CCOM Support for External Review of Grant Applications

The current climate for funding of biomedical research continues to challenge new and experienced investigators. Acknowledging that early preparation and expert scientific guidance aid in the preparation of successful grant applications, the CCOM encourages formal review of grants by an advisory committee prior to grant submission.  External advisors can provide critical expertise that will improve the likelihood that a grant will achieve a fundable score.  Additionally, onsite visits from leading scientists that serve as external advisors will increase the visibility of our research programs and is beneficial to the institution.

The CCOM is accepting requests for funding of external reviewers to serve on a formal review committee that will assess NIH critiques and provide critical feedback for NIH R01 A1 submissions.   The goal is to provide funding for on-site visits by the external reviewer to formalize and incentivize the grant review process.  University of Iowa investigators are restricted to one request per year of up to $500. 


  1. One of the PIs on the grant to be submitted must be a faculty member (any rank) in the CCOM.
  2. The grant must be for a NIH R01 award that will be submitted as a revised or new application in response to a previously reviewed but unfunded (i.e., A1 status) grant.
  3. The advisory committee must include two CCOM faculty members in addition to the external reviewer.
  4. The advisory committee must meet at least two months in advance of the grant deadline.
  5. Requests must be received at least three months prior to the grant deadline, though earlier submissions are encouraged.
  6. Funds must be used to support the honorarium for the external reviewer. It is expected that travel/meal/lodging expenses will be covered by the applicant’s department/center/institute, which may host a seminar visit for the external reviewer. Internal reviewers will not be supported with honoraria.   
  7. The University of Iowa investigator soliciting funds will be responsible for submitting a short summary report of the visit and committee recommendations. The document must be countersigned by one of the UI internal review committee members and the applicant’s DEO.
  8. To ensure the most competitive grant applications, the revised grant addressing the advisory committee’s recommendations must be submitted to the COM Scientific Editing and Research Communication Core (according to their suggested timelines relative to NIH submission).

The request should contain the following:

  1. Brief description of the goal of the project.
  2. The names and affiliations of the advisory committee members. Include how the insights of the external reviewer will aid in the preparation of the grant.
  3. A timeline describing when the draft of the grant will be submitted to the advisory committee, and the date of the advisory committee meeting, in relation to grant deadline.
  4. A cover letter countersigned by the PI’s DEO attesting that the timeline for grant preparation and review will be met.

Applications should be forwarded to Erin Brothers.