Discussing Your Application’s Review with Your Program Director

NIGMS puts out a nice newsletter with useful articles and information. A recent newsletter contained the below article, which spells out how a Program Officer can help guide your next steps after you receive the Summary Statements on your grant application. I wholeheartedly agree with everything the author suggests. I think Program Officers are a highly under-utilized resource, and I always encourage my grantees to build a strong relationship with their PO.

Discussing Your Application’s Review with Your Program Director – NIGMS Feedback Loop Blog – National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

0 thoughts on “Discussing Your Application’s Review with Your Program Director

  • This is a great point. How would you recommend one initiating the conversation with the program director/manager?

    In other words would you start with specific points of feedback, or ask how the discussion was in general during the review session?



    • Tim, I would definitely be prepared with a list of very specific questions for the PO. Hopefully you already have a relationship with the PO before you get to this point. I highly recommend that potential grantees mock up their Specific Aims *before* they write a grant application so they can get feedback from the PO about funding priorities, gaps in their portfolio, etc. Hopefully by the time you have a set of pink sheets the PO knows you and you have built a good rapport with him/her. As you discuss specific questions you have about the reviewers’ comments, a willing PO is likely to share with you their general impressions about the tenor of the review. But in general I think you are more likely to get them talking about the review if you start with specific questions.

    • I take it one step further: many of my clients have work that logically could fit into several institutes. For example, I have clients in kinesiology who could submit to NHLBI, NIDDK, NCI, and others. Same for a client who is a biostatistician doing SNP work. Another client does community health projects on Alaskan native youth who abuse substance and are suicidal– does she apply to NIAAA, NIDA, NICHD, Minority Health, or NIMH? I have these clients mock up several *versions* of their Specific Aims and shop them around to different POs at different institutes to see who bites. Sometimes we get co-sponsors that way. It’s win-win for the Institutes, because they each only fund a portion of the project but they all claim the resulting publications and press releases in their own reporting.

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