Individuals identified by a funding agency to review grant proposals, based on their expertise in a particular funding area. Panels (sometimes called review panels) can be single session ( i.e., new members are identified each time a competition is held) or standing ( i.e., the same individuals are on the panel over an extended period of time). Institute of Education Sciences (IES) frequently makes use of standing panels.
Selection of Panel Members
Institute of Education Sciences,
Procedures for Peer Review of Grant Applications
January 24, 2006
The Institute identifies highly qualified potential reviewers who have the scientific expertise to evaluate the proposals on the criteria listed in the Request for Applications. Potential reviewers are identified primarily on the basis of quality of the research they have conducted and published in scientific peer-reviewed journals and the degree to which they are an in-depth expert in the research methods and subject matter that are relevant to the applications dealt with by any given panel. The diversity that individuals will bring to a panel on disciplinary, institutional, and other dimensions is also considered. The Institute uses 3 types of reviewers on its panels: principal panel members, rotating panel members, and ad hoc panel members.
Principal panel member. Principal panel members serve 1 to 3 year terms on a review panel or until the specific research grant competition assigned to the panel is discontinued. Only standing panels (see below) have principal panel members. The Director reviews and approves all appointments of principal panel members.
For a particular panel review meeting, the Institute may assign a principal panel member to serve on an alternate peer review panel as a principal panel member rather than on the principal panel member’s regular panel. Such actions would occur, for example, if the scientist’s expertise were needed on the alternate panel for that meeting.
Rotating panel member. Rotating panel members are appointed to a particular panel (standing panel or single session panel) for one review session and serve as full members of the panel, receiving a full assignment of applications to review, attending the panel review meeting, and scoring all applications considered by the panel except those for which the individual has a conflict of interest.
Ad hoc panel member. Ad hoc panel members are appointed to a particular panel (standing panel or single session panel) for one review session and are typically assigned 2 to 4 applications to review. Ad hoc panel members participate in the full panel review meeting on those applications for which they served as a primary reviewer. They do not participate in and are not present for the discussion and scoring of any application for which they were not a primary reviewer. Their participation is typically via teleconference. Ad hoc reviewers are recruited when the number of applications received is greater than what a panel can efficiently handle or when particular expertise is needed for a specific application.