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Peer Review at NIAID

Questions and Answers

Table of Contents

General

Questions and Answers for Individual Opportunities

In addition to the general questions and answers below, see the following opportunity-specific Q&As:

General

Read the questions and answers below or see the Table of Contents above.

What award types are peer reviewed at NIAID?

NIAID oversees initial peer review for the following award types:

  • Applications in response to some program announcements, including most program announcements that identify location of peer review (PAR) and program announcements with set-aside funds (PAS).
  • All applications responding to requests for applications.
  • All applications for cooperative agreements and research center grants.
  • Certain investigator-initiated applications, including program projects, training grants, career development awards, and clinical trials.
  • Contract proposals received in response to solicitations.

NIH's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) oversees initial peer review for most investigator-initiated applications, including R01s, small business (SBIR and STTR) applications, and applications responding to most program announcements (except PAS and PAR as noted above).

Essentially NIAID and CSR conduct the same review with very minor differences.

To learn about peer review of initiatives, read Where are PAs and RFAs reviewed? and other entries in our RFAs, PAs, and Solicitations questions and answers. Also see the following SOPs:

Does NIAID review many investigator-initiated applications?

NIAID reviews a small number of investigator-initiated applications, including program projects, training grants, career development awards, and investigator-initiated clinical trial planning and implementation awards.

Is NIAID peer review similar to CSR peer review?

The process is essentially equivalent.

Is scientific review group membership confidential?

No. You can find many rosters online at eRA's NIH Scientific Review Group (SRG) Roster Index. For NIAID, see the next two questions.

Where do I find rosters for NIAID's chartered review committees?

Find rosters for NIAID's chartered review committees at Councils and Committees:

If responding to an RFA, see the next question, I am responding to an RFA—where do I find rosters for NIAID's ad hoc review committees?

Though you can see the roster, you cannot request assignment (as you can with a CSR review committee) since there's only one group.

After the peer review meeting, you will get a roster with your summary statement. It will not tell you which panel members were assigned as primary and secondary reviewers (plus at least one additional reader), which is confidential information.

I am responding to an RFA—where do I find rosters for NIAID's ad hoc review committees?

You can find a roster for most ad hoc review committees for NIAID's requests for applications on NIH's Special Emphasis Panels page. We usually post the roster approximately one month before a review meeting.

Check the site close to the meeting date stated in the RFA. If you still can't find the roster, contact the scientific review officer listed in the RFA notice. Also see Where do I find rosters for NIAID's chartered review committees? above.

If I respond to an NIAID program announcement, can I request a scientific review group?

That depends. If NIAID is to review your application, you usually cannot request a review group because typically only one group will review applications. Read the Guide notice to find out who is conducting the peer review.

If CSR is to review your application, you can and should request a study section. If you don't, NIH will assign your application for you. For more on that, plus links to advice, go to Requesting an Institute and Study Section in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

How does NIH handle conflict of interest?

NIH and the institutes follow standard procedures to prevent program officers, peer reviewers, or advisory Council members who may have a real or apparent conflict of interest with an applicant from participating in a peer review.

Members of peer review committees must leave the room during discussions of applications or contract proposals in which they or close associates have an interest that could bias their evaluations.

For details, see the Conflict of Interest in Peer Review SOP and Basic Layout of a Peer Review Meeting in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

When should I contact reviewers?

Never. See When should I contact reviewers? in the Peer Review of Applications questions and answers.

If I'm sending a paper application, how do I know it was assigned to the correct initiative?

You can see this information in the Commons along with other assignment information. Check periodically and the information will appear.

Will NIAID review late applications?

See NIAID's Late Applications SOP.

Do NIAID scientific review officers check my application to make sure it's complete?

Yes. See SROs Assess Completeness, Assign Reviewers in the Strategy for NIH Funding.

Does NIAID usually conduct a reverse site visit at the time of the review?

No. However, if a site visit is necessary, your program officer will make arrangements with you and send a letter that includes a list of participants and an agenda.

See the Site Visits, Grantee SOP for more information.

Do site visits usually occur before or after review?

After, although there are exceptions. Sometimes we need to conduct a site visit after review but before awarding a grant. Other times we will conduct a site visit after award. If a site visit is necessary, your program officer will make arrangements with you and send a letter that includes the reason for the visit, a list of participants, and an agenda.

Grants Management Program staff can also schedule site visits after award when there is concern for serious administrative or accounting deficiencies.

Institutions can also request a visit; send a letter to the NIAID staff listed on your Notice of Award. See the Site Visits, Grantee SOP for more information.

May I send supplementary, missing, or corrected materials after a receipt date?

Possibly. When submitting an application responding to an RFA, get in touch with the peer review contact person listed in the FOA or the scientific review officer to find out what you are allowed to do.

What if I can't find the answer to my question in the opportunity announcement or on this page?

Contact the staff person listed in the request for applications.

Where can I find more questions and answers about applying and peer review?

See the Application, Peer Review, and NIAID Investigator-Initiated Program Project (P01) Applications questions and answers.

What if my question wasn't answered here, or I'd like to suggest a question?

Email deaweb@niaid.nih.gov with the title of this page or its URL and your question or comment. We answer questions by email and post them here. Thanks for helping us clarify and expand our knowledge base.

Last Updated June 10, 2014

Last Reviewed June 10, 2014