Mock Study Section

Mock Study Sections

Dr. Hector Leonardo Aguila and Dr. Margaret Briggs-Gowan 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. Wet lab proposals should be sent to Dr. Aguila; dry lab/clinical proposals should be sent 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 review, and in order for the process to work, you must start early. The following is a timeline for mock reviews:

    1. Contact Dr. Aguila or Dr. Briggs-Gowan at least 8 weeks before the grant application deadline, with a copy of your Specific Aims. That is important to gather potential reviewers.
    2. 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.
    3. 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. Aguila or Dr. Briggs-Gowan 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.
    4. During the next 2 days after the discussion, a meeting will be scheduled with the investigator to go over the critiques and/or recommendations.
    5. 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 between Dr. Aguila or Dr. Briggs-Gowan, and - if available - the original reviewers. The applicant will be contacted to discuss the outcomes.

Contact information:

Hector Leonardo Aguila, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Immunology
Email: or Phone: 860.679.7658

Margaret Briggs-Gowan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Email: or Phone: 860.679.3872