Occasionally we get this question: “I have participated in the peer review process, how do I know if I am eligible for Continous Submission?” Well, to answer that question effectively, let me review what the peer review process is and why that makes some people eligible for this perk called Continuous Submission.
NIH evaluates applications by a dual peer review process as mandated by statute, in accordance with section 492 of the Public Health Service Act and federal regulations governing "Scientific Peer Review of Research Grant Applications and Research and Development Contract Projects."
The first level of review is carried out by a Scientific Review Group (SRG) composed primarily of non-federal scientists who have expertise in relevant scientific disciplines and current research areas. The second level of review is performed by Institute and Center (IC) National Advisory Councils or Boards. Councils are composed of both scientific and public representatives chosen for their expertise, interest, or activity in matters related to health and disease.
As a way of recognizing their service to NIH, reviewers with substantial review service are permitted to submit their research grant applications (R01, R21, or R34) on a continuous basis and to have those applications undergo initial peer review in a timely manner. This process is referred to as Continuous Submission and applies to those peer reviewers with recent substantial service (six times in 18 months).
It is important to note that the Continuous Submission option ONLY applies to the R01, R21, and R34 Activity Codes and ONLY to FOAs using those activities with standard submission dates.