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Grant Review Committee Operating Paper


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 approval or disapproval of such proposals. If approved, the proposals are ranked in order of priority for School of Medicine funding. Rank is based solely on scientific merit.


The GRC is composed of at least twenty-two (22) voting members and one (1) ex-officio member (Associate Dean for Research). Members of the GRC are nominated by the Committee on Committees 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. New appointments of approximately no more than one-third of the members of the committee should be made on an annual basis in order to assure continuity of service. The committee is to be composed of approximately equal numbers of M.D.'s and Ph.D.'s with representation from basic and clinical science departments and one (1) from either the Department of Medical Education, Department of Medical Humanities, or Statistics and Research Consulting. Within the three constituencies consideration should be given to achieving a balanced representation of disciplines in the context of research activities with the intent of adequately reviewing varying types of research proposals. Deans, associate deans, departmental chairmen, and heads of tenure units will not be eligible for membership.

In conjunction with recommendations from the GRC, the Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the GRC are nominated for a three-year term by the Committee on Committees, subject to confirmation by the Dean and Provost. The Chairperson is responsible for chairing the research proposal review meetings; serving as one (1) of five (5) members of the GRC Allocations Group; serving as an ex-officio member of the Research Policy Committee; and representing the GRC at other appropriate meetings. If he/she is unable to attend, the Vice-Chair shall serve as Acting Chair.

Functioning of the GRC

The GRC meets at least twice annually, and more often if needed, for the purpose of reviewing all research proposals submitted by unestablished (not served as principal investigator on external grant; and/or less than 3 years of GRC support; and/or less than 5 years of research experience) and established investigators for consideration of School of Medicine funding. The review process includes reading out loud the written critiques submitted by the one (1) primary and two (2) secondary reviewers; discussing each proposal at length, including making budgetary recommendations as necessary; voting to approve or disapprove each proposal; for those proposals receiving a majority vote of approval, providing a scientific merit score, by secret ballot, based on the scoring system of 1.0 to 5.0; and providing any additional input on each proposal to forward to the GRC Allocations Group for consideration.

The GRC members are responsible for serving as a primary or secondary reviewer for all those proposals assigned to them by the GRC Chair. Each proposal is also assigned a secondary reviewer external to the committee.

The GRC members are responsible for providing preliminary review of proposals submitted by unestablished investigators two (2) months in advance of the regularly established GRC deadline. This process enables unestablished investigators to benefit from the GRC's preliminary comments and recommendations in order to revise their research proposals based on these recommendations. The revised proposals are resubmitted for the regularly established GRC deadline. The goal is to enable unestablished investigator proposals to be competitive with those submitted by established investigators.

Domains of Interest

The function of the GRC will include: (1) scientific merit review of research proposals submitted for School of Medicine funding; (2) scientific merit review of research protocols submitted to the Springfield Committee for Research Involving Human Subjects or the Laboratory Animal Care and Use Committee if requested by either of these committees.