The College of Medicine Dean’s Office for Research and Development has contracted with Hanover Research, a grant development firm headquartered in Arlington, VA, to provide grant consultant services to UNMC College of Medicine (COM) faculty. The primary goal of this partnership is to increase the quality and success rate of extramural research proposals. Faculty with their primary appointments in the COM are eligible for this service, all costs are paid for by the Dean’s Office. Security, Confidentiality and Intellectual Property issues have been reviewed and approved.
Hanover has a track record of strengthening competitive grant proposals to federal agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Veteran’s Administration (VA), Department of Defense (DoD), as well as grants to private and non-profit foundations. Hanover Grants Consultants work with faculty by providing reviews that underscore key insights into funder priorities and recommendations for improvement. We anticipate a range of new, resubmission, and renewal proposals to be eligible for this service. In addition, we hope that selected large projects (program projects, centers, multiple PI grants, etc.) can also benefit in various stages of planning and submission. In this type of Grant Proposal Development, Hanover can serve as project manager for our teams.
In our initial one-year contract we will receive their services for one (1) Project at a time, and a total of ten (10) proposal reviews, with a maximum number of two (2) at a time. Therefore, we will have an internal approval process as well as a queue. For the Projects we will arrange suitable timetables. For the proposal reviews, Hanover offers up to two waves of review from a Grants Consultant for each proposal. The two waves can include any combination of the following services described below:
- Margin comments on the narrative draft with recommendations surrounding alignment of the proposal to the grant opportunity’s guidelines and funder’s expectations;
- A brief memo outlining high-level recommendations; and
- A debrief teleconference call with a Grants Consultant.
For larger projects (program projects, centers, multiple PI grants, etc.) these above, as well as project management services for the submission are available.
Typical turnaround time is two weeks for the review. One must also of course plan time to assess and modify the proposal if needed, thus we would suggest a minimum of one month prior to grant submission. For proposal reviews, we suggest that faculty submit the abstract, specific aims, and research strategy. Please note that for resubmissions of unfunded proposals and competing renewal applications, PIs will be asked to provide a copy of the original submission along with reviewers’ comments (e.g., summary statement).
This service is intended to improve the responsiveness of the proposal to the program announcement and/or prior review comments. Hanover Review Services include comments in the margins of the text, highlighting where the proposal can better align with funder guidelines and priorities.
- Prescriptive Feedback: Real and actionable insight into how to improve a proposal. The focus is on helping the PI zero in on what can be improved.
- A Close Eye: While “reviews” do not include redlining within the text, they may highlight a need for the PI to proofread or otherwise address the writing itself prior to submission. For help with editing, please see the Research Editorial Office, a core facility of the Vice Chancellor of Research (https://www.unmc.edu/vcr/cores/research-editorial/)
- Key Findings: When delivered, reviews are attached to a concise email that outlines the Grants Consultant’s primary observations. These include identifying strengths and weaknesses, and outlining opportunities for shaping a more competitive proposal.
- Consultation: A phone debrief with the Grants Consultant is often possible upon request.
Please note that the grants consultants are not designed to be subject matter experts who can evaluate the specific science underpinning a research proposal. Rather Hanover seeks to achieve cohesion in the grant narrative and to align the proposal with funding requirements. A Hanover grants consultant may address general scientific elements of a proposal, such as:
- Construct or structure of the hypothesis and methodology. While Hanover does not purport to provide “scientific reviews” that evaluate the specific science underpinning proposals, its grants consultants will flag where they think research questions, aims, and hypotheses could be strengthened and better aligned.
- Literature review. Hanover grants consultants will note places where a citation is needed and has not been included.
- Clarity and focus. When they suspect that narrative content lacks sufficient clarity, consistency, or rigor, Hanover grants consultants will pose questions to encourage the PI to verify the science, and/or suggest a review by a senior colleague or program officer.
Applications for these services can be found here; please complete and email to Jen Brady, firstname.lastname@example.org. Direct questions to Dr. Howard Fox, Senior Associate Dean for Research and Development, email@example.com.