What’s New in Peer Review


Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Review Criteria for Research Project Applications Involving Clinical Trials (Sept. 21, 2017)
NIH will apply additional review criteria to clinical trial applications for research projects submitted for due dates on or after Jan. 25, 2018.  See NOT-OD-17-118.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Clinical Trial Requirements for Grants and Contracts. NIH is launching a series of initiatives that are rolling out in 2017-2018 to enhance the accountability and transparency of clinical research. Learn more about these changes and how they will affect peer review. See the Clinical Trials webpage.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Updated Appendix Policy Eliminates Clinical Trial-Related Materials for Applications Submitted to Due Dates on or After Jan. 25, 2018. Since clinical trial-related materials will be required in the new PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information Form, they will no longer be allowed in the Appendix for due dates on or after January 25, 2018, unless specifically required in the funding opportunity announcement. See NOT-OD-17-098.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Reducing Duplicate Commons Accounts. Heads up! eRA Commons/IAR users with more than one account will get an email in late July to log in and verify their preferred account. Multiple accounts will be combined into one account, important, for example, for ensuring you get credit for identification of reviewer service for continuous submission.

If an eRA Commons user selects the account that already includes the IAR role as his/her preferred account, there will be no effect. If he/she chooses another account as primary — all of the meetings, review assignments, etc., will be transferred to the account to be kept, and the reviewer will sign in to IAR using the ‘new’ preferred account. See Nexus article.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Citations of Preprints and Interim Research Products. Reviewers may see interim research products, such as preprints, in grant applications, as NIH is encouraging investigators to include these products to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work. See NOT-OD-17-050 .

  • Applications submitted for the May 25, 2017 due date and thereafter may include citations to interim research products.
  • Interim research products are complete, public research products that are not final, and have not undergone peer review prior to posting.
    • Common forms are the preprint and preregistered protocol.
    • Interim research products may be similar in quality to preliminary data in an application research plan.   
  • The citation must include a Digital Object Identifier, the Object type, and version.
  • Citations must link to established repositories; citations of website URL’s is not acceptable.
  • Citations of preprints and interim research products are not acceptable as post-submission materials.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Post-Submission Materials.  NIH simplified and consolidated current policy concerning materials submitted after submission of the grant application but prior to the initial peer review.  The policy is based on the principle that, for the majority of applications, the only post-submission materials that these agencies will accept are those resulting from unforeseen events.  The policy on post submission application materials is not intended to correct oversights/errors discovered after submission of the application.  See NOT-OD-16-130  and FAQs

Friday, June 3, 2016

Rigor and Reproducibility.  Scientific rigor and transparency in conducting biomedical research are key to the successful application of knowledge toward improving health outcomes.  Beginning with applications submitted for research grants and mentored career development awards for the January 25, 2016 due date, application instructions and review language focus on four key areas:

  • Scientific premise
  • Scientific rigor
  • Consideration of relevant biological variables, such as sex
  • Authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources

See the Rigor and Reproducibility page and FAQs for additional information. 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

NIH Statement on Integrity in Peer Review. The NIH issued its position concerning: 1) the responsibilities of all participants, including individuals named on applications and officials of applicant organizations, in maintaining the integrity of the NIH peer review process, 2) potential consequences for any unlawful or unethical attempt to influence the outcome of NIH peer review.  See NOT-OD-15-106

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Website Launched for Reviewers:  A brand new website to help guide reviewers through the peer review process was launched on April 15.  The site provides policy notices, guidelines, step-by-step instructions, videos and critique templates. Check out the Guidance for Reviewers website today.


Friday, January 30, 2015

New Biosketch Format. The NIH is transitioning to a new biosketch format. The NIH encourages applicants to use the newly published biosketch format for all grant and cooperative agreement applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015, and will require use of the new format for applications submitted for due dates on or after May 25, 2015. See NOT-OD-15-032 and NOT-OD-14-024.

Simplified Late Application Policy. The NIH simplified the policy for late application submissions. A two week window after the application due date now applies, during which NIH might consider accepting a late application. The new policy is effective for applications submitted for due dates on or after January 25, 2015. See NOT-OD-15-039.

Revised NIH Definition of "Clinical Trial". The NIH has revised its definition of "clinical trial" to clarify the distinction between clinical trials and clinical research studies and to enhance the precision of the information NIH collects, tracks, and reports on clinical trials. The new definition applies to competing grant applications that are submitted to NIH for the January 25, 2015 due date and subsequent due dates. See NOT-OD-15-015

Genomic Data Sharing Policy. The NIH Genomic Data Sharing Policy applies to all NIH-funded research that generates large-scale human or non-human genomic data as well as the use of these data for subsequent research. Beginning with applications submitted for the January 25, 2015 due date, NIH expects investigators and their institutions to provide basic plans for following this Policy in the Resource Sharing Plan section of grant applications. See NOT-OD-14-124NOT-OD-14-111, and NOT-OD-15-027

Marking Changes in Resubmission Applications. NIH has removed the requirement to identify substantial scientific changes in the text of a Resubmission application by 'bracketing, indenting, or change of typography'. It is sufficient to outline the changes made to the Resubmission application in the Introduction attachment. See NOT-OD-15-030.

Updated Submission Policy. The NIH announced an updated policy for application submissions that allows applicants to come in with a new application after an unsuccessful resubmission.See NOT-OD-14-074 and NOT-OD-14-082NOT-OD-15-059, and FAQs on application submission.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Updated Submission Policy.  The NIH announced an updated policy for application submissions that allows applicants to come in with a new application after an unsuccessful resubmission.  See NOT-OD-14-074 and NOT-OD-14-082, and FAQs on application submission. 

Research Training Programs.  Following recommendations of the Biomedical Research Workforce Task Force, the NIH is implementing changes to the review criteria used to evaluate applications for fellowships, career development awards, and training grants.  See the Guidelines and Fill-able Templates for Reviewers.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Continuous Submission The continuous submission policy has been changed. Read more ...

Research Involving Chimpanzees The interim agency policy for NIH extramural and intramural research involving chimpanzees has been updated. See NOT-OD-14-024.