Before the review meeting, three members of the review committee review, comment on, and score each proposal. Reviewers comment on and score each part of the proposal separately and also provide an overall comment and score. Scores are from 1 to 9 with 1 being the best possible and 9 the worst. Proposals having the highest scores from the 3 reviewers are discussed and scored by the committee. Usually the top-scoring half of the proposals in each meeting are discussed and scored. After discussion, all committee members provide an overall score, their scores are averaged, and multiplied times 10 to yield an “impact” score, also called a “priority” score.
The parts of the proposal scored are:
- Significance – The problem being solved and its commercial potential
- Investigators – The PI and team
- Innovation – What is new about the product or better than what is already available?
- Approach – The research design and feasibility
- Environment/Facilities – Where will the work be completed/What equipment is available?
- The following are also considered: Commercial potential (phase I), Commercialization plan (Phase II), Quality of milestones (meaningful and measurable), and Human subjects/Vertebrate animals, Biohazards, etc.
The comments and scores are combined in a document called the Summary Statement, which is sent the to PI. Program staff use the impact score (also called the priority score), and comments to make a decision on funding. They also consider other factors, such as the agency’s mission and the need for balance in that agency’s program. Scores from 10 to 30 are most likely to get funded.
Commecialization Plans Count: Even for your Phase I proposal, be sure that your company’s business strategy has a high potential for success.