EME 810
Solar Resource Assessment and Economics

11.4 Reviewing your Peers' Project Proposals


Learning Activity - Peer Review

In Canvas you will be provided with a list of partners to review. While you should feel creative about reviewing your peers' work, I also want to provide you with some guidelines for reviewing.


  • Edit the submitted PDF: Your peers are responsible for producing PDF documents for you to review. You are then going to mark up the PDFs with your own comments.
  • Check the *.sam file from the simulations: Your peer should share his/her SAM model with you as a source of data to review. You don't need to dig deep into it, but it will be useful to check the SAM results against the statements in the proposal draft.
  • Compose a reviewer summary: Take your analysis of the draft and write up a formal review in a summary narrative (saved as a PDF document).

You can use the following 8 criteria elements to structure your review. Try to compose your reviewer comments in the third person, and back up your constructive criticism with examples found in the document (or the absence of content). Most reviews of compelling proposals will be 1-2 pages. If extensive errors or omissions are found, the itemized listing of corrections may extend the review length. You will be evaluated on your ability to provide constructive feedback to your peer that will strengthen their final proposal. 

Peer Review should include:

  1. Summary: Quick executive statement of what is presented (e.g. Jane D. has presented a proposal "  <Title> " for ... that compares ... with ...)
  2. General comments: A broad statement of your impressions gathered in reviewing the proposal. This should include any major errors or omissions that appear to seriously weaken the proposal. This should also include constructive and positive statements of the proposal overall.
  3. Itemized list of corrections: A short bulleted listing of errors found in the document, identified by page number. This list can also be linked to groups of errors found in the PDF for expediency.
  4. Innovativeness: Was this proposal creative, novel, or used non-traditional approach to the goals; or was the proposal fairly standard in its approach? This is not a good or bad interpretation of the content, rather a statement of a compelling and novel approach.
    e.g. The overall approach made use of extensive research into the solar resource in a creative way by ...
  5. Relevance to the Goal of Solar Design: Did the author appear to fulfill the goal to maximize solar utility for the client in the given locale?
    e.g. The author created a compelling argument that involved a detailed analysis of the stakeholder...and formed a well-defined context for the locale...
  6. Practical relevance: Is this proposal grounded in both financial and solar resource foundations, or might the author be over-/understating the claims for performance?
  7. Clarity of the manuscript: A summary statement of the spelling/grammar, organization of content, and proper use of visual imagery to sway the client
  8. Recommendation: This is analogous to a recommendation for publication in a peer-reviewed journal process
    • proposal rewrite will need major revisions before submission,
    • submit proposal rewrite with minor revisions noted in PDF,
    • rewrite content as-is into the final proposal (aka: the author walks on water)

Submitting Your Work

Please upload your (i) marked-up PDF and (ii) Reviewer Summary to the "Peer Review of Project Proposal" dropbox in Canvas and send a copy of each directly to your peer through Canvas by the assigned deadline.

Grading criteria for peer reviews

Your peer review will be evaluated out of 15 pts.

  • 5 points: marked-up PDF indicates that the entire document was reviewed in detail in an attempt to strengthen the proposal. (3 pts if document appears to have been scanned only for major errors)
  • 10 points: reviewer summary is complete with all the above-listed 9 criteria elements addressed in a thoughtful manner. Full points when student establishes clear and constructive comments that attempt to strengthen the proposal for the final submission.