When a federal, state or private research funding organization disseminates scientific information or awards grants, it is critical that the proposed information be scientifically feasible and have verifiable technical merit. ORAU manages scientific peer reviews that provide critical, independent assessment of research proposals and program performance to help sponsors determine the quality of research proposals and accuracy of scientific information.
The peer review process involves selecting experts in the same field as the proposals to evaluate, comment, and score proposals based on their knowledge of the subject and understanding of the impact each proposal would make if funded. Focusing on continuing process improvement, research collaborations exist to evaluate the entire peer review process—from planning and reviewer identification to evaluating proposals and implementing improvements. Gaining a better understanding of what motivates reviewer participation can bring insight and greater credibility to peer reviews and program evaluations.