NIH reverses decision on rescheduling peer-review meetings

The National Institutes of Health has reversed its decision to postpone peer-review meetings, or study sections. Study sections that were scheduled during the time of the government shutdown were canceled, and the NIH had said that these study sections would not be rescheduled. Rather, they would be held during the next review cycle in February or March, with a final decision by institute councils in May. This would constitute a significant delay in funding decisions for nearly 10,000 scientists who submitted grants for the October study sections.

However, the NIH has posted a new notice reversing this decision. On her blog, Dr. Sally Rockey said that, due to an overwhelming response from the research community, the NIH will begin rescheduling study sections such that their recommendations can be reviewed during the January council meetings as originally planned. The new NIH notice states that most, but not all, study sections will be rescheduled. This is a huge relief to researchers who submitted grant applications during the summer and were confronted with potential funding gaps due to the length of time between submission and review.

The rest of the original notice, such as rescheduled grant application due dates, remain the same in the new notice. Furthermore, the NIH reiterated that the November due dates will not be altered due to the shutdown.

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