Joining FORCES is the FORCE newsletter with news, views and supportive information for individuals concerned about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.
by Kathy Steligo
Peer review is one component of cancer advocacy. It is the process by which research proposals submitted to funding agencies are scored to determine which projects are ultimately funded. Many funding agencies now include consumers in the peer review process. Some agencies only allow people who have been diagnosed with cancer to participate. The Department of Defense, one of the largest funding agencies for breast and ovarian cancer, requires cancer survivors to sit as peer reviewers on all research funding reviews.
The review process involves a panel of researchers who reviews and scores each proposal according to its scientific merits. Consumers, who may not need any formal training to participate, are asked to rate the relevance or importance of proposals, without necessarily evaluating a proposal’s scientific merits.