Overall Impact. Reviewers will provide an overall impact score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the following review criteria and additional review criteria (as applicable for the project proposed).
1. Scientific Merit & Organization of the Total Program and Its Component Parts to be Carried Out in the Facility. Does the applicant provide sufficient evidence of meritorious research program(s) that will benefit from completion of the project? How well are the component parts of the research program (that will be carried out in the facility) coordinated and managed? How will the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity facilitate the applicant institution's ability to conduct, expand, improve, or maintain biomedical or behavioral research?
Is there sufficient justification for improving this facility? To what extent will the proposed change in the research environment facilitate the applicant institution's ability to conduct, expand, improve, or maintain biomedical or behavioral research? How will the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity increase efficiency in the use of energy, water, and/or materials to reduce adverse effects on the environment?
2. Administrative and Leadership Capabilities of the Applicant's Officers and Staff. How effective is the facility manager likely to be, based on 1) the administrative approach to managing the facility, 2) the ability to interact with appropriate institutional officials to see that the ongoing needs of the facility are satisfied, and 3) the skills necessary to complete the project on time and within budget? How effective is the PD/PI likely to be, based on 1) leadership qualities and experience, 2) institutional commitment and support, and 3) the appropriate scientific and fiscal administration skills necessary to complete this project on time and within budget? Does the applicant provide evidence of future commitment in maintaining this facility?
3. Anticipated Effect of the Project on Other Relevant Research Programs and Facilities in the Geographic Area and Nationwide. How likely is the proposed activity to benefit research at other institutions in the local geographic area, given the availability or absence of similar or related facilities? In which ways is the proposed activity likely to affect similar or related national facilities or benefit research nationwide?
4. Need for the Project or Additional Space. How compelling are: 1) the identified need(s) in the research capabilities in the applicant organization and elsewhere that the proposed repair, renovation, or modernization activity is intended to address; 2) tangible benefits to the institutional research capability of the proposed activity; and 3) state-of-the-art research capabilities or efficiencies that would otherwise not be available? Are requests for equipment justified and of direct benefit to the facility? Will the requested equipment remedy identified deficiencies or fill gaps in the animal facility?
5. Project Design. Design Plan: How likely is the design plan to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) proposed demolition areas and/or renovation areas, including associated room adjacencies, traffic patterns for the movement of people, animals, and materials (clean and dirty) through the facility, and relative location of needed ancillary areas (e.g., changing rooms for animal facilities); 2) total net and gross square feet of space to be renovated; 3) proposed timeline and sequence of construction; 4) potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented; and 5) implementation of sustainable design principles? Engineering Criteria: How likely are the engineering systems to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the engineering criteria, including information about the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, and utilities in the renovation; 2) descriptions of changes or additions to existing mechanical and electrical systems; and 3) the number of air changes per hour, electrical power, light levels, hot and cold water, and steam? Architectural Criteria: How likely are the architectural criteria and finishes to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the size dimensions, function, and net and gross square feet for each component; 2) architectural criteria such as the width of corridors and doors and surface finishes for the project; and 3) quality of life issues (e.g., natural lighting, noise, vibration)?
Line Drawings: How likely are the line drawings to meet the identified need(s), based on: 1) the indicated function of the space; 2) the scale of the line drawings, and indication of adjacencies and operational relationships of equipment; 3) changes to be made to the space; and 4) location of major equipment, fume hoods, sinks, showers, and other major items indicated in the drawings?
Biohazards. Reviewers will assess whether materials or procedures proposed are potentially hazardous to research personnel and/or the environment, and if needed, determine whether adequate protection is proposed.
Resubmissions. For Resubmissions, the committee will evaluate the application as now presented, taking into consideration the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group and changes made to the project.
Revisions. For Revisions, the committee will consider the appropriateness of the proposed expansion of the scope of the project. If the Revision application relates to a specific line of investigation presented in the original application that was not recommended for approval by the committee, then the committee will consider whether the responses to comments from the previous scientific review group are adequate and whether substantial changes are clearly evident.
Select Agent Research. Reviewers will assess the information provided in this section of the application, including 1) the Select Agent(s) to be used in the proposed research, 2) the registration status of all entities where Select Agent(s) will be used, 3) the procedures that will be used to monitor possession use and transfer of Select Agent(s), and 4) plans for appropriate biosafety, biocontainment, and security of the Select Agent(s).Additional Comments to the Applicant. Reviewers may provide guidance to the applicant or recommend against resubmission without fundamental revision.