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The Study Section Choice

There are different ways grant applications can be reviewed and the US National Institute of General Medicine Sciences' Joe Gindhart walks readers at the NIGMS Feedback Loop through different possible situations.

Specific funding opportunity announcements, he says, often tip applicants off to where — either the Center for Scientific Review or an individual National Institutes of Health center or institute — those applications will be reviewed in their 'Review and Selection Process' section. He adds that more information about who will review a grant application will be posted in the applicant's eRA Commons account.

Alternatively, Gindhart notes that many applications are received under program announcements, and those are typically reviewed by a panel convened by CSR. "To identify a possible 'review home' for your application, I suggest you peruse CSR's list of study sections, find the ones that seem most suitable for your application, and then use NIH RePORTER to search for funded applications that have been reviewed by those study sections," he says.

For any application heading to CSR for review, he advises applicants to include a cover letter that states what study section the applicant thinks is appropriate to look over the application and why.

And when there are specific requests for applications, Gindhart writes that those applications are reviewed by the institute or center that issued the request.