Funding and Review Challenges for Multiscale Modeling

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Session Description:  Multi-scale modeling is still a relatively new and growing methodology and has many key differences from other more traditional scientific methodologies. As a result, there is a need for new approaches to funding and reviewing multiscale modeling projects. This panel will discuss different aspects of funding and reviewing multiscale modeling projects, the associated challenges, and possible solutions including: 

  • Understanding funding and review strategies at different funding agencies
  • Funding Opportunities - how are they designed, organized, and intended to change the field?
    • Applicant responsibilities
  • Review panels - how are they are chosen, formed, conducted?
  • Reviewer expertise - what is the right balance of expertise and how that is achieved?
    • Reviewer responsibilities

The panel will include Scientific Review Officers (SROs), recent Review Chairs, and IMAG Program Officers involved in funding and review. 


Speaker Bios and Abstracts:

Craig N. Giroux, Ph.D. - current MABS SRO

Shayn Peirce-Cottler, Ph.D. - previous chair on MABS

Colleen E. Clancy Ph.D. - previous MSM chair and current ad-hoc on MABS

Denise Kirschner Ph.D. - previous MSM chair, member and current ad-hoc on MABS

William W. Lytton M.D. -- Special Emphasis panel chair for BRAIN U01, U19, R01 reviews, ad hoc for multiple study sectoins including MABS

Interactive Discussion (please put you name before your comments):


DK- grace can you post the link here for people to register at CSR as a reviewer? also Shayn suggsted we create a MYTH LIST for REVIEWING/WRITING that we make available on the wiki.



I am providing this via the

Your name
Bob Armstrong

I am providing this via the Wiki due to links and details best provided in this format.

I am the President Elect of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) (, and lead the Research & Technology Committee for the National Modeling & Simulation Coalition (NMSC) (  I run the Sim Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.

The NMSC creates an opportunity to capture insight into modeling and simulation needs, challenges, gaps, and issues through annual meetings and continued discussion.  The insights captured are provided, as potential congressional language, to leaders of the Congressional Modeling and Simulation Caucus.  As I'm sure everyone knows, the two main things that Congress does is pass laws and allocate federal resources.  The language provided by the NMSC can be helpful to ensure our Congressional leaders know about opportunities for scientific and commercial progress that may otherwise be lost in the noise. 

I encourage members of IMAG, MSM, and all sim-related or sim-interested organizations and societies to become involved in the NMSC.  Note that the NMSC is not a lobbying organization; it was formed seven years ago to help provide these insights to the Caucus.

This is perhaps one additional way to encourage Federal funding.


Another opportunity to work with a like-minded organization is with the Society for Simulation in Healthcare  

The purpose of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare is to serve a global community of practice enhancing the quality of healthcare. 

SSH seeks to improve performance and reduce errors in patient care through the use of simulation.  Established in 2004 by professionals using simulation for education, testing, and research in health care, SSH membership includes physicians, nurses, allied health and paramedical personnel, researchers, educators and developers from around the globe.  SSH fosters the improvement and application of simulation–based modalities such as human patient simulators, virtual reality, standardized patients and task trainers.  The Society has over 4,000 members, and continues to grow.

Recognizing that simulation represents a paradigm shift in health care education, SSH promotes improvements in simulation technology, educational methods, practitioner assessment, and patient safety that promote better patient care and can improve patient outcome.  There is an opportunity to broaden this focus based upon the needs of the members and relationships with affiliated organizations and societies.

A major venue for advancing simulation in medicine is the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH), which occurs in January, annually.

SSH welcomes ties with other organizations interested in patient simulation as well as companies providing simulation technology.  

Please contact me at if you are interested in discussing how your organization might form a relationship with SSH.

Founding Supporters of SSH:

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:43

Just add what Bob said, in

Your name
Yue Dong

Just add what Bob said, in order to explore M&S beyond education and training.  I founded  Healthcare Systems Modeling & Simulation Affinity Group in 2013.  Our group report link is here.

in Jan 2018, we also had a forum about what M&S application can be used to improve patient safety and care quality. Meeting program is attached. We had an expert panel session regarding funding include AHRQ, NIH,   BTW, three of the four co-chairs at this meeting (myself, Bob and John Rice).  Please talk to us. 

Our groups also run a webinar series on Youtube, I would like to invite you to share your project with us. 

SSH members include physicians, nurses from different specialties and disciplines. Please join us if you would like to find clinical partners to implement the model you developed. 

Please contact me for further discussion.  Thank you! 

Has there been an analysis of

Your name
Jeff Saucerman

Has there been an analysis of which NIH study sections have funded multi-scale modeling grants outside the IMAG MSM consortium? As noted by the panelists, MABS reviews many multi-scale modeling grants, but I'm curious what the distribution looks like more widely.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:00

Model validation came up

Your name
Darren Tyson

Model validation came up again as a topic, but it sounds like there is significant contention in how that is defined and some who feel a model can never truly be "validated." If this contention exists within the modeling community that act as reviewers of proposals, are there any suggestions/guidance as to how this topic should be addressed within a proposal?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:08

Could the panelists discuss

Your name
Patrick Boyle

Could the panelists discuss how potential ethical implications of data collection methods like monitoring teenagers' phone usage (text messages, music choices, etc.) are factored into this research? e.g., if these analysis techniques are shown to be highly effective, how can they be widely implemented in a way that is not seen as highly intrusive.


Submitted by kolbi.harrison on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:10

What is the opinion of the

Your name
Jacob Barhak

What is the opinion of the panel on non blind public review? If regulations would allow it, would any of the panel members will publicly sign on their review as a sign of taking responsibility?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:11

As long as MABS and other

Your name
Jim Sluka

As long as MABS and other modeling focused  review panels are the primary funding route it seems unlikely that modeling will become a mainstream research tool at nih. How do we get modelers on EVERY review panel in EVERY nih institute?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:15

I would extend Jim's comment

Your name
Gary An

I would extend Jim's comment to note that the explanatory burden for an individual reviewer with modeling expertise in a review panel is far greater than that for any other non-modeling savvy reviewer. Often that reviewer needs to explain and/or justify the rationale for dynamic computational modeling as a discipline, just to get to a point where the merits of the particular project can be addressed; a traditional experimentalist does not have to explain the rationale for doing an in vitro or in vivo experiment, or the investigatory workflow for using that system, because the remainder of the panel are experts in that approach (even if not for the specific experimental system). Conversely, there is a cognative gap between the practice of dynamic computaitonal modeling and even a modeling-sympathetic but experience-naive experimental biologist; this gap presents an additional hurdle for informed evaluation of a modeling project, and an additional explanatory burden on the "modeler" member of the review panel.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 21:44

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

This is a comment regarding

Your name
Gary An

This is a comment regarding Dr. Giroux's current statement: The emphasis on disease process/problem/outcome focus by the NIH is a considerable limitation; it prevents the scalability of technological development that address fundamental limtations across the entire domain spectrum of biomedical research. When these methods are necessarily embedded in the context of a particular disease application there is an intrinsic tendency to focus the development of the method to that problem, and limits the applicability of that method across diseases. This is an inefficiency both in terms of how the grants are written as well as the actual development and dissemination of these tools/methods. Computational multiscale modeling, in particular, is a victim of this dynamic. I'm willing to expand at the mic (obviously!)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:20

In fact, this may not be the

Your name
Gary An

In fact, this may not be the appropriate venue, but I would suggest that there be specific calls that emhpasize method development were it is a necesary component that the application cross two disease domains.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 03/07/2019 - 10:23

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