Benefits of ECR

  1. Work side-by-side with some of the most accomplished researchers in your field to help NIH identify the most promising grant applications
  2. Learn how reviewers determine overall impact scores
  3. Improve your own grant writing skills by getting an insider’s view of how grant applications are evaluated
  4. Serve the scientific community by participating in NIH peer review
  5. Develop research-evaluation and critique-writing skills


ECR Qualifications

ECR Qualifications image

You have at least 1 year of experience as a fulltime faculty member or researcher in a similar role. Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible.

You must be an Assistant Professor or in an equivalent role. Because the program is focused on early career scientists, Associate Professors are not eligible.

You show evidence of an active, independent research program. Examples include publications, presentations, institutional research support, patents, acting as supervisor of student projects.

You have at least 1 senior-authored research publication in a peer-reviewed journal in the last 2 years plus at least 1 additional senior-authored research publication since receiving a doctorate.

  • In press publications are considered; preprints are not.
  • We consider “senior author” as single author, corresponding author, or first or last author.
  • There is no requirement that the recent publication cover work performed at the current institution.


Grant & Review History
You have not served on an NIH study section in any capacity aside from as a mail reviewer. (Mail reviews do not include participation in the meeting.)

You have not held an R01 or R01-equivalent (R35, R37, RF1, R23, R29, DP1, DP2, DP5, U01, RL1) grant in the PD/PI role

You must have submitted a grant proposal, in the PI/PD role, to the NIH and received the associated summary statement.

Enroll in the ECR Program

How it Works
The demand to serve as an ECR far exceeds what we can meet. You may serve as an ECR only once.

After you are accepted in the program, to increase your chances of reviewing, we encourage you to directly contact the SROs who run study sections in your field. The SROs are listed on the study section pages. They welcome your email!

Acceptance into the program means that your name is added to a database that Scientific Review Officers (SRO) use to find eligible reviewers in particular areas of science.


You Will Need

  • Full and up-to-date CV (Word or PDF format). Do not submit an NIH biosketch.
  • List of terms that describe your areas of scientific expertise. These should be key words or phrases that describe your scientific and technical skills and interests.
  • NIH Commons ID (case sensitive).
  • Select up to 4 CSR study sections that match your expertise. Adding this information increases the likelihood that you will be asked to review.
  • If you have questions, contact us at

Use the ECR Application and Vetting System (EAVS) to enroll and update your information.

You must confirm your information yearly or it will be removed from the database.

Once accepted, you will remain in the program until you no longer meet the criteria above.

The system will email you on your anniversary date to update or confirm your qualifications.

Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 25 minutes per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to: NIH, Project Clearance Branch, 6705 Rockledge Drive, MSC 7974, Bethesda, MD 20892-7974, ATTN: PRA (0925). Do not return the completed form to this address. The information provided in your online application will be kept private to the extent allowed by law and not disclosed to anyone but the staff of CSR that process the application except as otherwise required by law. The Public Health and Welfare Act provides the legislative authority for the Early Career Reviewer Program, including the online application, under U.S.C. Title 42. Your online application to the ECR program is strictly voluntary and there are no consequences for choosing not to participate. You may choose to email your CV, areas of expertise, and study section selections to the

Last updated: 03/04/2024 17:52