If you aren't asked to serve as a reviewer, it still behooves researchers to understand the review process as best they can and to let it guide the development of their grant. The NIH offers an extensive description of their review process, as does the NSF (see below for both). Many institutions host mock peer reviews with senior researchers reviewing the grants of their junior colleagues. This might happen at the departmental level, or for a particular type of grant. For instance, the CCTSI that serves the CU Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus offers mock peer review for their NIH Pre K program and K to R program.
At the very least, it is essential to have a few diverse colleagues review your grant proposal before submitting to catch any points of confusion or areas where your grant can be strengthened.
Porter (2005) offers some tips from seasoned reviewers that can provide guidance to those who have yet to experience the review process for themselves.
|Adapted from Porter (2005)|
More Paper Out the Door: Ten Inexpensive Ways to Stimulate Proposal Development (2011) - Robert Porter
What Do Grant Reviewers Really Want Anyway? (2005) - Robert Porter
NIH Peer Review Process
NSF Merit Review Process