The information provided on this website is designed to assist the extramural community in addressing rigor and transparency in NIH grant applications and progress reports. Scientific rigor and transparency in conducting biomedical research is key to the successful application of knowledge toward improving health outcomes.
Scientific rigor is the strict application of the scientific method to ensure unbiased and well-controlled experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation and reporting of results.
The NIH strives to exemplify and promote the highest level of scientific integrity, public accountability, and social responsibility in the conduct of science. Grant applications instructions and the criteria by which reviewers are asked to evaluate the scientific merit of the application are intended to:
• ensure that NIH is funding the best and most rigorous science,
• highlight the need for applicants to describe details that may have been previously overlooked,
• highlight the need for reviewers to consider such details in their reviews through updated review language, and
• minimize additional burden.
Learn how to address rigor and reproducibility in your grant application and discover what reviewers are looking for as they evaluate the application for scientific merit.
Learn how to prepare a rigorous application with select excerpts of rigor from awarded applications, authentication plan examples, and resources like the experimental design assistant (EDA), guidance on sample size calculation, and more.
Resources and training on many aspects of rigor and reproducibility, including sex as a biological variable, research methods, reviewer guidance and more.
We are continuously working to enhance scientific rigor and transparency in biomedical research. Learn more about the timeline of our efforts.