Scoring and Summary Statements

Understand how applications are scored and percentiled, and learn what goes into a summary statement.


The NIH uses a 9-point rating scale for all applications with a score of 1 meaning exceptional. Applications are assessed by at least 3 reviewers prior to the peer review meeting and each assigned reviewer provides a preliminary impact score. The preliminary impact scores help inform the committee on which applications are most meritorious and should be discussed.

Discussed applications will receive a final overall impact score. Because discussing all applications is not always feasible, some applications may be not discussed and will not receive an overall impact score.


In addition to your score, the percentile shows the ranking of your application relative to the other applications reviewed by that study section at its last three meetings. Note that not all applications are percentiled.

Percentiled vs Not Percentiled
Are percentiled
  • Applications reviewed and scored at CSR in a standing study section
Not percentiled
  • Applications reviewed and scored at NINDS
  • Applications reviewed and scored at CSR in a special emphasis panel
  • In some special case scenarios there are applications that are not percentiled in a CSR standing study section

To understand how NINDS will consider your score or percentile, review the NINDS Paylines page.

Summary Statements

The Scientific Review Officer (SRO) prepares the summary statement for each application which contains a resume of the discussion (if discussed), the reviewers' critiques, the priority score, and budget and administrative notes. The summary statement becomes the official Institute or Center record of the recommendations made by the peer review committee.

When are summary statements released?
SROs endeavor to get summary statements out to applicants as soon as possible. You can expect a summary statement to be released anytime between ~30 days after the meeting to 30 days before the Advisory Council meeting the application will be considered at.


Additional Resources


How NIH Review Criteria can Affect your Score
Other Critical Factors that can Affect your Score 


Summary Statements
Know What your Summary Statement Means 
After you get your Summary Statement, Contact your Program Officer 
If Problems Are Fixable, Start Revising Quickly