Department of Clinical Sciences

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Advancing the health
and well-being
of animals
and people


Guidelines for Voluntary Grant Reviews


General Information

Participation in seeking a grant review is voluntary and is encouraged to all members of the Department of Clinical Sciences. The schedule set forth is to assure adequate time is allowed for review and to assure that the reviewers have ample time to provide advice to the applicant for consideration.  The following time table provides a schedule for annual, preset deadlines or for deadlines that have a short or unknown turnaround time.


Regardless of the type of review, the material presented to the grant reviewers needs to be complete and submitted by the applicant in a form that is considered a best-efforts application, ready for submission to the granting agency.

Applications will be prescreened by members of the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Research Committee to assure the grant is in final form and ready for review.  If there are gaps or sections identified as “in progress” or “to be developed," the grant will be considered not ready for review.  Judy Wood will be the initial contact person; this responsibility will be assumed by other committee members as the program develops.

Review meetings will be scheduled for one hour in duration. The room location and time will be standardized. Refreshments will be available.

Reviews will be tailored to the individual and his/her needs.  The selection of reviewers will be made in consultation with the applicant bearing in mind: 1) the reviewers' experience with the proposed sponsor;
2) the subject matter; and
3) the need to include a reviewer outside the field of the applicant’s proposed research.  Broad representation is needed.

Mentor(s) of the applicants are highly encouraged to attend each session.

Applicants have choices of reviews (one, all three, any combination); the process is to help facilitate the grant writing process and support the applicant.

 

Types of Reviews

 Chalk Talk 

The meeting is a brainstorming-chalk talk session (~ one hour) to help determine the:
1) appropriateness and relevancy of the study
2) validity and strength of the hypothesis and supporting aims.

One week before the scheduled review meeting, the applicant provides a one-page overview of the proposed study, including the (draft) hypothesis and aims. This material, together with the application guidelines, is sent to Judy Wood (jrw7@cornell.edu). 

Judy will review the document, meet with the applicant, and identify reviewers.  The reviewers will have the document 3 days in advance of the meeting.  For this kind of review, there is no limit on the number of individuals who may be invited to participate.  The session affords the opportunity for applicants to bounce their ideas and concepts off of reviewers, share ideas and seek feedback.

 

Progress Review

A second opportunity to meet can be scheduled if applicants wish to meet.  The purpose of this casual meeting is to provide an opportunity for the applicant to seek advice and revisit any items previously discussed. This forum provides an option for the applicant to check-in and a vehicle that the application is progressing.

 

Submission-ready Review

This kind of review can be used in conjunction with the chalk-talk, or can occur independently of the chalk-talk. 

The purpose of this review is to have individuals from the College review the application as if they were official agency reviewers or study section members, and to provide constructive feedback, which will be given through discussions. The reviewers need only the scientific portion of the application; if the entire application is complete, however, they will review the grant in toto if the entire grant is submitted.

The scientific portion of the application needs to be submitted to Judy Wood (jrw7@cornell.edu) according to the time line listed in the previous Table. The application needs to be complete and be written with the applicant’s best intentions, in a final form ready for submission to a granting agency. The application will be screened to determine readiness, and, together with the applicant, two reviewers will be chosen to provide a review.

Feedback from the two reviewers will be available based on the timeline above, allowing enough time for the applicant to assess the reviews and consider revisions.

The review meeting for discussion can include as many individuals wishing to attend, including coinvestigator, collaborators, and mentors

The reviewers will focus their reviews on the quality of the application (grantsmanship), and will not be expected to be experts in the methodology. (The latter is the responsibility of the applicant’s mentor and/or coinvestigator, or experts in the field of research).  The review committee will provide advice on: 1) the appropriateness of the study; 2) the hypothesis and specific aims: 3) the strength/weaknesses of the anticipated outcome of the study; 4) statistical methods; 5) use of images, tables, legends, and appropriate labels; 6) written clarity of the application; and 7) their knowledge of the sponsor’s intentions and review process.



Postmortem

After applicants hear from the sponsor about the outcome of their application, the grant reviewers offer to meet with the applicant.  The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for the applicant to share the results of the application, to seek advice, and evaluate the experience. This is the only mechanism to measure the success of the new program – do we increase the number of grants written, submitted, and awarded than over the last 5 years? We need to learn the outcome and especially what was provided in the sponsor's critique.