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Review Outcomes of R03s in CSR Valerie L. Durrant, Ph.D. SRA, Health of the Population IRG Center for Scientific Review
Key features of R03s Small research projects –pilot/feasibility studies –secondary analysis –small projects –development of research methods/technologies Budget: Up to 2 years; $50K/year. Modular. 10 page research plan Must be submitted in response to a PA –PA 06-180 (replaced 03-108) is the parent PA
Other features of R03s SF424—all electronic submission (6/1/2006) 2 revisions allowed; 1 page introduction Preliminary data not required No competing continuations Appendix limitations (only graphics, survey questionnaires) Used for a variety of research projects and goals (e.g. Fogarty international cooperative projects, data archiving, etc).
Number of R03s reviewed in CSR and ICs, 2001-2006
R03s are a relatively small percent of CSR-reviewed applications Percent of R03s (CSR-reviewed) increased from 2.1% to 3.2% between 2000 and 2006. Percent of applications reviewed by CSR by mechanism (January 2006-October 2006 council rounds) N=50,801
CSR-reviewed R03s are concentrated in DCPS and specific IRGs Distribution of R03s applications by Division of review (Oct 2005 – May 2006 councils) HOP 16% RPHB 10% BDA 13% IDM 9%
More likely to have new investigator as PI R03 applications have other unique characteristics Less likely to be resubmitted
Most R03 applications are reviewed in standing study sections
R03 review in CSR Review guidelines instruct reviewers to focus on conceptual framework and general approach, place less emphasis on methods Review challenges Avoiding R01 expectations; keeping reviewers focused on mechanism Keeping budget out of review When there are few R03s: how to determine a fair review Who are “peers” of R03s?
Review Outcomes Does the score distribution of R03s differ from that of R01s? Does the score distribution of R03s differ when they are reviewed in different types of review groups?
Description of analysis Limited to Type 1 applications Looking at raw score distributions –5 categories: <=150, 151-175, 175-200, 200+, unscored –Many R03s do not receive a percentile Comparison group—Type 1 R01s in standing study sections (excluding study sections with a primary focus on a non-R01 mechanism) Excludes ICP1 study section (which only reviews Fogarty International Research Collaboration R03s)
R03 review outcomes are similar to Type 1 R01 applications Percent of Type 1 R01 and R03 applications reviewed in standing study sections* in score categories (October 2005-January 2006 council rounds) *Excludes a few study sections with a primary focus on a non-R01 mechanism
Percent of Type 1 R01 and R03 applications reviewed in standing study sections and R03 applications reviewed in small mechanism SEPs in score categories (Oct 2005-Jan 2006 council rounds) R03 review outcomes are similar in different review forums
Conclusions Review outcomes of R03s are similar to Type 1 R01s No systematic differences in score distributions for R03s reviewed in different review venues Shows robustness of peer review –No differences in outcomes despite differences in application characteristics, PI characteristics, and low overall numbers of R03s –Reviewers following guidelines; SRAs keeping reviewers focused on mechanism
Acknowledgements Teresa Lindquist, Program Analyst, CSR and OER data analysts Andre Premen, Assistant Director, Division of Receipt and Referral, CSR Elliot Postow, Director, Division of Biological Basis of Disease, CSR
Where are R03s reviewed? Depends on Institute, substantive topic, and the PA to which an application responds. Note: EY, MD currently do not accept R03s. Parent R03 (PA 06-180) CSR: AG, AI, EB, ES, HG, NR, NS, and AIDS- related applications CSR/IC: AA, DA, MH (depending on science) IC: DE, HD, LM PARs/RFAsUsually reviewed in the institute unless special arrangements are made with CSR Other current FOAs Depends on PA
Review criteria same as for R01s, with some guidance provided. “The NIH R03 small grant is a mechanism for supporting discrete, well- defined projects that realistically can be completed in two years and that require limited levels of funding. Because the research plan is restricted to 10 pages, an R03 grant application will not have the same level of detail or extensive discussion found in an R01 application. Accordingly, reviewers should evaluate the conceptual framework and general approach to the problem, placing less emphasis on methodological details and certain indicators traditionally used in evaluating the scientific merit of R01 applications including supportive preliminary data. Appropriate justification for the proposed work can be provided through literature citations, data from other sources, or from investigator-generated data. Preliminary data are not required, particularly in applications proposing pilot or feasibility studies.” (PA 06-180) * Few exceptions such as PA 05-072& 05-073
Majority of CSR-reviewed R03 applications come in response to PA 03-108 (recently replaced by PA 06-180). Percent of CSR-reviewed application by mechanism (October 2005-January 2006 Council rounds)
R03 applications have other unique characteristics More likely to have human subjects