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Finkelstein Schneider Shorten App

Finkelstein Schneider Shorten App






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    Finkelstein Schneider Shorten App Finkelstein Schneider Shorten App Presentation Transcript

    • Shortening the Research Grant Application Robert Finkelstein and Don Schneider Discussants Drs. McClain, Martinez, & Sassaman
      • Peer Review Advisory Committee August 28, 2006
      • National Institutes of Health Department of Health and Human Services
    • Overview
      • Charge to the application committee
      • Preliminary activities
      • Future plans
    • Charge to the Application Committee
      • Came from Extramural Activities Working Group (EAWG), which oversees CSR governance and peer review related issues
      • EAWG Co-Chairs are Story Landis (NINDS) and Norka Ruiz Bravo (Office of Extramural Research)
      • Earlier this year, EAWG decided to consider whether the standard NIH grant application should be improved
      • The Application Committee was formed (May 16, 2006) to consider possible improvements
    • Specific Goals
      • Consider whether the page limit for the Research Plan section of the NIH grant application should be reduced
      • Consider aligning the application sections more closely with the five review criteria (significance, approach, innovation, investigators, and environment)
      • Focus on the standard research project grant (R01), and consider other mechanisms as appropriate
    • Grant Application Lengths [Research Plan]
      • NIH Pioneer/HHMI 4-5 pages
      • (plus interview)
      • Burroughs Wellcome 6 pages
      • United Kingdom 8/12 pages
      • Canada 10/15 pages
      • NSF 15 pages
      • NIH R01 25 pages
    • Issues influencing the charge
      • Many applicants and reviewers believe that the NIH application process is excessively time-consuming
      • Reviewer workloads have declined from about 12 to about 6 applications each meeting over the past 10 years
      • The number of reviewers at study sections, particularly temporary members, has increased sharply (35-50 reviewers at many meetings)
      • CSR used nearly 20,000 reviewers last year – increasingly difficult to recruit quality reviewers
    • Application Committee Roster
      • Robert Finkelstein (NINDS) Co-Chair
      • Don Schneider (CSR) Co-Chair
      • Mary Custer (CSR)
      • Ann Hagan (NIGMS)
      • Craig Jordan (NIDCD)
      • Sherry Mills (OD)
      • Philip Smith (NIDDK)
      • Barbara Spalholz (NCI)
      • Elizabeth Wilder (NIDDK)
      • Terra Vinson (CSR) Analyst
    • Proposed Process
      • Seek input from external and internal stakeholders
      • Recommend an application length and format that facilitates the evaluative process and the advancement of science/health
      • Vet this recommendation appropriately
    • Background
      • Appendices will probably be eliminated from standard applications
      • Clinical protocols will be moved to the human subjects section (not counted against page limit)
    • Preliminary Activities of Committee
      • Exploratory (non-scientific!) gathering of opinions from extramural scientists
      • - majority of applicants and reviewers appear to support shortening the application
      • Presentation at EPMC – many members supported shortening efforts but urged broad communication with stakeholders and coordination with other changes (e.g., electronic submission)
      • Preparation of a draft Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback
    • Future Committee Activities
      • Issue RFI to solicit opinions from external and internal stakeholders
      • Analyze results (CSR)
      • Make recommendations to EAWG
    • RFI: sample questions
      • For applicants:
      • -Would a shorter application affect your ability to present ideas?
      • -Would it affect preparation time?
      • -Which of the current sections should be shortened?
      • -Should sections be changed to align with review criteria?
      • -Do clinical research proposals require a higher page limit?
      • -etc.
      • For reviewers:
      • - Would a shorter application affect your ability to judge scientific merit?
      • -Would it affect your willingness to serve as a reviewer or to review more applications?
      • -Would it place any group of investigators/type of research at a disadvantage?
      • -etc.
    • Distribution of RFI
      • Publish in NIH Guide
      • Develop version for NIH staff
      • Use list serves (e.g., OER and CSR Peer Review Notes)
      • Send to professional societies
      • Distribute at CSR open houses for professional societies
    • Analysis of RFI Cheryl Oros, Director of CSR Planning, Analysis & Evaluation
      • Use software when possible
      • With six week posting, begin analyses prior to closing
      • Acknowledge and respond to comments
      • Share results
    • Timeline Possibilities (assuming some shortening)
      • Ideally, changes in the application process should occur in a coordinated fashion
      • Electronic receipt begins in early 2007
      • Adequate gathering of information and education of the community may make implementation prior to fall 2007 impractical
    • Discussants
      • Dr. Craig McClain
      • Dr. Joe Martinez
      • Dr. Anne Sassaman