NIH struggles to rebound from shutdown

Guest post by Beth Mole

The National Institutes of Health is scrambling to reschedule the more than 200 grant review panels cancelled by the recent government shutdown, according to a notice released October 22.

The meetings, which were scheduled between October 1 and October 17 when the government was partially closed, would have brought thousands of scientists to the NIH’s Bethesda campus to review more than 11,000 grant proposals.

To avoid logistical snarls, the NIH initially announced that it would not try to reschedule the meetings and instead would postpone them until the next review cycle in February and March 2014. This would mean at least a four-month delay in funding awards for hundreds of scientists.

But after hearing from scientists about how damaging such a delay would be to their research, the NIH reversed the decision, stating that it will now find “exceptionally creative ways” to reschedule the meetings. 

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