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Calls to Action

DoD Accepting Research Proposals

Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program
April 23, 2007


The Department of Defense (DoD) has recently issued a request for proposals (RFP) for researchers interested in applying for grants available through its Peer-Review Medical Research Program, which now funds autism research.

In April 2004, NAAR volunteers lobbied Congress to support a $10 million request for autism research funding as part of the Defense Department's Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program. While Congress did not grant a specific line item to autism, in July, Congress added autism for the very first time to the list of diseases and disorders eligible for funding by the DoD Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program.

Autism researchers interested in applying to the DoD Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program can download information by clicking here.

The general timeline for the submitting a proposal to the Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program for FY05 is:

Online Letter of Intent: Expected by February 8, 2005

Proposal Submission/Approval Deadline: 5:00 p.m. Eastern time March 8, 2005

Proposal Review and Selection Overview

1. Process: The program uses a two-tier review process or proposal evaluation. The two tiers are fundamentally different. The first tier is a scientific peer review of proposals against established criteria for determination of scientific merit. The second tier is a programmatic review of proposals that compares submissions to each other and recommends proposals for funding based on scientific merit and direct relevance to military health, as well as other programmatic criteria and goals. The proposal evaluation criteria listed below are specific to the FY05 Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program and supersede any evaluation criteria that are listed in the current Broad Agency Announcement.

2. Peer Review: Peer review is conducted by panels of scientists organized according to scientific discipline or specialty area. The primary responsibility of the peer review panels is to provide unbiased, expert advice on the scientific/technical merit and relevance of proposals to the topic areas based on the review criteria published for each award mechanism. The peer review summary statement is the main product of scientific peer review. Each statement includes the applicant's structured technical abstract, the peer review score, proposal relevance statement, and an evaluation of the project as assessed by the peer reviewers according to the above evaluation criteria. Summary statements (not full proposals) are forwarded to the next stage of the review process, programmatic review.

The DoD Peer-Reviewed Medical Research Program allocates $50 million to fund research in the following areas: acellular human tissue matrix research; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; alcoholism research; anti-radiation drug development; autism; blood-related cancer research; Interstitial Cystitis; childhood asthma; chronic pain research; conjugate vaccines to prevent shigellosis; diabetes research; Duchenne's disease research; epilepsy research; Lupus and Lupus Biomarker Research; orthopaedic extremity trauma research; osteoporosis and bone-related diseases; Padget's disease; post traumatic stress disorders; social work research; Volume Angio CAT (VAC) research; and autoimmune diseases such as scleroderma and Sjogren's syndrome.

The amount of money that will go to autism research will depend on the quality of proposals submitted to the Defense Department. The DoD contact for this application process is: Dr. Barbara Terry-Koroma, who can be reached at 301-619-7047 or via e-mail at: b.terrykoroma@us.army.mil

NAAR extends a special thanks to Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), who played a key role in helping get autism added to this program. NAAR also thanksEd Long and his colleagues at Capitol Associates, former

U.S. Representative Peter Kyros, and the many autism organizations that teamed up with NAAR earlier this year as part of the Coalition in Support of Defense Department Funding for Autism Research: Autism Coalition for Research and Education, Autism Society of America, Cure Autism Now, Dan Marino Foundation, Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, First Signs, New Jersey Center for Outreach Services for the Autism Community, Organization for Autism Research and Unlocking Autism. In addition, NAAR extends its sincere thanks to all our volunteers and supporters who participated in our advocacy efforts last April.