10 CFR § 600.13 - Merit review.
(a) It is the policy of DOE that discretionary financial assistance be awarded through a merit-based selection process. A merit review means a thorough, consistent, and objective examination of applications based on pre-established criteria by persons who are independent of those submitting the applications and who are knowledgeable in the field of endeavor for which support is requested.
(b) Each program office must establish a merit review system covering the financial assistance programs it administers. Merit review of financial assistance applications is intended to be advisory and is not intended to replace the authority of the project/program official with responsibility for deciding whether an award will be made.