Peer Review Meeting Process

Updated:Nov 11,2013


  • Introductions / Thanks
  • Conflict of Interest/Inclusiveness
  • Timeframe / Agenda (meals, breaks)
  • Use of the full range of scores - Initial Scores Histogram
  • Discuss percentiling method
  • Timing for presenting / discussing peer review criteria specific to each program
  • AHA staff discussion of the Grants@Heart (G@H) system meeting module

  Chair will explain the streamlining process to entire committee.

  • Streamlining list will be available to the entire committee for review at the meeting via the G@H system. However, only scientific reviewers may indicate streamline as their preliminary score; the lay reviewer does not have this option since they are only reviewing one aspect of the application. For the same reason, a lay reviewer may not remove an application from the streamline list. During the meeting, this may also be referred to as saving or rescuing the application.
  • The information about the streamlining list is confidential and not to be discussed outside of the committee meeting.
  • Any panel member that is in conflict will be asked to abstain from making any comments about that particular application.
  • Chair will read the list, one application at a time, to see if any scientific member of the panel wants to "save" an application for full discussion.  A vocal indication or a raised hand is sufficient.
  • Saved applications will be automatically moved by the G@H system to the review list for discussion during the meeting.
  • Reason for removing an applicant from the streamlining list is not discussed at this time.

Staff person will review program descriptions and peer review criteria for each program prior to beginning that program.

The AHA staff meeting coordinator will help the chairs move through the meeting process on the G@H system.

Chairperson announces the application (applicant name and title).

  • Members with conflicts of interest are asked to leave the room.

The assigned reviewers and reader are announced and they indicate their recommended score ranges.

The primary reviewer presents a full summary of the proposal and critique.

The secondary reviewer indicates whether he/she agrees with the opinion and presents any new points that were not covered by the primary reviewer.

The reader is asked if he/she agrees with the scoring range and both of the primary reviewers' analyses.

The lay reviewer is asked to evaluate the potential impact of research applications to the mission of the AHA.

Committee discusses the proposal; disagreements need to be adequately discussed.

Primary and secondary reviewers and the reader will be asked to state their final individual priority score.

The secondary reviewer is responsible for recording any important new information and includes it in his/her critique.

All members, prompted by the meeting coordinator, enter a numeric score in the G@H system.

The primary and secondary reviewers are then asked to comment on any budgetary, policy or ethical concerns that should be raised for discussion.

After discussion by the committee, applications will be considered approved unless scientific or ethical disapproval is in order (this action requires a unanimous vote of those present).

The meeting coordinator enters any budget, policy or ethical issues in the G@H system.

A majority vote is required to flag an application, and a note is entered by the meeting coordinator in the G@H system.

Revote: If a variance of 2.0 or more exists between the high and low scores, a revote is required and discussion is reopened.  After discussion, the second vote is entered at the prompting of the meeting coordinator.  This vote is final regardless of any variance.

All committee discussions and scores are confidential information.

Reviewers are asked to leave any notes, papers, or information pertaining to the review process on the tables.  AHA staff will put them in the shredder bins.

Reviewers are also asked to destroy any peer review materials they may have on their computers.

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The Grants@Heart site is a web-based
system for application preparation,
submission, peer review, and awards