Review and Evaluation Process

Review Committee

A Scientific Selection Committee will convene a formal review of submitted applications. The Committee comprises CFAR members and others with relevant expertise and is moderated by NIH and OAR officials. Each application will be assigned a minimum of two reviewers.

Reviewers will be asked to summarize the strengths and weaknesses of each proposal based on the evaluation criteria listed below.  Each project will be scored according to the NIH scoring system.

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their review and will receive written summary statements in order to enhance their ability to benefit from future funding opportunities.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Scientific Merit: How likely is it that the proposed project will generate findings capable of supporting an application for independent funding from the NIH?
  • Significance: How likely is it that the proposed project will further the CFAR Adelante program goals of decreasing HIV-related health disparities in the Hispanic/Latino community and promoting the mentored development of new investigators who are focused on this goal?
  • Investigator/Adelante Team: Are the Scholar, CFAR Mentor, Collaborating Partner, and other participating researchers well suited to the project? Do they either have, or, have a plan for accessing appropriate experience and training? Do the mentors have, or have access to, expertise that complements or fills gaps in the expertise of the Scholar?
  • Approach: If the project includes human subjects, is the proposed recruitment plan feasible and likely to result in full enrollment? Is it likely that the proposed project can be completed within a 20-month period? Are the methods and proposed analyses adequately developed and appropriate to the aims of the project? Does the proposed project apply culturally responsive HIV/AIDS research that can be used to expand HIV-related knowledge within Latino/Hispanic communities in the U.S.? Does the applicant acknowledge potential problem areas and consider alternatives?
  • Innovation: Does the project employ novel concepts, approaches, or methods?
  • Environment: Are available resources in the institution(s) described adequately? Does the applicant propose collaboration with any CFAR Cores?
  • Mentoring Plan: Are the Scholar’s professional development goals for the project period identified? Is at least one SMAART outcome objective provided for each professional development goal? (Click Here to download a handout on SMAART outcome objectives.) Does each outcome objective describe a specific, measurable, ambitious yet achievable, relevant, and time-bounded definition of success for having achieved that goal? Is the proposed list of mentoring, education, and/or training activities appropriate for meeting the stated goals and objectives? Is a communication plan provided describing the method, frequency, and circumstances for formal and informal contact among members of the CFAR Adelante team? Does the proposed communication plan and accompanying CFAR Adelante team meeting schedule demonstrate a commitment to meeting the goals and objectives described in the mentoring plan?