APA Request for Study Section Training Candidates

Dear Division Leaders:

Staff of the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) are asking that APA suggest candidates to undergo training for future service on NIH peer review panels. OBSSR developed a model training program at the request of APA and other behavioral and social science organizations to help scientists develop a culture of service and cooperation desirable in service on study sections. (The request was made in response to the often-heard comment that psychologists and other social scientists savage each other's proposals in scientific review). See attachment for our original letter.

What OBSSR Needs From Us

... a new training program for behavioral and social science study section reviewers has been developed by NIH's Office for Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR), in conjunction with the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR). The pilot training session was last summer, and NIH is now starting to plan the next session. OBSSR has contacted COSSA [this is the Consortium of Social Sciences Associations, of which APA is a member] because CSR has expressed a willingness to open both the training and the review process to nominations from behavioral and social science research professional organizations for some of the positions. CSR is interested in receiving appropriately vetted nominations for potential membership on their study sections. OBSSR has asked the professional organizations to each vet a short list of 2-10 potential reviewers for the study sections that review behavioral and social science applications at NIH. Some of these nominees may also be considered as candidates for the summer training session.


CSR considers as strong candidates researchers who are:

  • associate professors and above,

  • and/ or people with success in getting NIH (or NSF) funding for an RO1 grant.
    If you have any questions, please contact Pat Kobor in the APA Public Policy Office.

If you have any questions, please contact Pat Kobor in the APA Public Policy Office