Appropriate technical and scientific peer review shall be conducted with respect to each application for a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract under this subchapter.
(2) Reports to Director
Each peer review group to which an application is submitted pursuant to paragraph (1) shall report its finding and recommendations respecting the application to the Director in such form and in such manner as the Director shall require.
(b) Approval as precondition of awards
The Director may not approve an application described in subsection (a)(1) of this section unless the application is recommended for approval by a peer review group established under subsection (c) of this section.
(c) Establishment of peer review groups
(1) In general
The Director shall establish such technical and scientific peer review groups as may be necessary to carry out this section. Such groups shall be established without regard to the provisions of title 5 that govern appointments in the competitive service, and without regard to the provisions of chapter 51, and subchapter III of chapter 53, of such title that relate to classification and pay rates under the General Schedule.
The members of any peer review group established under this section shall be appointed from among individuals who by virtue of their training or experience are eminently qualified to carry out the duties of such peer review group. Officers and employees of the United States may not constitute more than 25 percent of the membership of any such group. Such officers and employees may not receive compensation for service on such groups in addition to the compensation otherwise received for these duties carried out as such officers and employees.
Notwithstanding section 14(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, peer review groups established under this section may continue in existence until otherwise provided by law.
Members of any peer review group shall, at a minimum, meet the following requirements:
(A)Such members shall agree in writing to treat information received, pursuant to their work for the group, as confidential information, except that this subparagraph shall not apply to public records and public information.
(B)Such members shall agree in writing to recuse themselves from participation in the peer review of specific applications which present a potential personal conflict of interest or appearance of such conflict, including employment in a directly affected organization, stock ownership, or any financial or other arrangement that might introduce bias in the process of peer review.
(d) Authority for procedural adjustments in certain cases
In the case of applications for financial assistance whose direct costs will not exceed $100,000, the Director may make appropriate adjustments in the procedures otherwise established by the Director for the conduct of peer review under this section. Such adjustments may be made for the purpose of encouraging the entry of individuals into the field of research, for the purpose of encouraging clinical practice-oriented or provider-based research, and for such other purposes as the Director may determine to be appropriate.
The Director shall issue regulations for the conduct of peer review under this section.
The provisions of title 5 that govern appointments in the competitive service, referred to in subsec. (c)(1), are classified generally to section
3301 et seq. of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
Section 14(a) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act, referred to in subsec. (c)(3), is section 14(a) ofPub. L. 92–463, which is set out in the Appendix to Title 5.
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
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