Enhancing Peer Review: Updated Processes for the Review of all Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Fellowship Applications

Notice Number: NOT-OD-10-071

Key Dates
Release Date: March 31, 2010

Issued by
National Institutes of Health (NIH), (http://www.nih.gov)

The following two processes are effective with all new and resubmission Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowship applications submitted for the April 8, 2010 due date and thereafter.  See the F-Kiosk for the most recent fellowship funding opportunity announcements: http://grants1.nih.gov/training/F_files_nrsa.htm.

1. In order to provide the best scientific expertise for review, all fellowship applications, including diversity F31 applications , will be assigned to fellowship review meetings based on the scientific content of the application.  Within these fellowship review meetings, applications will be clustered for the review by activity code in the case of F30, F32, and F33 applications, and by diversity and other F31 applications.  See: http://cms.csr.nih.gov/PeerReviewMeetings/Fellowship/.

2. The process of “streamlining” Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) individual F32 postdoctoral fellowship applications for review (NOT-OD-07-085) is now being extended to all NRSA fellowship applications including F30, F31, and F33.  The streamlined review process allows reviewers more time to discuss applications likely to be supported.  Specifically, the process involves grouping, within a review meeting ,by activity code for F30, F32, and F33 applications.  For  F31 applications, diversity F31 and other F31 applications will be clustered separately. There must be a minimum of ten applications in a group before streamlining can be used. When there are less than 10 applications in a group, all will be discussed.  For streamlining the reviewers will identify a maximum of 40% of applications within a group as less meritorious.  These applications will not be discussed at the review meeting, will be designated as "Not Discussed” (“ND”), and will not be assigned a numerical overall impact/priority score.  They will, however, be assigned individual criterion scores by the assigned reviewers and discussants.  A designation of "ND” requires unanimous agreement of the reviewers; if one reviewer disagrees, the application will be discussed by the  group.  As with all applications, those determined to be “ND" will receive summary statements with written critiques and individual criterion scores from the assigned reviewers and discussants.  Because “ND” applications do not receive full discussion at the review meeting, summary statements for those applications will not have a "Resume and Summary of Discussion” section.  However, “ND” applications count toward the limit on resubmissions (NOT-OD-09-016).


Rodney Ulane, Ph.D.
NIH Research Training Officer
National Institutes of Health
6705 Rockledge Drive, Room 3516
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-7963
Phone: (301) 451-4225
FAX: (301) 480-0146
Email: NIHTrain@mail.nih.gov

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