Feasibility and Credibility – undocumented criteria in grant reviews

Feasibility and Credibility are not overtly mentioned in the NIH R-series or K-series award instructions. But, they do turn up in reviews, often in the form of “concerns exist to the feasibility of this project”. They are important even if they don’t have their own sections in a proposal.

Here are some quick definitions:

Feasibility – can this project succeed? Do you have the resources, the skill, the team, the time? Is science sufficiently advanced to support this project (ie no, you may not establish a colony of space monkeys on the moon).

How do you demonstrate feasibility? Preliminary data. These can say “yes, I can do the techniques” and “yes I can do the techniques because I have the following resources”. Discussion of the scope of the research works. While you want to be “outside the mainstream” (ie innovative), you also need to be sufficiently inside that the project can work.

Credibility – can the PI do the project? This can become an old farte issue, where credibility is immediately conferred on the elders. But, yes you, unrecognized, untenured, laboring in the salt mines junior faculty, you can do things to enhance your credibility. What? Publications, and not necessarily in glamour journals. A solid, data-driven pub in a 2nd tier journal that uses the same techniques is one way. Training is another. That’s one good way to use the para you get in the BioSketch. Mention that you were trained in the techniques your propose, that you have used these techniques.

(preliminarydata, scope of research)


One thought on “Feasibility and Credibility – undocumented criteria in grant reviews

  1. Pingback: More Critiques in NIH proposal reviews (3rd or 4th part, I’m losing track) | Mistress of the Animals

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