Center for Scientific Review’s Elimination of Study Section Perilous to Kidney Community
The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) oversees peer review of NIH grant applications. CSR recently announced a change to study sections that will have a significant effect on the kidney community.
NIH grant applications are reviewed by content experts in study sections relevant to the application. CSR reduced the number of study sections for Gastrointestinal, Renal, Endocrine Systems by one section. Eliminating a kidney study section results in grants being assigned to broader sections that focus on issues outside of nephrology as well. This can negatively impact the quality of the review and reduce the probability of a grant being funded.
There is a growing evidence that COVID-19 negatively affects the kidneys and that the pandemic places an additional burden on people living with kidney diseases. The American Society and Nephrology (ASN) led the kidney community in urging Congressional appropriators to support $100 million in emergency supplemental funding for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
On April 16, 2020, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease (NIDDK) published two notices (NOT-DK-20-023, NOT-DK-20-024) that made a significant and startling announcement. NIDDK announced the Division of Kidney, Urologic, & Hematologic Diseases (KUH’s) will no longer participate in the traditional National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Research Service Award (NRSA) T32 Program, and will instead participate in a new Institutional Training Program.
NIDDK is establishing a nominal payline for new (Type 1) and renewal or competing continuation (Type 2) R01 applications of 16th percentile in FY 2020, which is higher than the 13th percentile in FY 2019.