Bulletin Board

Pre-Peer-Review of Biomedical Research Proposals

The Center for Biomedical Research is starting a pre-peer-review system to assist researchers in preparing external grant proposals for biomedical research. OU researchers can submit a proposal (via email, to roth@oakland.edu), and the CBR will find approximately two CBR members to read and review the proposal, and provide feedback. The goal is to improve proposals submitted to funding agencies, and thereby increase the odds of a proposal being funded.

Pre-peer-review is optional. Experienced researchers who already have grant support are welcome to send their proposals for pre-peer-review, but they may find this step unnecessary. New faculty members are particularly encouraged to participate. Proposals to the National Institutes of Health will benefit the most from pre-peer-review, because OU has many NIH-funded researchers who can offer their experience and expertise, but proposals to any funding agency will be accepted. Obviously, peer review of a proposal takes time, so in order to take advantage of pre-peer-review a proposal must be completed well before the funding agency deadline. I would prefer to have completed proposals submitted to the CBR four weeks before the agency deadline (earlier if possible), but I will attempt to provide the best review in whatever time I have. Even earlier notice that a proposal will be coming would be helpful, so I can identify reviewers in advance.

At agencies like the NIH, your proposal is typically read by two types of reviewers: an expert in your particular field (often the primary reviewer), and other researchers who are familiar with your general area of interest but are not experts in your sub-discipline. The CBR pre-peer-review can improve proposals for the second type of reviewer. You still need to seek advice from your close collaborators about the questions addressed, and methods used, in your sub-discipline. Researchers who are not native English speakers can obtain assistance from pre-peer-review in making your proposal clearer. However, if the English is very poor then I may need even additional time to organize and perform the review.

For any questions about the pre-peer-review system, contact Brad Roth (roth@oakland.edu).