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NIH Rigor & Reproducibility


For applications due on January 25, 2019 or later, the following changes apply:

  • The phrase "scientific premise" will be replaced by "rigor of prior research"
  • Applicants are asked to describe plans to address weaknesses in the rigor of prior research

For further information, see: NOT-OD-18-228 and NOT-OD-18-229

About this Guide

In 2015 NIH released a notice of new requirements on rigor and transparency applicable to grant and contract applications. NOT-OD-16-011 "Implementing Rigor and Transparency in NIH & AHRQ  Research Grant Applications" was released in October 2015, and took effect for most grant and contract submissions on or after January 25, 2016.

The purpose of this guide is to provide a list of University of Arizona resources and services, as well as external resources, to help the UA community address these requirements.

Authors: University of Arizona Libraries (Ahlam Saleh, Fernando Rios, Chris Kollen) and University of Arizona Research Development Services (Jamie Boehmer, Kim Patten)

Resources by NIH Grant Application Area of Focus



Rigor of the Prior Research (formerly "Scientific Premise")

Scientific Premise in NIH Grant Applications (Open Mike Blog, Extramural Nexus)

NIH FAQs- Scientific Premise

University of Arizona HSL librarians for literature search assistance

University of Arizona HSL Library Databases A-Z list

Scientific Rigor (Design)

Scientific Rigor in NIH Grant Applications (Open Mike Blog, Extramural Nexus)

Updates on Addressing Rigor in Your NIH Applications (Open Mike Blog, Extramural Nexus)

Research Methods Resources for Clinical Trial Applications

PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (R.500)

NIH FAQs- Scientific Rigor

Scientific Rigor Examples

UITS Statistical Consulting Team

UAHS & BIO5 Stat Lab

Biological Variables

Methods & Techniques for Integrating Sex into Research (NIH Office of Research on Women's Health)

NIH Policy on Sex as Biological Variable

Reviewers Guidance To Evaluate Sex as a Biological Variable (SABV)

NIH FAQs- Consideration for Relevant Biological Variables, Such as Sex

Studying both sexes: a guiding principle for biomedicine (article)


Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources in NIH Grant Applications (Open Mike Blog, Extramural Nexus)

What are "Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources" That Should Be Addressed In My Application's Authentication Plan? (Extramural Nexus)

Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources (Notice Number: NOT-OD-17-068)

NIH FAQs- Authentication of Key Biological and/or Chemical Resources

Authentication Plan Example

Resource Identification Portal (RRID unique identifiers for organisms, cell lines, antibodies, tools)

Guide to Human Cell Line Authentication (ICLAC)

Cell Line Checklist for Manuscripts and Grant Applications (ICLAC)

University of Arizona Genetics Core Cell Line Authentication Service