NIH Staff Office Hours

Sign-ups are not yet available.

Meet one-on-one with NIH staff from various institutes and centers during "office hours" to get your questions answered about NIH programs, policies, and procedures. Office hours are held concurrently with the poster session on Wednesday and Thursday afternoon.


Sign up before the symposium to reserve a 20-minute meeting slot with NIH staff. Some things to know:

  1. HRHR awardees are given the first opportunity to sign up (via email). The sign-ups will then be opened to all registered symposium attendees (via email).
  2. There is a limit of four sign-ups per person. If you need to meet with more NIH staff, you should schedule meetings with them outside of the symposium office hours.
  3. Sign-ups are available until the Monday morning before the symposium begins. On-site sign ups may be possible but are at the discretion of NIH staff and availability is not guaranteed.
  4. NIH staff at the office hours are all volunteers. Please be respectful of their time and keep your appointments.
  5. Not all NIH institutes and centers will be represented at the office hours. The symposium relies on NIH volunteers to staff the office hours.

Making the Most of Your Meeting

  1. Come prepared with questions and topics you wish to discuss. You will lead the discussion.
  2. Try not to schedule back-to-back meetings to give you time for room changes and as a buffer.
  3. If aren't able to get to everything you wanted to, follow up later to continue the discussion. Please keep to your allotted time as a courtesy to others.
  4. The person you want to speak with may not be available, but other NIH staff in similar roles or at the same institute may still be helpful to meet with.
  5. Office hours are meant to familiarize you with the NIH. You may not get the depth of answers you want and will likely need to follow up on your own.
  6. Take advantage of being near the NIH and set up your own meetings with important NIH personnel who may not be at the symposium.

NIH Staff Roles

Key NIH staff that PD/PIs will frequently encounter:

  • Program Officials or Officers (POs) are responsible for the programmatic, scientific, and/or technical aspects of a grant. Program Officers administer grant portfolios, set scientific priorities, advise investigators, and act as an advocate for a science area.
  • Scientific Review Officers (SROs) are responsible for managing peer review meetings and the procedures for evaluating applications assigned to a Scientific Review Group, which is charged with giving expert advice on the scientific and technical merit of applications.
  • Grants Management (GM) Specialists and Officers oversee the business and other non-programmatic aspects of grants, including evaluating grant applications for administrative content and compliance with statutes, regulations, and guidelines; negotiating grants; providing consultation and technical assistance to grantees; and administering grants after award.

This page last reviewed on March 30, 2020