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.
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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
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.
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.