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Health Services Research & Development

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HSR&D Scientific Merit Review Board

The HSR&D Scientific Merit Review Board is made up of several panels organized by HSR&D review areas. Please note that review panel membership and assignments may change for each review and will be updated after the most recent review is completed.

See also HSR&D Merit Review Success Rates

March 2021 Review Panel Membership Lists for Health Services Research

  • HSR-1: Health Care and Clinical Management
  • HSR-2: Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Health
  • HSR-3: Healthcare Informatics
  • HSR-4: Mental and Behavioral Health
  • HSR-5: Health Care System Organization and Delivery
  • HSR-6: Long-term Care, Aging and Support Services
  • HSR7: Health Services Research: Special Emphasis
  • HSR9: Opioids Safety & Opioid Use Disorder
  • HSN1: Health Services Research Innovation
  • HS2A: Social Determinants of Health
  • HQ8: QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative
  • MRA0: Mentored Research

August 2020 Review Panel Membership Lists for Health Services Research

  • HSR-1: Health Care and Clinical Management
  • HSR-2: Behavioral, Social, and Cultural Determinants of Health
  • HSR-3: Healthcare Informatics
  • HSR-4: Mental and Behavioral Health
  • HSR-5: Health Care System Organization and Delivery
  • HSR-6: Long-term Care, Aging and Support Services
  • HS2A: Social Determinants of Health
  • HQ5: QUERI Program Review
  • HQ8: QUERI Partnered Evaluation Initiative
  • MRA0: Mentored Research

IMPORTANT: This list is for information purposes only. Under no circumstances should an investigator communicate directly with any review board member about an application either before or after the review. Please direct all questions about reviews to the Scientific Program Manager who oversees the relevant review committee.


Interpretation of an application's overall score: Reviewers serving on the Scientific Merit Review Board (SMRB) assign each application a single score that reflects their assessment of the overall scientific merit based on consideration of the review criteria. The individual reviewer scores are averaged and then multiplied by 100. Below are the general guidelines currently used by SMRB reviewers. [Note: While all applications are reviewed, not all applications are discussed and scored by the review panel. Only discussed applications receive an overall score; others are "unscored." Applications that are candidates for being unscored include any proposal with an average preliminary score placing it in the lower (least meritorious) 25-30% of applications for review. An unscored application may be very appropriate for resubmission, depending on the comments in the written critiques.] See Guidelines for Scoring HSR&D Proposals.

Scientific Review Officers (SRO)


Review Group SRO Phone Email Description
HS2A - Social Determinants of Health Lynne S Padgett, PhD (202) 443-5790 Lynne.Padgett@va.gov Special Emphasis on Social Determinants of Health and Equity
HSR 1 – Health Care and Clinical Management Cathie Plouzek, PhD (202) 443-5753 Cathie.Plouzek@va.gov Health care and delivery to include medical care; medical/surgical management; provider preferences and behaviors; diagnosis; prognosis; best practices; guidelines; pharmacology; and pharmacotherapeutics.
HSR 2 – Behavioral, Social and Cultural Determinants of Health and Care Robert William O'Brien, PhD, MA (202) 443-5741 robert.obrien7@va.gov Patient preferences, perceptions, and behaviors (including engagement and self-management); personal, sociodemographic, and cultural factors affecting health and care (patient/population/provider/community); patient decision-making; focused patient-centered health care improvements and innovations; patient-provider interactions and communication; populations with disparities in health (women, rural, minorities).
HSR 3 – Healthcare Informatics Kevin J Chaney, BA, BA, MA (202) 443-5681 Kevin.Chaney1@va.gov Research in informatics and technology to enhance effectiveness, efficiency, and quality of VHA care and improve patient experience, including impact of new information technology on patient experience, clinical flow, and clinician experience; analysis of health information exchange data; building evidence base e-health/m-health tools; Natural Language Processing (NLP) methods development and application of analytics tools to VHA clinical care priorities; and development of innovative research methods.
HSR 4 – Mental and Behavioral Health Robert William O'Brien, PhD, MA (202) 443-5741 robert.obrien7@va.gov Research on assessment, treatment, and prevention for mental health conditions (such as depression, serious mental illness, and PTSD) and behavioral health conditions (such as substance use disorder and addictive disorders); suicide and suicide ideation; mental health - primary care integration (MH-PCI).
HSR 5 – Health Care System Organization and Delivery Stephen E. Marcus, PhD, MPH (202) 443-5723 stephen.marcus@va.gov Main focus on organizational models affecting delivery of care across systems (different care settings or healthcare systems), quality improvement, best practices in implementation of health care organization, system efficiency and redesign, cost efficiencies, resource optimization, management and human factors affecting care, and process models and models of care.
HSR 6 – Long-Term Care, Aging and Support Services Lynne S Padgett, PhD (202) 443-5790 Lynne.Padgett@va.gov Research with main focus on rehabilitation, functional outcomes, and community-based care; also certain research focused on diseases associated with aging as well as caregiving, long-term care, and end-of-life care.
HSR 9 - Opioids Cathie Plouzek, PhD (202) 443-5753 Cathie.Plouzek@va.gov Research that will develop, evaluate, and/or implement evidence-based practices to improve opioid safety and the management of opioid use disorder (OUD)
MRA0 - Career Development Robert Small (202) 443-5743 robert.small@va.gov Research that focuses on health care delivery in clinical and community settings, including nursing and medical care; medical/surgical intervention and management; diagnosis; prognosis; pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics; utilization and patterns of care; outcomes research.

Questions about the HSR&D website? Email the Web Team.

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.