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  • 1.  Request that a certain person not review a proposal (NIH)

    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous
    Posted 01-30-2023 14:58
    This message was posted by a user wishing to remain anonymous

    New Research Administrator here with a delicate question: We're working on an NIH proposal and the PI has a particular person they want to not review it. What would you do in this situation?

  • 2.  RE: Request that a certain person not review a proposal (NIH)

    Posted 01-31-2023 05:56

    If you are using ASSIST for this application/submission, add the optional Assignment Request Form to the application. The PI can request specific Awarding Components and Study Sections to review the application, as well as list individuals who should not review the application, among other things. The Forms H General Instructions will tell you all you need to know, but I have copied a few excerpts below:

    From the Forms H General Instructions:

    "This information will not be part of your assembled
    application, and it will neither be made available to
    program staff nor provided to reviewers. It is used
    specifically to convey additional, optional information
    about your preference(s) for assignment and review of
    your application to DRR (Division of Receipt and Referral) and SROs (Scientific Review Officers)."

    For the "Individuals who should not review your application" section:

    "You may list specific individuals, if any, who should not review your application and why they
    should not review your application. Provide sufficient information (e.g., name, organizational
    affiliation) so that the SRO can correctly identify the individual. Be prepared to provide additional
    information to the SRO if needed. Simply stating "Dr. John Smith is in conflict with my application"
    is not helpful.
    Your answer can have a maximum of 1000 characters."

    Hope this helps!

    Jaylan Sears
    Sponsored Programs Project Manager I
    University of Mississippi Medical Center

  • 3.  RE: Request that a certain person not review a proposal (NIH)

    Posted 01-31-2023 06:48
    They list that person on the assignment request form, and provide a brief reason why (a sentence is enough, or even just "personal conflict" or "direct competitor." That form only goes to the Center for Scientific Review, so the person in question won't ever see it.

    Michael Spires
    Research Development Officer
    Oakland University
    Rochester, MI

  • 4.  RE: Request that a certain person not review a proposal (NIH)

    Posted 01-31-2023 09:44
    We typically name the individual and institution in the section provided for that purpose, "PHS Assignment Request", and list the reason as "Dr. X presents a conflict of interest as they are in direct competition with the PD/PI of this proposal." or some such.

    That whole section is for NIH use only; the reviewers do not receive it.


    Lisa Churchill (she, her)
    PH (858) 453-4100 x1309  FX (858) 535-9663
    Salk Institute Logo
    Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    10010 N Torrey Pines Rd  La Jolla, CA 92037

    Much of San Diego was built on the unceded territory of the Kumeyaay Nation. Today, the Kumeyaay people continue to maintain their political sovereignty and cultural traditions as vital members of the San Diego community. 

  • 5.  RE: Request that a certain person not review a proposal (NIH)

    Posted 01-31-2023 10:29

    I have had this circumstance several times. The submitting PI needs to address this in their cover letter with a brief statement of who the individual is and justification for not wanting them to review (Dr. XX's research line of inquiry directly conflicts with our own work. OR Dr. X's research practice explores the same track as our own with a different focus on treatment. We feel this may influence their review.)


    Good luck!



    Tammy Jobes

    Sponsored Projects Administrator

    Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare

    (651) 229-3992


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