May 19, 2021

NIH early career reviewer program, scientist recommendations

NIH will hold a Q & A panel on May 24 from 12-12:45 EDT

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) is providing information released by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) regarding the Early Career Reviewer Program and its need for recommendations for scientists to be reviewers.

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) is the portal for NIH grant applications and their review for scientific merit and organizes the peer review groups or study sections that evaluate the majority (70%) of the research grant applications sent to NIH. CSR recruits over 17,000 external experts to review the applications in its study sections, which often meet three times during the year. The CSR is seeking to diversify and broaden the pool of scientific reviewers through the following two opportunities.

The Early Career Reviewer (ECR) Program:

The ECR program aims to help early career scientists, especially unrepresented minority scientists, become more competitive as grant applicants through first-hand experience with peer review and to enrich and diversify CSR’s pool of trained reviewers.

  1. Work side-by-side with some of the most accomplished researchers in your field to help NIH identify the most promising grant applications
  2. Improve your own grant writing skills by getting an insider’s view of how grant applications are evaluated
  3. Develop research-evaluation and critique-writing skills.

The application requirements are the following:

  • Less than one year of experience in an independent position
  • Open to assistant professors and those of a similar rank
  • Have submitted a grant application to the NIH and received the summary statement
  • One research publication as first, last, or corresponding author since your PhD/MD and at least one research publication as first, last, or corresponding author in the last two years
  • Have not held R01 or equivalent NIH funding and have not served as an NIH reviewer

Apply here:

The NIH will hold a Q & A panel on May 24 from 12-12:45 EDT with three scientists who recently served as ECRs and with two scientific review officers (SRO).

Register at:

Questions in advance appreciated:

Note: The panel can accommodate the first 1000 people who join the webinar on the 24th.

If you attempt to join on the 24th and the meeting is full, please use this link instead: All questions entered into the Q & A during the webinar will be answered, either during the webinar or answers will be posted with the recording. Questions can be directed to Kristin Kramer via email at

Recommendations of Reviewers:

The NIH-CSR needs recommendations for productive scientists who have active research programs and who are from diverse backgrounds and career stages – e.g. assistant, associate, and full professors. The NIH depends on the willingness of scientists to serve on our review groups to provide fair, high quality scientific peer reviews. The scientific peer review process benefits greatly when the study section reviewers bring not only strong scientific qualifications and expertise, but also a broad range of backgrounds and varying scientific perspectives. Bringing new viewpoints into the process replenishes and refreshes the study section, thereby enhancing the quality of its output.

Questions and recommendations can be directed to Kristin Kramer via email at

HACU Member Advisories are a service of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)