Principal Investigator's Guide - Section 6

Declination of Proposals

Many sponsoring agencies are experiencing a decrease in the amount of funds available to support research and training activities. It is therefore becoming an increasingly common occurrence for proposals to be declined the first time they are reviewed by a proposed funder. Many declination letters from federal agencies are accompanied by a summary of reviewers' comments or rating sheets. In some cases, however, the principal investigator must request these reviews in writing. Such letters should be addressed to the program officer, if known, or to the specific area to which the proposal was submitted, and include the acknowledgment number assigned to it, along with the title, etc. It may also be helpful to talk to the program officer to clarify any outstanding issues raised by the reviews. Experience has shown that proposal resubmissions that are responsive to reviewers' critiques have a much higher likelihood of funding in the second cycle. For one-time submissions, reviewer' comments may also be useful for subsequent proposal development.