Rolling Grant Acceptance for Reviewers is a Go!

January 4, 2008

That was fast! The previous murmurings were a bit tentative. The NIH Notice is out already:

Beginning February 5, 2008 the alternate submission and review procedures, described below, will be available for appointed members of NIH Study Sections. This alternate process is limited to 1) appointed members of chartered standing Study Sections and 2) applications that would normally be received on standard submission dates (but not special receipt dates). Depending on the timing of the submission and the number of other similar applications received during the pre-meeting time window, NIH staff will decide if the application will be reviewed in a different standing Study Section or in a Special Emphasis Panel (SEP). These applications will be processed and assigned to NIH Institute Review Offices or CSR Integrated Review Groups (IRGs) using the standard referral guidelines

No sign of the types of limitations implied by the prior “pilot” language. This seems to be CSR wide and has reasonably broad inclusion criteria:


  • Only appointed regular (not temporary or ad hoc) members of chartered CSR and other NIH study sections may take advantage of the continuous submission process. Appointed members are those who are approved for service on the Study Section by the Director of NIH, typically for a four-year term. Multi-PI applications are eligible if one or more of the Program Directors/Principal Investigators (PD/PIs) is an appointed member of a Study Section
  • Appointed regular members of NIH Study Sections may participate up to one and a half months after the date of retirement from regular service on the committee typically on June 30. Continuous submission is thus permissible until August 16 of that year.
  • Continuous submission is limited to R01, R21 and R34 (including AIDS-related) applications. While most of these applications will be reviewed at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), some R01, R21 and R34 applications will be reviewed in chartered study sections at other Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the NIH.
  • This does not apply to applications for which appointed members have a role other than PD/PI, including appointed members serving as sponsors for fellowship applications or mentors for career award applications. Such applications are expected to be submitted on the normal due dates. Any requests for late acceptance must relate to the fellow or PD/PI of the fellowship or career award (not a member or sponsor).
  • This does not apply to individuals who serve as reviewers for Federal agencies other than the NIH or private organizations.
  • Temporary or ad hoc members of CSR study sections will still be eligible for the late submission window. Members of NIH Boards of Scientific Counselors or NIH Advisory Boards or Councils are also eligible for that window. A companion Notice updates the NIH policy on Late Applications (NOTICE OD-08-027).
  • If desired, appointed members of chartered study sections may request review by a standing study section (different from the one they are serving on), but those applications must conform to regular submission deadlines. As such, the late window of consideration for members will apply (NOTICE OD-08-026).

Awesome. Simply awesome. Speaking personally, of course. Time will tell what sort of lure this poses for new blood on study section. From the personal perspective this will allow more attention to my grants, it is inevitable that one’s grants suffer to some extent because of reviewing. It may also permit me to put in an extra grant now and again. The improvement for two-grant-submitting-PI households is….priceless.

The big drawback is the removal of hard deadlines. This will not be inconsequential for YHN.

One Response to “Rolling Grant Acceptance for Reviewers is a Go!”

  1. Holy cow! No kidding! This is fabulous news – not just because reviewers will be less exhausted and distracted but also because, as you say, there will be less of a disincentive for qualified folks to serve on study sections. Moreover, YHC is not immune to the two-grant-submitting-PI household situation. A great development all around.


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