CSR Gets its Own Council

As of March 31st and as recently announced, CSR has its own Advisory Council, the CSRAC, whose chartered mission is to “advise the Director … concerning matters of policy and practice pertaining to monitoring of, coordination of, and evaluation of peer review at CSR.” The CSRAC will be “keenly focused on enhancing CSR’s operations.” Notice there is no mention of approving applications for funding. Study sections still do not fund grants.

The CSRAC replaces the PRAC (Peer Review Advisory Committee), which was established in 2005 to provide “technical and scientific advice and recommendations to the NIH Director, the Deputy Director for Extramural Research, and the Director of CSR on matters relating broadly to review procedures and policies for the evaluation of scientific and technical merit of applications for grants and awards.” PRAC held its last meeting on Feb 1, 2010, when it discussed peer review pilot projects, study section realignments, the ESI initiative, and electronic submissions.

Some PRAC members will continue on the CSRAC (Garret Fitzgerald, Penn; Heidi Hamm, Vanderbilt; Peter MacLeish, Morehouse; Andrew Murray, Harvard), and two CSRAC members come from the ACD Working Group on Peer Review (which was active during the Enhancing Peer Review initiative): co-Chair Keith Yamamoto (UCSF) and Bruce Alberts (UCSF and editor-in-chief of Science).

Of course, continuous review of peer review occurs at OER, where you can also learn more about peer review policies and practices. CSR itself offers resources for applicants and for reviewers.

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