Session+01_Spring+2016 - Scoring System and Procedure The...

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Last Reviewed on March 18, 2015 Page 1 of 4 Scoring System and Procedure The NIH scoring system was designed to encourage reliable scoring of applications. Reviewers or study sections who assign high ratings to all applications diminish their ability to communicate the scientific impact of an individual application. Therefore, reviewers who carefully consider the rating guidance below can improve the reliability of their scores as well as their ability to communicate the scientific impact of the applications reviewed. Contents Scoring Summary Preliminary Scores Criterion Scoring Impact/Priority Score Non-Numeric Scores Reviewer Guidance and Chart SCORING Summary The NIH grant application scoring system uses a 9-point scale for both overall impact scores and scores for individual review criteria. o For both types of score, ratings are in whole numbers only (no decimal ratings). o NIH expects that scores of 1 or 9 to be used less frequently than the other scores. For the overall impact score, o the scale is used by all eligible (without conflict of interest) SRG (Scientific Review Group) members o 5 is considered an average score. For criterion scores, o the scale is used by the assigned reviewers to evaluate (at least) five individual criteria (e.g., Significance, Investigator(s), Innovation, Approach, Environment). o reviewers should consider the strengths and weaknesses within each criterion. For example, a major strength may outweigh many minor and correctable weaknesses. For information about using the critique template, see Critique Template Instructions Preliminary Scores Before the review meeting, assigned reviewers determine preliminary scores for each of the scored review criteria and a preliminary score for the overall impact The impact score should reflect the reviewer’s overall evaluation, not a numerical average of individual criterion scores Reviewers should consider the full range of the rating scale and the scoring descriptors in assigning preliminary and final scores o However, a reviewer should not assume that the applications assigned to him/her necessarily cover that entire range of scores, and should assign scores as appropriate for the work or science proposed An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major impact
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Page 2 of 4 o For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field Reviewers must enter the criterion scores into the Internet Assisted Review (IAR) site in the NIH Commons for them to appear in the summary statement o If entered in IAR, the scores will be transferred to a table at the beginning of the reviewer’s critique Assigned reviewers may submit criterion scores only after their critiques have been uploaded o At the SRO’s discretion, SRG members assigned as discussants may submit criterion scores without critiques In the READ phase of the meeting reviewers may submit their scores and critiques,
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