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Peer Review Policies & Practices

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Peer Review News

Registration Instructions to Receive Reimbursement and Honoraria for Participation in NIH Peer Review - (12/23/2008) - (MS Word - 1.8 mb)

Enhancing Peer Review at NIH: On February 28, 2008, the Final Draft of the NIH 2007-2008 Peer Review Self-Study was submitted to Dr. Elias Zerhouni, Director of NIH, marking the end of the diagnostic phase of the peer review enhancement effort.

Side-by-Side Comparison of Enhanced and Former Review Criteria (12/01/2008) - (MS Word - 49 KB)


The Office of Extramural Research (OER) manages the development and implementation of policies and procedures that pertain to peer review conducted in all components of the NIH.

Peer review of applications for support from the NIH takes place in multiple steps. The initial peer review takes place in Scientific Review Groups (SRGs) that are composed mainly of scientists from the extramural research community. SRGs, or “study sections”, are managed by Scientific Review Officers (SROs), formerly Scientific Review Administrators (SRAs). The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) manages the SRGs that evaluate most investigator-initiated applications. In contrast, the Review Branches of the Institutes and Centers (ICs) manage SRGs that evaluate applications submitted in response to Requests for Applications (RFAs), and other unique programs.

The second level of peer review is carried out by the NIH National Advisory Councils or Boards. These Councils are composed of scientists from the extramural research community and public representatives ( NIH National Advisory Council Rosters). These Councils ensure that the NIH receives advice from a cross-section of the US population in the process of its deliberation and recommendations.

Rosters of Scientific Review Groups

Rosters of the membership of NIH Scientific Review Groups are available. Additional information about application referral & peer review can be found on the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) web site.

Peer Review Advisory Committee (PRAC)
Overview of Peer Review Practices and Guidelines
Peer Review Policy Documents
Peer Review Archive

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