Proposal Review Criteria for Fiscal Year 2013
Published December 2012
User proposals are peer reviewed against five criteria. For each criterion, the reviewer rates the proposal Extraordinary, Excellent, Good, Fair, or Poor as well as provides detailed comments on the quality of the proposal to support each rating, noting specifically the proposal's strengths and weaknesses.
The reviewer also provides overall comments and recommendations to support the ratings given.
Review Criteria Details
Criterion 1: Scientific merit and quality of the proposed research
Potential Considerations: How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity?
Criterion 2: Qualifications of the proposed research team to achieve proposal goals and contribute to high-impact science
Potential Considerations: Does the proposal team, combined with relevant EMSL staff expertise, possess the breadth of skill/knowledge to successfully perform the proposed research and drive progress in this science area? If successful, would the proposed research deliver high-impact products (for example, be publishable in high-impact journals)?
Note: Impact factors are a measure of the average number of citations per published articles. Journals with higher impact factors reflect a higher average of citations per article and are considered more influential within their scientific field.
EMSL is managed by the Department of Energy's Office of Biological and Environmental Research to provide integrated experimental and computational resources for discovery and technological innovation in the environmental molecular sciences. EMSL supports BER's missions in atmospheric aerosols, feedstocks, global carbon cycling, biogeochemistry, and energy materials. These areas reflect DOE and national priorities to develop sustainable sources of clean energy and chemicals, to control greenhouse gas accumulation in the atmosphere, and to remediate contaminated sites for which DOE has ownership or stewardship responsibilities.
Note: Projects with direct relevance in these areas will have the best chance for selection. Other projects of scientific significance also are welcomed, but the applicant should clearly outline how the project will further a DOE mission or other areas with economic or societal impact.
Potential Considerations: What is the relationship of the proposed research to EMSL's mission? Does the research project significantly advance the mission goals? How well does the project plan represent a unique or innovative application or development of EMSL capabilities?
Criterion 4: Impact of the proposed research on one or more EMSL Science Themes
Potential Considerations: Will the proposed research advance scientific and/or technological understanding of issues pertaining to one or more EMSL Science Themes? To what extent does the proposed research suggest and explore creative and original concepts related to one or more EMSL Science Themes? If the proposal is in response to a Call, how strongly does it relate to the Call's focused topics? Will it advance EMSL along the directions specifically outlined in the Call?
Criterion 5: Appropriateness and reasonableness of the request for EMSL resources for the proposed research
Potential Considerations: Are EMSL capabilities and resources essential to performing this research? Are the proposed methods/approaches optimal for achieving the scientific objectives of the proposal? Are the requested resources reasonable and appropriate for the proposed research? Does the complexity and/or scope of effort justify the duration of the proposed project–including any modifications to EMSL equipment to carry out research? Is the specified work plan practical and achievable for the proposed research project? Is the amount of time requested for each piece of equipment clearly justified and appropriate?
Overall Rating Descriptions
Proposals are scored from 1 to 5, with 5 being highest. The following descriptions are sample statements intended to help distinguish between the different scores within each criterion, but are not intended to constrain the reviewers evaluation or comments.
|Score||Science Merit||Team Qualifications||Mission Impact||Science Theme Relevance||Resource Use||Calibration Summary|
|Innovative research; great impact; will launch new direction or clearly impact outstanding problems in the research field.||Excellent track record in research field; results expected to have high impact.||Direct relevance to BER mission; strong support of DOE mission or significant economic or societal impact; unique or innovative applications of EMSL capabilities.||Excellent fit to Call's focused topics in one or more science themes.||State-of-the-art resources are requested and are essential to perform this research.||Personally advocate for this proposal; ranks within the top 5% of proposals reviewed.|
|Well-conceived, original; strong potential for important contribution to research field.||Strong track record in research field; results likely to have high impact.||Directly addresses DOE mission; broadly addresses BER mission; unique or innovative applications of EMSL capabilities.||Strong fit to the Calls focused topics in at least one science theme.||State-of-the-art resources are requested or would significantly enhance the results.||Highly recommend this proposal; ranks within the top 25% of proposals reviewed.|
|Not groundbreaking but likely to produce significant results.||Solid track record; results likely to have impact.||Broadly supports DOE or national needs.||Does not address Calls focused topics but broadly addresses one or more science themes.||Resources well integrated, although not necessarily using state of the art or unique instrumentation. EMSL would enhance results.||Recommend this proposal, if resources available; ranks within the top 50% of proposals reviewed.|
|Routine study in well-worked area of research||Some expertise but not a strong record in the field; unlikely to have high impact.||Broadly supports DOE or national needs; routine measurements with marginal impact on EMSL resources.||Does not address Call's focused topics but has some link to one of the science themes.||Capabilities marginally enhance results; sufficient results could be achieved with broadly available instrumentation and expertise.||Decline to provide a recommendation.|
|Serious doubts regarding feasibility or potential impact.||Does not have a strong record and uncertain that results would have impact.||Does not support DOE missions and doubtful for high impact on economic or societal needs.||Does not address the Call or fit within the science themes.||There is no evident need for the use of EMSL's unique suite of resources.||Do not recommend.|