External Review of Proposals

Peer review is the cornerstone of most sponsors’ process for selecting proposals for funding, as it is the best way to evaluate projects for significance, impact, and rigor. Research Development Services can help faculty obtain peer review from expert faculty (and more importantly, feedback) before submission of a proposal through its External Review Program.

An early peer-review helps faculty identify potential weaknesses in their hypothesis or research direction, and to remedy them before submission to ensure their application is the strongest it can be.


This non-competitive program is available to faculty at all career stages, but the program does have priorities, including: early-career faculty submitting their first major external grant; mid-career faculty applying for fellowships (particularly for sabbatical), and; senior faculty submitting an application for a major center or other large institutional grant.

What the program entails

  • Matching funds up to $300 for reviewer honorarium
  • Outreach and initial contact with the content expert, as needed by the faculty

The process

Faculty should ideally contact Research Development Services at least 6-8 weeks in advance of the application due date. We will work together to identify potential reviewers and negotiate the contract. Contracts for the External Review Program state that reviewers must:

  1. Provide a written review of the proposal
  2. Be available for a virtual conversation with the faculty to discuss their review

Faculty should be prepared to undertake extensive revisions that incorporate reviewer’s suggestions. They must also agree to meet Sponsored Project Services and the funder’s deadlines.

Please contact Research Development Services if you are interested in this program.