Brain Canada Challenge

About Brain Canada

Brain Canada is a national non-profit organization that plays aunique and invaluable role as the national convenor of those whosupport and advance brain research. Our vision is to understand thebrain in health and illness, to improve lives and achieve societalimpact. We achieve our vision by Increasing the scale and scope offunding to accelerate the pace of Canadian brain research, creating a collective commitment to brain research across the public, private and voluntary sectors, and delivering transformative, original and outstanding research programs.

Their Challenge

Brain Canada receives hundreds of applications in various types and areas of brain research. Each application needs to be randomly assigned to three expert reviewers. Assignment rules: application type, area of research or keywords for each applicant must match or closely match those of reviewers (excluding those with conflict of interest). Currently, Brain Canada uses as Excel model to match each applicant to a reviewer. This is quite tedious and can generate erroneous results that need to be manually corrected - potentially increases assignment bias. The development of a program/automation process to improve the randomization process and generate a march percentage would be very helpful for Brain Canada's research Programs. It should include some level of flexibility to add rules for specific Programs (e.g., the use of keywords or including the level of expertise as criteria). It should also allow CSV or Excel data importing from both the applicant forms and the reviewer forms. There are not many grant management systems that have this feature. The only one I found is SurveyMonkey Apply (Distribution of applications based on advanced rules) that allows seamless randomization. Here are two spreadsheets - one with the papers and one with the reviewers. Feel free to use them as a sample while programming your organizational algorithm.

  1. Paper
  2. Reviewers

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