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Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Policy and Global Affairs

Office for Central Europe and Eurasia

500 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202 334 2644
Fax: 202 334 2614

January 17, 2006

Gavin Braunstein, Ph.D.

Project Manager, Biological Weapons Proliferation Prevention

Defense Threat Reduction Agency

U.S. Department of Defense

John Kingman Drive, MSC 6201
Fort Belvoir, VA 22060-6201

Dear Dr. Braunstein:

On behalf of the National Research Council’s Committee on the Review of Research Proposals for Cooperation with Former Soviet Biological Weapons Personnel and Institutes, I am pleased to transmit the committee’s ratings of proposals considered at our meeting of December 2, 2005. This review is in accordance with Contract No. DTRA01-02-D-003, Task Order #3, between the National Academies and the U.S. Department of Defense.

At the meeting, the committee reviewed the following research proposals (listed in alphabetical order):

  1. AJ-1, Biological Weapons Proliferation Program in Azerbaijan

  2. KZ-16, Research on a New Highly Immunogenic Strain from Francisella tularensis, subspecies mediaasiatica, a Candidate for Human Vaccine (revision of proposal previously considered by the committee at its meeting of June 27, 2005)

Each proposal was rated on the following five evaluation criteria:

  • Scientific importance of the topic;

  • Quality and capacity of the principal investigator, research team, and facilities;

  • Provision for strong U.S. collaborators;

  • Engagement of former Soviet biological weapon expertise and promotion of transparency; and

  • Sustainability of the research following project completion.

Attachment 1 contains the committee’s composite ratings for each proposal, based on examination of the proposal by all committee members, previous site visits by committee members to the institutes or laboratories in question, and thorough discussion at the meeting. A detailed description of the proposal review process is provided in Attachment 2.

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