Scarpa Solicits Senior Scientists for Grant Review
August 25, 2007
A letter Dr. Scarpa, Director of the CSR, has been circulating to the heads of academic professional societies. I got ahold of this on a society email list. The Society president didn’t want to supply an official Society list and solicited volunteers from the membership.
Dear [SocietyPresident], As you know, the quality of NIH's peer review process depends mightily on the quality of the reviewers serving on our study sections. Several of your fellow society presidents have sent us screened lists of volunteers from their membership who they recommend as reviewers. We greatly appreciate their help and are writing to ask for your assistance in identifying senior, experienced members of your society willing to volunteer to serve as NIH reviewers. Our criteria are straightforward. We seek reviewers who are experienced senior scientists, who have received major peer-reviewed grants either from NIH or an equivalent agency, who understand the grant award process, and most importantly, who are willing to serve for four years as study section members. By providing CSR with a selected list of senior scientists who volunteer to be study section members, you are ensuring that CSR's SRAs consider your members when they select reviewers. We would like this to be an ongoing process in which you send us names of volunteer reviewers, and at the end of the year we provide you with information on how many of your volunteer reviewers actually served on study sections. We would appreciate any help you can provide in asking your colleagues if they are interested in serving as reviewers. We have attached a template that indicates the type of information we are seeking, including name, Institution, email address, web address, area of expertise, the most appropriate study section or Integrated Review Group, if known, and recent funding sources. Any help you can provide in assembling a list of qualified, senior-level, volunteer reviewers would be greatly appreciated. Please send the annotated template to Diane Stassi, the Chair of our Reviewer Database Committee, at RecruitReviewers@csr.nih.gov Thank you and best wishes, Toni Scarpa and Diane Stassi toni scarpa national institutes of health center for scientific review office of the director 6701 rockledge drive bethesda, md 20892-7776 voice: 301 435 1109 email: email@example.com website: www.csr.nih.govwww. Diane Stassi, Ph.D. Center for Scientific Review National Institutes of Health 6701 Rockledge Dr. Room 3202, MSC 7808 Bethesda, MD 20892-7808 Voice: 301-435-2514 Email: RecruitReviewers@csr.nih.gov.
I’ve talked before about how whatever “problems” there are with grant review aren’t going to be solved with recruiting “more senior scientists”. Not the least of which because “senior” sometimes means “out of touch”. Also, about the absurdity of the underlying premise that there are “too many junior scientists” reviewing grants. If you agree, for goodness sake write Scarpa a note, would ya?