The Board of Scientific Counselors is asked to review each independent investigator and his/her specific research projects for:
Scientific significance (i.e., Does the project address an important problem? Are the aims of the project being achieved? If so, is scientific knowledge being advanced? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts or methods that drive this field?).
Scientific approach (i.e., Are the conceptual framework, design, methods, and analyses adequately developed, well integrated, and appropriate to the aims of the project? Where problem areas arose were reasonable alternative tactics employed?).
Innovation (i.e., Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods? Does the project employ original innovative aims? Does the project challenge existing paradigms or develop new methods?).
Scientific and intellectual environment (i.e., In the context of this project, is the investigator taking advantage of the special features of the NIH intramural scientific environment or employing useful collaborative arrangements?).
Investigator training (i.e., Is the investigator appropriately trained and well suited to carry out this project? Is the work proposed appropriate to the experience level of the principal investigator and, where appropriate, other researchers?).
Scientific productivity (i.e., Considering the investigator’s other responsibilities [e.g., service, or administrative], how does the Board of Scientific Counselors rate his/her overall research productivity? [e.g., Outstanding, and everything possible should be done to increase support; outstanding, but current level of support is appropriate; excellent, and continue support at current level; good, but needs some improvement to warrant current level of support; too low to warrant current level of support; so inadequate that the project should be phased out and the scientist reassigned to another activity.]).