View in Browser

LUNCH WITH LAURA - Requirements for the Peer-Review Process

Competitive grant applications frequently use peer review to evaluate the merit of the application in a fair and independent manner, free from influence. The ensure the review is free from bias and influence, granting agencies establish rules and regulations for not only the reviewers but the Principal Investigator and anyone else involved in the grant application. Non-compliance with the rules not only has serious implications for the individual but may negatively impact UM as well.

If an individual fails to follow the rules and regulations, they may face a number of consequences including:

  • Withdrawal of the pending application
  • Termination of existing awards
  • Termination from council member service including current and future review panels
  • Inability to receive funding from that sponsor in the future
  • Suspension or debarment from receiving or participating in federal funds

The University may face consequences as well including paying back awards previously received and suspension or debarment which would prevent all UM faculty from applying for or receiving federal grants. Additionally, UM may face damage to our reputation as research institution.

Below is general guidance on the requirements of the peer review process, however it is important to be aware of the rules for the sponsor that you are either submitting an application to or acting as a reviewer.

PI and Others involved with the Application


  • Disclose all potential conflicts about reviewers in your grant application (including, but not limited to, all individuals who reviewed or communicated about your application)
  • Know all rules, regulations, policies and requirements regarding the review process
  • Contact the appropriate individual (e.g., SRO for NIH) about any potential inappropriate communications or conflicts not disclosed in the application


  • Contact reviewers on the study section reviewing your application to request or provide information about the review
  • Attempt to influence the outcome of the review or reviewer(s)
  • Send information or data directly to a reviewer
  • Attempt to access information about the review by any other means other than what the sponsor provides as a part of the peer review process


The Reviewer


  • Complete and submit your conflict of interest form and/or disclose all potential conflicts. Conflict mays include:
    • Serving as PI or key personnel on an application under review
    • The potential to receive a direct or indirect financial benefit
    • An employee of the PI or institution of an application
    • Applications that include professional associates or personal relationships
    • Appearance of a conflict
  • Keep all grant applications and materials strictly confidential
  • Notify the appropriate individual if you discover additional conflicts once you begin your review
  • Immediately disclose any inappropriate communications such as request for a favorable review
  • Leave the room prior to any discussion for an application in which you are in conflict
  • Destroy or return all documents as instructed or required



  • Discuss the grant application with anyone outside of the review panel – before, during or after the meeting
  • Discuss the grant applications with review panel members before the meeting
  • Bring up concerns of scientific misconduct during the review meeting, discuss them privately with the appropriate person (e.g., SRO for NIH)
  • Mention previous scores received by the application or compare an application to another
  • Discuss funding, budget or administrative issues

Please join me on Thursday, October 7th at 12:00pm to discuss this topic further, I would love to hear from you!

Registration is through ULearn.  


Letter from Laura


Lunch wiith Laura is a monthly newsletter and discussion session with me, Laura Kozma, Associate Vice President for Research Administration. There will be new focus each month, including hot topics in research administration, new and significant policies, and changes in the Office of Research Administration (ORA).
The newsletter will be distributed to the University of Miami community and will also be available online. Each newsletter will briefly discuss key points about the monthly focus, including available resources. This month we are hosting a special session and focusing on requirements for the peer-review process.
The discussion session, Lunch with Laura, will be held shortly after the newsletter is sent out. All are welcome to come and discuss the monthly focus and ask questions. I look forward to having an opportunity to discuss your concerns and questions in depth. My goal is to make this an opportunity for you and one for me as I can better understand your struggles and challenges.
Please register for the the Lunch with Laura sessions in ULearn.