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Write Critiques


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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 (from, e.g., 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 FOA 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.


This page last updated on May 3, 2016
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