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Multiple Possible Actions Follow


  • Change in scientific guidelines
  • Merge study sections
  • Create new study sections
  • Redistribute areas across study sections
  • Add emerging areas of science
  • Eliminate study sections

Process Overview for Each Cluster of Study Sections

  • Cluster Formation
How? Determined by science, not management structure - 9-12 study sections in each cluster
  • External Scientific Evaluation Panel
Who? Scientifically broad, senior scientists provided with:
  • current scientific guidelines
  • sample abstracts & aims
  • data on workload trends, bibliometric output, ESI submission and success rates
Asked: How well does the scope of the study sections align with the current state of the science?
  • Internal Process Evaluation Panel
Who? NIH extramural staff with broad perspective
  • workload data
  • scoring trends
  • survey feedback from reviewers & program officers
  • site-visit information on meeting function
  • External Scientific Working Group’s report
Asked: Does the study section function in a way that supports optimal identification of high-impact science?
  • Approvals
  • Office of Extramural Research
  • CSR Advisory Council
  • NIH Office of the Director
  • Implementation by CSR
  • Test practicality of new guidelines through mock application referral
  • Reassignment of standing study section members to fit guidelines of new study sections
  • Publicize new study sections to the community
  • Monitor referral & adherence to new guidelines

Clusters Evaluated via ENQUIRE in 2019


Healthcare Delivery/Patient Outcomes

Study Sections Evaluated (9)

  • Behavioral Medicine: Interventions and Outcomes (BMIO)
  • Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics (BCHI)
  • Community-Level Health Promotion (CLHP)
  • Clinical Management of Patients in Community-based Settings (CMPC)
  • Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (DIRH)
  • Health Disparities and Equity Promotion (HDEP)
  • Health Services Organization and Delivery (HSOD)
  • Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences (NRCS)
  • Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention (PRDP)

Study Sections Formed (11)

  • Biobehavioral Medicine and Health Outcomes (BMHO)
  • Clinical Data Management and Analysis (CDMA)
  • Clinical Informatics and Digital Health (CIDH)
  • Clinical Management in General Health Care Settings (CMGC)
  • Healthcare and Health Disparities (HHD)
  • Health Promotion in Communities (HPC)
  • Health Services: Quality and Effectiveness (HSQE)
  • Interdisciplinary Clinical Care in Specialty Care Settings (ICSC)
  • Science of Implementation in Health and Healthcare (SIHH)
  • Lifestyle Change and Behavioral Health (LCBH)
  • Organization and Delivery of Health Services (ODHS)

GI, Renal, Endocrine Systems

Study Sections Evaluated (11)

  • Kidney Molecular Biology and Genitourinary Organ Development (KMBD)
  • Pathobiology of Kidney Disease (PBKD)
  • Urology and Urogynecology (ZRG1 DKUS 90)
  • Clinical, Integrative and Molecular Gastroenterology (CIMG)
  • Gastrointestinal Mucosal Pathobiology (GMPB)
  • Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology (HBPP)
  • Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity (CADO)
  • Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity (CIDO)
  • Integrative Physiology of Obesity and Diabetes (IPOD)
  • Integrative Nutrition and Metabolic Processes (INMP)
  • Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology (MCE)

Study Sections Formed (10)

  • Kidney and Urological Systems Function and Dysfunction (KUFD)
  • Pathobiology of Kidney Disease (PBKD)
  • Hepatobiliary Pathophysiology (HBPP)
  • Digestive System Host Defense, Microbial Interactions and Immune and Inflammatory Disease (DHMI)
  • Digestive and Nutrient Physiology and Diseases (DNPD)
  • Basic Mechanisms of Diabetes and Metabolism (BMDM)
  • Pathophysiology of Obesity and Metabolic Disease (POMD)
  • Human Studies of Diabetes and Obesity (HSDO)
  • Nutrition and Metabolism in Health and Disease (NMHD)
  • Cell Signaling and Molecular Endocrinology (CSME)

Cardiac, Vascular and Hematologic Sciences

Study Sections Evaluated (10)

  • Atherosclerosis and Inflammation of the Cardiovascular System Study Section (AICS)
  • Cardiac Contractility, Hypertrophy, and Failure Study Section (CCHF)
  • Clinical and Integrative Cardiovascular Sciences Study Section (CICS)
  • Electrical Signaling, Ion Transport, and Arrhythmias Study Section (ESTA)
  • Hemostasis and Thrombosis Study Section (HT)
  • Hypertension and Microcirculation Study Section (HM)
  • Molecular and Cellular Hematology Study Section (MCH)
  • Myocardial Ischemia and Metabolism Study Section (MIM)
  • Vascular Cell and Molecular Biology Study Section (VCMB)
  • Transfusion Medicine Sep (ZRG1 VH-D 55)

Study Sections Formed (8)

  • Basic Biology of Blood, Heart and Vasculature (BBHV)
  • Integrative Vascular Physiology and Pathology (IVPP)
  • Atherosclerosis and Vascular Inflammation (AVI)
  • Hemostasis, Thrombosis, Blood Cells and Transfusion Study Section (HTBT)
  • Integrative Myocardial Physiology/Pathophysiology A (MPPA)
  • Integrative Myocardial Physiology/Pathophysiology B (MPPB)
  • Therapeutic Development and Preclinical Studies (TDPS)
  • Clinical Integrative Cardiovascular and Hematological Sciences (CCHS)

Functional/Cognitive Neuroscience

Study Sections Evaluated (12)

  • Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology, Rhythms and Sleep (NNRS)
  • Neurobiology of Learning and Memory (LAM)
  • Language and Communication (LCOM)
  • Somatosensory and Pain Systems (SPS)
  • Sensory Motor Integration (SMI)
  • Ocular Surface, Cornea, Anterior Segment Glaucoma, and Refractive Error Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1 BDCN-J 81)
  • Cognition and Perception (CP)
  • Mechanisms of Sensory, Perceptual, and Cognitive Processes (SPC)
  • Auditory System (AUD)
  • Biology of the Visual System (BVS)
  • Diseases and Pathophysiology of the Visual System (DPVS)
  • Chemosensory Systems (CSS)

Study Sections Formed (11)

  • Auditory Systems (AUD)
  • Neuroscience of Basic Visual Processes Study Section (NBVP)
  • Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, Neuroimmunology, Rhythms, and Sleep (BNRS)
  • Biology and Development of the Eye (BDE)
  • Neuroscience of Interoception and Chemosensation (NIC)
  • Human Complex Mental Function (HCMF)
  • Language and Communication (LCOM)
  • Learning, Memory and Decision Neuroscience (LMDN)
  • Neurobiology of Pain and Itch (NPI)
  • Pathophysiology of Eye Disease 1 & 2 (PED)
  • Sensory-Motor Neuroscience (SMN)