|Common Proposal Mistakes to Avoid
1. Ideas not original or significant.
2. Unrealistic amount of work proposed (overambitious).
3. Project too diffuse, lacks focus.
4. Rationale to do project not clear or valid.
5. Project is finishing expedition and/or lacks hypothesis driven research.
6. Studies are based on a shaky hypothesis or shaky data.
7. Proposed experiments are descriptive and do not test a hypothesis.
8. The proposal is technology driven not hypothesis driven.
9. Rationale for experiments not given.
10. Direction or sense of priority not clearly defined.
11. Lack of alternative methodological approaches in case primary approach does not work out.
12. Insufficient methodological detail to support feasibility (no recognition of potential problems.)
13. If initial experiment fails, the subsequent experiments fail.
14. Proposed model system does not address the proposed question.
15. Experiments lack relevant controls.
16. Proposal innovative but lacks preliminary data.
17. PI has no experience with proposed techniques and no collaborator who does.
18. Preliminary data do not support feasibility of the project or hypothesis.
19. Proposal lacks critical literature references so that reviewers think the PI does not know the literature or purposely neglected critical publications.
20. Not clear which data were obtained by PI and which data were obtained by others.
21. PI has not been productive, no recognition in the field for which the proposal is submitted.