NIH Grant Review Process Video


A Video on Peer Review at NIH


The Center for Scientific Review has produced a video of a mock study section meeting to provide an inside look at how NIH grant applications are reviewed for scientific and technical merit. The video shows how outside experts assess applications and how review meetings are conducted to ensure fairness. The video also includes information on what applicants can do to improve the chances their applications will receive a positive review.

To make the video both authentic and authoritative, real reviewers volunteered to review real but altered and disguised applications. NIH staff members also volunteered to participate in this video, which was developed in collaboration with the NIH Office of Extramural Research.

Stream the Video

Click on the link below to run the 39-minute video, using Windows Media software.


"Inside the NIH Grant Review Process"
         256K for faster Web connections
         56K for slower Web connections
         Text of the video in PDF format


You can download the latest free version of the Windows Media Player from Microsoft's Windows Media Player Download Center.


Macintosh users should download the Windows Media Player 9 for Mac OS X from  Media Player 9


English captions are available. To activate them, go to the top Media Player toolbar, click on "Play," then "Captions and Subtitle," and "English."


If you encounter viewing problems, please consult the related help pages on this Web site.


Download the Video Files


If you want a full copy of the video, you can download a Zip file that includes the video file along with files for the captions and the script. After you create a directory and unzip the files, you can play the video or transfer it to a CD. Video Files (Zip file)


To play the video with the captions, (1) go to the top Media Player toolbar, click on "Play," then "Captions and Subtitle," and "English," and (2) go to the top Media Player toolbar, click on "Tools," then "Options," and then click on the "Security" tab. Select the checkbox of "Show local captions when present" in the "Content" block. Click "Apply" and then "OK" to close the window.


View the Documents Used in the Video

Read the fictionalized documents used in the video to get a better understanding of the review process: applications, summary statements, and the program announcements.


Get More Information


Read more about the NIH grants program and the peer review process via a list of useful NIH Web site links.

This video may be used by individuals, universities, or other organizations without restrictions to advance the understanding of NIH scientific review groups. Officials of academic or professional organizations who want to present this video at larger grantsmanship forums may request a copy on CD by writing to CSR's Communications Director, Don Luckett, Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, 6701 Rockledge Drive, Room 3016, MSC 7776, Bethesda, MD 20892-7776.

Note: Since application submission and review policies discussed in the video may change, applicants should check for policy updates on the CSR and the NIH Office of Extramural Research Web sites.  For instance, the application form used when the video was made has changed slightly.  An example of an excellent NIH application submitted on the newer 424 form has been posted on the NIAID Web site.  


The Documents Used by the Volunteer Reviewers in the Video

Note: These documents were altered to serve as realistic but unidentifiable examples of the documents reviewed and produced by NIH study sections.


Links to Additional Information on NIH Grants and the Peer Review Process

The NIH Peer Review Process

The NIH Grants Program

Additional Resources

Investigators are encouraged to contact program staff prior to submitting an application. Additional information that may be useful is available on the following NIH web sites:

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