Washington Update

New Resources for Navigating Updated NIH Peer Review Framework

By: Yvette Seger
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
To prepare investigators for forthcoming changes to the peer review framework for the majority of Research Project Grant (RPG) or “R” grants, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) continues to implement a multipronged outreach strategy. Most recently, representatives from NIH’s Center for Scientific Review and the Office of Extramural Research teamed up to host a webinar that reviewed the rationale for the new framework as well as the timeline for updating Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) to reflect the streamlined review criteria. Key takeaways include:
  • Clarification that the simplified peer review framework is applicable to a discrete set of activity codes; it will not apply to the R35 mechanism, nor Program Project grants (“P” series) or Research Career Development Awards (“K” series).
  • NOFOs for RPG series subject to the new framework will be updated and/or reissued to reflect updated application review criteria.
  • Updated NOFOs will be published at least 30 to 60 days prior to the first due date on or after January 25, 2025.
  • In addition to updating information about review criteria, the revised NOFOs will include information regarding transition to updated application forms (“Forms I”).
Throughout the webinar, presenters reiterated the importance of reviewing the updated NOFOs and ensuring a proposal is responsive to both the application and submission information in Section IV and the review criteria in Section V. 

In addition to the Simplified Peer Review Framework for RPGs, NIH is also updating the application and review process for individual Fellowship activity codes (F30, F31, F32, F33, F99/K00) submitted on or after January 25, 2025. This effort is distinct from the peer review framework for RPGs. A webinar on the revisions to the fellowship application and review process is scheduled for September 19, 2–3 pm ET.