While the transition to the new shortened grant applications at the linkurl:National Institutes of Health;http://www.nih.gov/ (NIH) and the corresponding review guidelines hasn't been completely smooth, reviewers who have participated in the first few rounds of funding under the new system generally support the changes.
"I think it's an improvement over the old system," said linkurl:Karin Rodland,;http://www.pnl.gov/biology/staff/staff_info.asp?staff_num=5747 a researcher at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Washington State and an NIH reviewer since 1998, "but I think there is a learning curve and until everyone recalibrates there may be a period of confusion." Reviewers still assess applications on the same five criteria (significance, investigator, innovation, approach, and environment), but the final judgment of a grant proposal is based on an "overall impact" rating that is related to, but not completely dictated by, those subscores. "I think that's where most of the confusion comes from for most people,"...
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