The Power of Peer Review

Our peer review system has enabled NIH to fund fundamental, cutting-edge research that years later led to new treatments which have allowed millions to leave their doctor’s office with new drugs and cures for diseases that afflicted their parents or grandparents.

Why Has NIH Peer Review Been So Successful?

  • It is transparent to the applicant.
  • The focus is on funding ideas or people not institutions.
  • Ideas spring from independent researchers across the country.
  • Researchers must compete, like entrepreneurs, for funding.
  • Scientists from the external community are the primary judges.
  • Scientists and staff put a high value on fairness and work hard to maintain it.

To keep medical advances coming, we are working to:

  • Scientifically assess approaches to improve the efficiency and the quality of NIH peer review.
  • Understand and address possible disparities in NIH awards.
  • Collaborate with the NIH and scientific communities to identify critical problems and develop solutions for supporting the best science.
  • Build up the culture of peer review that keeps it fair and effective.

Productive Partnerships

The power that drives NIH is found in the collective efforts of people who submit, review, and administer NIH grant applications. We continue to reach out to inform and involve as many of them as possible.