Table 1.

Types of Advisory Committees at the National Institutes of Health and Their Functions

Integrated or initial review group (IRG)Provides the first level of peer review for grant applications and contract proposals
Special emphasis panel (SEP)Like IRGs, provides a first level of peer review. Unlike IRG, has no standing memberships; members are designated to serve for individual meetings rather than appointed for fixed terms
National advisory council or board (NAC)Performs the second level of peer review and offers advice on policy and program development for institutes and centers as well as oversight of intramural research
Board of scientific counselors (BSC)Reviews and evaluates investigators and research programs of intramural laboratories
Program advisory committee (PAC)Provides advice on specific research programs and future research needs and opportunities