External Grant Proposal Review Program

The CHS Office of Research and Scholarship (ORS) recognizes the importance of receiving early and substantive feedback on a grant proposal from an expert in the field prior to submission. Early peer review can identify weaknesses in the scientific approach or gaps in logic.  We strongly encourage all full-time CHS faculty who are developing a federal grant proposal to take the opportunity to increase the competitiveness of the proposal by participating in this program. ORS will compensate a qualified reviewer $500 if the reviewer and the investigator adhere to the program’s procedures delineated below.


  • This non-competitive program is available to all full-time CHS faculty in regular, research, special and clinical title series appointments, regardless of career stage
  • The CHS faculty member must be the Principal Investigator (PI) or the contact PI of a multi-PI proposal
  • The targeted award budget must be at least $100,000 in direct costs
  • If compliant with policies, CHS faculty may participate in this program once every fiscal year

Qualified Reviewers:

  • The CHS faculty member is responsible for identifying an external reviewer who is both qualified to provide an expert review and willing to provide the NIH-style review on the program’s review form by a pre-determined deadline
  • Reviewers must have demonstrated expertise in the topic area. Reviewers must also have prior relevant federal grant funding and/or served on relevant study sections or review panels
  • Reviewers should not be employed by the University of Kentucky or related to any member of the investigator’s team
  • Reviewers should not play any role in the conduct of the proposed study

The Process:

  1. Apply to the External Grant Proposal Review Program at least 120 days before the grant deadline.
  2. Associate Dean for Research will approve or deny the application.
  3. If approved, the ADR will contact the reviewer to ensure 1) availability to work within a pre-determined timeframe, 2) willingness to adhere to the program’s policies and provide a substantive review, and 3) agreement to accept $500 as compensation. Once the reviewer confirms participation in writing, work may begin.
  4. It is the investigator’s responsibility to provide a complete, error-free draft of the scientific components of the proposal, including the abstract, specific aims, research strategy/approach, and bibliography. The investigator must also provide the reviewer a copy of the PA/RFA and a copy of the review form. All materials must be provided to the reviewer at least 90 days prior to the sponsor’s deadline.
  5. Reviewers must return the review form to the investigator and the ADR at least 60 days prior to the sponsor’s deadline or by a pre-determined date that is no later than 60 days prior to the sponsor’s deadline.
  6. To receive payment, the review 1) must be returned within the agreed upon timeframe, and 2) be deemed substantive in scope by the investigator and the ADR. Upon this determination, the investigator may work with Andrew McCauley, financial analyst, in the Office of Research and Scholarship to process the payment in compliance with university policies.

For questions or comments about the External Grant Proposal Review Program, please contact Dr. Brian Noehren, Interim Associate Dean for Research, at b.noehren@uky.edu or Betsy Northrup, Director of Research Operations, at betsy.northrup@uky.edu.