Grant Proposal Peer Review Program

Receiving comments from a peer review of a grant proposal is one of the best ways to identify potential problems with the proposal before it is reviewed by the assigned reviewers from the sponsoring agency. In addition, reading proposals written by others can be a helpful way to become familiar with approaches that strengthen a proposal’s merit as well as those that make it less competitive.

In an effort to increase the level of competitiveness of proposals submitted by EKU faculty and staff, Sponsored Programs will pilot a Peer Review Program, beginning immediately. Applicants must provide at least two weeks turn-around time for the review of proposals in advance of internal deadlines for submitting the proposal for approval at the University. Ideally, requests for peer reviews should be received one month prior to the sponsoring agency’s submission deadline. The peer review program may be accessed only for grant proposals to be submitted to competitive funding opportunities. The program extends to applications to be submitted to the University Research Committee.

Process for Joining the Peer Review Team 
If you would like to sign up to join the Peer Review Team, send an email toTiffany.Hamblin@eku.edu and request to be added to the Peer Review Database. In order to assist us in identifying appropriate reviewers for individual requests, please attach a copy of your current vita to your request.  

Process for Requesting a Review of a Grant Proposal 
In order to be eligible to request peer reviews of grant proposals, individuals are required to join the peer review team and be willing to review proposals of others. Contact Tiffany Hamblin to arrange for a peer reviewer to be assigned to your proposal. You may request specific types of reviewers, and efforts will be made to accommodate your request, depending on the composition of the Peer Review Team. For example, a researcher may request that a scientific proposal be reviewed by someone in the humanities to ensure understandability from a non-scientific perspective or a staff member writing a proposal for student services may request a review by someone working in a different area of student services to ensure appropriateness of service delivery design. Distribution of draft proposals will be accomplished through email to ensure efficiency. Reviewers will also be encouraged to return comments electronically unless otherwise requested by the proposal author.

Guidelines for Peer Reviewers

  1. Carefully review the entire proposal objectively.
  2. Pay attention to both scientific/programmatic and grammatical/formatting issues during your review.
  3. Offer praise as well as constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement.
  4. Note areas that are weak and those that are strong.
  5. Compare the proposal contents to requirements outlined in the application guidelines.
  6. Consider only information presented in the proposal and not anything else you may know about the project or author of the proposal.
  7. Avoid being too harsh, but do not be afraid to bring deficiencies to the author’s attention.

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