Grants Review Process


For each category identified under “Review Criteria,” below, each reviewer shall note the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal and be prepared to discuss these points during the review committee meeting. Each reviewer will also assign a numerical score of 1 to 10 for each proposal with 10 meaning the project is extremely highly recommended for funding. Because the importance of each category is not equal, reviewers are not asked to assign scores to each individual category. For example, a project may not be innovative but may nonetheless be of great importance and therefore highly recommended for funding. If the proposal is completely unsuitable, or if there is a safety concern or other serious issue, a reviewer can recommend “NFRC” (not recommended for further consideration) rather than assigning a score.

Primary Reviewer

For each grant application, the committee chair will select a primary reviewer to give a brief oral summary of the proposal to the committee. The primary reviewer’s job is to orient everyone and initiate the discussion, but every member is still responsible for reading, understanding, and scoring every proposal.

Review Committee Procedure

Members will come prepared with notes and scores for each proposal. The primary reviewer will introduce the paper and share his or her assessment of its numerical score and why. The rest of the committee must say whether they agree or disagree. After discussion is complete (as decided by the committee chair), each member will announce his or her numerical score. Scores will be tallied and averaged to produce a final score for the proposal.

Conflicts of Interest

Before the committee meets, each reviewer should contact the committee chair to let him or her know if they have a conflict of interest with any of the proposals to be reviewed. During the committee meeting, before the proposal is introduced for discussion, the committee chair will ask anyone with a conflict of interest to excuse themselves from the room. Each member will be held responsible for using his or her professional judgment to determine a conflict of interest. Examples of conflict of interest include, but are not limited to: submitting investigators who are from the same organization as the reviewer, close professional associates, recent teacher or students, employers or employees, personal friends, projects in which the reviewer has a financial or vested interest, or if the submitted project closely duplicates the reviewer’s own work. Reviewers should excuse themselves if there would appear to be a conflict of interest, even if they feel their review would not be compromised.


Application materials are confidential and should not be shown to or discussed with persons outside the review committee. The ideas and information contained in grant proposals are privileged information and should not be disclosed or used by the reviewer for any purpose other than the review itself. After the review process is complete, materials related to the proposals and review should be destroyed.

Human Subjects, Vertebrate Animals, Recombinant DNA

This committee shall not forward proposals involving human subjects, vertebrate animals, and/or recombinant DNA unless the proposal has been reviewed and approved by a qualified panel or organization, such as major university, National Institutes of Health (NIH), etc.

Select Agents/Biohazards

Research involving select agents/biohazards must present a biosafety plan, and must be in compliance with biosafety recommendations of the researcher’s parent organization.

Review Criteria

Fulfillment of Mission Statement
Is the proposed research in line with the goals of our funding program?
Does the proposed research promote public health by improving vector control methods and understanding of vector biology?

Overall Impact

 What is the likelihood of sustained, powerful influence on vector control and public health?


Does the proposed research address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in our field?
If the aims of the project are achieved, will vector control or our understanding of vectors and vector borne disease, be enhanced?
Will vector control concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions be improved?

Geographic Scope

Will the results of the proposed research be applicable to all states? A large region? One district?


Are the individual(s) proposing the research well suited for the job? Do they possess the necessary experience and training? Do they have a proven record of successful research?


Does the proposed research challenge current paradigms by utilizing novel concepts, approaches, methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions?
Is this project a refinement of current methods or will the research produce something new?


Are the proposed methods, strategy, and analysis scientifically sound, well reasoned, and appropriate to the specific aims of the project?
Are potential problems, alternate strategies, and benchmarks for success presented?


If humans, vertebrate animals, or recombinant DNA will be part of the proposed research, is there documentation of review and approval by a qualified agency?
If relevant, is a biosafety plan included?
Are there concerns about the safety of this project?


Is the proposed research a collaboration among researchers?
If so, is the collaboration appropriate?
Will it increase the chance of successfully meeting the project aims?
Will the collaboration improve the quality of the research?


Will the institution or organization hosting the research provide adequate support, equipment, and resources?
Are facilities, field sites and resources sufficient to accomplish the proposed work?


Is the budget appropriate for the proposed research?
Is the timeframe reasonable?
Are the equipment and supplies necessary?
Are estimated costs in line with industry norms?
Is travel to an appropriate annual meeting included?
If other travel is included, is the budget for that travel appropriate?
Is non-expendable equipment included in the budget?

Data Sharing/Results

Do the authors identify their plans for publishing or making available the results of their work?
Will the proposed research generate raw data of use to vector control organizations?
Do the authors present a data-sharing plan?
If the authors do not plan to make raw data available, do they identify why?