Behind Door #3: The Hard-to-Please Grant ReviewerReportar como inadecuado

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Research Management Review, v18 n2 p85-107 Fall-Win 2011

After months of waiting, the grant reviews came back: excellent, excellent, and fair. What?! How can this be? Why is the third review so out of line with the first two? On more than one occasion a principal investigator (PI) has been frustrated not only by a negative funding decision but more so by the accompanying reviewer evaluation forms that contain diametrically opposed feedback. Research administrators are in a prime position to help faculty unpack reviewer comments and to better understand the existence and nature of the hard-to-please grant reviewer. This article applies an analytic model to compare and contrast fourteen dimensions of grant structures and processes at the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and U.S. Department of Education that have an effect on grant outcomes. It examines five specific aspects of inconsistencies in ratings among grant reviewers that are of greatest concern to unsuccessful applicants. It also offers strategies that can be used by research administrators to propel the PI forward--to revise and resubmit, to pursue a different sponsor, or to consider a new line of investigation. PIs who anticipate the needs of reviewers and satisfy those expectations in the proposal increase their odds for grant success. (Contains 2 tables and 1 endnote.)

Descriptors: Research Administration, Grants, Feedback (Response), Evaluation Criteria, Evaluation Problems, Program Evaluation, Investigations, Audits (Verification), Evaluation Needs, Evaluation Research, Performance Factors, Program Design, Program Descriptions

National Council of University Research Administrators. 1015 18th Street NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-466-3894; Fax: 202-223-5573; e-mail: info[at]; Web site:

Autor: Miner, Jeremy T.


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