Hugh Stamper's letter (The Scientist, Oct. 17, 1994, page 13) concerning my commentary "Triage At NIH: A Smoke Screen Concealing The Real Problems Facing American Science" (The Scientist, Sept. 5, 1994, page 13) contains some interesting news, but also some unsubstantiated statements. I was glad to learn that the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has changed the triage procedures regarding communication with the applicants, who now will receive the unedited comments from each reviewer. We discussed a preliminary triage model in the NIMH Initial Review Groups (IRG) chairpersons' meeting of Dec. 6, 1993. The model (attachment 3, NIH memorandum No. OER 88-5) indicated that the principal investigators whose applications were deemed noncompetitive (NC) were going to receive only an abbreviated summary statement. The model attached contained about 220 words, and its brevity was considered to be an advantage and a selling point for the reviewers....
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