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To prevent program officers or other extramural staff, peer reviewers, or Council members who may have a real or apparent conflict of interest with an investigator or applicant organization from participating in a peer review.
A conflict of interest in peer review exists if a reviewer or staff member has a real or apparent conflict of interest with an investigator or an organization that has submitted a grant application or contract proposal he or she is supposed to review or manage. It is important that reviewers consult the scientific review officer (SRO) in charge of the review when there is any question about their participation in a meeting.
NIH Conflict of Interest Guidelines
A participant must leave the room for the following reasons if the participant, a close relative (e.g., spouse, minor child, sibling, or parent), or partner (e.g., close professional associates or other colleagues):
Participants are urged to avoid any actions that might give the appearance of conflict of interest, even if they believe there may not be an actual conflict. For example, a reviewer should not participate in the deliberations on a grant application or contract proposal from a student, teacher, or a close personal friend.
If an applicant names a person from another institution in the application, that named person may not participate in the application's review if he or she is:
However, the named person will be permitted to review other applications from the applicant's institution as long as he or she has no other conflicts of interest (direct or indirect) with the other applicants.
Components of a large or multi-component organization that function as separate organizations. NIH may determine that a peer reviewer selected from a component does not have a conflict of interest with the review of an application from another component when both of the following conditions exist:
For more information, see Managing Conflict of Interest in the Initial Peer Review of NIH Grant and Cooperative Agreement Applications and NIH Conflict of Interest, Confidentiality and Non Disclosure Rules: Information for Reviewers of Grant Applications and R&D Contract Proposals.
NIH has established a conflict of interest threshold of $10,000 for extramural researchers serving on NIH scientific peer review panels that evaluate research applications and proposals. The $10,000 financial threshold includes all sources of financial benefit, including honoraria, fees and stock holdings; both currently held assets and those accruing over a 12-month period. It includes interests held by immediate family members of the reviewer.
A reviewer with a financial or other interest worth $10,000 or more in the application to be reviewed will be disqualified from the review. The NIH director may make exceptions if there are no other appropriate means of securing expert advice or the conflict is not substantial enough to bias the review.
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42 CFR 52h: Scientific Peer Review of Research Grant Applications and Research and Development Contract Projects
Clearance of Extramural Publications and Presentations SOP
NIAID Policy Manual 1183 Co-Authorship of Publications Resulting from Collaborations with Extramural Scientists
Last Updated May 14, 2013
Last Reviewed February 14, 2013