The NIH is fully committed to maintaining public trust in the NIH research enterprise by supporting our grantees in adhering to the highest standards of research integrity. Every stakeholder and participant in the NIH peer review process—researcher, reviewer, institutional officials, and NIH staff—shares responsibility in maintaining and upholding the integrity of review.
Maintaining confidentiality throughout the peer review process is essential to allow for the candid exchange of scientific opinions and evaluations; and to protect trade secrets, commercial or financial information, and information that is privileged or confidential.
NIH has multiple safeguards to protect the integrity of and to maintain confidentiality in peer review as described in Guide Notice NOT-OD-22-044. NIH understands that some professional interactions between applicants and reviewers often continue while an application is undergoing peer review, but discussions or exchanges that involve the review of that application are not allowed.
Also, reviewers and Council members are instructed to report any suspicion or allegation of research misconduct directly to the Designated Federal Office (DFO) in charge of the meeting, and to do so in strictest confidence.Integrity and Confidentiality in NIH Peer Review