|A CSR study section pilots the Real Time Meeting Status online system, which allows program officers from NIH institutes and centers to see in real time the lineup of applications being reviewed.
CSR is piloting a new online system that allows program officers from NIH institutes and centers to see in real time the lineup of applications being reviewed in CSR’s study sections. Using the online system, program officers can more easily dial into review meetings and listen to discussions.
It has always been important for program officers to witness reviews of applications assigned to them for possible funding. Hearing the reviews helps them more fully understand the strengths and weaknesses in the applications. This knowledge is critical when they address questions from applicants and facilitate the second level of review for determining which applications are funded.
In recent years, it has become difficult for program officers to attend review meetings. There are more meetings than ever and many are held in cities outside of the Washington, D.C., area.
A few years ago, CSR made it possible for program officers to listen to review discussions via a secure teleconference service. But life was still difficult
for the officers, who often had to wait on the phone for their applications
to be discussed and juggle a number of calls because their applications
went to multiple review groups.
CSR responded by piloting the new CSR Real Time Meeting Status online system. “This was a great idea generated and implemented by some of our bright scientific review officers,” said CSR director Dr. Toni Scarpa. “We’ve received lots of praise from participating program officers and we will offer the service to all of them very soon.”