Want to help determine how much funding goes to diagnostic projects?  USDA-APHIS is soliciting reviewers for the PPA 7721 suggestions.  

This is a great way to network with other experts in the field, get the inside scoop on the PPA review process, and add review experience to your CV.  We are eager to recruit expert volunteers including postdocs, faculty, diagnosticians, and other experts in plant pathology and entomology.  Areas of expertise/education requirements requested include diagnostics of insects and plant pathogens, especially molecular diagnostic expertise, general plant disease and insect management expertise, and extension expertise.

Reviewers can expect about 10-15 suggestions to review, but they are typically brief in length. The time to rate a given suggestion may vary based on the how technical the approach is, but the goal team leads make sure that the workload is manageable with other job responsibilities.  

The suggestion review period is short: September 23 to October 18, and goal teams typically host consensus meetings with as many of the reviewers as possible to discuss suggestions at the end of the review period.  We use the Decision Lens platform for ratings with a set of criteria that allows for comments from the reviewers. The goal teams meet for a discussion or two, which may be a 1-2 hour commitment to evaluate any suggestion ratings that may require discussion.  

Even if volunteers have plans to submit suggestions this year, they can still participate as a reviewer, as we have a process to mitigate conflicts of interest.

If there are any interested parties or someone has questions about the process, they can reach out to me directly or send a note to the ppa-projects@usda.gov email to reach the PPA 7721 cross functional working group.


Lindsey Thiessen, PhD
National Science Program Coordinator, Domestic and Emergency Scientific Support, USDA APHIS PPQ S&T
Raleigh, NC  27606
Cell: 919-414-3429

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