Part of the remit of WG-SAM includes reviewing and providing advice to WG-FSA and the SC on the experimental design of research plans submitted under CM 21-02, and research proposals submitted under CM 24-01. A total of 34 papers was submitted to WG-SAM-15 for review under this agenda item alone. The large volume of papers, lack of consistent format, lack of clear performance review criteria, and the lack of time available at the meeting made a meaningful review of each plan infeasible. To provide a structure to assist in the review process, WG-SAM requested that proponents compile a self-assessment report card to guide evaluation of the performance of each research plan and/or project. During the review process, several related issues were discussed that are likely to impede or prevent the achievement of the research objectives if not addressed. The purpose of this paper is to provide the structure of the self-assessment to WG-FSA for comment, to characterise some of the issues associated with WG-SAM review of research plans and research proposals, and to suggest a potential mechanism for more streamlined and objective review of progress (to allow standardised, secretariat-generated reports to be produced) for consideration by WG-FSA.