Grants Process Overview
CPRIT's administrative rules describe the grants review process.
The initial step in the CPRIT funding cycle is the release of a request for applications. The request includes important information about submitting the proposal to CPRIT, including applicable deadlines, requirements, evaluation criteria, and special considerations related to the grant award. CPRIT publishes all open requests on its website and in the Texas Register and sends an announcement about any new releases to subscribers of CPRIT’s email newsletter. Only proposals submitted by Texas-based academic institutions, organizations, or companies, or those entities that demonstrate they will relocate to Texas if they receive a CPRIT grant award are eligible for CPRIT grant awards.
All applicants must use CPRIT’s online application system to electronically submit proposals to CPRIT. Only applications submitted via the designated electronic portal are eligible for consideration of a grant award, and applications are eligible only for the grant mechanism under which the grant application was submitted. An applicant creates a user account and designates an individual at their institution or organization with the authority to approve the submission of the proposal. Applications that are submitted by the deadline are checked for compliance against the application’s administrative requirements. Applications may be rejected at this step if they are not in compliance.
Experts and advocates in the field of cancer research, product development and cancer prevention are provisionally appointed to the peer review committees by CPRIT’s Chief Executive Officer and approved by the Oversight Committee. To minimize the potential for conflicts of interest in the review process, all research and prevention peer reviewers live and work outside of the state. Peer review members are assigned to panels in their area of expertise. At least one advocate reviewer is assigned to each panel. A list of members by panel is on CPRIT’s website. CPRIT uses a two stage peer review process to evaluate grant applications. These stages include A) evaluation of grant applications by peer review panels and B) prioritization of applications by the Prevention, Product Development or Scientific Review Council.
- An eligible application undergoes a rigorous peer review where all aspects of the proposal are assessed by (usually three) primary reviewers on the same panel who provide an individual overall score. After all proposals are individually reviewed, the full peer review panel (usually 12-15 reviewers) meets to discuss the applications. If there is insufficient time to discuss all grant applications, the Peer Review Panel chair determines which applications are to be discussed by the panel. After discussion, each panel member provides individual overall scores that are averaged to provide a final overall score. Based upon the discussion and scores, the peer review panel develops a rank ordered list of applications it recommends for grant awards.
- At the second stage of review, each program’s Review Council considers and prioritizes the recommendations of each of the peer review panels by assigning a numerical ranking score to each application discussed by the review panel. The Council specifies and explains changes, if any, to the grant applications’ goals, objectives, budget, or timeline recommended for a grant award. The numerical ranking score takes into account the final overall score, how well the grant application achieves program priorities set by the Oversight Committee, the overall Program portfolio balance, and any other criteria described in the Request for Applications. Proposals for prevention awards undergo a programmatic review process during this stage. The Review Council determines which proposals will be recommended to the Program Integration Committee and Oversight Committee for funding.
If CPRIT receives a significant number of proposals for a particular grant award mechanism, the peer reviewers may narrow the application pool by conducting a preliminary evaluation process prior to the initial review process described above in A). In the preliminary review, assigned Peer Review Panel members (usually three) conduct the preliminary evaluation for a grant application based on a review of the abstract, budget, and PI biosketch; they then provide a preliminary score based on the criteria stated in the Request for Applications. The Peer Panel Review chair determines grant applications that move forward to initial review based upon preliminary evaluation scores. A grant application that does not move forward to initial review is removed from further consideration.
The review process for recruitment of researchers and clinicians is described in the Research Review Process. The additional process steps for Product Development grant applications are described in the Product Development Review Process.
Peer Review Processes
The Program Integration Committee (PIC) is composed of the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Scientific Officer, the Chief Product Development Officer, the Chief Prevention Officer and the Commissioner of State Health Services. The PIC considers the prioritized list of grant applications submitted by the Program Review Councils and approves by a majority vote a final list of grant applications to be recommended to the Oversight Committee for funding.
In composing the final list of grant applications recommended for funding, the PIC must consider the items specified in the statute.
The Program Integration Committee’s decision to not include a grant application on the prioritized list of grant applications submitted to the Oversight Committee is final.
Two-thirds of the Oversight Committee Members present and voting must approve each grant award recommendation submitted by the Program Integration Committee. The total amount of money approved to fund a multiyear project must be specified and the CEO’s recommendation, if any, regarding an advance of grant award funds must be approved by a majority vote of the Oversight Committee.
If the Oversight Committee does not approve a grant award recommendation made by the PIC, the explanation must be recorded in the minutes of the meeting. The Oversight Committee may not award more than $300 million in Grant Awards in a fiscal year.
All CPRIT grants are awarded through a contract that specifies the responsibilities and obligations of the award recipient and reflects certain reporting and legal requirements. Research grant recipients, including those receiving product development awards, must demonstrate that they have other funds dedicated to the project totaling at least half of the amount of the CPRIT award. All award contracts include an intellectual property agreement and terms related to revenue sharing with the state.