide appropriate scientific coverage and review settings for all of NIH science.   Goal 2: Further develop a large cadre of diverse, well-trained, and scientifically qualified experts to serve as reviewers.   Goal 3: Further develop an outstanding, engaged, and diverse staff.   Goal 4: Implement changes to the peer review process to make it more
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Seeking Public Comment on CSR’s 2022 – 2027 Strategic Plan

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on February 14, 2022

I am pleased to announce that CSR’s 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. Input from CSR’s stakeholders—the external scientific community, the CSR Advisory Council, NIH institutes and centers, and our own CSR staff—helped to shape the goals of the plan, all of which center on strengthening peer review. Input included critical discussions about topics that have received increased and necessary attention recently, including structural racism and the COVID-19 pandemic. The goals are:   • Goal 1: Maintain scientific review groups that provide appropriate scientific coverage and review settings for all of NIH science.   • Goal 2: Further develop a large cadre of diverse, well-trained, and scientifically qualified
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Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Center for Scientific Review (CSR)

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on December 20, 2021

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. I invite you to watch the video to learn about this ongoing commitment to a high-quality, fair review process that serves to advance NIH’s mission. It features former NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and additional NIH leaders such as Drs. Marie Bernard, Anthony Fauci, and Michael Lauer, as well as NIH historian Dr. Richard Mandel, present and former CSR advisory council members, and reviewers and scientific review officers.
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CSR’s Commitment to Advancing Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Peer Review

Posted by Noni Byrnes">Noni Byrnes on March 3, 2021

On March 1, NIH Director Francis Collins announced NIH’s broad-based initiative, UNITE, to end structural racism and racial inequities in biomedical science. This is a recognition of the need for urgent, sustained effort on many fronts across the research enterprise, including in all parts of the NIH’s extramural processes, to change culture. While the NIH Institutes and Centers will examine their programmatic priorities and discretionary funding practices, here at CSR, we are committed to pushing ahead with efforts to protect the peer review process from the systemic biases that exist in all areas of the scientific community. In the June 2020 Review Matters blog, I wrote about some of the steps that CSR is taking to address individual and systemic biases in peer review. Following that, in July 2020, we held three community listening sessions, in which we heard the rightful anger and the call for urgent and specific action
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