What is the timeline for the MSS?

Investigators intending to apply for clinical and translational K, F, or R grants for February or June NIH cycles must submit a Letter of Intent (template) ~ 2 months prior to the MSS meeting. Investigators are encouraged to submit their LOI as soon as they are committed to a specific cycle so that they can focus attention on preparation of the grant. Note that the LOI is an administrative planning document to facilitate scheduling and is not scientifically reviewed by the Study Section. Request review by completing the REDCap Letter of Intent materials.


NIH Deadline

LOI deadline*

Grant material deadline*

NIH Mock Study Section


February 2020


30, 2019

November 4, 2019

December 4, 2019

* materials must be submitted by provided link when LOI is accepted; due 5 PM CT

Grant materials are due roughly 1 month before the MSS to allow time for in-depth review by members of the Study Section and preparation of review materials. Applicants can expect to receive the Summary Statement feedback about 5 weeks prior to the NIH deadline.

Are Mock Study Sections offered only for NIH grant applications?

The Mock Study Section program and guidelines focus on NIH grant applications because they are the most familiar to investigators and reviewers at the ICTS. However, the intent is to be as flexible as possible to accommodate review of applications to other federal (e.g., DoD, NSF) and private (e.g., foundations) funding agencies as well. For funding agencies for which the Mock Study Section faculty organizers and support staff are less familiar with the peer review process, we will strive to arrange for a review that mirrors the funding agency’s process as closely as possible.

What if I can’t make these deadlines and my need for scientific review falls off-cycle?

The Research Development Program also offers opportunities for project development and mock study section-like review through the Research Forum (RF) Program. RF sessions are interactive, round table discussions that center on questions and issues raised by the investigator from project design to draft grant review. Unlike the NIH MSS, the RF sessions are give-and-take and constructive opportunities for intensive grant review where the investigator can ask directed questions and seek guidance from the review team or panel. RF sessions last ~1 hour, and RF Teams are available to meet with investigators on a monthly basis.

Research Forums are offered in RF Child Health, RF Medical Health Sciences, Precision Medicine and Community Engagement Studios.