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NIH Grant Review Program

Enabling CU Success in Research Funding

In order to assist investigators in obtaining NIH funding, the SOM is establishing a new program for internal pre-review of NIH grant submissions. The CU Internal Grant Review Program will establish an option for internal CU pre-review (mock study sections) in advance of NIH submissions from Creighton faculty. Initially, the program will focus on pre-review of R01/R21/R03 /SBIR (scientific portions only)/R15 applications. The goal of the program is to increase the success of CU applications for extramural funding.

If you’re a researcher submitting an application for NIH funding, you may submit your grant for pre-review by the CU mock study section and receive feedback designed to help you revise the application to improve competitiveness for funding by NIH. The first round of mock reviews will be conducted in January, and submissions for this round of pre-review should be emailed to Sponsored Programs by December 18 in order to be included in the mock review session. Faculty submitters will receive written feedback in the style of an NIH Summary Statement and be able to discuss strategies for addressing issues raised in the review with the reviewers immediately after the meeting. Barb Bittner will also be available for consultation. Sponsored Programs will provide a confidentiality agreement that reviewers and participants are required to sign.



Cycle I

Cycle II

Cycle III

NIH deadlines

Feb 5/16/26

Jun 5/16/25

Oct 5/16

Internal review meeting

Jan 8 (4 weeks pre-deadline)

May 8

Sep 7

Internal review submission deadline

Dec 18 (3weeks)

April 18

Aug 17

Request for submissions

Nov 1

Mar 1

July 1


All CU faculty who submit NIH applications from all campuses. Junior faculty new investigators are strongly encouraged to utilize the process.

Eventually, a new proposal routing system will include a checkbox for the PI to indicate whether and what (mock study section, editing by a colleague, chalk talk, are some examples) prereview was performed on the submission. This will allow for assessment of the success of the program.

Program Administration

A steering committee has been established that includes the Associate Dean for Research (ADR) for SOM (Hansen), SON (Lappe), SOD (Sanchez), SOP (Dash), Arts & Sciences Assoc Dean for Science (Holly Harris), an SOM Phoenix faculty representative TBD, (Assoc Dean for Fac Affairs for SOM (Bartz), SOM Dept Research Director (Tu, Hansen, Bartz), Graduate School representative (Guetterman), Director and Asst Dir for Sponsored Programs (Bittner, Herr).


Nomination of reviewers (≤ 3 applications/reviewer, 2 reviews/application, match reviewers and applicants by discipline as much as possible, experienced NIH reviewers. Nominations by PI, ADR, or other steering committee members

Formalization of the program will allow for reviewers to get credit for their participation in the annual review process.

Mock study sections will be held on or about the dates listed in section 3. Any faculty can observe the proceedings. Success of the program depends upon serious critical review, equivalent to what occurs at an actual NIH SS.

Administrative review of applications will be conducted by Sponsored Programs (Bittner) as part of the mock study section

Anticipated Benefits

Anticipated benefits of the program include increased funding of research applications, better mentoring of junior faculty, increased cross-discipline research communication, increased voice for research at the institutional level, more and higher quality research at CU, and increased opportunities for research for our students.