Network of the National Library of Medicine
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SEA Funding Toolkit

How will my application be reviewed?

After the application deadline, your project application is reviewed by at least 3 peer reviewers. The reviewers will answer a series of questions on a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest). As you develop your application, please review the following questions. The questions listed below are what we ask our peer reviewers to consider when they review your application. 


Significance (15 points max)

  • Application clearly explains the need for the project, including demographic information about the target population or geographic area.
  • Applicant effectively uses data (e.g., statistics, anecdotes, needs assessment) to demonstrate the project need.  
  • Application clearly identifies which NNLM goals and objectives the project will contribute to. 

Example of Significance in a project application


Methodology/Approach (40 points max)

  • Application proposes an approach that is suitable for the target population and geographic area and includes data to support this. 
  • Application clearly outlines activities, milestones, and methods that are feasible and relevant to the project. 
  • Application  provides a rationale for selecting the proposed approach(es). 
  • Application demonstrates ability to execute the project within the proposed timeline. 
  • Application demonstrates appropriate use of NLM materials and products, if available.
  • Application is creative, original, or demonstrates potential to serve as a model for a similar NNLM project. 
  • Application provides a long-term plan to sustain and continue the project, sustain one or more key components, or incorporate lessons learned into future projects. 
  • Application provides an effective and creative plan to promote the project. 

Example of Methodology/Approach in a project application


Evaluation (15 points max)

  • Evaluation plan is well aligned with the project goals and objectives 
  • Evaluation plan clearly indicates how to measure success and project outcomes. 
  • Evaluation clearly explains types of data that would be collected, who will collect the data, methods of data collection (instruments/ tools and frequency of data collection) and analysis, and how project findings will be shared and used.

Example of Evaluation in a project application


Project Staff (15 points max)

  • Application clearly explains qualifications (expertise and experience) of the project lead and the project staff. 
  • Application clearly identifies and outlines roles and time commitment of the project lead, project staff, (and project partners, if needed). 
  • Application provides information on institutional resources (e.g. equipment) and support to be utilized for the project. 

Example of Project Staff in a project application


Budget (10 points max)

  • Proposed budget is appropriate and this project with budget narrative that justifies expenses. 
  • Proposed budget includes only expenses that are allowable under the Regional Medical Library or Office and NIH regulations.  

Example of Budget in a project application


Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (5 points max)

  • Organization has never received funding before, has received funding only once, or has not received funding in time period specified by RML *OR*
  • Application identifies inequities and disparities and suggests appropriate approaches to enhance diversity, equity, and inclusion *OR*
  • The target population of the project is underrepresented in biomedical research (UBR)

Example of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in a project application