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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service



About Us



 Quick Reference Guide


Chapter 10
Expert On-Site Reviews and Office of
Scientific Quality Reviews (OSQR)

The purpose of onsite reviews is to engage a panel of experts to assess a unit’s research programs with regard to: research performance, research quality, research capacity and research leadership. Expected outcomes are: the panel will recommend actions needed to improve the unit’s research programs; the unit will implement the panel’s recommendations; and performance of relevant ARS research will be optimized and the unit’s operations improved.

Office of Scientific Quality Reviews (OSQR) were a result of the Agricultural Research Extension, and Education Reform Act of 1998 (Public Law 105-185) which included a mandate to establish procedures to perform scientific peer reviews of all research projects conducted by the ARS (a) to verify that ARS’s research has scientific merit and programmatic relevance; (b) at least once every 5 years and that a majority of reviewers be external scientists; and (c) the overall results of the reviews are submitted to the National Agricultural Research, Extension, Education, and Economics Advisory Board.


See Chapter 2 for a comprehensive list of commonly used acronyms


OSQR Handbook: Peer Review of Research Project Plans

National Programs Handbook

NPA Onsite Review Protocol

ARIS Online Manual

Requirements for Letters of Collaboration

Cross Reference:

Chapter 10 - Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS)

Web Sites:

Office of Scientific Quality Review (OSQR) Homepage

NPS Homepage (National Programs listed)

Point of Contact:

Reagan Heese
NPA Program Analyst
Natural Resources Research Center
2150 Centre Avenue, Building D, Suite 300
Fort Collins, CO 80526-8119
Telephone: (970) 492-7006
Fax: (970) 492-7065


Last Modified: 5/8/2015
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