NIH Sees Computerization As Remedy For Paper Flood

Automated grant system could cut months off the proposal process. By 1990, the paper weight could lighten, those grant applications filling the mailrooms at the National Institutes of Health at the rate of 40 or so pages times seven copies times 25,000 proposals a year. The retyping at NIH could ease, too. Probably few grantees are aware that much of the administrative information on grant appli- cations is rekeyed in its travels through the agency. The abstract is retyped twice. To defe

Liane Reif-lehrer
May 29, 1988

Automated grant system could cut months off the proposal process.

By 1990, the paper weight could lighten, those grant applications filling the mailrooms at the National Institutes of Health at the rate of 40 or so pages times seven copies times 25,000 proposals a year.

The retyping at NIH could ease, too. Probably few grantees are aware that much of the administrative information on grant appli- cations is rekeyed in its travels through the agency. The abstract is retyped twice.

To defend itself against this juggernaut of paper, NIH is planning to computerize its whole investigator-initiated research (ROI) grant process, from the application to reviewer commentary.

Changes should benefit proposal-writers as well as the agency. The new system could knock a month, possibly three, off the usual nine-month processing time. One of the new system’s features, computer-matching of proposal with Study Section, should make the assignment process more accurate and...