Reviewers Guidelines

As you review the ACS PRF proposal, we ask that you consider the following items in addition to other aspects of the project that you think are important:

  • Fundamental Research in Petroleum
    Is the proposed research both fundamental and related to petroleum or fossil fuels?
  • Scientific Merit of the Proposal
    What is the significance and perceived impact of the proposed research? If conducted, will the research enhance our understanding of the phenomenon being studied? How novel is the research and will it result in technical innovations?
  • Testable, Hypothesis-Driven Proposal
    Is the proposal focused and will it address well-defined scientific questions? Will the experiments, measurements, modeling, and/or proposed simulations lead to a successful outcome?
  • Displayed Knowledge of Subject Area
    Did the PI demonstrate a good grasp of the literature in this field and did he/she compare and contrast the proposed research from what has been accomplished in the past? Does the PI have sufficient knowledge/experience to accomplish the proposed research or has he/she paired with collaborators/co-investigators to augment the knowledge/experience lacking by the lead-PI?
  • Budget and Timeframe
    Can the proposed research be accomplished with the requested budget and timeframe? Is the proposal too ambitious or not ambitious enough?
  • New Directions (ND) Proposals Only:
    Is the proposed research truly a new direction in research for the PI? Once completed, will the results be sufficient to enable the PI to submit a competitive proposal to a sustaining funding agency?
  • Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) Proposals Only:
    Is the proposed research different from what the PI conducted for his/her PhD dissertation or during a Postdoctoral Fellowship?

Overall Proposal Rating Terms

Truly Exceptional: The highest order of ability is revealed in the selection and presentation of a unique and important research project. A major contribution to basic knowledge is highly probable. The proposal will fall among the top 1% of proposals in this subfield.

Excellent: A high order of ability is revealed in the selection and presentation of the research project. An opportunity for a major contribution to basic knowledge is probable. The proposal will fall among the top 10% of proposals in this subfield.

Very Good: The proposal is technically well presented. There is potential for an important contribution to basic knowledge. The proposal will fall among the top third of proposals in this subfield.

Good: The proposal, while technically well presented, lacks imagination. A contribution to basic knowledge is possible. The proposal will fall among the middle third proposals in this subfield.

Fair: The proposal may have some merit but is seriously flawed in presentation or in content. Major revisions might be appropriate. An important contribution to basic knowledge is not likely. The proposal will fall among the lowest third of proposals in this subfield.

Poor: The proposal is technically unsatisfactory, poorly organized, and/or of sub-professional character. It should not be funded.