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Scientific Review Process

The ATS Scientific Grant Review Committee (SGRC)* is composed of nationally renowned pulmonary, sleep, and critical care researchers. Each year, the SGRC leads a rigorous, NIH-style review process to identify the most impactful research proposals that the ATS Research Program receives. If a need is identified, the SGRC selects additional ad hoc reviewers to participate in the review to ensure that the expertise within the review committee matches the diversity of the grant application topics. Together, the reviewers determine the overall impact of each application by assessing the quality of the investigator’s scientific background and research environment and evaluating each proposal’s overall significance, innovation, feasibility, and importance to patients.

The process steps are outlined below:

  1. Letters of intent are reviewed, and the most promising candidates are invited to submit full applications.
  2. Each application is assigned to three reviewers, who independently provide the application with an overall impact score.
  3. Applications are ranked by their average preliminary score. The lowest scoring applications are triaged.
  4. Applications that are not triaged are discussed at the annual SGRC Review meeting. The entire committee evaluates the top scoring grants, and each member votes on the application's overall impact.
  5. The voted scores are averaged, and applications are ranked from lowest to highest score. The reviewers recommend the top scoring application(s) in each grant category for funding.


The American Thoracic Society improves global health by advancing research, patient care, and public health in pulmonary disease, critical illness, and sleep disorders. Founded in 1905 to combat TB, the ATS has grown to tackle asthma, COPD, lung cancer, sepsis, acute respiratory distress, and sleep apnea, among other diseases.

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