Monday, December 29, 2008

Criteria for review of pre-applications to CIRM

Pre-Application Review Process for Basic Biology RFA, CIRM, Agenda Item # 4, ICOC Teleconference Meeting, December 23, 2008 [PDF]. Excerpts:
The ICOC, at its most recent meeting, considered a proposal from CIRM staff to introduce a pre-application review process, on a trial basis, for use in the upcoming Basic Biology I & II and Disease Team RFAs.
Proposal: Criteria for Review of Pre-Applications

Pre-application review will focus on the essential aspects of the scientific proposal, without requiring Principal Investigators (PIs) to finalize or describe detailed research plans, budgets, collaborations or personnel. This review will consider a subset of the standard GWG criteria, tailored to the level of information we will seek in the preapplication:
1. Impact and Significance. Whether and to what extent the proposed research: addresses an important problem; significantly moves the field forward, either scientifically or medically; moves the research closer to therapy; and changes the thinking or experimental or medical practice in the field.

2. Innovation. Whether and to what extent the research approach is original, breaks new ground, and brings novel ideas, technologies or strategies to bear on an important problem.

3. Feasibility. Whether and to what extent the aims of the research can be reasonably achieved in the specified timeframe of the award.

4. Responsiveness to RFA. Whether and to what extent the proposed research project or activity adequately and appropriately addresses the goals and objectives presented in the RFA.
CIRM science staff and outside scientific specialists will apply these standard criteria. As with the criteria for GWG review of full applications, science officers will prepare guidelines that describe how these criteria apply to the concept for a specific RFA. These guidelines will be published as part of the RFA, so that PIs can address them in their preapplications.
Note that these criteria will be applied to the Disease Team RFAs.

See also: Stem cell board fails to muster quorum, skips cash request, John M Simpson, Consumer Watchdog, December 24, 2008. Excerpt:
The stem cell agency's staff had to report on the criteria they'll use in the pre-review process. They did and it's outlined here.
For a relevant previous post, see: CIRM/CSCC Joint Announcement: Disease Teams Awards, Cancer Stem Cell News, October 23, 2008.

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