Grant Application Mock Review

Mock reviews of grant applications are essential to funding success. The Grant Application Mock Review program facilitates highest possible quality of reviews for external funding applications by providing an honorarium to identified reviewers. The reviews are entirely voluntary, but strongly encouraged to improve overall chances of success.

Eligibility

Mock reviews are available for faculty members of any rank, as well as trainees.

Expectations

Reviewers (either internal or external to CHLA) will be identified and recruited either by the grant applicant directly or by the grant applicant in consultation with their division chief or department chair.

Mock reviews fall into two categories:

  1. Early-stage help in shaping and critiquing Specific Aims and Hypotheses: $100 honorarium
    • Typically requires 2-3 iterations between Principal Investigator and reviewer, with detailed mark-ups from the reviewer
    • Timeline: The first draft must be sent to the reviewer no later than 10 weeks prior to the submission deadline, and the detailed mark-ups and comments must be returned to the PI within 1 week of receiving each version of the draft aims and hypotheses.
  2. Mock review of entire grant: $250 honorarium per review
    • Typically requires detailed written comments and verbal discussion on ways to strengthen the design or overall proposal
    • To allow the investigator adequate time to incorporate the recommendations, the draft must be sent to reviewer no later than 6 weeks prior to submission deadline.
    • To receive the honorarium, the reviewer must complete and return the written review within 2 weeks of receiving it.
      • Written comments will include at a minimum a review in the usual NIH format, but ideally also marginal notes within the draft application that suggest specific changes to the text.
      • The verbal discussion will impart additional very specific suggestions for changes to the text, as well as more general suggestions for changes in presentation, study design, and execution.
    • External foundation grants can have 1 reviewer
    • NIH grant applications can have up to 3 reviewers, each paid their own honorarium

How to Apply

Follow the steps below and adhere to the timeline requirements as detailed above.

Step 1: Identify and invite content-area expert(s) to serve as mock reviewers for your grant.

Step 2: Once reviewers have agreed to participate, complete the Mock Review Application Form. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • Funding agency and mechanism
  • Grant due date
  • Reviewer/s name, title and institutional affiliation
  • Reviewer email address

Step 3: TECPAD will email the reviewer/s (ccing you) to confirm participation, reiterate the timeline and review requirements, and outline and facilitate payment.

Step 4: Copy TECPAD on your email to reviewers with your early-stage materials (10 weeks prior to submission) and/or entire grant (6 weeks prior to submission).

Step 5: Once the review is completed, send a copy of mock reviewer comments along with the final revised grant to tecpad@chla.usc.edu to facilitate mock review payment.