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Scientific Review Branch (SRB)

The Scientific Review Branch (SRB) provides policy direction and coordination for the planning and execution of initial scientific and technical reviews conducted within the NINR. The reviews conducted by the office are considered to be first level reviews, and involve panels of experts established according to scientific disciplines or current research areas for the purpose of evaluating the scientific and technical merit of grant applications. The Chief of the Scientific Review Branch is Dr. Weiqun Li.

Grants Reviewed by NINR Scientific Review Branch

There is one chartered review committee in NINR known as the NINR IRG (Initial Review Group). This committee is primarily responsible for the scientific review of individual training and career development grant applications. The standing member list of the NINR IRG Member Roster can be found online at

Applications not reviewed by the NINR IRG are reviewed by the Special Emphasis Panel (SEP), which is responsible for the scientific review of applications received by the Institute in response to a Request For Applications (RFA). The Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (T32) are also reviewed by this office using the SEP. In summary, the Office of Review is responsible for reviewing F, K, T32s submitted to NINR and R01, R21, R03, P01, P20, and P30s submitted in response to an NINR RFA. 

Grants Reviewed by NIH Center for Scientific Review for NINR

R01, R21, R03, R41, R42, R43, and R44s submitted to Parent Announcements are reviewed by study sections located in the NIH Center for Scientific Review.

Please see the NINR Grant Mechanism Table for all grants accepted by NINR and reviewed at both NINR SRB and CSR for funding consideration. NINR responsible RFA can be searched at

Two-Level Review System Utilized by NIH for Funding Consideration

The two-level review system utilized by NIH involving the scientific review group and the advisory council is briefly described in the diagram below:

2-Level System for Application Review

1st Level

Scientific Review Group (SRG)

  • Independent outside reviewers
  • Evaluate scientific merit & significance
  • Recommend length and level of funding

2nd Level

National Advisory Council

  • Assesses Quality of SRG Review
  • Makes Recommendation to Institute Staff on Funding
  • Evaluates Program Priorities and Relevance
  • Advises on Policy

Review Policy Q&A:

Please click on the Q&A document linked below for details.
Review Policy Q&A (PDF, 82KB)

Note: Some files listed here are PDFs, requiring Acrobat Reader to view. Acrobat Reader can be downloaded here.

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