Fascinating. I stumbled across this while researching how NIH ICs interpret-implement the various funding mechanisms (story at 11). The source page hasn’t been updated since 2005, but this seems to offer some insight otherwise unavailable regarding NIAAA payline/funding decisions. In fact, the “NIAAA does not set an overall percentile payline that assures an award if you are at or better than the payline,” so this is as much as you’ll ever have to go on probably. Note that the lowly R03 is not listed here.
The NIAAA National Advisory Council has agreed upon the parameters for applications eligible for expedited concurrence:
1) Mechanism: R01, R21, R13, R15, R24, R25, K (all), T32, R41, R42, R43, R44
2) Percentile Score: 15.0 or better
3) Priority Score for non-percentiled applications: 150 or better
4) Maximum Direct Cost in any year: $500,000
5) Foreign Applications: exclude
6) Applications with a Human Subjects Concern, Animal Welfare Concern,
Unacceptable code for minorities, gender, or children are excluded.
On the NIH New Investigators resource page, NIAA further clarifies this policy as it applies to new PIs: “NIAAA is very much committed to assuring that new investigators are included among those successful in obtaining grant awards. To achieve this goal, NIAAA has established a procedure of affording the opportunity to allow all new investigators receiving scores within a minimum of 5 percentile points of the pay line (or the equivalent priority score) to respond to reviewer critiques in a letter to program officials. The responses are reviewed internally by NIAAA staff who may make a recommendation for award to the Institute Director. This procedure expedites the process for award for first time grant applicants and facilitates their entry into alcohol research. This accelerated rapid response and award procedure is in place for R01 and R21 mechanisms, as well as at the training level for all fellowship applications.”