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Grant Review Committee Operating Paper

Purpose

The Grant Review Committee (GRC) serves solely for the purpose of peer reviewing research proposals for scientific merit. It acts as a reviewing agency for internal funding opportunities. The proposals are ranked based soley on scientific merit, which is then shared with the Allocation Committee for consideration of funding through SIU School of Medicine.

Membership

The GRC is composed of at least twenty-two (22) voting members and two (2) non-voting ex-officio members (Associate Dean for Research (ADR) and Director of the Center for Clinical Research).  The GRC Chair may also request an attendance of the Chair of the Research Policy Committee and/or a member of SCRIHS, as appropriate. Members of the GRC are nominated by the Committee on Committees (COC) to a three-year term, subject to confirmation by the Dean and Provost.  Members may be reappointed to the committee at the end of their term, subject to the same confirmation process required of new members. Service beyond two consecutive terms of membership can occur under exceptional circumstances with approval of the Chair and the COC.  New appointments should be no more than one-third of the members of the committee annually in order to ensure continuity of service.

The committee aims to be composed of equivalent numbers of MDs and PhDs with similar representation from basic and clinical science departments and at least one (1) member from Statistics and Research Informatics Core, Center for Clinical Research.  Among these three constituencies, consideration should be given to achieving a balanced representation of research disciplines with the intent of providing thorough review of various categories of research proposals.  Deans, Associate Deans, Department Chairs, and heads of tenure units are not eligible for membership.

In conjunction with recommendations from the members of the GRC, the Chairperson and Vice Chairperson are nominated for a three-year term by the COC, subject to confirmation by the Dean and Provost.  The Chairperson is responsible for chairing the research proposal review meetings; serving as a member of the Allocations Committee; serving as an ex-officio member of the Research Policy Committee; and representing the GRC at other appropriate meetings. If the GRC Chair is unable to attend a GRC or Allocation Committee meeting, the Vice Chair shall serve as Acting Chair.

In the event that additional voting members are needed for individual GRC meetings, the GRC Chair or ADR may request past GRC members to perform the duties of an absent voting member, including, but not limited to serving as a reviewer for proposals, participating in the discussion and evaluation of the proposals, attending GRC meetings, and voting on proposals.

Functioning of the GRCs:

The GRC meets at least twice annually, and more often if needed, for the purpose of reviewing all research proposals submitted through the Office of the ADR for consideration of School of Medicine funding.   

The GRC members are responsible for serving as a reviewer for all those proposals assigned to them by the GRC Chair, including preliminary reviews submitted by unestablished or clinical investigators.  Each proposal may also be assigned a secondary and/or tertiary reviewer, one of which may be external to the committee. All reviews and scores are expected to be submitted to the Chair or Vice Chair by the deadline indicated. Failure to complete review assignments may result in ineligibility for internal grant funding. All voting members present at the GRC meetings are expected to score all proposals for which they are present. Scoring guidelines are based on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) standards (https://grants.nih.gov/grants/policy/review/rev_prep/scoring.htm). Members are expected to recuse themselves for proposals where a conflict of interest exists (see below for details regarding conflicts of interest). All final scores from voting members must fall within ± 1.0 of the range of final revised scores provided by the reviewers, or written justification must be provided for scores outside the range. If only one reviewer is present to provide a final revised score, then ± 2.0 will be used to determine the final score range.

The GRC Chair and ADR may request external reviewers to evaluate applications when it is deemed appropriate.

Conflicts of interest:

GRC members must recuse themselves from discussion of proposals on which they have a direct interest or relationship to persons playing a role in the GRC application. In accordance with NIH guidelines, the presence of a conflict of interest includes individuals that, within the preceding three years has mentored, collaborated with or co-authored any publication(s) with an individual playing a role in the GRC application OR (2) is in current collaboration, or is at any stage of negotiating a collaboration, or is preparing any other grant application(s) or publication(s) with persons playing a role in the GRC application. However, membership in the same department as the Principal Investigator on a proposal is not automatically considered to be a conflict.

In addition, GRC members who are listed as investigators on a proposal will not be eligible to review proposals or attend the review committee meeting for that cycle. However, to maintain their status as an active member of the GRC, members may not be investigators/key personnel on submitted proposals for two consecutive cycles.    

GRC members are expected to maintain complete confidentiality regarding deliberations of the GRC and the contents of submitted proposals. 

January, 2003 version
Revised June, 2011
Revised December 15, 2017