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Merit Review

A critical factor in the success of America’s scientific research enterprise is the merit-review system, which uses panels of scientific experts to evaluate the quality of research grant proposals.

This system is truly the international gold-standard for evaluating scientific research grant proposals. Scientific experts from the nation’s top universities and research institutions provide their expertise, knowledge, and time to serve on these important peer review panels to review grant proposals.

The merit-review system offers the important benefits to federal agencies and researchers, including helping to ensure federal funding for the best, cutting-edge research; providing peer-feedback to scientists to help them improve their research projects; and providing public accountability to ensure tax dollars are spent in an effective manner.



AAU Board of Directors October 21, 2018 approved a statement concerning Congressional earmarking of federal research funds. The statement notes that earmarks may reduce the capacity of federal research agencies that sponsor merit-based competitions to support the most promising research.
Following is a statement by AAU on the introduction of the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act by Senators Gardner and Peters.
A call to action by American industry, higher education, science, and engineering leaders urging Congress to enact policies and make investments that ensure the United States remains the global innovation leader. 
We stand united in our support for the NIH, its mission, and its world-renowned peer review process.
Reply to Chairman Smith’s response to the AAU statement on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s inquiries into NSF research grants.
We are troubled by these inquiries and urge the Committee to recognize how this ill-defined investigation will harm the scientific enterprise we all support.
AAU, today said that a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology inquiry targeting some 60 NSF grants “is having a destructive effect on NSF and on the merit review process.”
Peer review offers several important benefits to federal agencies, researchers, and the nation.
AAU applauds Chairman Jay Rockefeller and his colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for their introduction of legislation to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act.