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Obtaining Reviewers Comments and Review Sheets

Many government agencies sponsoring research rely on peer review of proposals and are required by law to document the review process. While a researcher will not have access to names of individuals who reviewed his/her proposal, copies of the reviewers' comments and numerical review sheets are made available. The researcher may need to request these review documents from the sponsoring agency, or, as in the case of National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, the reviews will be automatically sent to the Principal Investigator. Corporate or foundation sponsors will each have their own set of rules governing access to grant review information.

Given the time and effort expended in developing and submitting a proposal, researchers are encouraged to request review documents, regardless of whether or not the project has been funded. If the project has not been funded, the evaluative reviews will assist the researcher in re-working the proposal into a fundable project. These documents also provide a wealth of information on how one's proposal was evaluated, insight into the peer review process, and potential funding opportunities for the future.

Faculty members who wish to obtain peer reviewers' comments should contact the program officer of the sponsor directly. Agencies will usually provide the name, address, and phone number of the person to contact to obtain these reviews. Many public agencies will provide reviewer comments with the letter of notification of the results of the review. Reviews of the proposal will be provide without identification of the individual reviewers. Corporate or foundation sponsors will each have their own set of rules governing access to grant review information.

Last Updated: 10/27/09