How should NIH improve peer review?

Today, the NIH linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2007/od-08.htm that it was establishing two working groups to examine its peer review process. That process has been under increased scrutiny recently, as study sections have needed to read more and more grant applications with every cycle. And with NIH funding flat, it's no longer good enough to be in the top 30% or so to get funded; in some study sections, it's close to 10%. So many scientists may find the examination welcome. In

Ivan Oransky
Jun 7, 2007
Today, the NIH linkurl:announced;http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/jun2007/od-08.htm that it was establishing two working groups to examine its peer review process. That process has been under increased scrutiny recently, as study sections have needed to read more and more grant applications with every cycle. And with NIH funding flat, it's no longer good enough to be in the top 30% or so to get funded; in some study sections, it's close to 10%. So many scientists may find the examination welcome. In 2005, in the pages of The Scientist, David Kaplan linkurl:proposed;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15701/ a number of ways to improve peer review at the NIH. What do you think of his suggestions, which include decreasing the length of the research plan to between two and four pages so that 20 to 30 reviews for each application could be solicited, and doing away with committee meetings? Where do you suggest the new committees look for improvements? Give...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?