Review Process

PTBi-CA is committed to transdisciplinary and community-engaged review of all research proposals, in order to identify highly innovative projects with strong potential to contribute to reducing preterm birth rates and birth outcome disparities in our geographies and populations of focus. Complete applications that meet eligibility requirements are evaluated by three committees: the PTBi-CA Community Advisory Board (CAB), a UCSF scientific review committee, and the PTBi-CA leadership team. All funding decisions are made by PTBi California after considering the CAB and scientific reviews and the alignment of the highest quality proposals with our stated goals and current research portfolio.


Community Advisory Board Review

PTBi-CA is committed to partnering with community stakeholders throughout our efforts, and has convened a Community Advisory Board (CAB) comprised of:

  • Community members who have experienced preterm birth, are at-risk for preterm birth, and/or who have family members affected by preterm birth
  • Clinic- or hospital-based providers of women at risk for preterm birth or babies born preterm
  • Community-based service providers serving communities with high rates of preterm birth
  • Current or former preterm birth-related research study participants

The purpose of the CAB is to ensure all research sponsored by PTBi-CA promotes the interest and wellbeing of the communities in San Francisco, Oakland and Fresno affected by preterm birth. The CAB serves as a source of community stakeholder knowledge and expertise to PTBi-CA researchers, staff and leadership by advising on strategies for engaging community stakeholders in the initiative; providing feedback on aspects of research study design, protocol development, and participant recruitment; and implementation and dissemination of results.

CAB members evaluate submitted proposals based on the scientific abstract, and a plain language summary detailing the project’s history, scope, and community-engagement efforts, with access to the full proposal upon request. It is essential that applicants develop a plain language summary that is clear, engaging, and written specifically for a general, lay audience. Please note that CAB review is a significant component of the review process. CAB review criteria include:

  • Impact: Will the study answer questions that are important to women of reproductive age and their families in San Francisco, Oakland, or Fresno?
  • Partnership: Does the application demonstrate engagement and involvement of community members or community-based organizations in the planning and/or performance/review of the study?
  • Dissemination: Is the plan to disseminate study results to the project participants (and broader community, if applicable) appropriate and effective?

Learn more about crafting a compelling summary for the PTBi-CA Community Advisory Board.


Scientific Review

Applications are evaluated for scientific and technical merit by a review committee convened by the UCSF Resource Allocation Program (RAP). An overall score is assigned in accordance with the following review criteria:

  • Scope: Does the project address the research priorities outlined in the RFA?
  • Impact: Will the project lead to improvements in the prematurity research field for the populations and geographies of focus?
  • Approach/Innovation: Is the research question and proposed design appropriate for the project scope and timeline? Is the proposal novel or innovative?
  • Investigative team: Does the proposed team include members who are experienced in areas that are directly related to the proposed project?
  • Transdisciplinarity: To what degree does the project use a transdisciplinary approach, including engagement with the community? A transdisciplinary team with differing areas of professional and community-based expertise is encouraged.
  • Institutional support: Does the project have the support of the departments and/or organizations involved?
  • Budget: Is the budget appropriate for the project scope and timeline?