The Locus of Review of Pain Applications at the NIH

In response to the Institute of Medicine Report “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education and Research” Recommendation 5.1, the NIH is, “…publishing on the Pain Consortium website a list of study sections that review pain research.”

Grant applications on pain submitted to the NIH are reviewed either at the Center for Scientific Review (CSR) or at the individual Institutes and Centers (ICs) to which they are assigned. This division is based largely on whether they are solicited or unsolicited. The majority of unsolicited grant applications are reviewed at CSR, whereas most solicited grant applications are reviewed at ICs. Unsolicited grant applications are those that are submitted in response to a parent Program Announcement (PA). Solicited grant applications are generally in response to specific Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA), such as a Request for Applications (RFA), Program Announcements with Set Aside Funds (PAS), and Program Announcements Reviewed in an Institute (PAR). Fellowships, Career Development Awards, Training Grants, and other complex mechanisms (Cooperative Agreements, Centers, Program Projects) usually are reviewed at an IC; however CSR reviews some solicited grant applications.

Grant applications on pain are reviewed at a number of loci within CSR based upon their scientific content. CSR is organized into broad Integrated Review Groups (IRG), each of which contains a cluster of thematically related Scientific Review Groups (SRG). These SRGs, also known as study sections, review the majority of pain grant applications. Special Emphasis Panels (SEPs) also review some pain grant applications (e.g. those for which there is a member conflict in the SRG) as part of CSR or within the individual ICs.

Given that the majority of grant applications reviewed at CSR are unsolicited submissions, this list includes only study sections that review unsolicited applications. The list was determined by examining all of the unsolicited research applications (R01, R21, R03, R15, R36, R37) with the Research Condition and Disease Category (RCDC) code of ‘Pain-Chronic Condition’ that were submitted in 2010, 2011 and 2012. They were examined separately by year to determine the review location, including the IRG and the SRG. The percent of all of the RCDC Pain-Chronic Conditions applications assigned to each IRG and SRG was calculated for each year and then averaged over the three years.  SRG calculations do not include applications reviewed in Special Emphasis Panels; however, these applications are included in the IRG calculations.

The likelihood that an unsolicited pain research application will be assigned to a given IRG or SRG is indicated below.  They are organized in ‘groups,’ with the IRG and SRG receiving the highest percent of pain related applications in the first band. Within a band the IRGs and SRGs are organized alphabetically. The links to the CSR website include information about the IRG and SRG, which will help applicants in selecting the appropriate review locus.

NIH Integrated Review Groups that Review Pain Research

Greater than 20%

IFCN
Integrative, Functional and Cognitive Neuroscience IRG

10-20%

MDCN
Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Neuroscience IRG

MOSS
Musculoskeletal, Oral and Skin Sciences IRG

5-10%

BDCN
Brain Disorders and Clinical Neuroscience IRG

DKUS
Digestive, Kidney and Urological Systems IRG

HDM
Healthcare Delivery and Methodologies IRG

RPHB
Risk, Prevention and Health Behavior IRG

SBIB
Surgical Sciences, Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering IRG

Less than 5%

AARR
AIDS and Related Research IRG

BBBP
Biobehavioral and Behavioral Processes IRG

BCMB
Biological Chemistry and Macromolecular Biophysics IRG

BST
Bioengineering Sciences and Technologies IRG

CB
Cell Biology IRG

CVRS
Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences IRG

EMNR
Endocrinology, Metabolism, Nutrition and Reproductive Sciences IRG

ETTN
Emerging Technologies and Training Neurosciences IRG

IDM
Infectious Diseases and Microbiology IRG

IMM
Immunology IRG

OBT
Oncology 1- Basic Translational IRG

OTC
Oncology 2 - Translational Clinical IRG

PSE
Population Sciences and Epidemiology IRG

VH
Vascular and Hematology IRG

NIH Scientific Review Groups that Review Pain Research

Greater than 20%

SCS
Somatosensory and Chemosensory Systems Study Section

2-10%

BMIO
Behavioral Medicine, Interventions and Outcomes Study Section

CIMG
Clinical, Integrative and Molecular Gastroenterology Study Section

CNNT
Clinical Neuroplasticity and Neurotransmitters

MRS
Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation Sciences Study Section

NTRC
Neurotransporters, Receptors, and Calcium Signaling Study Section

SAT
Surgery, Anesthesiology and Trauma Study Section

SBSR
Skeletal Biology Structure and Regeneration Study Section

UKGD
Urologic and Kidney Development and Genitourinary Diseases Study Section

1-2%

ACTS
Arthritis, Connective Tissue and Skin Study Section

BPNS
Biophysics of Neural Systems

BRLE
Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology

MNPS
Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study Section

NDPR
Neurodifferentiation, Plasticity, Regeneration and Rhythmicity Study Section

PRDP
Psychosocial Risk and Disease Prevention Study Section

TME
Tumor Microenvironment Study Section

Less than 1%

ANIE
Acute Neural Injury and Epilepsy Study Section

ASG
Aging Systems and Geriatrics Study Section

AUD
Auditory System Study Section

BCHI
Biomedical Computing and Health Informatics Study Section

CASE
Cardiovascular and Sleep Epidemiology Study Section

CMBG
Cellular and Molecular Biology of Glia Study Section

DBD
Developmental Brain Disorders Study Section

ESTA
Electrical Signaling, Ion Transport, and Arrhythmias Study Section

GDD
Gene and Drug Delivery Systems Study Section

HAI
Hypersensitivity, Autoimmune, and Immune-mediated Diseases Study Section

HSOD
Health Services Organization and Delivery Study Section

IRAP
Infectious Diseases, Reproductive Health, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions Study Section

MFSR
Motor Function, Speech and Rehabilitation Study Section

MNG
Molecular Neurogenetics Study Section

MTE
Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering Study Section

NAED
NeuroAIDS and other End-Organ Diseases Study Section

NAL
Neurotoxicology and Alcohol Study Section

NAME
Neurological, Aging and Musculoskeletal Epidemiology Study Section

NMB
Neurobiology of Motivated Behavior Study Section

NPAS
Neural Basis of Psychopathology, Addictions and Sleep Disorders Study Section

NRCS
Nursing and Related Clinical Sciences Study Section

PMDA
Pathophysiological Basis of Mental Disorders and Addictions Study Section

RIBT
Respiratory Integrative Biology and Translational Research Study Section

RPIA
Risk, Prevention and Intervention for Addictions Study Section

RTB
Radiation Therapeutics and Biology Study Section

SBCB
Synthetic and Biological Chemistry B Study Section

SPIP
Social Psychology, Personality and Interpersonal Processes Study Section

XNDA
Xenobiotic and Nutrient Disposition and Action Study Section