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6. Understand the Review Process

Every grant application receives a comprehensive review, conducted by a panel of independent subject matter experts. Each application is reviewed by at least three reviewers, who separately score the application according to review criteria spelled out in the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). A panel chairperson, or moderator, oversees each review panel.

After all applications are reviewed, reviewers meet to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of each application and arrive at a consensus score. For each application, the panel develops a summary report that describes the application’s strengths and weaknesses.

Review Criteria

Within each Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA), there are detailed review criteria that are used to evaluate and score applications. Applications are scored by assigning a maximum of 100 points across the following five criteria:

  • Project Relevance & Current Need;
  • Approach;
  • Budget;
  • Project Impact; and
  • Organizational Capacity.

Within each funding opportunity announcement, there are specific sub-criteria, relevant to the goals and expectations outlined in the FOA. Please note: review criteria may be supplemented or modified, as appropriate, to address the priorities and goals of a specific funding opportunity.

The content on this page is for informational purposes and should not be construed as instructions for submitting an application. Please refer to the Funding Opportunity Announcement of interest for detailed instructions.

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Last Modified: 2/11/2015