Research and Funding

Guide to Program Project Review at NIA

Writing Your Critiques

As the written record of your comments to the applicant, your critiques are very important.  Please ensure that you complete your critiques carefully and in their entirety.

  • There are two Program Project critique templates, one for Cores and one for Subprojects.
  • The subproject template includes a box for overall comments, and a box for each of the five criteria (Significance, Investigator, Innovation, Approach, and Environment).  For subprojects, which receive numeric scores, no scores should be typed into the template because they are entered directly into the NIH Commons/IAR website.
  • The core template includes a box for overall comments, and a box for specific strengths and weaknesses.  You must also rate the core as having low, moderate, or high impact.  There are no numeric scores for cores, even though there is a place to enter scores online.  Your Scientific Review Officer (SRO) may instruct you to use a numeric score only for the purposes of entering your core impact rating online.

BOTH templates include sections on human subjects, vertebrate animals, biohazards, budget, data sharing, and other issues.  You are responsible for assessing these issues and filling in the template.

If you were the primary reviewer on a particular core or subproject, there is also a box for you to write a short summary of the panel discussion, post-meeting.

For each core or subproject critique that you write, save it as a separate file with a unique filename.  You will upload this file to NIH Commons/IAR through the “submit” link.  On the same webpage, you will enter criterion and overall scores for subprojects, but not for cores.