Dear PI,

I am your NIH grant reviewer. Many feel that reviewers are the enemy. But actually, for the next few weeks I want to be your friend. You should want to be mine too. I’m going to explain why.

To get funded you need me to defend your proposal to the review committee. It is only as good as I say it is. And, (this is most important) good ONLY means meeting the review criteria. If I cannot write it in one of the boxes, I really don’t care.

For R01 reviews these boxes include: investigators, significance, innovation, rigor and reproducibility, environment, etc. Training proposals have criteria like training plan, mentors, institutional commitment.

The strengths regarding each review criterion are my ammunition to fight for you. Give them to me CLEARLY and give me a LOT!

If I have to cobble together something from confusing text, the review panel will tear us apart.

It is easiest for me to be able to take direct info from your text and support your proposal within each criterion. So help me to help you. I am your advocate.

If I must struggle to piece together the defense for you, I will be tired and frustrated.

And we cannot be friends.

Follow @VickyLMorgan on Twitter and find the original conversation here.

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