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Scientific Review Information for Applicants

Our mission: To ensure that grant applications are assessed for scientific and technical merit in fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews.

The Scientific Review Branch (SRB) at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) is responsible for the initial peer review of specific research grant applications assigned to NIA. These include contract proposals, applications for Research Centers, Program Projects, scientific meetings, and training and career development, and applications responding to funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) published by NIA.

External peer reviewers selected from the grant community participate in the reviews, and an overall impact/priority score is given for each grant application. Scores range from 10 (best) to 90 (worst). We produce an official document (Summary Statement) for each reviewed application. Scores and Summary Statements are used by Program Division Staff and NIA Council in making final funding decisions.

Where will my grant application be reviewed? Center for Scientific Review (CSR)? NIA SRB?

Types of Grant Applications Reviewed in CSR:

Mostly investigator initiated research projects (R01), exploratory/developmental research grants (R21), and small research projects (R03), submitted in response to parent announcements (PA, PAR, PAS), and some RFA/FOAs.

Types of Grant Applications Reviewed in the SRB:

Career Development Awards (K01, K02, K07, K08, K23, K24, K25, K99/R00); Clinical Trials (R01, R34); Conferences and Scientific Meetings (R13/U13); Dissertation Awards (R36); Research Resources (R24/U24); P01 revisions; some cooperative agreements (U01); some multi-site R01s; and some FOAs. These are reviewed mostly in NIA's Chartered Review Committees.

Program Projects (P01); Pepper Centers (Geriatrics); Roybal Centers (Translational Research); Nathan Shock Centers (Basic Biology); Beeson Career Development Awards; Alzheimer’s Disease Research Centers (ADRCs); Demography Centers; Institutional Research Training grants (T32); large clinical trials; multicenter cooperative agreements (U01); some multi-site R01s; most FOAs. These are reviewed mostly in NIA Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs).

Chartered Review Committees at NIA:

The five chartered/standing review committees meet three times per year to review selected application types. Each committee member serves a 4-year term.

  • NIA-B: Biological Aging Review Committee
  • NIA-S: Behavior and Social Science of Aging Review Committee
  • NIA-C: Clinical Aging Review Committee
  • NIA-T: Translational Neuroscience of Aging
  • NIA-N: Neuroscience of Aging Review Committee

Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs):

Special emphasis Panels are constituted specifically to review applications that have been received in response to an RFA or other Institute specific grant mechanisms. Reviewers are recruited typically for a single meeting. The SRB conducts over 100 SEPs per year.

What is the timeline for the review of my application?

Each year there are three rounds of review (January, May, and October).

NIH Standard due dates and timeline

NIA List of Funding Opportunities

The Review Process:

A step-by-step description of scientific peer review at the NIH

NIH Peer Review Revealed (video)

Upcoming Review Meetings:

Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs) conducted by the SRB

SRB Chartered Review Committee meetings:

Other review panels and meetings at CSR and other Institutes and Centers

Who and What is a Scientific Review Officer (SRO)?

The SRO is responsible to the NIH for the scientific and technical peer review of grant applications and contract proposals. Ensures fair and unbiased evaluation of the scientific and technical merit of the proposed research. Provides accurate summaries of the evaluation to assist in funding recommendations made by the National Advisory Councils and Institute Directors. Reviews applications for completeness and conformance with application requirements and submission policies. Is the point of contact for applicants during the review process.

Who are the SROs and Support Staff at NIA SRB?

Find SRB staff members.

Contact Us:

If you do not see what you are looking for, please email or call us – your input is important and appreciated. Additional contact information for other NIA offices and programs can be found on the Contact Us page.

Scientific Review Branch
Division of Extramural Activities
National Institute on Aging
National Institutes of Health
7201 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 2W225
Bethesda, MD 20892 (courier 20814)
Phone: 301-496-9666
Fax: 301-402-0066

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