presentations at scientific meetings and gauge audience reaction. The ARO receives formal annual reports and copies of all publications by its grantees. The ARO divisions are evaluated biennially by external boards of visitors, one for each division. The boards look at the overall portfolios, evaluating the strategic direction of the divisions and looking out for overlap with other programs in the DOD or elsewhere.
The AFOSR, a directorate within the AFRL, manages the 6.1 funds for the Air Force. Funding executed by AFRL internal research directorates is evaluated by the AFSAB during the biennial reviews of those directorates. The AFOSR as a whole is reviewed by the AFSAB every 2 years.
The Director of Defense Research and Engineering for a number of years conducted Technology Area Reviews and Assessments (TARA) that covered DOD basic research programs. Representatives of the service laboratories and operating commands participated in these reviews, along with outside experts. TARA reviews are no longer conducted.
Clearly there is no single, accepted best way to conduct peer review of federal S&T laboratories.