National Brain Tumor Society's research grant application review is a two-step process built on standards set by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Unless specified, most RFAs require a Letter of Intent (LOI) as a prerequisite to submit a full application. LOIs are then submitted electronically and immediately undergo an administrative review to ensure that application guidelines are met. Members of our Scientific Advisory Board (SAB), led by the Chair and Vice Chair, oversee the review process for each of our grant programs.

Two reviewers are assigned to each application: a Primary Reviewer and Secondary Reviewer. Careful consideration is made to prevent conflict of interest between the reviewers and the applicants.

Reviewers are responsible for scoring the application based on scientific merit and presenting the project during the review teleconferences. The review conference is comprised of all members of the SAB, key members of the Research Committee, and senior research staff members. The SAB Chair facilitates project presentations (made by the reviewers) and the ensuing discussion among SAB members.

During this review, those reviewers who are recognized as having a conflict of interest with the applicant and/or the project are asked to disconnect from the call. They do not participate in the discussion, nor are they permitted to submit a score. At the end of the discussion, all SAB members (who do not have a recognized conflict of interest) assign the LOI a collective, final score.

When discussion concludes, the final scores are reviewed. With these scores, the SAB determines the LOIs that will be invited to submit a full application. The scoring and discussion process (during a second teleconference) of full applications follows the phases of the LOI review.

The Research Committee of the National Brain Tumor Society Board of Directors, in consultation with senior research staff, reviews the SAB recommendations, discusses the financial considerations of each, and determines if the research furthers our research portfolio. The Research Committee then presents their findings to the full National Brain Tumor Society Board of Directors for the final vote. Selected Research Grant Awards are formally announced and distributed at our Annual Meeting in the fall of each year.