First-Level Peer Review

Learn the basics of the first-level peer review process. Use the links above to quickly navigate to a section.

How are applications considered?

Peer review is the proving ground for your application. Knowing who reviews your application, each reviewer's role, and what happens during review meetings is important. The review committee’s assessment of your project’s potential impact in its area of science will result in your overall impact score—one of the most important factors aiding NINDS in making a funding decision.

Where will my application be reviewed?

Once received by NIH, all grant applications are assigned for peer review to either the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) or the NINDS Scientific Review Branch (SRB).  Within CSR or SRB, applications may be reviewed in either a standing study section (a committee with members who have been appointed for multi-year terms of service) or a one-time (or recurring) Special Emphasis Panel (SEP). 

Applicants can identify where an application will be reviewed within Section 5.2 of the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to which they have applied.

What to do if I think my application was sent to the wrong place?

If you think your application was sent to the wrong place, you should contact your Scientific Review Officer (SRO). See 'Who is involved in my review?' to learn more about what an SRO is responsible for.

 

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Find the Best Study Section for Your Grant
Identify the best locus of review for your application at CSR.

CSR Standing Study Sections and SEPs

Regular Standing Study Sections and Continuing SEPs
All Other CSR SEPs

SRB Standing Study Sections 

NST-1 The Neurological Sciences Training Initial Review Group 1 (NST-1) subcommittee is comprised of recognized authorities drawn from the clinical, translational and basic sciences related to the mission of NINDS. The subcommittee provides first level technical merit review of research career development awards (K01, K02, K08, K23, K24 and K25).   
NST-2 The Neurological Sciences Training Initial Review Group 1 (NST-2) subcommittee is comprised of recognized authorities drawn from the clinical, translational and basic sciences related to the mission of NINDS. The subcommittee provides first level technical merit review of NIH Pathway to Independence (K99/R00) and Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32).
NSD-A The Neurological Sciences and Disorders A (NSD-A) subcommittee reviews applications in response to funding opportunity announcements for NINDS translational programs in the fields of seizure disorders; infection, inflammation, and immunity; vascular disorders and anomalies; learning, memory and cognitive dysfunction; spinal cord and head injury; regeneration and neonatal brain insults; brain, spinal cord and peripheral tumors; the developmental consequences of cerebral ischemia/hypoxia.
NSD-B The Neurological Sciences and Disorders B (NSD-B) subcommittee reviews applications in response to funding opportunity announcements for NINDS translational programs in the fields of Parkinson’s disease; Alzheimer’s disease; frontotemporal dementia; myelination and demyelination; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; spinal muscular atrophy; muscular dystrophies; Huntington’s disease and other triplet repeat disorders; metabolic disorders of the brain including lysosomal storage disorders; and neurodevelopmental disorders like Rett Syndrome.
NSD-C The Neurological Sciences and Disorders C (NSD-C) subcommittee reviews applications in response to funding opportunity announcements for NINDS device translational programs involving optimization and development of therapeutic devices to diagnose and treat disorders of the nervous system.
NSD-K The Neurological Sciences and Disorders K (NSD-K) subcommittee reviews applications in response to funding opportunity announcements for NINDS clinical trial programs. The subcommittee provides first level technical merit review of multi-center clinical trial and epidemiology grant applications.

SRB Special Emphasis Panels

ZNS1 SRB

 

Learn more about the Receipt and Referral process for NIH funding applications.

 

Who is involved in my review?

Scientific Review Officer: SROs are in charge of the initial peer review of your application. They ensure the fair and accurate review of applications according to relevant laws and NIH policies and practices. If you have questions about the review of your application, an SRO is your primary NIH point of contact for that application while it is under review.

Your SRO is different from your program officer (PO). Find your Program Officer.

Peer Reviewers: Peer reviewers are primarily non-federal scientists who have appropriate expertise in scientific disciplines and current research areas relevant to the applications reviewed at NIH.

 

Resources for Maintaining Security, Confidentiality, and Integrity During Peer Review