Experimental and analytical rigor, measures to reduce bias, and transparency of reporting are the foundations for quality scientific research. Attention to principles of good study design and transparent reporting are essential to enable the scientific community as well as the community at large to assess the value of scientific findings. This is also important for peer reviewers to properly advise NINDS on grant applications. Please visit the resources referenced below or contact us for more information.
NINDS held a workshop in October 2018 on how better to instill the principles of rigorous research, which brought together subject matter experts capable of evaluating current educational practices. In light of this meeting, NINDS now calls for interested members of the scientific community to identify themselves as champions for scientific rigor. Please visit the Rigor Champions and Resources page for more information.
NINDS has also launched a new initiative to improve training in the principles of rigorous research. Companion funding opportunities are now available for building, evaluating, and disseminating a user-friendly, harmonized, and openly accessible educational resource to promote awareness, understanding, and utilization of the principles of rigorous research: Creating an Educational Nexus for Training in Experimental Rigor (CENTER) and Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER). Visit the links above or in the right sidebar to learn more.
NINDS Presentations about Rigor and Transparency
Dr. Maripierre Surpris released this video in March 2022 explaining the NIH requirements for rigor and transparency in grant applications. This video is part of a series about the Stephen I. Katz Early Stage Investigator Research Project Grant, but it is relevant to all NIH applications. See the NINDS page on Improving the Quality of NINDS-Supported Research through Rigorous Study Design and Transparent Reporting for additional NINDS guidance on rigor considerations in grant applications.
In November 2020, Dr. Devon Crawford discussed rigor and transparency issues in the context of the virtual NINDS Metabolism-based Therapies for Epilepsy Workshop.
On March 16, 2018, Dr. Shai Silberberg discussed some of the major rigor and transparency issues in biomedical research at a workshop for NINDS R25 grant recipients and trainees.
Dr. Shai Silberberg presented a historical perspective of NINDS's involvement in the NIH rigor and transparency efforts as of September 2015. This 15-minute presentation was part of a larger NIH workshop on Reproducibility in Cell Culture Studies.
- Framework for Advancing Rigorous Research by Koroshetz et al (eLife, 2020)
- Shake Up Conferences by Silberberg et al (Nature, 2017)
- Accelerating Biomedical Discoveries through Rigor and Transparency by Hewitt et al (ILAR J, 2017)
- Policy: NIH Plans to Enhance Reproducibility by Collins & Tabak (Nature, 2014)
- A Call for Transparent Reporting to Optimize the Predictive Value of Preclinical Research by Landis et al (Nature, 2012)
NIH Blog Posts
- Resources for Rigorous Research (Open Mike, December 13, 2018)
- Rigorous Resources for Rigorous Research (Open Mike, July 2, 2018)
- Scientific Premise in NIH Grant Applications (Open Mike, January 28, 2016)
- Scientific Rigor in NIH Grant Applications (Open Mike, January 28, 2016)
- Updates on Addressing Rigor in Your NIH Applications (Open Mike, January 11, 2016)
- Bolstering Trust in Science through Rigorous Standards (Open Mike, October 30, 2015)
NIH Reviewer Guidelines(pdf, 218 KB)
Materials to Enhance Training in Experimental Rigor (METER) (RFA-NS-21-033)
News and Events
Good Science is Rigorous Science (NINDS Director's Message, August 9, 2021)
Rigor Not Mortis - Strengthening the Quality of Neuroscience Research (NINDS Director's Message, April 5, 2017)
NINDS Workshop on Catalyzing Communities of Research Rigor Champions (May 23-24, 2022)
NINDS Workshop: Optimizing the Predictive Value of Preclinical Research (June 20-21, 2012)