Spring 2024 HRA Members Meeting: Innovative Methods for Choosing Among Competing Grant Applications

Week of March 11, specific time and date to be announced - Online via Zoom - Members Meeting Virtual Session

Most HRA members fund grants through competitive applications processes. We must sort through the proposals and make decisions on how best to spend our available dollars to achieve the strategic goals of our organization. Most of us use some variation on written peer reviews and/or a review committee to rank the proposals into a fundable slate. Some also use an additional interview process after peer review by the committee to finalize the application for funding support, or site-visit, which in recent years may be by video-conference.

However, many people are concerned that the review processes do not always support the best decisions: committees may devolve to the average, or there may be hidden (or explicit biases), or the criteria used in our review processes may not actually be good predictors of successful outcomes and career advancement.

There have been many efforts to improve grant-making decisions, such as blinding peer reviews to the identity of the applicants, or by asking reviewers to score on specific criteria, or even choosing proposals at random.

In this session some HRA members will speak on their own experiences with innovative methods for grant selection and tell us how their experiments have worked out. There will be ample time for questions and discussion.