WASHINGTON, D.C.—Oak Ridge Associated University’s electronic peer review and evaluation system, PeerNet, was used to support the selection of recipients for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Enrico Fermi Award, a prestigious award presented by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on behalf of President Barack Obama. This year’s awards were presented to Allen J. Bard and Andrew Sessler during a Feb. 3 ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Through a contract to manage DOE’s Oak Ridge Institute for Science Education, or ORISE, ORAU peer review specialists oversaw the merit review for the Enrico Fermi Award, providing an objective assessment of worthy candidates. PeerNet provided independent reviewers with secure access for evaluating nomination packages based on pre-established criteria. Recommendations made by reviewers were submitted and approved by the energy secretary with the president accepting and approving the selections.
“PeerNet has been a secure and effective tool for peer review management and other evaluations for ORAU’s customers for more than a decade,” said Tony Lester, ORAU vice president for scientific peer review. “The Web-based system is straightforward and streamlines the process by providing documents to reviewers for evaluation; collecting and compiling reviewers’ feedback and scores; summarizing feedback; performing scoring calculations; and providing extensive reporting of the evaluation results.”
The Enrico Fermi Award is given to encourage research excellence in energy, science and technology, and recognizes scientists, engineers and science policymakers for their outstanding achievements. Bard and Sessler received a citation signed by Obama and Moniz, a gold medal bearing the likeness of Enrico Fermi, and an equally-shared honorarium of $50,000.