Processes and metrics used in the review to identify and select outstanding candidates [HRA Members Meeting, Irvine, Spring 2023]

Wednesday March 22, 10:00am-11:15am PT

In this session we explored how funders assess and evaluate competing proposals to maximize the eventual impact and advance funders’ missions. In addition, when it’s all done (X-years later), how do funders measure that impact and test if our prognostic methods actually work?

This session featured an external speaker who described the extensive analysis on the value of various metrics as predictors of success. In addition, HRA members shared metrics they use (outside of just publications and funding) and any evidence they have as to whether these metrics are valuable in choosing candidates who will advance a funder’s mission.

Kevin Moses, PhD
Senior Program Director | W.M. Keck Foundation
Kevin Moses was educated at Cambridge University (in Genetics) and did post-doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley. He then held faculty positions and ran labs at the University of Southern California and also at Emory University.  Moses worked in Drosophila developmental biology for more than two decades with more than 60 publications.  After his academic career, he worked at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to help found the Janelia Research Campus.  He has also worked in venture capital and served as the Director of Science at the Wellcome Trust, as a Science Officer at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and as a Vice President at the Kavli Foundation.

Chonnettia Jones, PhD
Executive Director | Addgene
Chonnettia Jones is President and Executive Director at Addgene, a non-profit biorepository that advances research and innovation by accelerating access to high-quality research materials and information. Serving scientists all around the world, Addgene provides three classes of products and services: plasmid DNA, ready-to-use viruses, and recombinant antibodies.

Chonnettia brings more than twenty years of experience of research funding, strategy, and policy in the non-profit sector. She has held leadership roles in mission-oriented foundations in Canada, UK/Europe, and the US. As Vice President, Research at Michael Smith Health Research BC, she directed the organization’s research strategy, funding initiatives and partnerships to maximize British Columbia’s investments in health research. As a member of the executive leadership team at The Wellcome Trust, she provided strategic and organizational leadership to evaluate the impact of Wellcome’s funding and initiatives in global health research. At the Janelia Research Campus of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, she managed an international program that developed innovative tools for scientific research.

Chonnettia serves on a number of international advisory boards on science & technology, research funding, open science, and responsible research assessment. Chonnettia was co-founder, former co-chair and currently an advisor of the Research on Research Institute (RoRI), an international consortium of funders, academics, publishers and technologists working together to improve how research is funded, practiced, communicated and evaluated.

Chonnettia holds a PhD in biochemistry, cell, and developmental biology from Emory University.

Kavita Bhalla, PhD
Scientific Review Officer | Conquer Cancer, The ASCO Foundation
Dr. Bhalla obtained her PhD in Human genetics from the University of Adelaide, Australia. Her research    primarily focused on understanding the genetic complexity in cognitive disorders and underlying metabolic regulations in cancer. She has several peer-reviewed publications in human genetics and cancer metabolism. She was a faculty at the Greenbaum Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Maryland, Baltimore where besides her research and academic responsibilities she also trained many graduate and undergraduate students. At UMB Dr Bhalla was also involved with the Summer Intern programs and UMB CURE program focused to train West Baltimore school students navigating their career goals. She is currently working as a Scientific Review Officer at the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Alexandria, VA where she performs administrative and scientific grant reviews. In addition to her involvement with HRA, Dr Bhalla is the program committee member of Women in Bio, Baltimore-Capital Region, an organization promoting diversity and inclusion for all women in Life Sciences.

Heather Calderone, PhD
Director, Research & Grants | American Brain Tumor Foundation
Heather earned her PhD in Pharmacology at Wayne State University. She went on to her postdoc at the Van Andel Institute and Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and afterward was a Laboratory Manager at the Van Andel Institute. Nearly all of her research has been focused on cancer, including glioblastoma, neuroblastoma, breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer. In 2016, she started with the American Brain Tumor Association as a Science Manager, primarily focused on postaward grant management, and in 2018, was promoted to Director of Research and Grants, overseeing the ABTA’s grant program, alumni network, and other research initiatives. For the HRA, Heather serves as a co-chair of the Program Evaluation Learning Community, a member of the Program Planning Committee for the Members Meetings, and a member of the Board of Directors.