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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ Pages

Priority scores and summary statements

Q: What is an impact/priority score?

A: After discussing an application, members of the review group privately vote a numerical impact/priority score from 1 to 9, where 1 is best. The normalized average of all reviewer impact/priority scores constitutes the final impact/priority score. Impact scores run from 10 to 90, where 10 is best. Generally speaking, impact/priority scores of 10 to 30 are most likely to be funded; scores between 31 and 45 might be funded; scores greater than 46 are rarely funded. Before 2009, NIH used a different score system, with final scores from 100 to 500, where 100 was best.

See also //

Q: What is a criterion score?

A: Reviewers assign a criterion score from 1 to 9, where 1 is best, to each core NIH review criterion (significance, investigator, innovation, approach, environment). These scores are provided to assist applicants in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of their application and to assist program staff in funding decisions. Criterion scores are not used to calculate the final impact/priority score described above.

Q: If I get a good impact/priority score, will my grant be funded?

A: All grant awards depend on availability of funds, relevance to NLM priorities, and the balance of grants in NLM's grant portfolio. Success rates and other award data are available at // 

Q: When can I get my impact/priority score?

A: Impact scores are typically available within a few days after the applications are reviewed. Log into your NIH eRA Commons PI account to see your score.

Q: Will I get a written evaluation of my grant application?

A: Approximately 4 weeks after your application is reviewed, a written evaluation of your application called the Summary Statement will be posted in the NIH eRA Commons. The Summary Statement is compiled by the Scientific Review Officer (SRO) who ran the review meeting. In addition to administrative information, it contains the written critiques prepared by the assigned reviewers and recommendations regarding budget and human subject considerations. Log into your NIH eRA Commons PI account to read (and download) the Summary Statement. If the application received full discussion, the summary statement also includes a resume and summary of the discussion written by the SRO.

Q: I received a notice from NLM requesting additional information. Does that mean my grant will be funded?

A: No, but it does mean that your application is under consideration for funding. After the study section has met, grant applications whose impact/priority score fall within the fundable range are sent to the second level of review. If your application is in this group, you will receive a request from NLM's Grants Management staff for the following additional documentation: updated 'other support' for key participants; the status of Institutional Review Board action on your proposal; certification that key personnel have received training in the protection of human subjects. This request for additional information is not an award notice.


Last Reviewed: September 6, 2023