Priority scores range from 10 (best) to 90 (worst). Applications with low (good) scores are considered more meritorious and have a higher chance of getting funded. Except for a handful of programs that are funded through fixed set-aside funds, NIA considers our overall budget each fiscal year and conditionally sets pay lines throughout the fiscal year.
NIA expects to fund most applications that receive a score at or below (better than) the pay line. However, when scientific concerns are identified in peer review that weaken the case for making an award, a resubmission of the application may be the most effective solution. Similarly, NIA may support a few applications that score beyond the pay lines when those applications focus on high scientific priorities of the Institute. To understand how priority scores impact your funding chances, please refer to the full NIA blog post.