Latest Updates

January 25, 2024

New Employment Certification Form

The Internet Assisted Review (IAR) module now includes the Employment Certification form. The form accommodates the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) policy involving federal employees as reviewers. After agreeing to the Confidentiality Statement, you complete the ClosedEmployment Certification form.

Employment Certification Form

Non-HHS federal staff can:

  • Serve as reviewers in their official capacity if approved by their agency
  • If not approved by their agency, serve as reviewers as a 'personal' or 'outside' activity
  • If they have a dual appointment with a non-federal institution, serve as reviewers from their institution

HHS federal staff may:

  • serve as reviewers if approved by supervisor(s) (previously they could not).

For more information, see Employment Certification

Conflict of Interest Forms for Grants and Contracts Updated

The Conflict of Interest forms in IAR have been revised as follows:

  • The Non-Federal forms will be updated to cover individuals who are federal employees but who are not serving as such.
  • The Federal forms will be updated to include federal employees (non-HHS and HHS).
December 7, 2023

A new ClosedDelete Critique/Score screen has been updated as part of a required technology upgrade. The upgrade also enhances the security and stability of the module. The capabilities remain the same.

Delete Critique/Score screen

Reviewers can delete their own critiques only during the Submit phase of the meeting.

NOTE: Deleting critiques is permanent and cannot be undone.

See Deleting Scores and Critiques for more information.

October 31, 2023

Required Review Integrity and Bias Awareness Training

Reviewers are required to complete two training modules prior to accessing their assigned applications in IAR. This requirement is effective in early 2024 and beyond. Reviewers who have not completed these trainings cannot access their applications for the early 2024 meetings. See NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-23-156.

Before accessing the training portal, reviewers will need to have completed the process of logging into eRA Commons with their Login.gov credentials and associating their Login.gov credentials with their eRA Commons username and password (a one-time association). Using Login.gov's two-factor authentication system is required for accessing IAR.

For more detailed information, see Accessing IAR

August 8, 2023

New Language has been added to the confidentiality agreement in IAR prohibiting the use of AI technologies in the peer review process. The Confidentiality Statement will include a new sentence emphasizing that reviewers should not use generative artificial technologies for NIH peer review except as authorized by the scientific review officer or other designated NIH official (as outlined in NIH Guide Notice NOT-OD-23-149).

The Confidentiality Statement includes this new language, whereby reviewers must agree:

  • Not to upload or share content or original concepts from grant applications, R&D Contract proposals, critiques, or any other associated confidential meeting information with any unapproved third-party platforms, including generative artificial intelligence technologies, except as authorized by the DFO or other designated NIH official.

The revised statement is limited only to NIH and Other Transaction (OT) review meetings.

There are no changes to the process by which a reviewer certifies the confidentiality statement or to how reviewers indicate whether or not they are a federally registered lobbyist — the two steps reviewers are required to take before gaining access to a review meeting.

March 25, 2023

To make terminology more inclusive of funding instruments that are not grants, the label ‘grant number’ will be renamed as ‘application number’ on certain screens in the Internet Assisted Review (IAR) module. In the same vein, the ‘RFA/PA’ label will be renamed as ‘opportunity number.’ The latter is in keeping with the recent change of Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), to standardize terminology across the federal government

In cases where the grant number and RFA/PA are present on an IAR screen, then they will be relabeled as Application Number (Opportunity Number).

Portion of the List of Applications screen showing Grant number label changed to Application Number (Opportunity Number)

IAR Screens (for reviewers) to see this change:

  1. List of Applications
  2. VM List of Applications
  3. Final Score Sheet
April 13, 2023

IAR has been updated through the module with new screens to meet new user interface (UI) requirements and improved security. Functionality remains nearly the same with the exception of the new UI capabilities.

The following screen have been updated to meet the new requirements:

  • List of Meetings Screen
  • List of My Assigned Applications Screen
  • View Access Code for Downloads Screen

Reviewers will use the three-dot ellipses icon to access available actions through the various screens.

See Navigating and Using the UI in eRA Modules for more information.