Fiscal Management

HHS Grant Application Review Process

The grant application review process is a formal review where applications are scored according to established criteria. Grantees can use this information when applying for federal funding. The process provides assurance to the public that the evaluation and selection of grantees is impartial and fair.

The grant application review process, also known as objective review, requires strict adherence to published Departmental policy, and compliance with a formal review and evaluation process. Objective review is essential to ensure selection of applications that best meet the needs of the program, consistent with established criteria, and to assure to the public the evaluation and selection process was impartial and fair.

The application review process is competitive and involves multiple steps. First, an initial screening of an application is conducted to ensure it provides adequate information and complies with the requirements set forth in the agency's funding opportunity announcement. After the initial screening is complete, the application is submitted to an ad-hoc independent panel of peers or experts, a standing review committee, or a group of field readers for review in accordance with the evaluation criteria included in the funding opportunity announcement. The review groups are made up of qualified subject matter experts with in-depth knowledge of program issues directly relating to the agency's mission.

Once the application review is complete, written recommendations are provided to program management staff and the agency's leadership, who make the final determination regarding funding.