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Peer Review Meeting Process


  • Introductions/Thanks
  • Review AHA Policies
    • Conflict of Interest
    • Statement on Inclusiveness
    • Ethics Policy
    • Guiding Values
    • Research Enterprise Essential Elements
  • Timeframe (meals, breaks, projected ending time)
  • Use of the full range of scores - Initial Scores Histogram
  • Method used for percentile ranking
  • Timing for presenting/discussing applications, using peer review criteria specific to each program
  • AHA staff explains use of Grants@Heart (G@H) for the meeting

Streamlining Process

  • Members view in Grants@Heart a list of applications that received at least one reviewer’s recommendation to streamline. Only scientific reviewers may recommend streamlining as a preliminary score; lay reviewers do not have this option.
    • Streamlining information is confidential and is not to be discussed outside of the committee meeting.
    • Members in conflict with an application slated for streamlining must abstain from commenting on the application.
    • The committee chair reads the title and application number of one application at a time, and ask if any scientific member wishes to "save" an application for full discussion.  A vocal indication or a raised hand is sufficient.
    • Saved applications will be automatically moved by Grants@Heart to the review list for discussion during the meeting. A lay reviewer may not remove an application from the streamline list.
    • A reason for moving an application from the streamlining list is not discussed at this time.
  • Review, Critique and Score Applications
    • Staff person reviews program description and peer review criteria for each program prior to reviewing applications for that category.
    • Chairperson announces the application number, title, applicant name and institution.
    • Members with conflicts of interest must leave the room; on teleconference meetings, members with conflicts of interest are placed in a sub-conference where they cannot hear discussion.
    • The assigned reviewers, reader are announced, and each states his/her recommended score range.
    • The primary reviewer presents a full summary of the proposal and his/her critique of the application.
    • The secondary reviewer presents points that were not covered by the primary reviewer.
    • The reader gives his her opinion of the primary and secondary reviewers' analyses.
    • The lay reviewer evaluates the potential impact of the application on the mission of the AHA.
    • Full committee discusses the proposal; conflicting opinions are adequately discussed.
    • Primary and secondary reviewers and reader state their final individual priority score.
    • The secondary reviewer is responsible for recording discussion points that are not included in the reviewers’ critiques, and adds it to his/her critique in Grants@Heart.
    • All members, prompted by the meeting coordinator, enter a numeric score in Grants@Heart.
    • 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.
  • Concerns
    • The primary and secondary reviewers comment on any budgetary or policy concerns that should be raised for discussion.
    • The meeting coordinator enters concerns into Grants@Heart.
    • A majority vote is required to flag an application, and a note is entered by the meeting coordinator in the Grants@Heart.
    • Following discussion, applications are considered approved, unless there is a unanimous vote of those present for disapproval.

All committee discussions and scores are confidential.
Reviewers are asked to destroy any printed or electronic peer review materials.