Peer Merit / Review Policies

Confidentiality of Research Proposals and Peer Reviews

The Department receives research proposals in confidence and is responsible for protecting the confidentiality of their contents. For this reason, please do not copy, quote, or otherwise cite material from this research proposal. Use the information in the research proposal for review purposes only, and treat the information in confidence except to the extent that some portions of it may already be available to the general public without restriction. It is the policy of the Department that reviews will not be disclosed to persons outside the Government except when an external review team (e.g., a Committee of Visitors) accesses Department files in the course of performing an evaluation of a program area within the Department. In these instances, each member of such an external review committee signs a conflict-of-interest statement before the review is conducted. In addition, the Department may send verbatim excerpts or abstracts of the reviews without the names and affiliations of the reviewers to the principal investigator. The Department considers reviews to be exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA, 5 USC 552) but cannot guarantee that it will not be forced to release reviews under FOIA or other laws.

Last modified: 3/18/2013 10:33:27 AM