When preparing revisions to an NIH grant application, DrugMonkey says "one of the best starting places … is to think about the review process." For example, an investigator who plans to revise and resubmit should consider that his or her grant will "in most cases … go back to the same study section," DrugMonkey says, and, as such, it will likely be reviewed by someone who has already seen it. Further, he adds, the reviewers — whether new or old — "will see the summary statement from the prior review, but not the application itself," necessitating careful attention to how the investigator words his or her "introduction to the revised application" section. "You should start off with a sentence to the effect of 'This is a revision of IC031666 reviewed in Panel VWXYNot in Feb of 2011 where it received a priority score of 31 and a percentile rank of 26 percent,'" while avoiding the natural inclination to "reiterate some of the more glowing and approving comments made by the reviewers," DrugMonkey says. It's also important, he adds, to resist the urge to criticize the grant's prior reviewers, as "this doesn't go well." The remainder of the revised grant should list "the most-important and/or most-consistent criticisms, one by one, with your reply underneath," DrugMonkey says, suggesting that the applicant "edit this down to a few phrases that communicate the point and combine the same criticism from multiple reviewers if applicable." Overall, he says, "the quality of your response to the prior criticism is a major factor in review."
Ready to Revise?
Aug 30, 2011