NIH Announces New Policies

National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces new policies regarding 1) Inclusion of Sex as a Biological Variable and 2) Improvement of Reproducibility in applications and progress reports.

Beginning with applications due January 25, 2016, PIs will have to demonstrate strong scientific premise, rigorous experimental design, and consideration of sex and other biological variables in the Research Strategy section of their applications. Reviewers will factor this information into their overall impact scores.

PIs will also have to include an attachment in the Other Research Plan sections to authenticate their key resources. Reviewers will not factor this information into their overall impact scores.

Further, PIs will report on sex differences in their progress reports and publications.

For more information and links to resources that explain NIH’s intent and expectations, read the June 9, 2015 Guide notices:

Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable in NIH-Funded Research

Enhancing Reproducibility Through Rigor and Transparency

An overview and guidance of Rigor and Reproducibility and FAQs on this topic are available on the NIH OER website. The NIH Office of Research on Women’s Health also has published additional guidance regarding Consideration of Sex as a Biological Variable.

NIH will provide instructions for applicants and reviewers later this year.