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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Office of Scientific Quality Review (OSQR)
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OSQR News!

Updated 4/25/17

Plan Titles and Funding (updated April 2017) Project titles are assigned to plans in the PDRAM along with the objectives and are intended to capture the essence of a research plan. But plans may, ultimately differ from what the originally-assigned title suggests. In such cases researchers can (and should!) discuss…(See here for more).

Vacancies (updated March 2014)
Vacancies in a project team can create challenges both in the preparation of plans and for their peer reviewers.  Vacancies have varying impacts on a research plan. Thus, there is no single solution for how to address them in the plan. OSQR Officers, Joyce Loper and Mike Grusak, and Coordinator Mike Strauss have developed a series of scenarios intended to illustrate the range of ways researchers can (and should NOT!) address vacancies when preparing a plan. See here for information.

Best Practices

Recent discussions of the ARS Peer Review Focus Group have centered on assessing best practices for success in peer review from across the agency. While not intended to replace guidance in the OSQR Handbook, the resulting document does provide much useful information to aid Areas and individuals in the development of plans for review. Click here to view this new report from the Focus Group.


What is OSQR?


OSQR Handbook
Conflicts of Interest List  
Project Plan Information, Format
Examples of Hypotheses
Project Plan Revision 
Integration of Project Plans 
Examples of Successful Project Plans


Schedule of Peer Reviews 
Postponement Guidelines 
Some Advice from an Area Director 


Reviewer Information
Be a Peer Reviewer


Scientific Writing Resources 
OSQR Presentations 
ARS Focus Group on Peer Review 
OSQR Panel Reports
OSQR Staff


Last Modified: 7/10/2017
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