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Caution Concerning PHS Proposal Requirements Terry A. May 20 Jan 1994 13:40 EST

 Just this morning, we received notification concerning a proposal
submitted to NIH for a Jan. 1 deadline.  The letter stated that the
"....application has been found to exceed the type size limitation with
regard to the budget justification, the Research Plan and the Literature
Cited Section.  Therefore, the application is returned to you without
review.  The next receipt date is May 1, 1994."

 Background: The PI is a department chair who typically brings in the
proposal at the last moment.  We first saw it at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday,
12/30.  Friday was a University holiday & was undoubtedly sent overnight on
Friday.  However, the proposal is neat, clean and very readable!  It
appears NOW to comply with the requirement for type to be 10 - 12 points
and spacing for an average of no more than 15 cpi.  However, it clearly
does not meet the standard of having no more than six lines of text within
a verticle inch (there are seven).

 This is the first time I have personally experienced this sort of
action; however, I continually alert faculty to formatting requirements.  I
had expected this to be returned for other procedural reasons (IRB approval
was pending).  Can others relate similar instances of proposals being
returned for procedural reasons?  Collectively, these might serve as a
"wake up" for us to use in our own ways.

     We advise PIs of problems when they are clearly contrary to proposal
guidelines.  My "caution for today": Do not overlook this aspect in
situations where time is short.