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Human neurosphere under diff -CIII beta tubulin.  Image courtesy of Servio Ramirez, PhD, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, TUSM



With NIH funding levels such as they are, obtaining funds to support our research programs is an increasingly challenging effort. To help TUSM's research investigators become more successful with their grant applications, a TUSM Grant Review Committee has been established. The goal of internal grant reviews is to give PIs critical feedback about their grant proposals to help them improve their application's chances of success.


How does the review process work?


Following the guidelines below, when you submit a request for internal review of your grant application, one or two members of the TUSM Grant Review Committee will be asked to review the proposal. We will do our best to match the expertise of the reviewer(s) with the subject area of your proposal. Note, however, that given the relatively small number of committee members (currently 15 members) we may not have individuals with expertise related to your specific topic. However, like a typical study section, it is likely that some member(s) of the committee will have related expertise. We will also consider requests for a specific TUSM reviewer that you identify even if that person is not a member of the Grant Review Committee. In these situations, we will do our best to enlist that person as your grant reviewer and ask that they follow our reviewer guidelines.


Once reviewers are enlisted, the goal will be to provide a two week turn around so that comments can be incorporated in revising the grant and so that another draft could be reviewed by the same reviewer(s) before the grant submission date. In all cases, reviewers will communicate directly with the applicant.


How do I submit my application for review?


If you are a TUSM faculty member and have a grant application that you would like critiqued, please send your request to Diane Omdal at omdalde@temple.edu.



Guidelines for Submitting Your Grant Proposals for Internal Review

What can you submit for review?

Proposals that will be considered for internal peer review include:

  1. Early-stage proposals that have a set of specific aims and background information already drafted.
  2. Early-stage proposals that have a set of specific aims only. In this case, however, you must send information about the significance, innovation and approach to be used to help the reviewer better understand and constructively critique your aims.
  3. Amended applications (resubmissions). When requesting review of an amended application, you must provide the summary sheet (review) of your original grant submission.

How much time is required to complete the review?

Proposals, or sections thereof must be sent at least SIX WEEKS before the grant deadline. The reviewers are willing to give you additional feedback after you address their queries and suggestions by reviewing an edited version of the proposal. Obviously, to do this optimally, the sooner you submit the proposal for review the better.


How do I submit my application for review?


Please e-mail requests together with attachments of all required material to Diane Omdal at omdalde@temple.edu.



Important Things to Consider When Developing NIH Grant Applications

NIH Review Criteria

Review criteria for R01s and other “R” category grant proposals include:

  • Significance. Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?
  • Investigator(s). Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If early stage investigators or new investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
  • Innovation. Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?
  • Approach. Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
  • Environment. Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

When your grant is reviewed by NIH study section members, after considering all of the review criteria, they are asked to briefly summarize the likelihood of the project to exert a sustained powerful influence on the field; in other words, it’s overall impact..


Additional information regarding review criteria for all NIH funding opportunities can be found at: