Recovery Act of 2009: NIH Review Criteria, Scoring System, and Suspension of Appeals Process

Notice Number: NOT-OD-09-054

Update: The following update relating to this announcement has been issued:

  • April 15, 2011 - See Notice NOT-OD-11-064 Appeals of NIH Initial Peer Review.

Key Dates
Release Date: March 4, 2009

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (


The NIH issued enhanced review criteria for evaluating the scientific and technical merit of applications for research grants or cooperative agreements submitted to the NIH for FY 2010 funding to support biomedical or behavioral research (NOT-OD-09-025). In addition, the NIH announced that a new, nine-point scoring system will be used for the evaluation of all applications submitted to the NIH for potential FY 2010 funding (NOT-OD-09-024).

The NIH will receive funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act of 2009) to stimulate job creation and preservation, and economic activity related to biomedical and biobehavioral science. The NIH Office of the Director and the NIH Institutes and Centers will issue Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) for applications to be considered for support through these funds in FY 2009 and FY 2010.


The enhanced review criteria issued in NOT-OD-09-025 will be effective for all applications for research grants submitted for Recovery Act FOAs. These enhanced criteria may not be applicable for some other types of applications (e.g., construction grants). Review criteria for these other programs will be described in the FOAs.

The new scoring system announced in NOT-OD-09-024 will be effective for all applications that are submitted for Recovery Act FOAs. The new scoring system will utilize a nine-point rating scale (1 = exceptional; 9 = poor). The new scale will be applied to both the overall impact/priority score and the scores for individual review criteria.

In addition, the NIH will suspend the appeals procedures (NIH Guide: APPEALS OF INITIAL SCIENTIFIC PEER REVIEW) for investigators responding to Recovery Act FOAs, due to the time sensitivity of the Recovery Act granting process.


Questions should be directed to:

Sally A. Amero, Ph.D.
NIH Review Policy Officer
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3520
Bethesda, MD 20892
Telephone: (301) 435-1418