Virtual Meeting (VM) For Reviewers

What is the purpose?

Virtual Meeting, accessed through the Internet Assisted Review (IAR) module via eRA Commons, allows reviewers and scientific review officers to participate in an online review meeting in lieu of a face-to-face meeting at a physical location. 

What are the features?

Virtual Meeting allows reviewers to:

  • Submit critiques for their assigned applications (following existing process in IAR)
  • Provide initial comments for discussion when they submit their critiques
  • Read others’ critiques before the discussion (following existing process in IAR)
  • Rescue any applications that the SRO has marked as not for discussion (during new Introduction phase)
  • Participate in the discussion and scientific review of grant applications by navigating to the applications and entering comments (during new Discussion phase)
  • Provide discussion scores, a new concept, to indicate their level of enthusiasm for an application
  • Enter final scores for an application (during Final Scoring phase) (following existing process in IAR)

What are the benefits?

  • By providing an online meeting room, VM saves time and travel for reviewers by eliminating the need to travel to a central location
  • The meeting can be asynchronous to allow reviewers to participate on their own time 

Who can use Virtual Meeting?

  • Reviewers invited to review applications at the meeting
  • Scientific review officer (SRO) managing the meeting
  • Program officials (POs), who have grant applications from their portfolio being discussed at the meeting or are tracking applications in their portfolio, have the ability to follow the discussion online
  • IRG chief, whose assigned cluster is hosting the meeting
  • Extramural Support Assistant (ESA), who assists the SRO in managing the meeting


See the Virtual Meeting section in the IAR for Reviewers online help, for detailed information and screenshots.