being reviewed for scientific and programmatic merit. Starting with the FY 1995 award cycle, this practice was changed to include only grant proposals that had received a review score of 1.0–3.0 following the first-tier peer review process.
Over the course of the Army review process, statements of work are finalized and time lines are established. Site visits are not routinely made for these awards; they occur only on special occasions. The process is conducted by USAMRAA employees in accordance with applicable Army procurement regulations; contract support is not used. Since USAMRAA staffing was not increased to handle the additional work load of the BCRP, this step may take as long as 8 months to complete after IP approval of the funding.
USAMRAA also has the responsibility for receiving and reviewing annual and final reports from the principal investigators, ensuring that they conform to the negotiated statements of work. These reports are due within 30 days of each award date anniversary and within 30 days of the grant ending date. Outside contractors (SAIC and AIBS) review the reports for scientific content and for adherence to the statement of work in reference to progress, deficiencies, compliance, and conformity to the requirements and format specified in the grant. Final approval or disapproval of each report is done by the contracting officer representative and is based on evaluation of the report, reviews, and comments. This representative also reviews all reports for potential licenses and patents, which are required to be processed through the judge advocate general office. Results of these reviews are reported back to grantees, sometimes with a request to change the report. Approximately 85% of these reports are approved, with about 15% requiring revision (USAMRMC, 1996c). Although adherence to the proposed statement of work is mandatory, changes may be requested by the principal investigator during the course of the work. These formal requests are processed by USAMRAA, and, if approved, result in amendments to the grant or contract agreements.
In addition to this formal evaluation process, the USAMRMC has scheduled a major conference for November 1997 called "An Era of Hope," and has requested attendance and sharing of results by all investigators funded by the U.S. Army BCRP. (See Chapter 6 for comments by the committee.)