Mock Study Section
Margaret Briggs-Gowan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Kevin Claffey, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Cell Biology, Center for Vascular Biology
Dr. Margaret Briggs-Gowan and Dr. Kevin Claffey have extensive experience reviewing grants, and have organized mock study sections to give advice to investigators on improvements related to general organization of proposals, clarity on scientific premises and approaches, demonstration of feasibility in the Research Plan, and aspects of Significance and Innovation. Please send wet lab proposals to Dr. Claffey and dry lab/clinical proposals to Dr. Briggs-Gowan.
In addition, the writing clarity is evaluated and if necessary the proposal could be referred to Dr. Christopher “Kit” Bonin, our grant science writer at the School of Medicine.
For an effective full study section review, and in order for the process to work, you must start early. The following is a timeline for mock reviews:
- Contact Dr. Briggs-Gowan or Dr. Claffey at least 8 weeks before the grant application deadline, with a copy of your Specific Aims. That is important to gather potential reviewers.
- At least 6 weeks from deadline, provide a complete version of the scientific portion of the grant proposal. This will be sent to the reviewers.
- Within two weeks after receipt of the proposal the reviewers will meet to evaluate the proposal in a similar manner as a regular NIH Study Section. Reviewers will prepare critiques addressing: Significance, Innovation, Approach, and General Clarity of the proposal. Dr. Briggs-Gowan and Dr. Claffey will generate a Summary Statement incorporating the individual written critiques and the discussion. At this time, the reviewers will consider the assistance with scientific writing and/or editing.
- During the next 2 days after the discussion, a meeting will be scheduled with the investigator to go over the critiques and/or recommendations.
- If time permits, the investigator will have the chance to incorporate the proposed changes and submit a revised version of the proposal. This should be done at least 2 weeks before deadline. The re-evaluation will not be done in a formal meeting, but through electronic communication with Dr. Briggs-Gowan or Dr. Claffey, and if available, the original reviewers. The applicant will be contacted to discuss the outcomes.
Dr. Claffey will also form small strategic review group (2-4 reviewers) to provide rapid feedback on just the Specific Aims and Significance/Innovation sections, Data to include in proposals, and strategies to deal with previously reviewed grants of “Not Discussed” and “Non-Funded” to optimize resubmissions. We will also aim to coordinate with Grant Writing staff if warranted.