The Review Process
After settling on a topic and preparing your application, it will be reviewed for scientific and technical merit within a peer review panel at the NIH. The majority of the applications are reviewed at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR), which has several Scientific Review Groups (SRG) (also called Initial Review Groups and Study Sections) that focus on research in the behavioral and social sciences. The NIH review system is based on two tiers: the first tier is a review by the Scientific Review Group (SRG) which does not take into account the funding priorities of a particular NIH Institute. Following the SRG evaluation, a second tier of review is performed by the Institute Advisory Council that takes into account relevance to the Institute mission and the overall research portfolio. Figure 7.1 describes the sequence of events that begins with preparation of the application by the individual at the computer and hopefully ends with the investigator receiving an award. Note that you must apply through an applicant organization and that all essential functions and communications must be countersigned by the Authorizing Organizational Representative/Signing Official (AOR/SO).