National Institutes of Health appoints Freyman chair for Auditory System Study Section

University of Massachusetts Communication Disorders faculty Richard Freyman

Richard Freyman
in the anechoic chamber
at UMass Amherst

August 29, 2016

Richard Freyman, Professor of Communication Disorders, was recently appointed chair for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Auditory System Study Section (AUD). The study section is a panel that reviews grants submitted to the NIH by health researchers around the US for projects examining auditory system function and disorders. Freyman has been a member of the panel for three years prior to his recent appointment to chair.

“Members are selected on the basis of their demonstrated competence and achievement in their scientific discipline as evidenced by the quality of research accomplishments, publications in scientific journals, and other significant scientific activities, achievements and honors,” writes Richard Nakamura of the NIH Center for Scientific Review. Freyman is an expert in speech perception in noisy places like restaurants and other crowded and busy spaces.

“Our job is to review the grant scientifically, assess the potential impact and likelihood of success of the proposed research, and to give it a numerical score,” explains Freyman.

“One of the problems for panel members is that although many of the grant applications come from accomplished scientists proposing high-impact research, only a relatively small percentage can receive the top scores that will likely lead to funding,” he says.

“To a significant extent study section members are influencing what science and which scientists are supported by the federal government. The chair works with the Scientific Review Officer and the panel to make sure each grant gets a fair review: setting the tone for the meeting, moderating the discussion of each application, and summarizing the results of the discussion,” Freyman adds.

The first meeting of AUD with Freyman as chair will take place during October 2016 in Washington, DC.