At Feedback Loop, the National Institute of General Medical Sciences' Jeremy Berg describes how funding decisions are made there. He notes that those decisions are made at paylist meetings rather than at advisory council or study section meetings. Each unit of NIGMS — there are five — has its own paylist meeting that is attended by the program directors. They then discuss and prioritize the applications, Berg says, including some of the applications that are beyond what the agency expects to fund. He adds:
This, blogger Writedit says, underscores how important it is to have a good relationship with your program officer.