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NIH Peer Review Program

The NIH Peer Review Program offers feedback from NIH-funded Northwestern faculty who have significant experience with peer review. They will be individually customized to the scientific and/or career development activities being proposed. 

This new offering is intended to complement, not replace, other guidance on developing and writing successful research proposals, such as the Grant Writing Coaching Groups, departmental/division mentoring and peer review activities and general collegial support.

To be effective, the panels must be able to review and provide feedback far enough in advance of grant deadlines so that changes and improvements can be made. Therefore, to take advantage of this new resource, the following required schedules have been established:

  • 2.5 months prior to submission deadline: Submit a good draft of Aims page
  • 1.5 months prior to submission deadline: Submit full proposal, a semi-final draft ready for review

Send the Specific Aims page to Rick McGee, PhD, associate dean for Faculty Recruitment & Professional Development, at by the appropriate deadline. The Aims page will be used to identify appropriate faculty reviewers. Identified reviewers will be asked to provide initial feedback on the Specific Aims page, as will McGee and/or William L. Lowe, Jr., MD, vice dean for Academic Affairs. Suggestions for potential reviewers who are NOT directly involved with the proposal are encouraged.

By the full proposal deadline, you must send McGee the fully developed proposal components including the following:

  • Specific Aims page (include even if not changed since the previous version)
  • Significance, Innovation and Approach sections
  • NIH Biosketches of PI and all key and other significant personnel
  • For resubmissions: Summary Statement of prior review and Introduction response
  • For K proposal: Submit other major sections, including letters of support from mentors and Institutional Commitment (to be reviewed only by Faculty Affairs)
Approximately two weeks after submission of the full proposal, reviewers will provide written reviews using the standard NIH format. An in-person meeting will also be scheduled to discuss reviews with the peer reviewers plus McGee, Lowe or other leaders from NUCATS.