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Nominations for NIH Study Section

With the assistance of AATS, the NIH is looking for CT surgeons to serve on NIH study sections. This is an exceptional opportunity for our field to both facilitate the advancement of science and expand the reputation of cardiothoracic surgeons within the general scientific community. Your participation is vital to the success of our field, and we encourage those interested in an academic career to apply below.

What is a Study Section?

Study Sections, also called scientific review groups, review grant applications. At the NIH, study sections are organized by topic of interest and can be found here. The study sections review applications sent to the NIH and decide on the grants scientific merit for funding. At each study section, the reviewers are assigned grants to review with each grant having a primary reviewer, secondary reviewer, and a tertiary reviewer who are all supposed to read the grant and discuss it in front of the whole study section. Under the guidance of these three reviewers, the whole study section then assigns an impact score to the grant (range 1-9) to determine the merit of the application for funding.

Study Sections meet 2-3 times a year for 1-2 days at a time in-person or virtually depending on the study section. If selected, you will serve a 4-year term and review grants 3 times per year. You can request to serve a 6-year term and review grants 2 times per year if needed.

Nomination Process:

The AATS is now recognized by the NIH as a scientific society that is allowed to submit names of potential reviewers. AATS has set up a formal process run through the Scientific Affairs and Government Relations (SAGR) Committee that will present society backed nominations to the NIH. The process is started by the candidate who fills out the online form. The application should not take longer than 15-30 minutes to complete. Please review the information below before completing the application.

  • Candidates can be identified through recommendations from colleagues or self-nominations.
  • Nominations must include a detailed CV and a brief statement outlining the nominee’s qualifications and desires to serve on an NIH study panel. Nominations must also include a biosketch in NIH format.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by the AATS Scientific Affairs & Government Relations Committee prior to being submitted to the NIH Study Section. Please note the NIH has final say in who is selected to be a representative on the NIH Study Section.
  • Candidates who are selected may be invited for further evaluation by the NIH.

Benefits of Joining the NIH Study Section

There are many benefits to joining an NIH study section. In addition to the overall benefit of helping to advance the scientific mission as well as the translation and development of therapy for our patients, there are multiple benefits to the individual serving on the study section as well. First and foremost, one can learn how reviewers think about grants and the positive and negative aspects of a grant application through the reviewer’s eyes. By listening to the discussion of the grant, one can learn aspects of grantsmanship that cannot be attained in any other manner. In addition, for those seeking promotion within their own institution being a member of a study section can be viewed as a prestigious accomplishment. By serving on a study section one can meet potential collaborators and possible colleagues who may review your own grant one day.

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