News Release

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Alice Clark to receive outstanding reviewer award by NIH Center for Scientific Review

The Center for Scientific Review (CSR) at the National Institutes of Health has named Dr. Alice Clark of The University of Mississippi the 2010 winner of its top honor for extraordinary commitment to peer review. Dr. Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs and F.A.P Barnard Distinguished Professor of Pharmacognosy, will receive the 2010 Marcy Speer Outstanding Reviewer Award, which highlights the vital contributions of CSR reviewers who evaluate NIH grant applications.

In an average year, about 17,000 reviewers volunteer approximately 150,000 days to assess the scientific merit of the applications assigned to CSR. Their scientific evaluations help NIH invest about 85 percent of its budget in the most promising research grants, paving the path to biomedical breakthroughs that improve public health and save lives.

"With her wonderful enthusiasm and passion for rigor and fairness, Dr. Clark personifies all that's great about our reviewers," said CSR Director Dr. Toni Scarpa. He noted that Dr. Clark was nominated by four CSR scientific review officers, three NIH program officers and three fellow reviewers. They called her the "chair of chairs,"for her exceptionally "fair, efficient and collegial" way of running meetings.

During Dr. Clark's 20 years of service, she participated in 63 reviews, including those as a regular reviewer and chair for the AIDS and Related Research Study Section and the Drug Discovery and Mechanisms of Antimicrobial Resistance Study Section. She also was a regular member of the Bio-Organic and Natural Products Chemistry Study Section and has served on multiple special emphasis panels.

Dr. Clark will receive her award at the next CSR advisory committee meeting in early 2011 in Bethesda, Md.

The Marcy Speer Award recognizes scientists who demonstrate extraordinary commitment to CSR peer review groups making it possible for NIH to fund the best applications, and, ultimately, improve public health. The award's namesake exemplified this commitment by showing unwavering passion and commitment to science and NIH peer review as she battled cancer.

The next nomination deadline is Apr. 18, 2011. More information on the Marcy Speer Award is available at CSR organizes the peer review groups that evaluate the majority of grant applications submitted to NIH. These groups include experienced and respected researchers from across the country and abroad. Since 1946, CSR's mission has been to see that NIH grant applications receive fair, independent, expert, and timely reviews — free from inappropriate influences — so NIH can fund the most promising research. CSR also receives all incoming applications and assigns them to the NIH institutes and centers that fund grants. For more information, go to or phone 301-435-1111.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health®