Program Evaluation: Materials for Reviewers

So that the peer review is fair, credible, useful, and cost effective, the review leader should provide adequate and timely preparation materials to the peer review panel (via the panel chair) and to the presenters. Preparation materials need to be relevant to the objectives and review criteria. Within these materials there should not only be the relevant project-specific technical materials but also clear information about the mission of the work being performed, the planned goals that the work will accomplish, and the schedule, with the key intermediate milestones. Review leaders, in consultation with the review chairperson, can be selective in what materials are sent and keep the program descriptions concise since an excessive amount will go unread. However, it is important that any data and information requested by reviewers be provided to them (unless there are confidentiality concerns). For large, multi-project or higher-level program reviews, the review leader may want to establish a Website that contains useful information that participants can access.

To help ensure the provision of appropriate materials to reviewers, it is useful to provide detailed instructions to the presenters appearing before a panel review. These instructions could outline the minimum requirements for material to be covered and a common content and format for that portion of the material.

Appendix I shows the standard data elements collected for each project in a review. Based on the Superconductivity Program's experience, materials should be delivered 2–3 weeks prior to the actual review to give the reviewers time to familiarize themselves with the projects that are to be presented. This includes an advance copy of the project summaries, reviewer instructions, evaluation forms for each project, an agenda, and overall program evaluation packaged specifically for the reviewer.

Learn about other peer review preparation activities.