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Vol. LVII, No. 22
November 4, 2005

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Scientific Review Administrators Hold Retreat

An all-day retreat for all 430 scientific review administrators at NIH took place Sept. 29 at the Natcher Conference Center. The theme was "Core Values of Peer Review in Changing Times."

CSR director Dr. Antonio Scarpa and NIH deputy director for extramural research Dr. Norka Ruiz Bravo offered their goals for shortening the review cycle and using evidence and fact to drive changes in review procedure, respectively.

Attendees learned about the new electronic grant submission using the SF 424 (R&R) and also the transition to a new way to reimburse peer reviewer expenses. SRAs shared techniques for recruiting reviewers and ensuring adequate gender and minority representation on review panels, then heard tips on how to organize and run reviews of grant applications for complex, multi-center studies.

Kevin Eikenberry shared his approach to convincing staff to accept change in work procedures, showing how critical it is for leadership to provide a clear vision of the goal for the changes. Dr. Lloyd Fricker spoke about the importance of peer review for the health science research grants process, and outlined potential problems and pitfalls of the review process.

Audio files and transcripts of all plenary sessions and the Q&A are available at the OER extramural intranet.