Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute
Translating Science into Solutions for Better Health

Review Process

Proposals are reviewed using a dual review system similar to that used by NIH.

NIH-Style Peer Review

500+ Reviewers

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Review Committee Assignments

Review Committees

Subject-specific

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Reviewer Assignments

Review Criteria

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NIH Scoring System

Funding Decisions

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Pilot Funding Steering Committee

Selected For Award

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Funding Announcement

Not Selected For Award

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Resubmission Process

NIH-Style Peer Review

Applications are assigned to a subject-specific review committee based on proposal content.

Review Committees

Applications are distributed to review committee Chairs for further assignment to reviewers.

Review assignments are circulated to reviewers along with RFA information, scoring tools, customized feedback templates, guidelines, and instructions on submitting reviews and scores.

All proposals are reviewed by at least two individuals with expertise in a closely related, appropriate field.

Reviewers have four weeks to complete review assignments.

Review Criteria

Proposals are scored using the NIH scoring system according to the criteria listed in each RFA.

Impact Score Descriptor Additional Guidance on Strengths/Weaknesses
High 1 Exceptional Exceptionally strong with essentially no weaknesses
2 Outstanding Exceptionally strong with negligible weaknesses
3 Excellent Very strong with only some minor weaknesses
Medium 4 Very Good Strong but with numerous minor weaknesses
5 Good Strong but with at least one moderate weakness
6 Satisfactory Some strengths but also some moderate weaknesses
Low 7 Fair Some strengths but with at least one major weakness
8 Marginal A few strengths and a few major weaknesses
9 Poor Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses
Minor Weakness: An easily addressable weakness that does not substantially lessen impact
Moderate Weakness: A weakness that lessens impact
Major Weakness: A weakness that severely limits impact

Funding Decisions

Review committee meetings are scheduled for each cycle and are led by the review committee Chair with the primary reviewer introducing each application.

The review committee Chair may decide based on initial score distribution to triage proposals and discuss only the most competitive at the meeting.

Reviewers are given an opportunity to request a triaged proposal be discussed if he/she feels there is a compelling reason to do so.

Review committee comments, rankings and scores are presented to the Pilot Funding Steering Committee for discussion and final funding decision.

Selected for Award

Funding decisions are announced with reviews and feedback provided to the submitting PI.

Awardees receive one-on-one navigation to their award by the Pilot Funding program to ensure compliance, appropriate funds management, and outcomes tracking.

Not Selected for Award

All applicants receive feedback on their application.

Up to two resubmissions of the same proposal are allowed. “1st Resubmission” or “2nd Resubmission” should be noted in the electronic application form and uploaded proposal. Include 1-2 additional pages to address the issues raised in the review and highlight any changes to your proposal. A new letter of support from the Chair is not required if the resubmission is within two cycles.