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Application Review Process

Home > FAQs > Application Review Process

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How are extramural applications assigned to an NIH Institute or Center (IC) for review?

Applications for the NIH Clinical Research and NIH Pediatric Research LRP that meet basic eligibility requirements are assigned by the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) to an NIH IC for peer review. The standard NIH referral guidelines are used.

Applications for the Health Disparities Research LRP and Clinical Researcher LRP for Individuals from Disadvantaged Backgrounds are assigned by CSR to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD).

Applications for the Contraception and Infertility Research LRP are assigned by CSR to the Eunice Kennedy Shriver.

Who reviews the applications?

Each extramural NIH LRP application is peer-reviewed by at least two scientists from outside NIH selected by the ICs.

How can I find out which NIH IC is reviewing my application?

Once your application is assigned to an IC for review, that information will be available on your application. However, all communications from LRP applicants should be directed to the NIH Division of Loan Repayment (DLR). If an applicant provides information after the submission deadline that is appropriate to be forwarded to the reviewing IC, the DLR will forward it.

How are NIH LRP applications evaluated?

Each NIH peer review panel evaluates LRP applications for the applicant's potential to succeed in a research career. This evaluation is based on–

Applicant’s potential to pursue a career in research, including:
  • Appropriateness of the applicant’s previous training and experience to prepare for a research career
  • Appropriateness of the proposed research activities during the LRP contract period to foster a career in research
  • Commitment to a research career, as reflected by the personal statement of long-term career goals and plan to achieve those goals
  • Strength of the letters of recommendations attesting to the applicant’s potential for a successful career in research
Quality of the overall environment to prepare the applicant for a research career, including:
  • Quality and availability of appropriate scientific mentors and colleagues to help achieve or enhance the applicant’s research independence, including the mentors’ record in mentoring researchers, funding history and research productivity
  • Quality and appropriateness of institutional resources and facilities
For renewal applications (also known as type 2 applications), progress under the previous project period is an additional evaluation criterion.

What factors determine funding decisions?

Funding decisions are made by the IC where the application is assigned for review and are based on several factors. Priority scores, the IC's specific programmatic priorities, and the availability of funds are considered during the decision-making process. It is important to note that ICs have different programmatic priorities and preferences. These differences can significantly influence the possibilities to receive funding. Applicants are encouraged to examine IC programmatic priorities and preferences, available on the Contact Us.

Will a summary statement be provided?

NIH does not provide a summary statement for the LRP peer review. If an applicant is not selected, a point of contact within the NIH IC will be provided to answer specific questions and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an application.

Will NIH release my score?

No. NIH does not release LRP application priority scores.

When will reviews be completed and applicants informed of funding decisions?

Most NIH LRP peer reviews are completed by June 1. After applications are reviewed and scored, NIH ICs make preliminary funding selections by the beginning of June. Applicants selected during this preliminary process receive an e-mail providing instructions on how to submit their loan documentation, if needed. Final award decisions are made during the late summer (August and September). LRP applicants are informed of final funding decisions before the end of September.



Date Last Updated: November 1, 2012


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