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and the realism and reasonableness of the proposed project cost. These comments play a minor role in the evaluation process but have proven to be useful to program managers for other NRC proposal reviews, particularly when the proposal emanates from a source unfamiliar to them.

The merits of all proposals were discussed by at least three panel members. Most proposals were reviewed in detail by two panel members. For each proposal, a “lead” reviewer was selected based upon his or her degree of familiarity with the technical area. Each lead reviewer was provided with all the other reviews of a given proposal which were used during the discussion during the meeting.


Proposals were evaluated based on their scientific and technical merit. Written reviews by panelists were used as information by the panel to assist it in its task of assigning a consensus grade (adjectival rating) to each proposal. The grades reflect the overall quality of each proposal relative to the state of research in the field of the turbine engines and to the state of research, as possible, in the foundational areas being considered in the proposals (i.e., flow control, sensors, combustion, smart materials).

The grades apply to the totality of the proposal, not just to its favorable (or unfavorable) aspects. The grades are not conditional on making suggested changes to the proposal; such suggestions are meant only to aid the author in preparing a better proposal in the future. The grading system used for this review process is as follows:


A comprehensive and thorough proposal of exceptional merit with one or more significant strengths. No deficiency or significant weakness exists.

Very Good:

A proposal having no deficiency and which demonstrates overall competence. One or more significant strengths have been found, and strengths outbalance any weaknesses that exist.


A proposal having no deficiency and which shows a reasonably sound response. There may be strengths or weaknesses, or both. As a whole, weaknesses not offset by strengths do not significantly detract from the offeror’s response.


A proposal having no deficiency and which has one or more weaknesses. Weaknesses outbalance any strengths.


A proposal that has one or more deficiencies or significant weaknesses that demonstrate a lack of overall competence or would require a major proposal revision to correct.


Lacks adequate information for determining scientific merit.

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