Information for Reviewers

Projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Vehicle Technologies Office will be reviewed for their merit at the Annual Merit Review (AMR). DOE will use the results of this merit review, along with additional review processes, to make program decisions for upcoming years.

All presenters and reviewers are strongly encouraged to attend the plenary session on Monday, June 21, 2021, to hear the invited speakers and VTO staff set the stage for the AMR technical presentations.

Frequently Asked Questions

When will I receive my review assignments?

Reviewers will receive their initial assignments beginning in April. Please note that due to unforeseen conflicts, reviewer assignments may change. Reviewers will receive any updates to their assignments by email but are welcome to check in at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Reviewer Lab for their final review schedule.

Where can I access the presentations that I am asked to review?

Presentations for projects under review will become available beginning in early-June. Reviewers will access the presentations through PeerNet, a web-based peer review application. 

Reviewers will receive an email message from the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) AMR Team with instructions for accessing PeerNet. If you need assistance with PeerNet, please send an email to

Where do I enter my evaluations?

Evaluation comments and scores are entered directly into PeerNet. Reviewers will receive an email message from the ORISE AMR Team with instructions for accessing PeerNet. If you need assistance with PeerNet, please send an email to

When are my evaluations due?

Evaluations must be entered into PeerNet by 5 p.m. EDT, Friday, July 9, 2021. The deadline is 2 weeks following the review meeting. 

Reviewers are strongly encouraged to access PeerNet prior to the review to familiarize themselves with their assigned projects and the review criteria and enter initial comments and scores. Reviewers are encouraged to complete their evaluations of projects on-site during AMR.

What is the process for Conflicts of Interest (COI)?

Reviewers will  be prompted from within PeerNet to agree or disagree with whether they have a specific COI for each individual project assigned to review. If you indicate that you have a conflict, PeerNet will block your access to that project evaluation and redirect you to your other assigned projects. 

Reviewers are asked to disclose any potential COI according to the guidelines and definitions sent to them with their initial AMR review assignments. Upon disclosure of a potential COI, VTO makes the determination whether a reviewer must be recused from the review of that project. To notify ORISE about a COI, please send an email to

Will there be a reviewer training session?

Reviewer training webinars will take place before the AMR. Reviewers will receive emails detailing the logistics. You are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the sessions. Topics include the review process, evaluation expectations, evaluation criteria, what constitutes a conflict of interest, and more. We anticipate that each session will last approximately 1 hour.

How do I evaluate projects?

The purpose of the review is to evaluate DOE-funded projects for their contributions to the mission and goals of the Vehicle Technologies Office. Reviewers are asked to provide numeric scores for well-defined criteria and meaningful comments to support the scoring. VTO takes the recommendations of the reviewers into consideration in generating future work plans, and comments are published in the Annual Merit Review Results Report (reviewer names are withheld from the final report).

I have questions not answered here. Whom do I contact?

Contact the ORISE AMR Team at