Submission Guidelines

There are two types of reviews: Type A Reviews, which are also referred to as standard reviews; and Type B Reviews, which are for applications that do not require full review. Eligibility for the latter is determined on a case-by-case basis (see “Guidance for Special Circumstances” below for additional information). 

Previously twice reviewed proposals that are being resubmitted require prior departmental approval before an RRC review can be initiated. Details about this process can be found below under "Submission of Previously Twice Reviewed Proposals".

Type A (Standard) Reviews

If the proposal is a revised application and a prior external review (summary statement) is available, a copy of the prior review must be included and the PI must highlight in the introduction and throughout the revised application the specific changes that have been made. 

A cover sheet for the application must accompany the proposal. The cover sheet allows the PI to name competent potential reviewers. We ask that PIs approach reviewers prior to submission to confirm their willingness to review. Three reviewers are approved/selected by the RRC Chair or Co-Chairs to evaluate the proposal. 

Reviewers are asked to return a substantive written critique to the RRC within five working days, using the appropriate rating form (available in the Materials section below). Reviewers may also discuss their concerns and suggestions directly with the PI as appropriate. After receiving the critiques, the PI provides a written summary of his or her responses to the comments of the reviewers. The critiques and the PIs response are then reviewed by the RRC.

Submission of Previously Twice Reviewed Proposals

In response to NIH Policy Change announced in 2014 (NOT-OD-14-074), the resubmission of previously twice reviewed grants as new grants requires additional departmental approvals.

If you consider submitting such a grant, please seek departmental approval for processing the grant through the RRC and submitting it through the OGC by addressing an e-mail to the Chair, Dr. David Lewis, with cc to Dr. Debra Montrose, Director of WPH Research Operations. Please explain your rationale for resubmitting the grant as a new grant and provide the following materials as attachments to your e-mail:

  1. Summary statements for both the initial and the A1 prior submission of this grant
  2. A brief summary of how feedback from the A1 submission will be integrated in improving the new application (as you would in the introduction to a revised application)

Neither the RRC nor the OGC can accept resubmitted grants prior to having obtained approval from the Chair.

Guidance for Special Circumstances

1) Internal Review for Co-Investigators on grants from other departments/institutions: 

Our faculty often participate as co-investigators for applications in which the PI works in another department at the University of Pittsburgh or at another university. These applications must be reviewed by the RRC if the level of effort by the co-investigator in Psychiatry exceeds 10%. We make this stipulation to ensure that investigators within Psychiatry receive the best possible advice about such collaborations. We also believe that our internal review process will help to improve the quality of outside applications. 

2) Type B Reviews: 

An application that is eligible for a Type B review will be reviewed only by the RRC Chairs and Dr. Lewis prior to receiving a formal RRC approval letter. 

An application may be eligible for a Type B review if:

  • The application includes a Co-Investigator from the Department of Psychiatry who contributes >10% effort (regardless of whether salary support is requested on the application), but the application has been reviewed and approved by a different department or center in the University. If such a review has been conducted, the investigators must submit the written reviews from the other department/center. An RRC Co-Chair will determine whether these reviews are consistent with RRC procedures; if so, then Type B review is permitted. If reviews from the other department/center are not deemed sufficiently rigorous by the RRC Co-Chair, then Type A review may be required.
  • The application has been approved previously by the RRC via Type A Review, has no major scientific changes, and is now being submitted in essentially unchanged form to a different funding agency.
  • The application is being submitted for IRB or IACUC approval purposes only. Typically, these are small pilot grants supported by internal funds. Type B review is appropriate if all of the protocols proposed have received previous scientific review by the RRC or another review body. If new protocols are proposed but have NOT received previous scientific review, the application is NOT eligible for Type B review. The RRC Co-Chair assigned to a specific Type B RRC application will determine, based on the nature and scope of the proposed study and prior reviews, whether Type A review should be obtained. This decision will rest with the RRC Co-Chair, and not with the investigator(s).
  • Applications for administrative supplements, with no new science being proposed.

In order to determine eligibility for a Type B review, PIs must submit a working protocol, a completed coversheet, and a letter to the RRC providing a rationale for a Type B review. 

At times, we receive requests for Type B reviews because colleagues in other departments or universities are not subject to internal review requirements. We ask that you acquaint such colleagues with the Department of Psychiatry RRC process and point out the potential value added by the reviews that we can provide when given adequate time. 

We encourage you to consult with us as early as possible if other special circumstances arise for any proposed application. Please email or call one of the RRC Chairs or Coordinators promptly so that we can make an informed decision based on your specific circumstances.