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Write Critiques

On This Page:

If your SRO provides you with a specific template for the mechanism under review, you must use it; do not re-use old critique templates.

Reviewers must submit written critiques of their assigned applications using the correct templates. Primary, Secondary, Tertiary/Discussant or Mail-in reviewers (see Know Assignment Role) have different requirements for the written critiques. Please check with your SRO.

  • Using critique templates:

    • Download the critique templates provided by your SRO (e.g., by clicking on the application's "Critique Template" link on the List of all Applications screen, from IAR Meeting Materials section, secure file transfer, zApps Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer , etc.)
    • Do not change the formatting of the critique template. Please see the Critique Template Instructions for more information on working with the critique templates
    • Type your comments directly into the critique template using the bulleted paragraph format provided for each criterion. (If you prefer to compose your critique in a separate document, you may wish to “paste special”—as plain text—to retain the bulleted format).
  • Writing critiques:

    • Address the strengths and weaknesses for each review criterion. Provide at least one score-driving strength or weakness for each criterion unless the score is 1 (exceptional, no weaknesses) or 9 (poor, no discernable strengths), respectively. Your written critiques should reflect your numerical criterion scores. Also, if applicable, address the special issues that pertain to the funding opportunity and provide appropriate codes.
    • Your bulleted comments should provide context and an explanation based on the project (e.g., refer to a Specific Aim). While brevity is acceptable, bullets should express complete thoughts and be sufficient to inform the applicant. A bullet can be a single sentence or a whole paragraph, depending on the complexity of the issue being addressed.
    • Write a paragraph summarizing the factors that informed the Overall Impact  score
    • Primary reviewers may have to write a brief summary of the project under consideration. Please check with the SRO. Do not repeat the applicant’s description verbatim.
    • When finished, upload the document to IAR (See Submit Critiques & Scores Link to Non-U.S. Government Site - Click for Disclaimer)

Please refer to the Writing/Reviewing and Uploading Critiques section in Pre-Meeting Do's and Don’ts for important tips on what to include (or not include) in your written critique.