Review proposal

Prior to submission, and to give your proposal the best chance of success, it is strongly recommended that applicants:  

  • Arrange for their proposals to be reviewed for scientific/scholarly quality and excellence 
  • Thoroughly check for compliance with funding agency and host institution requirements.

Sufficient time must be allowed for these reviews as part of the proposal preparation process. For targeted calls, UCD Research and Innovation may facilitate some aspects of these reviews. To see if targeted supports are available for your call, see Help Pages for Specific Calls  


1. Scientific/Scholarly Review

Understand the review process and evaluate before the evaluation:

  • Familiarise yourself with the evaluation process. Details of the process will almost always be available in the relevant funding agency call documentation.
  • Proposals should be reviewed according to the evaluation criteria for the specific scheme. These are the criteria that reviewers and evaluators will use to score your proposal.
  • Don't ignore any of the criteria – you need to cover all of the bases.

Know your audience: Who will evaluate?
Figure out what kind of evaluator is likely to review your proposal at each stage of the evaluation process. It will usually involve a mixture of experts and generalists. Accordingly, you should do the following:

  • Identify experienced peers to act as reviewers, to critically read your proposal and provide feedback based on the specific call criteria. In particular, choose those who are qualified to critique the scientific and scholarly content. Ensure that they review it based on the funding agency review criteria only.
  • Select peers who will have expertise similar to potential reviewers and evaluators.
  • Include reviews from an alternative or opposing approach, so that you can identify contentious areas and build this into your final version. 
  • Get your peers to also review your CV content. Evaluators want to be confident that you are the right person to carry out the project, i.e. that you know how to do it, why you are doing it and know exactly what you want to achieve.

2. Compliance Review

Funding agency requirements:

  • Read the call documentation in detail.
  • Strictly adhere to the funding agency's formatting requirements and prescribed proposal structure, including headings, etc.
  • Use a checklist to ensure that you have completed all of the required sections of the proposal. Call documentation will often have a checklist that you can use.
  • Don't leave the non-scientific/scholarly sections (i.e. budget, data management, ethics, gender dimension, risk, etc.) until the last minute. While some of these sections may not be part of the evaluation, it is important to show that they have received due attention, and this helps to make a good impression with the evaluators.

Institutional requirements:

  • As early as possible in your planning, check the deadline, what institutional endorsements, signatures and support letters are required and check the deadline for the completion of each of these items. Most of these requirements are necessary for eligibility.
  • Check whether there are UCD Research & Innovation targeted supports, or internal deadlines for the call to which you are applying. See Help Pages for Specific Calls.  .
  • All budgets submitted to external funding agencies must be reviewed and approved in advance. Do not leave this until the last minute as it takes time to review, update and approve. See Prepare and approve budget section.
  • Where signatures, online endorsements, support letters and other items are required from UCD Research & Innovation and other central units, alert the appropriate contact person as far as possible in advance via the UCD Research Connector.