Release Date:  January 9, 1998


National Institute of General Medical Sciences


The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced procedures to be used for the
review of research grant applications (NIH GUIDE, Volume 26, Number 22, June 27,
1997).  The procedures took effect for all unsolicited research project grant
applications (including those in response to Program Announcements published in
the NIH Guide) submitted on or after October 1, 1997, most of which will be
reviewed starting in January/February 1998.  For the MBRS, the review criteria
will be used for the traditional MBRS (S06) and Support for Continuous Research
Excellence (SCORE) regular research and research pilot projects.

For review of MBRS projects, the criteria have been augmented to reflect
program-specific considerations.  Reviewers will be instructed to address the
review criteria below and assign a single, global score for each scored
application.  The score should reflect the overall impact that the project could
have on the field based on consideration of the review criteria.
It is recognized that MBRS programs are developmental in nature.  Therefore, an
application may be strong in several review criteria and still developing in
others.  Reviewers may nevertheless find such an application likely to have major
scientific impact and thus deserve a high priority score.
The MBRS review procedures and guidelines are listed below.


Upon receipt, NIH staff will administratively review applications.  Incomplete
and/or unresponsive applications will be returned to the applicant without
further consideration.  Those applications that are complete and responsive will
be evaluated in accordance with the criteria stated below for scientific and
technical merit by appropriate peer review groups.  The National Advisory General
Medical Sciences Council will provide the second level of review.

Review of Research Projects and Pilot Research Projects

In carrying out the scientific and technical merit review of individual faculty
research project and pilot research applications, the initial review group will
take into account:


Does this study address an important problem?  If the aims of the application are
achieved, how will scientific knowledge be advanced?  What will be the effect of
these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?


Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed,
well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project?  Does the applicant
acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternative tactics?  Is the
literature review critical and current, including identification of gaps in the

For pilot projects, are the proposed aims reasonable, and are the anticipated
results likely to provide the basis for the investigator to seek more substantial
funding from NIH research grant programs, as well as funding from other agencies
and private sources?


Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches or method?  Are the aims
original and innovative?  Does the project challenge existing paradigms or
develop new methodologies or technologies?


Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this work? 
Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal
investigator and other researchers (if any)?


Does the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the
probability of success?  Do the proposed experiments take advantage of unique
features of the scientific environment or employ useful collaborative
arrangements?  Is there evidence of institutional support?  If resources are not
available, are there plans to acquire, or gain access to, the necessary resources
to conduct the research?

Contribution to Institution's Effort:

What is the likelihood that this research project will add significantly to the
institution's effort to meet the goals of the MBRS program?

Additional Considerations:


Are the proposed budget and the requested period of support reasonable in
relation to the proposed research (allowable costs are delineated in the program

Research Risks:

Human and Animal Subjects.  Are the proposed means for protecting against or
minimizing any adverse effects upon humans, animals, or the environment, where
an application involves such activities adequate?

Biohazards:  Are any materials or procedures to be employed potentially hazardous
to research personnel, and are the protections proposed adequate?

Written and telephone inquiries are encouraged.  The opportunity to clarify any
issues or questions from potential applicants is welcome.

Questions on the program and its policies may be directed to:

Ernest D. Marquez, Ph.D.
Minority Biomedical Research Support Branch
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Suite 2AS.37, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-3900
FAX:  (301) 480-2753

Questions on the review of applications may be directed to:

Helen R. Sunshine, Ph.D.
Office of Scientific Review
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
45 Center Drive, Room 1 AS.13, MSC 6200
Bethesda, MD  20892-6200
Telephone:  (301) 594-2881
FAX:  (301) 480-8506

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