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The Grant Mock Review program is to provide early career investigators (ECI) – including Fellows and Assistant Professors – in the Department of Psychiatry an opportunity to receive a critical evaluation of grant proposals by senior investigators. This initiative will provide tangible support and guidance for this critical aspect of career development, improve the competitiveness and ultimate success of submitted proposals, and ultimately improve the quality of research in the Department of Psychiatry and its national ranking in research funding.  The purpose of this committee is to augment, rather than replace, the effort of the investigator’s mentor(s) in the application process.

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ECIs (no prior R01 or other substantive grant), will be eligible for this program, including assistant and associate professors. Postdoctoral fellows submitting K Awards (including internal KL2 awards) will also be eligible. We plan to pilot the process for 2 grant cycles and modify the process as needed. During the pilot phase, grants processed through the Department of Psychiatry’s Grant Office will be included.  Non-NIH grants (HRSA, SAMSHA, DoD) will be included in the program.

Program Timeline

  1. The committee will be notified by the Department Grants Office and/or the early career investigator about 10 weeks before due date that a grant proposal will be submitted and will need review. Ideally, this notification process would be tied to the Grants Office email requesting notice of anticipated grant submissions.
  2. Each ECI proposal will be assigned 2 faculty reviewers, one will be a member of the Committee, the other will be recruited based on subject matter expertise. Reviewers will be given anticipated times that the review will need to be done.
  3. A draft Specific Aims page will be submitted to the reviewers 8 weeks before submission. For resubmissions, the previous summary statement and an outline of the response to previous reviews should be included. This will give the ECI enough lead time to act on the reviews early in the process of formulating the grant proposal. This part of the review will be mandatory for all early career investigators.
  4. A draft of the final grant’s Specific Aims, Research Strategy, and Introduction to Revised Application (if applicable) should be submitted 3-4 weeks before the submission deadline. Reviewers will have one week to return the review, which will utilize the NIH review template as well as track change/edits of the proposal. If parts of the grant are not ready at the time of review (i.e., preliminary data), this should be described in the draft so the reviewers understand how it will contribute to the overall proposal. ECIs will also be encouraged to include one or two bullet points of particular issues they would like reviewers to address. It is expected that reviewers will be available for follow-up questions and clarification of review points.
  5. If reviewers think that a proposal requires a statistical review, appropriate expertise from within the department will be sought.

Outcomes/Analytics.  The committee will evaluate the success of the grant review program. To do so, the Committee will gather data and track the submission and success rates of our ECIs, including, scores, reviews, and final funding decisions. Once this system is in place, it can be used to track all Department grant submissions as well. We will also solicit feedback from ECIs and reviewers regarding their experience with the review. This will not only help us evaluate the success of our program relative to baseline, but will also flag ECIs who are in need of tailored support to improve their chance of success.

Department of Psychiatry Grant Mock Review Committee Members

Kim Brownley, Cindy Bulik, Flavio Frohlich, Brad Gaynes, John Gilmore, Karen Grewen, Fred Jarskog