Review Process

Pre-Proposal Review

Submitted pre-proposal applications will go through an internal review process to ensure that the proposed project is relevant to the RFA and suitable to FFAR’s mission. Only the most innovative and cutting-edge projects with significant potential for advancing agricultural research will be invited to submit a full proposal application. Applicants should expect to be notified of whether they are invited or not invited to submit a full proposal no later than three weeks of the pre-proposal submission deadline. The pre-proposal is binding, therefore, only applicants who submitted a pre-proposal and were invited can submit a full proposal application.

Full Proposal Review 

Submitted full proposals will undergo further review using a two-stage peer review process: (1) External Peer Review, and (2) FFAR Advisory Council review. In the first stage, applications will be evaluated by an independent, external peer review panel of scientific experts using the proposal review criteria posted in RFA. In the second stage, proposals judged to be most meritorious by external peer review panels will be evaluated and recommended for funding by the FFAR Advisory Council based on comparisons with applications from the same cycle and FFAR’s program priorities. All reviewers are required to read and acknowledge acceptance of FFAR’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Non-Disclosure Agreement.  We make reasonable efforts to ensure that proposals are not assigned to reviewers with a real or apparent conflict with the applicant or project personnel. Reviewers with a conflict of interests are recused from evaluating or participating in the discussions of proposals with which they have a conflict. Each stage of the review is conducted confidentially, and as such, FFAR is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of the contents of the applications.

Applications recommended for funding by the Advisory Council will go to the Scientific Program Director and FFAR’s Executive Director to consider program priorities set by the Advisory Board, portfolio balance across programs, and available funding. FFAR’s Advisory Board will vote to approve each grant award recommendation made by the Science Program Director and the Executive Director.

Sample Review Criteria