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Know Assignment Role

NIH peer reviewers may have different responsibilities at review meetings depending on their roles. Please check with your SRO.


Primary/Reviewer 1, Secondary/Reviewer 2 and Tertiary/Reviewer 3 (sometimes also designated as Discussant):

  • Review your assigned applications
  • Write and submit critiques and scores for assigned applications
  • Read critiques from other assigned reviewers
  • Be prepared to discuss the score driving strengths and weaknesses


  • Read and understand the critiques of the assigned applications
  • Provide a short written review if the SRO asks for one

Mail-In Reviewer

  • Check with your SRO
  • Provide a written critique for the applications assigned and maybe submit preliminary criterion and/or impact scores.


  • Review the abstract and aims of all applications, and discuss any issues or changes in review policy/guidelines with the SRO
  • Write critiques and submit scores for the specific applications assigned to them (can be Reviewer 1, 2 or 3 for any given assignment)
  • Follow up on any other chair-specific instructions provided by the SRO