Scientific Review Branch
Council's Role in the Funding Process
NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog Posts
How NIH Makes Grant Application Assignments
Identifying the Study Section for Your Application
FAQs on Application Review, Next Steps
Talking to NIH Staff About Your Application and Grant: Who, What, When, Why and How
NIH Peer Review Briefing for Basic Research Applicants and Reviewers
8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get an R01 Grant:
8 Ways to Successfully Navigate NIH Peer Review and Get a Fellowship Grant
The particular set of forms used to apply for an NIH grant depends on which grant mechanism is to be used. Complete information regarding
forms, deadlines and other NIH policies is available on the NIH Web site. NIH grant applications are now submitted electronically; information on this process is available at
How to Apply - Application Guide. For more on writing your application, see the
Tips for New NIH Grant Applicants or the video "Inside the NIH Grant Review Process."
Once prepared, electronic applications are submitted to NIH through Grants.gov portal.
Your grant proposal then goes through an initial peer review process. On average, it takes at least 9 months from the time an application is received until the time a grant award is made.
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) assigns each application to an initial review group as well as to an NIH
institute or center for potential funding. The review group, managed by a scientific review officer (SRO), is composed of scientists with expertise in a given discipline--such as molecular biology, neurology or biochemistry—or an organ or disease area. Most review groups meet 3 times a year to evaluate the scientific merit of each application assigned to them. The products of a review group's deliberations are an evaluative statement, called a summary statement; a priority score for each application that is found to have significant and substantial merit; and a percentile ranking of each application against all applications reviewed by a given review group at its last three meetings. Review groups also make recommendations on the budget and length of support requested. View more information on the
peer review process.
All of the review group's products are provided to the principal investigator, who submits the application, as well as to a program director in the NIH institute/center (IC) to which the application has been assigned. The program director is a scientist who tracks the application during the review process and is part of the team that administers it if it is funded.
Applications with scientific merit ratings (for NIGMS, in the top two-thirds of all applications) then receive a second level of review from the national advisory council associated with each NIH IC. In an effort to streamline the initial review stage, review groups score the most competitive applications (approximately the top half), although reviewers' written comments are sent to applicants whose applications are not scored.
The advisory councils are composed of leaders in the basic sciences, medical sciences, education or public affairs. Council recommendations are based not only on an application's scientific merit, but also on its importance to the IC’s mission. After the council approves an application, the institute or center may fund it.
Due to budget constraints, not all scored applications can be funded. In fact, NIH as a whole is currently only able to fund about one in four of the grant applications it receives. However, there are certain things you can do to improve your likelihood of being funded.
See additional tips compiled by NIGMS staff members.
This page last reviewed on
2/5/2020 11:33 AM
Connect With Us: