Color-Coded Proposal Reviews
Meet Shannon Hollis
Phases of the Proposal Development Process
*This graphic represents the ideal situation and does not restrict those researchers following a different process or timeline from requesting a review.
Phases 1 & 2 typically occur 1-2 years prior to a proposal due date. Activities in this stage may include white papers, applying for SEED funding to obtain preliminary data to be used for a larger opportunity, or meeting with program managers to understand what they are looking to fund.
During the next phase, you may start further defining your workplan and incorporating into a formal outline. Sometimes solicitations are announced at this point and you may start draft the narrative.
The Proposal Preparation Stage comes after the solicitation is released where you begin pulling together all of the required components of the proposal and submission.
Finally, the proposal will be submitted and evaluated prior to award.
Types of Reviews
- Blue Team Review: A review of the narrative outline to ensure all sections are included and writers assigned to each section. Identify missing information.
Timing: 10+ weeks before submission.
- Pink Team Review: A review of a first/second draft of the narrative (65-80% complete). Assess if in agreement with RFP.
Timing: 8-10 weeks before submission.
- Red Team Review: A disciplined and methodical peer review process of a near-final narrative to identify areas of improvement. Involves 3-4 subject matter experts.
Timing: 6-8 weeks before submission.
- Gold Team Review: A review of the final narrative to ensure compliance.
Timing: 2 weeks before submission.
For a more in-depth description of each review, click here.
Red Team Reviews
The Office for Research & Graduate Education recommends a red team review, especially in cases of resubmissions, large proposals, and for early career investigators. A red team review is an established step in the proposal development process where a critical assessment of the proposal is completed to assess compliance and responsiveness to the RFP. The red team review results in a report of strengths, weaknesses, and deficiencies prior to submission.
Reviews are a major milestone during proposal development and offer PIs the opportunity to make continuous improvements. Reviews also provide “fresh eyes” that can objectively examine the proposal and can increase the chances of award success.