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NIH Council of Councils

The NIH Council of Councils (COC), Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), conducts the legally required second level of review prior to any award made by ORIP. The COC will consider letters of appeal that are based on a defined set of issues such as evidence that the initial review was biased or presented an unrecognized conflict of interest. The second level of review conducted by the COC is not a second scientific review. The COC will never change a priority score assigned by the initial peer review process. The COC will either recommend an application for funding, recommend that an application not be funded, or defer a decision to allow the application to be re-reviewed by the study section. The COC must recommend an application for funding in order for ORIP to make the award. However, the COC does not make the final funding decision. That responsibility lies with the appropriate Division Director in consultation with the ORIP Director. The Council also acts as an external advisory panel to ORIP during the “concept approval” stage of new initiatives. The concept approval stage involves the consideration the relevant programmatic issues after receiving input from multiple sources. For more information about the NIH Council of Councils and its activities, refer to their website.