The first study section rounds that are obliged to grapple with the new SABV policy are upon us.
SROs are instructing panels and issuing grant assignments to reviewers.
If you are reviewing, what are your thoughts?
Me, I see more of the entirely predictable ahead- people ignoring it (or accepting thin excuses for not studying both sexes, in reality) or brandishing it as a cudgel in highly variable fashion. I'm cynical, perhaps unduly so, eh?
The opportunity to beat a panel into better agreement will come far too late for most applications. There is no way that guilt over consistency will drag the triaged apps up for discussion.
I still seek consistency. In my own reviewing and in any panels I serve. I think this a virtue to strive for.
And I think that consideration and discussion of the approach to tricky review issues is the way to advance toward that goal.
I also think that when you accept a reviewer position, you are agreeing to give the NIH what it is requesting, to the best of your ability. If you fight against the SABV push, you are doing it very wrong, IMO.
So....what do you think? How are you approaching the SABV mandate? Now that you have a few examples of how applicants have dealt with it, have you learned anything useful for us to consider?
Open Mike blog on SABV mandate