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NEI Clinician Scientist Reviewer Program

NEI is seeking to increase the pool of qualified clinician scientists eligible to serve as reviewers on special emphasis panels convened by NEI and introduce the peer review process to clinician scientists with limited experience in applying for and/or receiving NIH funding. To accomplish these goals, NEI seeks to recruit clinician scientists to participate in NEI peer review panels. Clinician scientists from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to inquire.


NEI is seeking the following: 
  • Early career clinician scientists in the fields of eye and/or vision disorders.
  • Experienced clinician scientists, who have not reviewed for NIH, with research or clinical experience on eye diseases, vision disorders, and/or related fields.
  • Experienced clinician scientists, who have not reviewed for NIH, whose research program or clinical expertise has pivoted to the study of eye disease and/or vision disorders within the last three years. 
By participating in the peer review process, reviewers will benefit from: 
  • Learning how to develop and write more competitive grant applications by gaining an understanding of the peer review process.
  • Gaining insight to various grant mechanisms and corresponding review criteria. 
  • Meeting NEI review and program staff.
  • Networking with other reviewers in the vision field with complementary expertise.
Potential reviewers must meet the following criteria:
  • Must be at least an Assistant Professor or equivalent. Mid- and senior-career clinician scientists are also eligible to review if other criteria are met.
  • Must have evidence of an active, independent research program. Examples include publications, presentations, institutional research support, and/or patents. 
  • Must have completed all fellowship and/or postdoctoral training with clinical experience in the diagnosis/treatment of eye diseases and/or vision disorders, even if no grant applications have been submitted. 
  • Although not required, some experience with the grant submission process from either federal or private sources would be beneficial. 
Expectations for Reviewers:

Selected reviewers are likely to be assigned 1-3 applications to review. Guided by the review criteria and instructions, it is anticipated that each application could take 1-4 hours to review based on the type of application and your assignment role.

  • Being responsive to the Scientific Review Officer via email within 1-2 days of any requested information. 
  • Working with NEI Scientific Review Staff to obtain a Commons ID (if you do not have one already). 
  • Familiarizing yourself with detailed policy, instructions, and documents for the meeting that will be sent to you in advance. 
  • Attending one, 30-minute pre-meeting reviewer orientation session (held virtually).
  • Reading the entirety of the grant application(s) assigned to you.
  • Providing a written critique by the due dates for the meeting.
  • Agreeing to participate in the full (2-8 hour) review meeting (currently meeting virtually) by blocking off your schedule for the entirety of the meeting. Meeting lengths vary based on the number of applications. 
  • Providing an oral summary of your critique(s) at the review meeting and discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the application with other panelists.
  • Attending one, 30-minute post-review meeting debrief and feedback session held immediately at the conclusion of the review meeting. 
To be considered please send the following information to
  • A brief (5-8 sentence max) description of your area of expertise (key words, technical skills, disease area, clinical and/or research experience).
  • A brief (5-8 sentence max) description of how you qualify to serve as a reviewer (employment, clinical research, and grant and review history).
  • Full academic CV or NIH biosketch.
  • Contact information (phone/email).

All inquiries will be considered. Submitting an inquiry does not guarantee that you will be contacted to participate in the scientific peer review process. Given the variety of grant applications submitted at any given time, the areas of expertise needed may change.

Last updated: September 10, 2021