Virtual Panel Meetings

An overview of the virtual panel meeting process.


During the review meeting, proposals are discussed and re-graded in turn. The Primary starts the discussion, the Secondary comments next, and then each (unconflicted) panelist is given an opportunity to comment in turn before the floor is opened for general discussion. After the discussion, each proposal is graded, with every unconflicted panel member voting on each proposal. Guidance for grading proposals is given in the section on Selection Criteria and Scoring System.


Once all proposals have been graded, the ranked list is compiled by the PSS for review. Each panel has a separate resource allocation for small and medium proposals. The cutoff in the ranking is set by the allocation to small proposals; medium proposals need to lie above that cutoff to be considered for acceptance. Panels can re-rank proposals to take account of factors such as programmatic balance.

Team Expertise Review

Once the ranked list is finalized, panels are given the opportunity to review the team expertise submissions, but only for the proposals recommended for implementation. Panelists should raise specific proposals for discussion only if they have significant concerns regarding the team's ability to achieve the science goals. If there is consensus that there are clear, compelling deficiencies in the expertise, the panel should document those for the Director's consideration. Proposals can only be eliminated; removal will not elevate a proposal below the allocation line.

Large Proposals in Topical Panels

A subset of the Large, Treasury, & Legacy Proposals will be assigned to each panel. Panelists do not grade those proposals. However, they should prepare to discuss those proposals and identify strengths and weaknesses to help the Chair when those proposals are graded by the Executive Committee.

Feedback Comments

Every proposal, including triaged proposals, must receive Proposal Feedback Comments. Those comments should reflect the primary selection criteria. The Primary and Secondary reviewers are responsible for collating those comments; primary and secondary reviewers should enter their preliminary comments into the reviewer tool in advance of the panel meeting. There will be an opportunity to modify and adjust those comments during and after the meeting, but only limited time is available. Comments are sent verbatim and must be couched in an appropriately respectful manner.

Next: Final Ranking