Thursday, August 25, 2011

Researcher Alert – Stem Cell Agency Alters Review Procedures on Big Ticket Grants

The California stem cell agency today made major changes in grant review procedures for its key clinical trial and disease team rounds in an effort to improve decision-making and ultimately enhance the results of the research.

On a voice vote, the CIRM board voted unanimously to engage potential applicants earlier in the review process and to give them an opportunity to respond to key issues ahead of the formal review by the CIRM grant review group.

CIRM Director Os Steward of UC Irvine described the changes as an "extraordinary way to get it right." Director Claire Pomeroy, dean of the UC Davis School of Medicine, said the new procedures were an innovation that may be of great interest to other grant-making institutions. .

Under the changes, CIRM will hold a Q&A session with applicants in advance of submission of applications. After an initial evaluation, applicants will be provided key questions posed by reviewers that applicants can respond to prior to the final peer review.

During the final meeting of the grant review group, applicants would be asked to be available to respond by phone to any "pivotal questions" that arise. The process also would allow reviewers to defer an application for receipt of additional information.

The staff memo on the changes said the new procedures will provide "an additional level of certainty and a stronger foundation for making fully informed recommendations regarding the funding of these clinically applicable studies." Sphere: Related Content

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