Scientific Peer Review

Peer review ensures the most effective use of scientific research funding
Illustration of the research review cycle - identify agency needs - solicit proposals - review proposals - determine awards - evaluate results

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education manages scientific peer reviews for the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as many other government agencies. Peer reviews provide critical, independent assessment of research proposals and program performance to help sponsors determine the quality of research proposals and the accuracy of the scientific information they contain. 

In order for new advancements to occur in science and technology, the process begins with an idea or concept and concludes with a new product or a significant enhancement to an existing technology launched into the marketplace. Along the way, there are many steps that require significant funding as well as accountability to ensure that the process is moving forward and being conducted in the most efficient and ethical manner possible. For federal agencies like DOE to determine which projects should receive taxpayer funding and to then ensure that funded projects are managed ethically it requires a process of independent review. That oversight comes in the form of peer review, a discipline where ORISE excels. 

ORISE facilitates end-to-end management and coordination of peer/merit reviews, award nomination reviews, project/program reviews, site reviews, as well as scientific and technical meetings where new research ideas are formulated or how funded research is progressing.

Successful peer review depends heavily on identifying and recruiting knowledgeable subject matter experts. ORISE has cultivated an existing network of more than 50,000 qualified academic, government, and corporate reviewers, as well as refined the process for identifying new reviewers. In both cases, ORISE performs extensive background research to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposals or research they are reviewing. As taxpayer-sourced funding designated for scientific research is disbursed each year, ORISE provides the necessary resources and processes to ensure that only the most promising proposals are selected to advance national interests.