Since it was initially announced last year, we’ve kept you updated on NIH’s potential plans to modify application criteria. After seeking and analyzing public input, NIH has announced that it will implement the simplified review framework for applications received on or after January 25, 2025.
According to NIH, the modifications are intended to mitigate elements that have the potential to introduce bias into review. The changes will help reviewers focus on the potential for proposed research to advance scientific knowledge and improve human health. Additionally, administrative responsibilities will shift from reviewers to NIH staff, thereby allowing reviewers to focus on the science. Under the previous scoring system, five criteria were individually scored using a common scale; the simplified review framework reorganizes these criteria into three factors. Two of these factors – importance of research and rigor and feasibility – are scored using a common scale. A third factor, expertise and resources, is evaluated for sufficiency only and not given a numeric score.
Below is a summary of the simplified peer review framework.