Below is a list of many common problems that result in non-competitively scored applications.
- Uncertainty whether research will produce significant information.
- Scientific basis not fully developed.
- No apparent translatability of research into practice or policy.
- Lack of a theoretical framework.
- Overly ambitious research plan; volume of proposed work unrealistic.
- Lack of original ideas.
- Proposed methods not appropriate to answer research questions.
- Research issues are more complex than investigator describes.
- Too little detail in the research plan (leads to reviewers questioning investigators' ability to carry out the research).
- Lack of focus in study hypotheses, aims and/or research plan.
- Lack of generalizability of findings or methods.
- Investigator lacks expertise in methodology.
- Study team lacks expertise in all needed areas.
- Proposed time and effort of study team members insufficient.
- Lack of study controls.
- Lack of adequate preliminary data.
- Insufficient consideration of statistical needs.
- Inadequate attention to protection of human subjects and/or population representation.
- Lack of complete literature review.
Current as of February 2005
Common Problems Identified During Peer Review. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/fund/peerprob.htm