AIBS SPARS organizes expert peer reviews of research proposals and progress reports. The goal of this peer review work is to provide agencies with independent, impartial scientific and technical merit assessments upon which to base funding decisions. We believe that the peer review process leads not only to better scientific results, but also to the best use of research resources. Funding agencies that make awards based on the results of peer review can assure taxpayers and donors that their dollars are well-spent.
AIBS SPARS provides a full range of peer review services, depending upon the needs of the client. For some of our clients, we function as an extension of their in-house staff, assisting with the process from research topic conception and issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP), to delivery of review critiques and notification of funding (what we do not do is make funding decisions - that is always up to the funding agency itself). For other clients, our role is centered on convening review panel meetings, facilitating the review, and presenting the results to the funding agency. Once projects are funded, we also facilitate regular progress reviews. Depending on specific needs of the client, reviews may be large or small, and might involve a panel meeting or be conducted by mail and/or teleconference
Specific services include, but are not limited to:
We handle all sizes of reviews, from several proposals or progress reports to several hundred. Examples of our peer review work are presented below.
Since 1998, AIBS SPARS has been responsible for the peer review of intramural proposals received by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command (USAMRMC) Military Infectious Diseases Research Program (MIDRP). In 2006, AIBS facilitated the review of over 100 proposals and over 200 status reports.
For the most recent reviews, proposals were hosted on a panel-specific, password-protected Web site to enable rapid dissemination to reviewers. AIBS facilitated review panel meetings, during which proposals were scored and assessed by the reviewers. Proposal critiques were edited, given a quality assurance check, and delivered to the MIDRP staff within 9 weeks of proposal receipt. Beginning in 2003, draft critiques were delivered to the MIDRP staff prior to the panel meetings, to better facilitate discussions of the proposed research between the principal investigators and reviewers at the panel meetings.
|Program||Military Infectious Diseases Research Program - 2006|
|Peer Review Panels Convened||7|
|Critiques Delivered to USAMRMC||Within 9 weeks of proposal receipt|
AIBS SPARS also conducts peer review for the USAMRMC's Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program (PRMRP), a component of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (formerly the Defense Health Research Program). In 2006, 637 research proposals were reviewed at a series of panel meetings involving 22 peer review panels, with an additional 12 proposals reviewed by mail and teleconference. To meet the client's specific needs, critique generation of favorably scored proposals was expedited, and critiques were delivered within 7 weeks of the panel meetings. The most highly rated proposal critiques were delivered within 4 weeks.
|Program||Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program - 2006|
|Research Projects Reviewed||649|
|Peer Review Panels Convened||22, plus 12 teleconference/mail reviews|
|Critiques Delivered to USAMRMC||Staggered delivery. All critiques delivered within 7 weeks.|
Since FAMRI's inception, AIBS SPARS has provided peer review and related support services to the Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI), which sponsors scientific and medical research for the early detection, prevention, treatment and cure of diseases and medical conditions caused from exposure to tobacco smoke.
In 2006, AIBS SPARS held a panel meeting in the Washington, DC area. Five peer review panels were convened to review 200 research proposals and 12 renewal applications. FAMRI continues to express great satisfaction with the services provided by AIBS SPARS.
|Program||Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute|
|Peer Review Panels Convened||5|
|Critiques Delivered to FAMRI||Within 2 months of panel meetings|
|Program||Neurotoxin Exposure Treatment Research Program (NETRP)|
|Peer Review Panels Convened||5|
|Critiques Delivered to FAMRI||Within 1 month of on-site meeting|
The Technologies for Metabolic Monitoring (TMM) program includes the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, NASA, and NIH/NIDDK. The Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) of the USAMRMC funding decisions were made with input from the AIBS critiques, which were key factors in the decision-making process. AIBS provided the critiques in the very short time frame required by MOMRP.The Technologies for Metabolic Monitoring (TMM) program includes the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, NASA, and NIH/NIDDK. The Military Operational Medicine Research Program (MOMRP) of the USAMRMC funding decisions were made with input from the AIBS critiques, which were key factors in the decision-making process. AIBS provided the critiques in the very short time frame required by MOMRP.
|Program||Technologies for Metabolic Monitoring|
|Peer Review Panels Convened||1|
|Critiques Delivered to USAMRMC||One month after the Panel review meeting|
|Panel Area||Glucose monitoring technology: solving technological barriers to the rapid development of next generation minimally invasive devices for long term monitoring of key metabolic markers such as glucose, lactate, and fatty acids; managing tissue responses to implanted sensors; improved algorithms for closed loop glucose management; strategies to overcome skin barrier properties and physiology affecting through-skin measurements; approaches to improve sensor analyte response characteristics including sensitivity and specificity; novel approaches to integrated sensor and signal responses for more efficient biosensors; physiological data relating analyte measurements in various tissue compartments to blood glucose management and/or acute physiological responses (e.g., neuroglycopenia).|
Depending on client preferences and the nature of the review, research proposal and progress report reviews are sometimes accomplished by mail (combined with teleconferences, as needed), rather than an in-person panel meeting.