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NIH and Peer Reviewers: Initial Vetting and Ongoing Oversight

The National Institutes of Health's (NIH's) peer review process is central to the integrity of evaluating and selecting grant applications. The Director of NIH has expressed concern about the increasing risks to the security of intellectual property and to the integrity of peer review. Specifically, peer reviewers who inappropriately share confidential information in grant applications present a risk to intellectual property and undermine the integrity of peer review. The Departments of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act, 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2019 (Public Law No. 115-245) and its Accompanying Report directed that OIG examine the effectiveness of NIH's and grantee institutions' efforts to protect intellectual property derived from NIH-supported research. In this study, which will result in two reports, OIG will describe and assess NIH's process for vetting prospective peer reviewers, as well as NIH's oversight of peer reviewers beyond the vetting process.

Announced or Revised Agency Title Component Report Number(s) Expected Issue Date (FY)
February 2019 National Institutes of Health NIH and Peer Reviewers: Initial Vetting and Ongoing Oversight Office of Evaluation and Inspections OEI-01-19-00160; OEI-05-19-00240 2019