National Institutes of Health (NIH) Requirements

"Two of the cornerstones of science advancement are rigor in designing and performing scientific research and the ability to reproduce biomedical research findings. The application of rigor ensures robust and unbiased experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of results. When a result can be reproduced by multiple scientists, it validates the original results and readiness to progress to the next phase of research."  (Reference:

The NIH, in 2016, implemented revised application instructions and strengthened review criteria to improve reproducibility through increased scientific rigor and transparency in grant applications and publications. The four main areas of focus are:

  • Scientific premise (retrospective consideration of the foundation for the application)
  • Scientific rigor (strict application of the scientific method to ensure robust and unbiased experimental design, methodology, analysis, interpretation and reporting of results)
  • Relevant biological variables (those relevant to the experimental design of the study)
  • Authentication of key resources (established resources; i.e. cell lines, specialty chemicals, antibodies, and other biologics)

Applications now require a separate attachment to describe authentication of key biological and/or chemical resources but will not be scored, while the other three areas should be addressed in the Research Strategy of the research application