National Institutes of Health (NIH) Notices Intended for Early Career Scientists

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently released two notices for process improvements aimed at facilitating continuous engagement of scientists early in their careers.

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A January 17, 2020, Notice of Special Interest, “Administrative Supplement for Continuity of Biomedical and Behavioral Research among First-Time Recipients of NIH Research Project Grant Awards” (NOT-OD-20-055), is aimed at scientists undergoing major life experiences or shifts and strives to retain such individuals. “This retention program seeks to maintain the productivity of current first-time recipients of eligible independent NIH research project grant awards who are dealing with a critical life event(s),” according to the notice, “to enhance the retention of investigators facing critical life events.” For more information, please see the full text of the notice.

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A separate notice (NOT-OD-20-060) distributed on January 24, 2020, and issued by the Center for Scientific Review has put limitations on the current protocol “of granting one-year continuous submission status to reviewers with recent substantial review service.” According to the notice, the current process “[encourages] excessive review service and thus disproportionate influence by some,” and the change identified in this notice is a result of the NIH belief that “diverse advisory groups with a range of familiar and fresh voices best identify high impact research.” Consult the full text of the notice for further details.

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