We’ve been told the R01 will drop to 12 pages, with other mechanisms possibly set at half that length. The narrative will be restructured to align with review criteria (significance, innovation, approach), so you’d best stop thinking in terms of the time-honored foursome of every NIH research narrative (i.e., Specific Aims, Background & Significance, Preliminary Studies, Research Design & Methods). Since there is no clear review criteria for preliminary data/progress reports, these may be folded into the Approach portion of the narrative as appropriate.
The recent notice about Changes to the eSNAP PHS 2590 probably foreshadows what’s coming down the pike with regard to biosketches for future NIH submissions:
Another change associated with the peer review initiative is the addition of a Personal Statement to the biographical sketch. The statement is for the senior/key personnel to address why their experience and qualifications make them particularly well-suited for their role on the project. Instructions for the biographical sketch also encourage applicants to limit the list of publications to no more than 15.
This covers the “Investigators” review criteria, and a better description (versus rote facilities, equipment, other resources, et al. boilerplate) of the scientific environment for the specific work to be conducted will no doubt be in order.
Let’s see .. new scoring system, new review process/summary statement format, new application format, shorter page limits, even less preliminary data and methodological detail, condensed biosketches. I’m sure reviewers can’t wait … and CSR must be about to explode. Or implode.
Also of interest for FY10 are some ESI policy changes at NHLBI … and perhaps other ICs:
The special payline policy for non-ESI will be phased out in FY 2010. In addition, ESI applications on which all named principal investigators are ESI investigators that are >5 but <=10 percentile points above the regular R01 payline may undergo an expedited review to resolve comments in the summary statement.
How about some opportunity for rebuttal for anyone within a few percentile points of the “payline” (whatever that is for most ICs)?