Department of Medicine

University of Pittsburgh

GIM News
Donna L. Bishop, Editor

Next issue:
August 2012

Submission deadline:
July 29, 2012


Update on the CRHC Grant Review Process

The new internal scientific grant review Web site of the Center for Research on Health Care (CRHC) went "live" in December 2011. Since that time, 13 new and revised proposals were internally reviewed and then submitted for external review and possible funding to the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and various foundations.

The CRHC wishes to acknowledge the efforts of the following faculty members who volunteered their time and provided one or more expert reviews of the proposals:

Robert Arnold, MD John Kellum, MD
David Barnard, PhD, JD Kevin Kraemer, MD, MSc
Clifton Callaway, MD Andrea Kriska, PhD, MS
Joyce Chang, PhD Michelle Levine, PhD
Duncan Clark, MD, PhD Oscar Marroquin, MD
Marie Cornelius, PhD Kathleen McTigue, MD, MPH
Mary Amanda Dew, PhD Elizabeth Miller, MD, PhD
Julie Donohue, PhD Smita Nayak, MD
Michael Fine, MD, MSc Kenneth Perkins, MD
Matthew Freiberg, MD, MSc Paul Pilkonis, PhD
Ronald Glick, MD Brian Primack, MD, PhD
Mary Beth Happ, PhD, RN Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS
Bea Herbeck Belnap, PhD Stephanie Studenski, MD, MPH
Jordan Karp, MD Doug White, MD, MAS

In addition, the CRHC would like to provide responses to the following frequently asked questions:

My co-investigators have already agreed to review my grant proposal. Must I also submit my proposal for internal review? We expect that investigators will ask their co-investigators and other colleagues to review their proposals and provide feedback. However, for our formal CRHC internal scientific review, we believe it is vital that all principal investigators (PIs) obtain feedback from experienced investigators who, like the external reviewers at the funding organization, have content expertise and are not overly familiar with the grant proposal. Indeed, it is far better for PIs to learn about concerns with their proposals from internal reviewers than from external reviewers.

How many reviewers do I need for a formal CRHC internal scientific review? We like each grant proposal to be reviewed by at least two experienced senior investigators, although the PI can request additional reviewers, including junior faculty members. The CRHC Internal Scientific Grant Review Committee will examine requests for review to confirm that the internal reviewers suggested by the PI are suitable for the proposal under consideration. If a specific individual is not suitable, the PI may still ask that individual to review the proposal. However, the individual's review will not count toward the requirement for formal review by two approved reviewers. In some instances, the committee may suggest, in consultation with the PI, that additional reviewers with special expertise provide feedback on the grant proposal.

Can grant proposals be exempt from internal scientific review? Letters of intent, administrative supplements to grants that are already funded, and applications for seed money are exempt from our internal review. In some cases, a foundation or other nongovernmental agency will announce that a grant proposal is available but is due within a short period of time (<1 month), and this may preclude a thorough internal review. But since we encourage a formal internal scientific review for all applications to federal agencies, a late start on a federal grant application is never grounds for exemption from the CRHC internal review process.

What grant proposals are eligible for "expedited" review? Our CRHC policy advises PIs to begin the process of requesting a formal review approximately 810 weeks before their proposal's external due date. When this is not possible, PIs can request an "expedited" review of their proposal. However, in cases in which a federal agency's due date is very soon (<6 weeks), we encourage PIs to consider delaying the submission of their proposal to the next grant cycle so as to reduce the possibility of a negative or unscored review that may adversely affect the success of a revised submission. Questions about whether a grant application may be expedited or exempt from formal review should be discussed with Dr. Bruce Rollman, chair of the CRHC Internal Scientific Grant Review Committee.

If I have trouble uploading my grant proposal or review to the CRHC Web site, whom should I contact? Please contact Karin Dillon, the administrative assistant to the CRHC Internal Scientific Grant Review Committee, at or 412-586-9632.

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