Can Redacting Grant Applicant Identifiers (“Blinding”) Reduce Bias in Peer Review? [HRA Members Meeting, New York, Fall 2022]

As funding agencies, we have a responsibility to reduce bias in the peer review process to allow for equitable and inclusive allocation of grant funding. One potential mechanism for reducing institutional, gender, racial/ethnic, and career stage biases is the redaction of identifying personal information (blinding) during peer review. This session will feature speakers from HRA member institutions who have previously or are currently utilizing blinding in their peer review processes. This may include training applicants to blind their applications prior to submission, administratively anonymizing proposals after submission (manually or with the assistance of grants management software), or a combined approach. We will examine the benefits and challenges of these approaches, as well as look at how blinding at various stages of the peer review process (i.e. LOI, full application, final funding determination) impacts the overall reduction of bias.

Rachel Cruthirds
Research Pre-Award Manager | American Heart Association

Stacy Cloud
President | Donaghue Medical Research Foundation
Stacy Cloud has worked in the philanthropic sector for over 15 years. She joined the Foundation in January 2008. As President, she is responsible for the overall operation of the Foundation’s programs, including working with the Foundation’s trustees, advisers and the research and philanthropic communities to develop new Foundation initiatives. She previously served as the Program Director of the Foundation where she had the responsibility for administering all of the Foundation’s grant programs.

Prior to joining the Donaghue Foundation, Stacy Cloud was the Director of Member Services for the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Prior to the Council, Stacy worked in the for-profit sector as a Regional Director of Affiliate Relations for E! Entertainment Television.

Stacy is a member of several boards and advisory committees, including serving as Co-Chair of the program committee for the Health Research Alliance, several roles at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, serving on scholarship committee, the Board of Ambassadors, and the steering committee for the Black Giving Circle. Stacy also serves as review member for the Ensworth Charitable Foundation, and as a Board Ambassador for the Village for Children and Families. She is a proud Bison which represents her alma mater Howard University.

Anne Hultgren, PhD
Executive Director | The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation
Dr. Anne Hultgren is the Executive Director and CEO of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which provides grants and awards to institutions and scientists for the advancement of basic research in the life sciences. In this role, she oversees the annual support to the five Beckman Institutes and Centers; the annual grant programs for the Beckman Young Investigator awards, the Beckman Postdoc Fellowships, the Beckman Scholars Program, and the Beckman Legacy Scholarships; and other Foundation initiatives in accordance with Dr. Beckman’s original vision. Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Hultgren was the acting Division Director of the Chemical and Biological Defense Division within the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA) of the Department of Homeland Security. As Division Director, she was responsible for the oversight, budgeting, and reporting on research programs for chemical and biological threat detection, prevention, and recovery in support of the Homeland Security mission. Dr. Hultgren began her career with HSARPA in 2007 as a Program Manager for autonomous biological detection systems.

Dr. Hultgren received her PhD in Physics and Astronomy from the Johns Hopkins University in 2005, and her BA in Physics and Mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College in 1999.

Kristin Eldon Whylly, MSc
Senior Program Manager | Change Management Lead | Templeton World Charity Foundation
Kristin Eldon Whylly is a Senior Program Manager & Change Management Leader at Templeton World Charity Foundation. Kristin supports the wider TWCF program team by managing ongoing projects to promote the Foundation’s strategy. As Change Management Lead, Kristin also coordinates the Foundation’s ongoing efforts to improve processes through the continuous improvement program. To maximize the impact of the foundation’s strategy, Kristin promotes best practices in open research by leading the adoption of new practices and policies to guide and support the foundation’s grantees and also developing grant proposals that promote open research.

Kristin is a PMP-qualified project manager and holds an MSc in Environment & Development from London School of Economics.

Adam Pieczonka, MBA
Executive Chair | 1907 Foundation
Adam Pieczonka is a Co-Founder of each 1907 Foundation and 1907 Capital. Previously, he was a Senior Analyst at Knighthead Capital Management, LLC, a New-York based investment manager. At Knighthead, Adam was responsible for sourcing and managing investments in both debt and equity. Prior to Knighthead, Adam worked as a private equity professional at Ares Management LLC and as an investment banking professional at Moelis & Company LLC. Adam has a BA from Ivey Business School at The University of Western Ontario and an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.