What should be considered in the Overall Impact score for fellowship (F) applications?

For fellowship applications (Fs),the overall impact score should reflect the reviewers’ assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the candidate’s potential for, and commitment to, a productive independent scientific career in a health-related field, in consideration of the scored criteria (i.e., Fellowship Applicant, Sponsors/ Collaborators/Consultants, Research Training Plan, Training Potential and Institutional Environment & Commitment to Training) as well as all applicable additional review criteria.

How will the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Plan be reviewed?

Reviewers will evaluate new RCR plans as well as the past record of RCR instruction (where applicable). Reviewers will specifically address the five Instructional components taking into account the characteristics of institutional programs or the unique circumstances outlined for short-term training programs, individual fellowships, career awards, and research education programs.

The RCR plan and past record of RCR instruction (where applicable) will be discussed after the overall determination of merit of the application at large; the review panel’s evaluation of the plan will not be a factor in the determination of the impact/priority score. Plans and past records will be rated as ACCEPTABLE or UNACCEPTABLE. The results of the review will be reported as an administrative note in the summary statement and will explain how the review panel determined its rating. Regardless of the impact/priority score, applications with unacceptable plans will not be funded until the applicant provides an acceptable, revised plan.

Where can a fellowship applicant find the review criteria and who determines which applications get approved for funding?

Review criteria are provided in each funding opportunity announcement, Section V. The Scientific Review Group (SRG) will provide an overall impact score to reflect its assessment of the likelihood that the fellowship will enhance the applicant's potential for a productive independent scientific research career in a health-related field, considering the scored and additional review criteria. Since fellowships are training awards and not research awards, major considerations are the applicant's potential for a productive career, the applicant's need for the proposed training, and the degree to which the research training proposed, the sponsor, and the environment, will satisfy those needs.

NRSA individual fellowship applications receive a secondary level of review by Institute/Center staff. Criteria used in making award decisions include the SRG's recommendation concerning the overall merit of the application, the relevance of the application to the Institute/Center's research training priorities and program balance, and the availability of funds.