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CSR Seeking Early Career Reviewer Program Participants

Aug 18, 2021, 13:04 PM by Melodi Moore

CSR is continuously seeking to diversify our panels along many dimensions – demographics, institution type, expertise, etc. 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.

The Early Career Reviewer Program (ECR) aims to help early career 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.  In order to qualify for ECR, applicants must have at least 1 year of experience as a fulltime faculty member or researcher in a similar role. and must be an Assistant Professor or in an equivalent role.  Post-doctoral fellows are not eligible.  Associate Professors are not eligible because  the program is focused on early career scientists.

Applicants must show evidence of an active, independent research program. Examples include publications, presentations, institutional research support, patents, acting as supervisor of student projects.

They should have at least 1 senior-authored research publication in a peer-reviewed journal in the last 2 years plus at least 1 additional senior-authored research publication since receiving a doctorate.

  • In press publications are considered; preprints are not.
  • We consider “senior author” as single author, corresponding author, or first or last author.
  • There is no requirement that the recent publication cover work performed at the current institution.

Applicants can not have served on an NIH study section in any capacity aside from as a mail reviewer. (Mail reviews do not include participation in the meeting.)  They cannot have held an R01 or R01-equivalent (R35, R37, RF1, R23, R29, DP1, DP2, DP5, U01, RL1) grant in the PD/PI role, and they must have submitted a grant proposal, in the PI/PD role, to the NIH and received the associated summary statement.

How to Apply to ECR

You may serve as an ECR only once.  After you are accepted in the program, to increase your chances of reviewing, we encourage you to directly contact the SROs who run study sections in your field. The SROs are listed on the study section pages. They welcome your email!

Acceptance into the program means that your name is added to a database that Scientific Review Officers (SRO) use to find eligible reviewers in particular areas of science.

 You Will Need

  • Full and up-to-date CV (Word or PDF format). Do not submit an NIH biosketch.
  • List of terms that describe your areas of scientific expertise. These should be key words or phrases that describe your scientific and technical skills and interests.
  • NIH Commons ID (case sensitive).
  • Select up to 4 CSR study sections that match your expertise. Adding this information increases the likelihood that you will be asked to review.
  • If you have questions, contact us at

Use the ECR Application and Vetting System (EAVS) to apply and update your information. You must confirm your information yearly or it will be removed from the database. Once accepted, you will remain in the program until you no longer meet the criteria above.  The system will email you on your anniversary date to update or confirm your qualifications.