Earlier today, NIH issued a notice (NOT-OD-10-128) to explain how the Vertebrate Animal Section (VAS) of a proposal can affect its overall impact score. Specifically, the notice states:
“If the VAS is missing, the application may be deferred. If one or more of the the five required elements are not address, the application’s impact/priority score may be negatively affected.”
The notice also differentiates the roles of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) and NIH Scientific Review Groups (SRG) in the peer review process.