On November 24, 2012, the Academy of Radiology Research hosted its third annual study section reviewer workshop. Entitled “What it Takes to be an Expert Reviewer for the NIH – the Peer Review Process Demystified,” this event was held in partnership with the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).
The Academy of Radiology Research is committed to supporting medical imaging research and promoting the translation of that research into benefits for human health. As part of that commitment, the Academy works with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to identify imaging researchers who are interested in serving as peer reviewers for NIH grant applications. There is currently a shortage of reviewers with imaging expertise, and the goal of the Academy/RSNA workshop is to help solve that imbalance by educating researchers about the process of becoming a reviewer. The workshop also features a mock study section that gives its participants the opportunity to see firsthand what the review process is like.
This year’s workshop was an excellent session that featured an enthusiastic audience who asked a lot of very good questions. It is likely that the majority of the researchers will volunteer to serve as a reviewer. Additionally, a number of the participants gave feedback that indicated that the workshop helped to advance their own grant writing skills.
There are many other benefits to serving on a study section, including service to the scientific research community and access to an expanded professional network. In addition, the NIH has taken steps to reduce the burden of serving on a study section by conducting some reviews virtually and by allowing flexibility for reviewers in their grant submission deadlines.
The Academy is also working to identify researchers were not able to attend the workshop but who would like to become a study section reviewer. Prospective applicants should contact Roxanne Yaghoubi, the Academy’s Policy and Programs Manager. She can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.