NIH has established general criteria for evaluating an application that apply to all grants. They are:

  • Significance
  • Investigator(s)
  • Innovation
  • Approach
  • Environment

The importance assigned to each criterion varies depending on the funding mechanism and program area. For example, innovation is not a requirement of resource grants. Each funding opportunity announcement lists the criteria that will be used to judge the merit of applications. See Review Criteria for Research Grants and Cooperative Agreements for more about the NIH review criteria.