Letter from the Trustees
Lynne recently returned from participating in one of PCORI’s merit review in-person meetings. She has been a reviewer for PCORI’s investigator-initiated grant programs for several years. Amy is also involved in the review proposals for the many other organizations that she is involved with for U.S. Trust. Each time we participate in these reviews, it is a reminder of how challenging it is to provide critiques for research proposal that evaluate the importance of the research questions, the appropriateness of the methods, the qualifications of the applicants and the budget.
Participating in the review phase of other organization’s grant programs provides a useful opportunity for Donaghue’s trustees to reflect on how we structure our application reviews. By sitting on the other side of the table for a while, we are reminded of the generous contributions that our reviewers make to our grant program. We can also consider how to provide the best possible process to judge which application should be funded by the foundation and to consider the process from the reviewer’s perspective. Are our instructions for reviewers clear and concise? Do we allow an appropriate amount of time for them to read the applications that are assigned to them and develop a written critique? What are the strengths and drawbacks of an in-person meeting as oppose to one that is held via teleconference?
One of the most important responsibilities that we have is to ensure that the foundation provides a fair and thorough evaluation of the applications that we receive. With a limited amount of funds to provide for awards, there are always more meritorious research proposals than the available funds. With this challenge in mind, we are always looking for the best ways to make these difficult decisions that will fulfill Miss Donaghue’s vision.
Amy R. Lynch, JD
U.S. Trust, Bank of America, Trustee
Lynne Garner, PhD
President and Trustee