aamc.org does not support this web browser.
  • Washington Highlights

    AAMC Comments on NIH RFI on Improving NRSA Fellowship Application Review

    Julia Omotade, Sr. Science Policy Specialist
    For Media Inquiries

    The AAMC submitted a letter to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on June 12 in response to the agency’s request for information to improve review of the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) fellowship application. By seeking recommendations to improve the peer review of the NRSA — a funding mechanism and training program that provides predoctoral individuals with supervised research training in health-related areas — the NIH described its aims to mitigate undue influence of the sponsor’s or institution’s reputation, thereby improving the chances that “the most promising applicants, no matter who they are or where they are based, will be consistently identified.” 

    The AAMC recommended that the agency provide standardized resources to counter variations in application preparedness and expertise across institutions and to train and empower scientific review officers and study section chairs to be champions for a fair review. The association also urged the NIH to promote the underlying cultural changes required to mitigate bias, that, if left unchanged, can lead to a reversal back to traditional criteria that promotes funding disparities.