As always, the latest issue of NIAID Funding News is a treasure trove of information and good advice.
First, for the hundreds of you out there wondering why your IC hasn’t set a payline yet, NIAID reports, shockingly, that the trend toward score clustering has increased and explains how score clustering causes jumps in assigned percentiles. An impact score of 20 seems to be the sweet spot thus far: “In the first two review cycles of this fiscal year, approximately 3% of applications reviewed by CSR received a score of 20.” NIAID gives an example in which a score of 20 in one study section might land at the 9th percentile, with a score of 21 in turn at the 11th percentile (payline at the 10th percentile).
NIAID also includes an update on the CSR College of Reviewers (discussed here previously), including the current membership roster. As a reminder, these folks (“editorial board members”) will be asked to provide written reviews only on up to 12 applications a year for 2 years as part of 2-stage reviews (with the second stage being the face-to-face meetings of “editors”).