2.4 The Peer Review Process

Competing applications for NIH grants and cooperative agreements, including renewals and revisions, are subject to peer review as required by sections 406 and 492 of the PHS Act, as amended by the NIH Reform Act of 2006. NIH policy is intended to ensure that applications for funding submitted to the NIH are evaluated on the basis of a process that is fair, equitable, timely, and conducted in a manner that strives to eliminate bias. The peer review system used by NIH, often referred to as the "dual review system," is based on two sequential levels of review for each application-initial review by an IRG or SRG, and a second level of review by the ICThe NIH organizational component responsible for a particular grant program or set of activities. The terms "NIH IC," or "awarding IC" are used throughout this document to designate a point of contact for advice and interpretation of grant requirements and to establish the focal point for requesting necessary prior approvals or changes in the terms and conditions of award. National Advisory Council/Board.

The NIH peer review process has evolved over the years to accommodate increasingly collaborative and multi-disciplinary research, changes in workload, resource constraints, and recommendations of various groups that have studied it. However, the underlying basis for the system-to provide a fair and objective review process in the overall interest of science-has not changed. Information concerning NIH's peer review process may be found at http://grants.nih.gov/grants/peer/peer.htm. Information also is available from GrantsInfo.