ABOUT US

The review staff at Photoexcitation is active in the planetary science, astrophysics, and exoplanet communities with extensive experience in successful submission of a variety of grant proposals, grant panel reviews of all kinds, publishing and reviewing papers, organizing grant writing circles, serving and chairing on multiple hiring committees, and providing free advice to the community. Despite some failures-turned-learning-experiences, our reviewers have always been fully funded (and usually overfunded) and have successful scientific careers. To protect the review staff and enhance our services, all information and reviews by Photoexcitation are anonymous.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHY ARE YOUR REVIEWS ANONYMOUS?

Anonymous peer review is the gold standard for reviewing in the physical sciences and usually within physical science review companies like ours. Journal articles, grant proposals, hiring committees, etc. are typically anonymous. Our reasoning for anonymity is similar to this common scientific practice. For example, with the security of anonymity, a reviewer can freely share their constructive criticisms.

IF I CONTRACT WITH PHOTOEXCITATION, WILL THE REVIEWER’S INFORMATION BE REVEALED?

Not usually. In some cases, you can request to review anonymized information about the reviewer (e.g., background, experience, etc.) as part of contracting for the review. In some cases, the reviewer may choose to reveal their identity.

IF THE REVIEWS ARE ANONYMOUS, HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT I’M CONTRACTING AN EXPERT?

It should be clear from the quality of the review that you receive that it was provided by an expert as advertised. If you are dissatisfied with the quality or expertness of the review, please reach out with your concerns so that we can make things right.  Remember that our services come with no warranty express or implied. Typically, we are called upon to review things where the outcome is uncertain (e.g., receiving a grant or earning tenure) and we cannot accept responsibility for outcomes beyond our control. That said, we strive to support our clients and ensure they are satisfied with our services.

I’M CONCERNED ABOUT PAYING YOU UPFRONT FOR SERVICES. CAN WE WORK SOMETHING OUT?

Yes! Please contact us and we’ll be happy to alleviate any concerns. Another option is to start with the smallest “Quick Skim” review at a minimal cost and to then assess whether you’d like a more detailed review. Any additional work contracted will be at a discounted rate to be negotiated.

 

POLICIES/LEGAL

Photoexcitation is a licensed business operating in the United States "doing business as" Photoexcitation. See our About page for more information on our anonymity policies. 

All reviews include an implicit Non-Disclosure Agreement (we promise never to share your information or identity with anyone outside of Photoexcitation) which we can provide in writing by request. Our reviews also include an implicit Non-Compete Agreement, though it is understood that a scientist may learn about the rough details of your information during an unavoidable initial evaluation. We also reserve the right to will return with a full refund and without feedback any review, especially where a review is not appropriate because it is beyond our expertise, our grant reviewers feel conflicted, or any other reason we deem concerning or unethical. Generally speaking, our reviewers are bound by the same rules that are expected of scientists serving on typical review panels and/or hiring committees. We rely on third-party services (like email and Google Drive) that are reasonably secure and Photoexcitation does not accept responsibility for insecurity beyond our control. If security is a more serious concern let's work it out; for example, you could password-protect or otherwise encrypt the materials you share with Photoexcitation. 

Fulfillment of your orders is done in accordance with the policies on this page and the information for each individual order. Upon purchasing a review, a document is sent that includes all the details about how you  can send us your material for review and how we will respond. Details are worked out via email. The methods used are similar to those used by government grant panels, journal article editors, and professional review services. 

Our review staff are all U. S. Citizens. International grant reviews require previous authorization. Please contact us if you have any ITAR or related concerns. 

Since real grant and application reviews have subjective and stochastic elements, it is impossible for us to provide any guarantee or warranty, express or implied, on our services. We believe our feedback has value that exceeds the amount that we charge and are happy to work with clients who are dissatisfied for any reason. If you believe that the service provided was not in accordance with the description or our policies, please reach out as we would love to make things right. You may request a refund, but since our reviewers are paid for their time regardless of your refund request, we typically do not provide full refunds. A refund request will be granted if you provide documentation from a neutral third-party professional scientist (e.g., a KolabTree freelancer) that demonstrates major deficiencies in the review. While we aim to provide reviews of value to our clients, like actual scientific reviews, there is some degree of subjectivity that cannot be avoided. In addition, a primary goal of reviews is to provide constructive criticism, which can sometimes be hard to accept. Refunds will not be granted based on the perception that the review was antagonistic. Cancellations may be requested via email; since we aim to provide reviews with very short turnaround times, please cancel as soon as possible. Cancellation can only be processed for the portion of the work that has not already been completed at the time of the receipt of the cancellation request. 

As our company and our clientele evolve, we reserve the right to change our prices and products at any time while honoring any pre-existing agreements and purchases. No liability is expected, but if applied it is limited to a total amount paid for services (e.g., a complete refund). 

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns about our services. Suggestions for improvement are also welcome!