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Capabilities in Scientific Peer Review

ORAU emphasizes Process Integrity in Managing Highly Competitive Scientific Peer Reviews

Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to process integrity, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) realizes that a standardized peer review process can add confidence, as well as a measure of accountability, to program and procurement officials’ decisions. That is why we have developed a comprehensive review program to ensure the quality, value and objectivity of conducting peer reviews.

We have coordinated reviews for the physical sciences, medical and health research, and multiple disciplines related to homeland security. Our top scientific and technical experts offer independent and objective review of scientific information related to:

  • research applications and proposals
  • status reports of ongoing research projects or programs
  • scientific or technical reports or assessments

To learn more about the capabilities behind our recent success, here is our signature six-step process for peer review management:

Plan the Review

ORAU provides customized solutions for designing and managing the peer review process.

Identify the Experts

We identify qualified reviewers in our established professional networks based on our customers’ requirements and preferences.

Conduct the Peer Review

You tell us what you need and we’ll manage the logistics of the peer review to meet those needs.

Manage the Information

In addition to PeerNet, we also provide access to the intellectual and managerial talent of multiple scientific peer review specialists.

Coordinate Workshops

ORAU manages and facilitates workshops and other meetings as an additional means for research discussions.

Implement Improvements

We take pride in finding ways to continuously improve our peer review process in order to make things better and easier for our customers.

Employing Virtual Meetings for Agile and Cost-effective Peer Reviews

When a winter storm paralyzed parts of the U.S. in February 2014, ORAU’s virtual peer review platform was used to support the DOE-SC Advanced Scientific Computing Research 2014 Early Career Review Panel meeting. Treacherous road conditions and more than 3,300 cancelled flights prevented some reviewers from traveling to the meeting. Despite inclement weather, ORAU kept the Washington, D.C.-based panel review on schedule by connecting the stranded panelists virtually from a variety of locations, including Georgia, Utah and Illinois.

In FY14, ORAU hosted more than 600 attendees for peer reviews and other events through the use of more than a dozen virtual meetings, webinars and online reviews. To understand the potential savings, consider that the price tag for a one-day, on-site panel review in Washington, D.C., totals nearly $4,000 per reviewer to attend in person.

For 15 reviewers who participated in just the FY14 panel reviews alone via ORAU’s virtual peer review solution, this saved DOE more than $60,000. Theoretically applied to 600 attendees who did not have to travel to participate in these events, the potential cost savings could total more than $2.4 million for DOE.