Peer Review Policies & Practices
Overview of Peer Review Process
- This page provides detailed information about Peer Review Policies and Practices. For an overview of general information about Peer Review, visit Peer Review Process.
What's New in Peer Review Policies and Practices
Report from 2012 continuous review of peer review surveys: The Phase II Enhancing Peer Review surveys elicited opinions about the peer review system from grant applicants, reviewers, council members, scientific review officers and program officials, and focused on the shortened/realigned application, single resubmission policy, and narrative Overall Impact Statement. The surveys also assessed whether stakeholder opinions had changed since the Phase I surveys. Read the report to learn more.
Core Values of NIH Peer Review: The NIH peer review process forms the cornerstone of the NIH Extramural research mission and ensures that application submitted to the NIH are evaluated by scientific experts in a manner free from inappropriate influences. The NIH recently issued “NIH Peer Review: Grants and Cooperative Agreements" which articulates the core values of NIH peer review:
- expert assessment
New Conflict of Interest Guidance for Reviewers: The NIH issued revised policy for managing conflict of interest, and the appearance of conflict of interest, in the initial peer review of grant applications (NOT-OD-13-010) . To facilitate reviewers’ implementation of the policy, new decision charts (Federal) (Non-Federal) have been posted.
New Scoring Guidance. The NIH posted new scoring guidance for reviewers to use in evaluating grant applications. The scoring guidance for research applications is intended to focus reviewers on the positive aspects of an application as well as the weaknesses, and to encourage use of the entire scoring range. The generic guidance has been revised as well, and is intended for reviewers to use in deriving criterion scores and overall impact scores for activity codes that use review criteria other than those used for research applications.
CSR Adjusting Percentile Bases: NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) maintains data on impact scores for R01 grant applications given by each permanent study section managed by CSR. These data form the basis for calculating percentile rankings for certain meetings and application types, and the percentile bases are recalibrated occasionally. Currently, CSR is adjusting the percentile bases for a number of permanent study sections and Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs). On March 8, 2013, for applications that are reviewed in SEPs this round and should be percentiled:
- a percentile ranking was assigned, calculated from the new percentile base,
- revised summary statements were issued for those applications missing percentile scores, and
- the percentile ranking appeared in the Principal Investigator's eRA Commons account.
NOT-OD-13-038: New Review Criteria for NIH Construction (C06 and UC6) and Modernization (G20) Grant Applications
NOT-OD-13-030: Reminders and Updates: NIH Policy on Post-Submission Application Materials
NOT-OD-13-010: Advance Notice: Revised Policy for Managing Conflict of Interest in the Initial Peer Review of NIH Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications
NOT-OD-12-141: Interim Guidance for Videos Submitted as NIH Application Materials
NOT-OD-12-140: Notice of NIH Special Council Review of Research Applications from PDs/PIs with More than $1.0 Million Direct Costs in Annual NIH Support
NOT-OD-12-128: Clarification: Time Limit on NIH Resubmission Applications
NOT-OD-12-116: Clarification to the Interim Agency Policy, NIH Research Involving Chimpanzees
NOT-OD-12-111: Notice of Impending Change in Peer Review Criteria and Submission Requirements for NIH Applications Involving Human Embryonic Stem Cells
NOT-OD-12-026: Notice of NIH Plans to Transfer all Programs, Awards, and Applications Associated with the National Center of Research Resources to Other NIH Institutes and Centers
NOT-OD-12-025: NIH Research Involving Chimpanzees
Frequently Asked Questions
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Information for Reviewers
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Peer Review Policies and Practices
- Proper Handling of Electronic Materials:
Appeals of Initial Scientific Peer Review:
- Conflict Of Interest, Confidentiality And Non Disclosure Rules For NIH Peer Reviewers:
COI Reviewer Guidance - Fed - (PDF - 328 KB)
COI Reviewer Guidance - Non Fed - (PDF - 330 KB)
- Human Subjects Research, and Human Subjects Protection and Inclusion
- Worksheet for Review of the Vertebrate Animal Section
- Peer Review Regulations 42 CFR Part 52h for the Scientific Peer Review of
Research Grant Applications and Research and Development Contract Projects are available as the Final
Rules and Regulations (PDF - 61 KB) and as the Federal
Register Notice Complete Register Notice (PDF - 67 KB), January 15,
- Continuous Review of Peer Review
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Peer Review Archive
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