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CHAD Grant Proposal Review Service

CHAD is offering a grant proposal review service available to all faculty and academic professionals in the College of Applied Health Sciences to improve the quality of their grant submissions. The service is designed to provide investigators critical feedback of their proposals prior to agency submission.

Eligibility / Requirements

  • All faculty members and academic professionals in the College of Applied Health Sciences (student proposals will not be eligible)
  • Review of new proposal submissions or resubmissions of proposals that received competitive scores (e.g. not triaged) but were not funded
  • Submission consisting of the final best draft of the full proposal for review; the proposal should include all vital materials necessary for a reviewer to evaluate it sufficiently relative to the agency’s review criteria (e.g. aims, narrative, biosketches). If warranted, budgets and justifications, facilities and environment etc.
  • Granting agency must be external to the University of Illinois
  • Minimum total budget of $75,000 in Total Direct Costs
  • Granting agency must award ICR funds (K awards are eligible)
  • Submitted at least 8 weeks prior to proposal deadline


  1. Faculty members with research projects that meet the eligibility criteria will need to have their proposals pre-reviewed by one of the tenured faculty member from their home unit (e.g. faculty mentor for junior faculty or other senior colleague) to aid in determining whether the proposal is ready for submission. This pre-review is not part of the service but is the expected service contribution of our faculty to assist colleagues. All co-I’s/consultants are expected to review the proposal and their review is not part of this service. (Reminder: all proposal budgets should be pre-approved by Department Heads prior to final submission).
  2. Following the pre-review, PI’s should submit the information referenced below to Wendy Bartlo in the CHAD office.
  3. CHAD will contact the PI to strategize which individuals on campus and/or off campus have the expertise to review the proposal. Department Heads and senior faculty within the PI’s department may also be asked to provide feedback on selection of potential reviewers. Consideration will be given to whether any potential reviewers will possibly serve on any review panels for the prospective grant, and if individuals are in direct competition with the PI for similar grant opportunities.
  4. Potential reviewers will be contacted by CHAD to determine whether they have the time and expertise to review the work. CHAD will invite an individual (either UIUC faculty member or expert at another institution) to serve as a reviewer for the proposal.
  5. The reviewer will be asked to provide a detailed written review of the proposal’s strengths and weaknesses according to the sponsor’s review criteria (usually in bullet-pointed format); identify opportunities to improve the scientific design; and assess the impact and overall significance of the proposal. In addition to the written review, there may be an opportunity for follow-up between the PI and reviewer to clarify the critique.
  6. All external reviewers will be held to the expectations of confidentiality and will be asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
  7. CHAD will compensate the reviewers according to the following payment schedule:
    Page Length of Narrative/Research Strategy of Full Proposal Reviewer Internal to the University of Illinois* Reviewer External to the University of Illinois
    Lengths other than below 12 pages (i.e. NIH R01), Pro-rated $200 $400
    Lengths other than below 6 pages (i.e. NIH R03/R21), Pro-rated $150 $300

*As part of UIUC’s service component, UIUC faculty should mentor junior faculty, as such, honorariums are lower than if an external reviewer is selected. UIUC reviewers will receive honorarium into their ICR account (not personal income). If you are a co-I or consultant on a grant submitted for review it is the expectation that you review your colleague’s proposal (and hence it cannot be counted as an ‘internal review’).

To be considered for this program, applicants should submit the following information to Wendy Bartlo at least 8 weeks prior to the sponsor’s deadline:

  • Full final proposal;
  • The complete RFA or instructions from the sponsor specific to the application.
  • A letter or email from a tenured member of the faculty in the applicant’s home unit stating that he/she pre-reviewed the proposal and deems it acceptable for external review; including any review comments (if warranted).
  • Name of the funding agency;
  • Sponsor deadline;
  • A copy of review panel rosters intended for final review (if known)
  • Copy of review from federal panel or funding agency (in the case of resubmission);
  • Copy of invitation to submit full proposal, if applicable;
  • Total direct costs and indirect costs estimated for the funding period;
  • Names, curricular vitae, and contact information for two to three external content experts, if available

For more information, please contact Dr. Jeff Woods, Associate Dean for Research and Director of CHAD, College of Applied Health Sciences.