How We Review Our Applications

The Foundation uses science advisory committees to rigorously review the scientific merit of all applications submitted for research funding.  The committees are composed of individuals with expertise from a wide range of clinical disciplines, public health, and research methods. Written feedback from reviewers is sent to all applicants.

In general, a standing review committee is used and three reviewers are assigned to each application.  Each reviewer presents their critique at the review meeting and, following a discussion by the full committee, committee members score the application.  We have estimated that every application to the program receives approximately 15 person-hours of review by the assigned reviewers prior to the meeting and by the entire committee during the meeting.

Occasionally, the Foundation encounters opportunities to support meritorious research that is outside existing program categories. In these instances, the application is reviewed by individuals who have been specifically chosen because of their expertise in the content and methods that are proposed in the application. As far as is possible, the process for evaluating the application by the assigned experts will be done in a manner that is similar to that used by the Foundation’s standing review committee.

The R3 grant program, which is designed to promote knowledge created from previously reviewed and funded Donaghue research grants, uses the expertise of the R3 Advisory Committee members who focus on the future use of the intervention previously tested.

In all cases, decisions regarding grant awards are made by the Foundation Trustees after considering the committees recommendations.