Peer Review Resource

Neuroscience Grants Journal Club

The Neuroscience Affinity Group offers a grants club on the second Thursday of each month in Abramson Conference Room 511 to provide critical reviews of applications prior to submission to the NIH or another funding agency. The goal of this activity is to both improve grants-in-progress prior to submission and improve each attendees’ grantsmanship. The Grants Journal Club is an informal 'study section' where trainees and faculty meet to provide feedback (verbal and some written) on drafts of upcoming grant submissions.

Trainees and/or faculty interested in being a reviewer or having their grants reviewed can contact Kristen Hearty for more information about the materials to submit. Grants should be submitted for review at least one month before it is due to the funding agency. Submitting earlier will likely be better to ensure sufficient time to address any issues raised.

Support for External Peer Reviews of Grants

The Neuroscience Affinity Group has developed a program to support outstanding grantsmanship for members of the community. The group will support honoraria for external reviews of NIH grants (or other larger grants from other agencies if appropriate).

All members of the affinity group (particularly junior investigators) are encouraged to ask members of the community to provide critical reviews of applications before they are submitted to the NIH or another granting agency. In addition, the group will provide honoraria of $250 for up to two external reviews of a grant application (pending availability of funds in the affinity group budget). We anticipate that this process will improve application success rates.

At least eight weeks before the application is due at NIH or another granting agency, the program administrator (listed below) should be provided with a list of up to five potential reviewers (in order of preference), a title of the application, and a draft of the abstract. The program administrator will contact these potential reviewers and determine if they are willing to provide a critical review of the proposal. They will receive the application at least five weeks before it is due at the NIH or other granting agency and will have two weeks to provide an NIH-style review.

When selecting potential reviewers, remember to select individuals who have served on NIH study sections and who are likely to provide a frank and honest review. Also remember that individuals who provide feedback will be excluded from reviewing the application for the granting agency.

At least five weeks before the application is due, provide the program administrator with the application (including supporting documents if appropriate), this will be forwarded to the reviewer with instructions.

If interested in utilizing this service please contact Kristen Hearty at or 215-590-3728 for assistance.