The PWS Scientific Reviewer will provide a written review evaluating the scientific merit of the proposed research using the criteria listed below. They will also evaluate the appropriateness of the budget, and review animal and human subject use as needed. Reviewers are expected to maintain strict confidentiality regarding the applications.

Scientific Peer Review Evaluation Criteria


Please use the following questions as a guide in evaluating the application. Your comments will be shared with the applicant.

SIGNIFICANCE AND RELEVANCE: Does the proposed study address an important problem in the field of Prader-Willi syndrome research? How will the successful completion of the proposed studies advance our understanding of PWS and/or lead to the goal of developing effective therapies? What will be the effect of these studies on the concepts, methods, tools and/or interventions in the field of PWS and related research? Is this study likely to produce a useful resource for the PWS field?

INNOVATION: Are the aims of the study innovative and original? Do the proposed studies use novel concepts, approaches, methods or interventions? Does the project challenge existing paradigms, develop new methodologies, or explore new or understudied areas?

RESEARCH STRATEGY: Will the proposed studies appropriately address the experimental problem? Is sound scientific reasoning apparent? Are the experimental design, methods, and data analysis logical, well developed and integrated? Is there supportive preliminary data, when necessary? (note: preliminary data are not required) Are potential problems anticipated and alternatives proposed? Are the proposed studies feasible?

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Is the principal investigator appropriately trained to carry out the proposed research? Where necessary, has the PI included investigators or collaborators with expertise needed to conduct the research successfully? Are the necessary collaborative arrangements in place?

OVERALL EVALUATION: Briefly summarize the key strengths and weaknesses of the application in terms of the review criteria, emphasizing those areas you feel are most relevant for the application. Provide a succinct assessment of the overall impact the project is likely to have.

Give an overall score based on the following scoring system [see additional information about scoring below]:

1= exceptional; 2=outstanding; 3=excellent; 4=very good; 5=good;
6=satisfactory; 7=fair; 8=marginal; 9= poor


Additional comments: As appropriate, please comment on these other aspects of the application:

  • Are animal studies justified and appropriately reviewed by the contracting institution?
  • Are human subject studies justified? What are the risks, and have the human subjects been adequately protected? Have such studies been appropriately reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board, or is a review pending?
  • Is the budget appropriate for the proposed studies? Is the study duration appropriate? Are there any potential overlap with existing funded projects?

CONFIDENTIAL COMMENTS – if you have any additional comments that you would like to confidentially share with the review panel – please include them and mark as confidential. These comments will not be shared with the applicants

Reviewer Guidance for Chart for Numerical Scoring (based on NIH scoring)

For the overall score and for the individual criterion scores, the far right column (in the table below) provides a descriptive guide of how strengths and weaknesses are considered in assigning a rating

o Minor weakness: easily addressable weakness, does not substantially lessen impact

o Moderate weakness: lessens impact

o Major weakness: severely limits impact

Impact (far left column) is the project’s likelihood to have a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved

o High Impact = 1 to 3

o Moderate Impact = 4 to 6

o Low Impact = 7 to 9

Each review criterion should be assessed based on how important each review criterion is to the work being proposed

o As a result, a reviewer may give only moderate scores to some of the review criteria but still give a high overall impact/priority score because the one review criterion critically important to the research is rated highly; or a reviewer could give mostly high criterion ratings but rate the overall impact/priority score lower because the one criterion critically important to the research being proposed is not highly rated.

An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major impact, e.g., a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Impact Score Descriptor Additional Guidance on Strengths/Weaknesses


1 Exceptional Exceptionally strong with essentially no weaknesses

2 Outstanding Extremely strong with negligible weaknesses

3 Excellent Very strong with only some minor weaknesses


4 Very Good Strong but with numerous minor weaknesses

5 Good Strong but with at least one moderate weakness

6 Satisfactory Some strengths but also some moderate weaknesses


7 Fair Some strengths but with at least one major weakness

8 Marginal A few strengths and a few major weaknesses

9 Poor Very few strengths and numerous major weaknesses