Top 10 Problems Reviewers Cite in Applications


As you prepare your grant application, avoid these common pitfalls! Here is a list of the most frequent problems reviewers in the NIH Center for Scientific Review (CSR) cite when they critique grant applications:

  1. Lack of new or original ideas
  2. Absence of an acceptable scientific rationale
  3. Lack of experience in the essential methodology
  4. Questionable reasoning in experimental approach
  5. Uncritical approach
  6. Diffuse, superficial, or unfocused research plan
  7. Lack of sufficient experimental detail
  8. Lack of knowledge of published relevant work
  9. Unrealistically large amount of work proposed
  10. Uncertainty concerning future directions

Find more advice on the CSR’s Answers for Applicants and the Insider’s Guide to Peer Review for Applicants pages.


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