Chronicle: New NIH Grant Rule: 2 Strikes and You’re Out

Reported today in The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The National Institutes of Health announced today that it would allow researchers only two chances instead of three when they submit proposals for research grants.

In the past, if a proposal failed during its first trip through the peer-review process, the scientist could amend and resubmit it a total of two times. Limiting the process to one resubmission, the agency said, “will help ensure earlier funding of high-quality applications and improve efficiencies in the peer-review system.”

After the doubling of the NIH budget, from 1998 to 2003, the number of grant applications doubled, and the number of researchers seeking grants surged by 75 percent. “This has led to scientists’ spending more time rewriting their applications and undue delays in the funding of outstanding projects,” said Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the NIH, in a written statement.

To justify the change, the agency noted that in 2002, 17 percent of research proposals received support after going through the first submission. In 2006 that proportion had dropped to 7 percent. -Richard Monastersky

The NIH announcement can be found at: 


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