Scientific Outcomes

AIBS SPARS provides independent review and program support mechanisms to help your organization make informed decisions on science and related matters. Operating as a non-profit institute allows us to provide sound information without the influence of corporate drivers or internal bias. This lends diligence, transparency, and credibility to the funding process by ensuring expert, thorough, and independent analysis of research, thus raising the confidence of investigators, stakeholders, and the public.

The AIBS SPARS peer-review process is critical at the programmatic level in helping guide informed funding decisions by identifying meritorious and strong research projects. Many of the projects we review make significant contributions to scientific knowledge and public health, through both translational research related to clinical diseases and basic exploratory biological research. Compiled publication rates for multiple programs that we have reviewed within the last 10 years reveal that thousands of publications in high-impact journals have resulted from applications that were awarded meritorious scores and selected for funding. Our impact is measured in terms of not only publication but also infrastructure creation, career development, and commercialization. For example, AIBS SPARS facilitates the review of applications to foster institutional and consortia development and to develop shared facilities, resources, equipment, and instrumentation. Another important and high-impact review area that we coordinate is much needed bridge funding to aid young scientists who have not yet acquired federal funding to support their own independent research, and for established scientists to move from the academic laboratory setting to commercialization of their work.

Optimizing Peer Review

AIBS SPARS is well versed in many facets of scientific review and support services. With over half a century of experience, we have expansive institutional knowledge that allows us to continually improve and optimize our processes. Moreover, we continually assess our demonstrated capabilities and growth to ensure that we remain on the cutting edge of peer review.

AIBS SPARS has a proven record of workload flexibility and of topic area flexibility, of representing all opinions and facilitating fair discussion, of obtaining appropriate expertise and of supporting growth/innovation, and of deliverable usefulness.

AIBS SPARS Publications

AIBS SPARS takes great pride in being a leader in the peer review field. We believe that formally assessing the peer review process and publishing our findings will not only improve our services, but also advance the scientific community as a whole.

Below are some links to our recent publications:

Stephen A Gallo, Lisa A Thompson, Karen B Schmaling, Scott R Glisson. "Participation and Motivations of Grant Peer Reviewers: A Comprehensive Survey of the Biomedical Research Community" bioRxiv. November, 2018.

Adrian G Barnett, Scott R. Glisson, Stephen Gallo. "Do funding applications where peer reviewers disagree have higher citations? A cross-sectional study" F1000Research 2018, 7:1030.

Stephen A. Gallo, Scott R. Glisson "External Tests of Peer Review Validity Via Impact Measures" Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 23 August 2018.

Stephen Gallo, Lisa Thompson, Karen Schmaling, Scott Glisson. "Risk evaluation in peer review of grant applications" Environment Systems and Decisions. 24 February, 2018.

Stephen A. Gallo, Joanne H. Sullivan, Scott R. Glisson “The Influence of Peer Reviewer Expertise on the Evaluation of Research Funding Applications” PLOS ONE. 21 October, 2016.

Afton S. Carpenter et al. “A retrospective analysis of the effect of discussion in teleconference and face-to-face scientific peer-review panels” BMJ Open. 8 September, 2015.

Stephen A. Gallo, Michael LeMaster, Scott R. Glisson “Frequency and Type of Conflicts of Interest in the Peer Review of Basic Biomedical Research Funding Applications: Self-Reporting Versus Manual Detection” Science and Engineering Ethics. 4 February, 2015.

Stephen A. Gallo et al. "The Validation of Peer Review through Research Impact Measures and the Implications for Funding Strategies" PLOS ONE. 3 September, 2014.

Stephen A. Gallo, Afton S. Carpenter, Scott R. Glisson. "Teleconference versus Face-to-Face Scientific Peer Review of Grant Application: Effects on Review Outcomes" PLOS ONE. 7 August, 2013.

David Irwin, Stephen A. Gallo, Scott R. Glisson. "Learning from Peer Review" The Scientist. 24 May, 2013.

See our complete bibliography on peer review


AIBS SPARS is also committed to fostering a community-wide discussion on best practices and lessons learned that enhances the integrity of the peer review process. To this end, we have produced a series of webinars sharing results of our own analyses as well as disseminating and promoting discussion about others’ results in the growing body of research concerning the peer review process.

Click here to view past webinars