Research picture

Research Review Committee

To initiate a review, the Principal Investigator (PI) must submit the research or training proposal to the Research Review Committee (RRC) via email to at least one month prior to the due date for the submission.


  1. Policy Statement: The Department of Psychiatry Research Committee
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  2. Policy Statement:  The Career (K) Development Award
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  3. Cover Sheet for Grant Proposals:
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  4. Research Committee Rating Form:
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  5. Research Committee K Award Rating Form:
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  6. Research Committee T32 Rating Form:
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  7. Research Committee F Rating Form:
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  8. Research Committee PCORI Rating Form:
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  9. Leadership and Staff

Department of Psychiatry Research Review Committee
Policy Statement

The Department of Psychiatry strives to enhance the scientific quality of research proposals and to promote collaboration and peer review among faculty members. The major function of the Research Review Committee (RRC) is to ensure that research proposals prepared by investigators affiliated with the Department meet the highest scientific and ethical standards. Prior to submission to external funding agencies or initiation of internally supported research, the RRC evaluates the scientific and technical merits of all research proposals planned by faculty within the Department, collaborating faculty from outside the Department, fellows, students, and staff. In addition, the RRC provides a preliminary evaluation of potential risks and benefits to human participants and of the welfare of animal subjects.

Because only two iterations are allowed for NIH grant applications, our goal is to provide a first round of peer review that makes all proposals from the Department of Psychiatry as competitive as possible at NIH and elsewhere. To help us succeed at this task, we request that investigators submit proposals for review as early as possible and that they work proactively with us throughout the process, especially when questions or special circumstances arise. To read more about the role of the RRC, please click here to view the committee’s paper in Academic Psychiatry.

Submission Guidelines

There are two types of reviews: Type A Reviews are also referred to as standard reviews. Type B Reviews are for applications that do not require full review; eligibility for this type of review is determined on a case-by-case basis (please scroll below to section “Guidance for Special Circumstances” for additional information).

Type A Reviews:

To initiate a standard review, the Principal Investigator (PI) submits electronically the research or training proposal to the RRC at at least one month prior to the due date for the submission. If the proposal is a revised application and a prior external review (summary statement) is available, a copy of the prior review must be included and the PI must highlight in the introduction and throughout the revised application the specific changes that have been made.

A cover sheet for the application is available on this web page and must accompany the proposal. The cover sheet allows the PI to name competent potential reviewers. We ask that PI’s approach reviewers prior to submission to confirm their willingness to review. Three reviewers are selected by the Chair (Daniel Buysse, MD) or Co-Chairs (David Brent, MD, Judy Cameron, PhD, and William Klunk, MD, PhD) to evaluate a proposal.

Reviewers are asked to return a substantive written critique to the RRC within 5 working days, using the appropriate rating form (also available on this web page). Reviewers may also discuss their concerns and suggestions directly with the PI as appropriate. After receiving the critiques, the PI will provide a written summary of his or her responses to the comments of the reviewers. The critiques and the PI’s response are then reviewed by the RRC.

WPIC Policy for Submitting Previously Twice Reviewed Grants as New Grants
In response to NIH Policy Change announced on April 22, 2014 (NOT-OD-14-074)

As discussed by Dr. Lewis at the April 22, 2014 Faculty Meeting, the resubmission of previously twice reviewed grants as new grants, now allowed under the new NIH policy announced on April 17, 2014, requires additional departmental approvals.

If you consider submitting such a grant, please seek departmental approval for processing the grant through Research Review Committee and for submitting it through the OGC by addressing an e-mail to the Chair, Dr. David Lewis, with cc to Deb Montrose, Director of WPIC Research Operations. Please explain your rationale for resubmitting the grant as a new grant and provide the following materials as attachments to your e-mail:

  • Summary statements for both the initial and the A1 prior submission of this grant
  • A brief summary of how feed-back from the A1 submission will be integrated in improving the new application (as you would in the introduction to a revised application)

Please note that neither the RRC nor the OGC can accept resubmitted grants prior to having obtained approval from the Chair.

Also note that the Office of Research Health Sciences and the University of Pittsburgh Office of Research have not yet issued any guidance as to whether the SOM or the University will also require special processes for the submission of such grant proposals. As soon as we receive such guidance, we will share it with the research community by posting it on the WPIC and OGC websites.

Guidance for Special Circumstances

(1) Internal Review for Co-Investigators on grants from other departments/institutions:

Members of the faculty in the Department of Psychiatry often participate as co-investigators for applications in which the PI works in another department at the University of Pittsburgh or at another university. These applications must be reviewed by the RRC if the level of effort by the co-investigator in Psychiatry exceeds 10%. We make this stipulation to ensure that investigators within Psychiatry receive the best possible advice about such collaborations. We also believe that our internal review process will help to improve the quality of outside applications.

(2) Type B Reviews:

An application that is eligible for a Type B review will be reviewed only by the RRC Chairs and Dr. Lewis prior to receiving a formal RRC approval letter.

An application may be eligible for a Type B if:

  • The application includes a faculty member in Psychiatry, who is a co-investigator on the grant, for 10% or less effort but the IRB requires departmental approval for the protocol. Note: This rule does not apply if the Department of Psychiatry applicant is Principal Investigator. Standard (Type A) review is required when the PI is from the Department of Psychiatry, even if effort is less than 10%. 
  • The application has been reviewed and approved by a different department or center
  • The application has previously been approved by the RRC, has no major changes to the science, and is now being submitted to a different agency
  • The application is a pilot study, supported with internal funds, and is being used to collect preliminary data
  • The application is being submitted for IRB purposes only
  • The application is for an administrative supplement

In order to determine eligibility for a Type B review, PIs must submit a working protocol, a completed coversheet, and a letter to the RRC providing a rationale for a Type B review.

At times, we receive requests for Type B reviews because colleagues in other departments or universities are not subject to internal review requirements. We ask that you acquaint such colleagues with the Department of Psychiatry RRC process and point out the potential value added by the reviews that we can provide when given adequate time.

We encourage you to consult with us as early as possible if other special circumstances arise for any proposed application. Please email or call one of the RRC Chairs or Coordinators promptly so that we can make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.

Leadership and Staff

Daniel J. Buysse, MD Daniel J. Buysse, MD
Committee Co-Chair
Department of Psychiatry
WPIC, Suite 1135
Phone: (412) 246-6413
Fax: (412) 246-5300
David A. Brent, MD David A. Brent, MD
Committee Co-Chair
Department of Psychiatry
Phone: (412) 246-5596
Fax: (412) 246-5344
Judy L. Cameron, PhD Judy L. Cameron, PhD
Committee Co-Chair
Department of Psychiatry
Loeffler Building, Room 321
Phone: (724) 733-3795
Fax: (412) 648-1465
William E. Klunk, MD, PhD William E. Klunk, MD, PhD
Committee Co-Chair
Department of Psychiatry
Phone: (412) 246-6460
Fax: (412) 246-6465
Melissa (Missy) DeVito, BS Melissa (Missy) DeVito, BS
Committee Coordinator
WPIC 11th Floor, Room 1110
Phone: (412) 246-6452
Fax (412) 246-6435
Nathan Rockcastle, BS Nathan Rockcastle, BS
Committee Co-Coordinator
Phone: (724) 733-3795
Fax: (412) 648-1465

Last Revision: March 25, 2016