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IPR program descriptions

Internal Peer Review (IPR) is believed to increase a research program's impact, feasibility, and funding application’s chance of success in an external competition. 

REGULAR IPR:  IPR Registrations must be received no later than one month before the grant submission deadline, and earlier is better. The O'Brien Institute will act as a brokering service, connecting applicants and peer reviewers via emailed invitations, and monitoring the progress until a minimum of two reviewers have agreed. The remainder of the review process will be directed by the applicant. Applicants are responsible for advising reviewers of timelines and deadlines and the type of feedback they are seeking for their application. Applicants will also direct reviewers as to how they would like to receive the feedback and will set up face-to-face meetings if desired. The applicant is also required to report to the O'Brien Institute on completion of the review process, with confirmation of which members did end up providing a review. 

PANEL IPR: Experience suggests that group discussion can help an applicant and their assigned reviewers to identify key issues for consideration/revision by consensus, which can be more effective than parallel one-on-one interactions between an applicant and individual reviewers. Therefore, when IPR Registration is completed with sufficient lead time (three months), and upon request, the Institute will be more involved in the review process, not only identifying and inviting relevant members to provide reviews, but helping applicants convene those reviewers in a face-to-face meeting.  An Institute review lead will chair such meetings, and an Institute staff member will take meeting notes.

RESUBMISSION IPR: The Institute’s experienced Review Leads help applicants interpret agency review comments, before (possibly) reassigning for ensuing IPR. This support requires applicants to (re)register for IPR and provide CIHR Notices of Recommendation (or Notices of Decision), SO Notes, and reviews to iph@ucalgary.ca as soon as available.

PROPeL: Advice from experienced researchers has been beneficial for individual members – independent of funding application timelines – regarding their research career and program development. Research Program Planning Panel (PROPeL) sessions can help members: understand what elements of their programs are particularly impactful, timely, relevant; optimize their methodological approaches, team constitution, research environment; assess the feasibility of program scope and timing; align program goals with appropriate funding opportunities; and adapt to changes or challenges in career trajectory. Ideally, Department Heads and/or research mentors will accompany members to PROPeL sessions, which are scheduled several times per year. Requests to be added to the list of those interested in an upcoming PROPeL session can be sent to iph@ucalgary.ca from Department Heads, or directly from members.

CHALK TALKS: Well before drafting a funding application, it is helpful for members (especially early career investigators or those changing research direction) to test out the concept of a new research project. In an O’Brien Institute Chalk Talk, a PI and his/her team present and brainstorm early project ideas with a bespoke panel including Review Leads. The IPR Registration process is used to request a Chalk Talk, at any time of year.

SPECIAL OPPS: The IPR processes for less-predictably-scheduled opportunities are managed on an ad hoc basis, and may include: multiple-application reviews by internal multidisciplinary panels designed to emulate the agency review; iterative reviews by a small panel; ‘dry runs’ of (reverse) site visits, etc. Many such opportunities are managed by the Grant Development Office of the Cumming School of Medicine’s Office of the Associate Dean Research (e.g. PRIHS, NFRF) and O’Brien Institute members are encouraged to make use of that support, and to serve on review panels when invited. The IPR Registration Form can be used to request support for any application (e.g. for salary, infrastructure, or chair awards; team grants; industry/government programs; etc) and an augmentation or modification of the processes outlined above may be designed to optimally adapt to the opportunity.