Grants comprise the majority of funding in research projects at every level. These funding requests often require piles of complicated, time-consuming paperwork to complete and hoops to jump through, but they can pay off, making it worthwhile. Unfortunately, many grants are rejected, too. Scholars can chalk these rejections up to part of life, or they can appeal the denial and request a grant review.
If you know how to go through the process and appeal correctly, it’s possible to overturn the unfavorable decision and get your grant approved. Instead of giving up when you see the rejection, a request for an appeal might be your better option.
Submitting a Grant Correctly
Every grant has its own requirements, but there are some basic steps that you should make sure you did correctly before you request an appeal. It’s possible that an essential component was overlooked and must be addressed before you resubmit the grant or appeal the rejection.
Double-check your processes and make sure all of these steps were taken care of before you submitted your grant proposal:
● You verified your eligibility for the grant by evaluating the list of requirements carefully
● You registered your grant at the appropriate levels.
● Each aspect of the application was filled out thoroughly and legibly.
● There were no mistakes in any key areas, such as demographics or background information.
● You clarified any terminology that was ambiguous or unclear to you before submitting the proposal, just in case it was a key term.
Once this part is thoroughly reviewed by you, run it by a peer or professor you trust or your grant coordinator to ensure you weren’t missing something important. If everything on your proposal looks fine, you may have to look further for the reason of rejection if it wasn’t clearly stated by the grant committee.
The Grant Review Process
Once a grant is submitted, what happens next is out of your hands. There are typically three phases of the grant review process while your proposal is examined, evaluated, and judged.
● The Pre-Award Phase - This section of the analysis is when your application is reviewed for compliance with the requirements of the grant. It must pass this initial screening in order to move on to the next stage. Relevant stakeholders might be a part of this process to assist in making the decision of who receives the coveted grants.
● The Award Phase - Once the application passes through the initial screening process and is determined to be eligible for the grant, the stakeholders will review each proposal and make the determination of who has been awarded the grant. At this time, the funding agency will notify the applicant, usually through a computer-generated form letter, as to whether they were approved for the grant or not.
Those who were approved will then begin finalizing the legal documentation and red tape necessary for the funds to be disbursed. Those who were rejected can, as mentioned, review their applications and the rejection reason, if any given, as to why they did not receive the grant and then decide whether it’s a legitimate avenue to attempt an appeal.
● The Post Award Phase - For applicants who were approved, the post-award phase begins. During this time, they will be contacted by a grants management officer, who they will work with as the officer will oversee their compliance with the grant requirements. Once the funds are disbursed, the applicant may begin working on their research, with the understandings given to them by the officer.
If your grant is accepted, this is your time to shine. But if you stopped at the award phase and received a rejection letter, you could decide to appeal.
Appealing an Unfavorable Grant Review
To get started with your appeal, first, check the appeal rights that came with your rejection letter. Any grant proposal must be formally approved or rejected, and an adverse decision must have instructions for you to appeal.
Most appeals have typical steps. First, you must submit a request for review to the department specified in your rejection letter. In this request, explain why you disagree with the decision they made, provide documentation as to why you should have been approved, and make sure to include anything the appeal letter stated.
Next, make sure you submit your documentation and request timely, based on the frame given to you in the rejection letter. Typically, this is no later than 30 days from the date of the written notification of an adverse determination.
If there are extenuating circumstances, you can request an extension of the request for review, but you must show good cause as to why the extension is requested.
Once you receive the hearing for the grant review to be overturned, start gathering your documentation and requesting someone to help you - preferably a professional grant writer in your field - so that you have all your bases covered when you appeal.
Use Impactio to Help File Your Grant
Sometimes, the more professional a grant proposal is, the better its chances of being approved. When you have to include documentation to support your proposal, use Impactio as your go-to program.
Impactio’s all-in-one platform makes it easy to create impressive PDF documents and web pages to use when you are demonstrating your academic impact. The program lets users easily insert text, break information into subsections, and create charts, tables, and graphs for maximum impact!
Before you submit another proposal or research article, check out Impactio to see how your work can become even more powerful.