Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Faculty Affairs Office
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Pre-Submission Peer Review for NIH Proposals

We are current soliciting applications for pre-submission peer review for NIH proposals with deadlines in January and February. Reviewers will be 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.

These reviews are intended to complement, not replace, other guidance on developing and writing successful research proposals, such as the Grant Writers Groups, departmental/division mentoring and peer review activities and general collegial support.

Deadlines

To be effective, the reviewer panels must be able to 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:

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

Guidelines

Submit Specific Aims page via email to Rick McGee, PhD, according to the deadlines above. 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 full proposal deadline, send McGee the fully developed proposal components, including:

  • Specific Aims page (include even if not changed since previously sent 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, also 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.

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