The PRAT Advisory Committee is composed of seven intramural investigators from diverse disciplinary backgrounds and different career stages. Its members are appointed for 3-year terms. PRAT Advisory Committee members are appointed for their scientific expertise and their commitment to training the next generation of scientists (as demonstrated by their mentorship of PRAT fellows or the recommendation of training staff at their Institute).
The primary functions of the PRAT Advisory Committee is to meet annually to perform the second level of peer review for the fellowship applications reviewed by the study sections organized by the NIGMS Scientific Review Branch. PRAT Advisory Committee members also offer advice and recommendations to the program, and support defined PRAT programmatic activities (e.g., participating in practice chalk talks for fellows interested in pursuing faculty careers).
A significant function of the PRAT Advisory Committee is to provide the second level of review for fellowship applications. The Advisory Committee provides oversight to ensure that the initial review for scientific and technical merit conducted by the study section was expert, fair, and objective. The Advisory Committee is asked to apprise PRAT program staff of applications with special significance, such as those of high risk/high impact or in an especially important or emerging area of research, or where the method or approach is particularly novel.
Each advisory committee member has access to summary statements for fellows under consideration. Each member is asked to read and evaluate an assigned group of summary statements. The Advisory Committee is charged with ensuring that the initial review process was conducted fairly and that the conclusions and recommendations of the study section are supported by the written documents. It also advises on whether the fellowship applicant and the mentor are an appropriate fit for the program.
The summary statements are considered confidential and should not be shared with anyone else without specific permission from the PRAT Director. All deliberations by the Advisory Committee are also considered confidential.
Applicants and their sponsors must not contact Advisory Committee members regarding their PRAT applications, as this is a violation of review policy and procedure; they should contact the PRAT Program Director with any questions or concerns. When conflicts are identified for an Advisory Committee member (e.g., serving as a sponsor or collaborator in an application or supervisor of a PRAT mentor), the member does not participate in the deliberations for that application.
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