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SFI Policy on Resubmission of Grant Proposals

Last updated: April 2016

This policy describes the procedure for the resubmission of unfunded proposals previously submitted to SFI through any funding scheme. This policy is based on recognised international best practice and is aimed at alleviating pressure on the peer review system.

Applications to any call that are based primarily on unsuccessful submissions (following peer review) to any SFI programme must demonstrate that the review comments resulting from the initial application have been taken into account in the preparation of the new submission. SFI will not review resubmissions that have not clearly taken into account the major comments or concerns resulting from the prior review and these proposals will be withdrawn without review.  SFI may employ authentication and comparison software in the routine evaluation of submitted proposals.

The extent to which the new proposal will have been revised may vary.  It is recognised that not all review comments need necessarily be incorporated.  Where an applicant elects not to address significant reviewer comments, they are required to describe in detail why any such comments have not been addressed in the revised application.  It may be advisable to consult with an SFI Scientific Programme Manager in advance of a resubmission to raise any specific queries.

It is important to note that SFI will treat the revised proposal as a new proposal, subject to standard review procedures. 

The new proposal will be reviewed by the most appropriate and available reviewers who may or may not have seen a previous iteration of the proposal.  In all cases, reviewers will be asked to review the submission as a new proposal and they will not be granted access to the previous iteration of the proposal, reviews or scores.    

Addressing previous review comments does not guarantee that the proposal will be better positioned to be funded as it will be placed in a new competition and will be evaluated relative to new applications or as a new standalone application, depending on the nature of the call.

If an application was deemed fundable and placed on a reserve list by SFI, but was not ultimately funded owing to the availability of budget, it would be recognised that changes to the research programme in a resubmission may be minimal given the positive nature of the preliminary review, although it would be expected at a minimum that the state of the art description, references and applicant details be updated.

Requirements for the resubmission of a revised application

Applicants to an SFI call for proposals must declare whether a new submission relates to a previously submitted application to any SFI scheme.  If the application is a resubmission, a statement referencing the previous application and explaining the differences must be provided and making reference to reviewer comments where relevant (see Call document for details).  This statement will assist SFI Scientific Staff in the assessment of eligibility of a revised application and will not be shared with reviewers.

Applicants are therefore advised not to reference a previous submission in the main body of the revised proposal. Applications not considered to meet these requirements will be withdrawn without review.

Any queries relating to this policy should be addressed to the relevant programme email address.  Please put “SFI Policy on Resubmission of Grant Proposals” in the subject line.

FAQs

Q: Could you please indicate examples of changes to a grant proposal that could be considered as substantial?
A:
Changes that could be considered as substantial will vary for different proposals.  Examples of such changes might include the inclusion of additional preliminary data in response to reviewer comments; the use of significantly different model systems; a significant change in methodology; use of similar methodology to address a different research question and so on.  In all cases the evaluation of changes will be made using scientific judgment on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration of multiple factors.

Q:  Could you please indicate examples of changes to a grant proposal that might not be considered as substantial and therefore would not on their own constitute a significantly revised proposal?
A:
Acceptable revisions will vary for different proposals.  Examples of unsubstantial changes might include the rewording of text in the proposal without changing the substance of the scientific objectives; addition of collaborators or co-applicants without an associated change in the programme of research; changes to the Impact section without changes to the research programme and so on.  In all cases the evaluation of changes will be made using scientific judgment on a case-by-case basis after careful consideration of multiple factors.

Q: At what point in the submission process should I submit a statement detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal?
A:  A statement detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal must be provided at the time of proposal submission. For the majority of programmes where the proposals are submitted via the Sesame system, the statement can be provided within the relevant section of the Sesame application. For programmes where the application process is through the Sesame system, but the online application form does not include a resubmission statement section, resubmission statements must be sent to the relevant programmatic email address in advance of the call deadline. For programmes where the application process is outside the Sesame system, resubmission statements must be included as a separate attachment to the application email.

Statements detailing changes to a resubmitted proposal will assist SFI Scientific Staff in the assessment of eligibility of a revised application and will not be shared with reviewers. This assessment will take place after the relevant call deadline. Applications not considered to meet the requirements outlined in the policy will be withdrawn without review.

 

For a PDF version of this policy please click here.