I don’t know when this* appeared by I noticed the following is placed prominently on the CSR website pages for each standing study section.
If you click through the “Learn More” link, it takes you to a page which states:
For issues related to respectful interactions, bias or anything else that could affect the fairness of the review process, contact your SRO or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org, which will reach CSR senior leadership.https://public.csr.nih.gov/ForReviewers/MeetingOverview/IntegrityInReview
As we well know, there are endless sources of suspected bias which affect the fairness of review. Just on the Environment criterion alone we have institutional type (R1/Rnot1), hard/soft money appointments, ZIP code and the like.
We have suspected bias against women or Asian PIs. We have well documented bias against Black PIs and their preferred research topics. We have general agreement there is a bias against newer, younger and/or less well grant-experienced investigators.
And around the campfire we have continual accusations about personal biases against individual PIs, against specific research topics or subdomains, against perceived topic outsiders, etc, etc.
Inevitably these suspicions of bias come with accusations about unfair biases in favor of those perceived to have an advantage.
The more categorical ones come with a backlash set of accusations from those who have a traditional advantage in their favor (see Nakamura et al 2021 for which PI’s scores are impacted by blind review) going on about reverse discrimination type bias.
I am not sure the CSR of NIH has really considered what providing an email address to complain about unfair bias of review, with a promise that they will all be reviewed by “CSR senior leadership”, may bring them.
I sure would like to see those complaints though.
*This specific banner is different from the one I first noticed yesterday.