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Applicant and Reviewer Perspectives on the NIH Review process 2012 NIH Summer Institute Thursday, July 10, 2012 Steven Schinke.

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Presentation on theme: "Applicant and Reviewer Perspectives on the NIH Review process 2012 NIH Summer Institute Thursday, July 10, 2012 Steven Schinke."— Presentation transcript:

1 Applicant and Reviewer Perspectives on the NIH Review process 2012 NIH Summer Institute Thursday, July 10, 2012 Steven Schinke

2 Overview Guidelines for submission Study section procedures Review criteria Summary Statements Submissions and resubmissions Ask questions at any time Group exercise to review Summary Statement and response

3 Submission Guidelines Idea is important, but less so than methodology Never write alone; invite feedback Dont request comments unless you use them Dont cram in too much; but fill all 13 pages Layout matters – not too small type, margins, vertical blank space Reviewers see PDF files online; but are still negatively influenced by cramming Achieve perfection; one mistake can destroy your score Proof and edit The delete key is your friend, your very best friend.

4 Submission Logistics Everything takes longer than it does Budget your time and add a month When in doubt, dont send it out You are responsible for everything, everything Give the same attention to biosketches, R&E, references, project narrative, budget, human subjects, DSMP, timeline, inclusion and enrollment, as you do to the spec aims and research strategy Ensure that the version of your PDF that Commons has is the one you want to submit Better to pull it back than to let a mistake go forward University grants offices loathe having to reject an application; its your grant and you have final say, even if you are annoying

5 Assignment CSR honors 90% of SS requests, and nearly all IC requests Learn about SSs Talk with POs Understand the differences between PO and SRO Dont be a pest; but do ensure that your app goes to the right place

6 Study Section Mysteries Three reviewers 95% of written review completed prior to meeting, together with prelim impact score and final criterion scores Impact is rescored at meeting; criterion scores are not Top 40-50% discussed and scored Same pink sheet for unscored, but no resume or score Roughly 15 mins per application, reviewed in order of prelim impact score Nearly all discussion is by three assigned reviewers SRO takes notes: salient for scored applications. New investigators ranked separately

7 Scoring Impact (bottom line): sustained, major influence on field Significance: relevance to field Investigators: qualified or not Approach: methodology Innovation: pushing the field Environment: setting and resources, esp important for NIs 1 to 9 scale; integers only SS panel usually scores in range given by three assigned reviewers

8 What Matters Impact score determines percentile (against other apps scored by same SS); percentile determines funding, mostly. Investigators and Environment are pass/fail. Only only be concerned if you got 2 or worse on these Significance and Innovation are important, but largely categorical (low, medium, high) Approach (methodology) largely determines impact score HS protections and DSMP are discussed before scoring; these can seriously affect score if done poorly

9 Discrepancies Qualitative responses may fail to correspond with impact scores Criterion scores usually correspond closer Reviewers differ; sometimes a lot Focus on your weaknesses; ignore kudos; reviewers need to balance comments, often with excessive strengths even though they end up killing an app Read between the lines What are reviewers trying to tell you?

10 Resubmissions Read Summary Statement with someone who has received lots of them < 20: always resubmit > 40 or not discussed: seek help on resubmit decision, including PO who may have observed the review 20-40: depends on qualifying comments. Address every negative comment Dont waste Intro space by repeating positive comments Exploit new investigator resub advantage; but dont rush (see When in Doubt rule)

11 Resubmitting After A1 Review CSR detailed guidelines for how to respond to negative A1 review (attached) Can be done; may not be as much work as new application Criterion for deciding to re-resubmit (i.e., submit new application based on prior submission) should be whether that action advances your research program Asking a colleague, preferably a SS member who will not be on your panel, to pre-review is best way to get three bites from apple.

12 Summary Statement Review Review highlights of critique And how the resubmit responded to it

13 My Contact Info 212 851-2276

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