Since the holy trinity important things have come in threes—listen up. You can lose the good will of study section.

1.) Get the details right; misstating the methods or findings of a reference destroys your credibility.

Know every paper you cite. Others who know the science or did it will be in the room.

2.) The slate is not wiped clean by an A0 (first submission) if it’s a re-do.

If similar to a prior unfunded submission(s) every part must be solid platinum. The research must be substantively more compelling – new preliminary data, better approach, and highly responsive to prior critique or you will engender bitterness at having to review the same ideas again. Study sections have memory.

 

3.) Don’t ask for more time/money than you need.

Funding is a zero-sum game; money you receive won’t go to someone else. Reviewers get cranky when you turn a three-year project into five.

Don’t be the person we remember for prior gaffes. Even if only some members are put off by a concern it can hurt your grant score…and only nearly perfect scores clear the payline.

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