Research Proposal Review ServiceHanover Research Logo


Research and Innovation’s partnership with Hanover Research brings additional proposal support to faculty to enhance extramural sponsored research proposal competitiveness. Hanover grant consultants are not subject matter experts who can evaluate the specific scholarship underpinning a research proposal. Rather, their value lies in general grantsmithing expertise and their understanding of proposal and agency nuances that can help PIs competitively reframe proposals in response to a specific solicitation. Hanover seeks to achieve cohesion in the grant narrative and to align the proposal with funding requirements with the result of more competitive submissions to increase success rates.

Proposal Review Services

  • Margin comments on the narrative draft (limit of 50 pages) with recommendations surrounding alignment of the proposal to the grant opportunity’s guidelines and funder’s expectations
  • A brief memo outlining high-level recommendations
  • Revision of narrative content for clarity, style, and presentation
  • Editing of proposal content for punctuation and grammar
  • A debrief teleconference call with Grants Consultant
  • Second follow-up review as needed


All UNCW researchers are eligible to apply for proposal review services from Hanover. Additional qualifying criteria include the following:

  • Requested budget exceeds $100,000
  • Preference for first time grant seekers
  • Preference for proposal resubmissions
  • Fully drafted proposal narrative ready for review at least four weeks prior to the sponsor submission deadline

These services have limited capacity and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They must be scheduled in advance.


To request Hanover’s service, please submit a Hanover Request Form at least six weeks prior to the sponsor proposal deadline for consideration. The selection of candidates will depend on several factors, most notably proposal readiness, sponsor deadline, the faculty member’s willingness to honor agreed-upon timelines, and current pipeline capacity. Research Development manages the Hanover queue, which is capped at five proposal revision projects before August 31, 2022. Hanover will manage one active review at a time.

Request Hanover’s assistance here.

About Hanover Research

Established in 2003, Hanover Research is a grant development and market research firm headquartered in Washington, D.C. Hanover’s grant professionals have collectively more than 150 years of grantsmanship experience that cuts across a wide range of foundations and federal agencies. Hanover has worked extensively with higher education institutions to grow their research portfolios and has helped clients to secure more than $500 million in awarded grants.

Working with Hanover Research

Hanover’s proposal support bolsters client-led grant projects through hands-on review and revision services, ensuring that the most competitive proposals are submitted. After a PI’s project is accepted, the PI will be connected with Hanover Research for an introduction to their assigned grants consultant. A project initiation conference call will be scheduled prior to the start of the work. The grants consultant will provide a peer review of the research proposal, assessing the narrative for its degree of alignment with the sponsor solicitation and evaluating the proposal based on review criteria. The PI is also provided a debrief conference call to discuss the critique and address any outstanding questions or concerns.

Working with SPARC

Hanover and SPARC focus on distinct steps in the review process – narrative review and then administrative approval and compliance, respectively. Proposals being reviewed by Hanover will still need to follow internal processes for approval of the budget and administrative components of an application. This follows the standard SPARC request that these be completed and routed in RAMSeS at least five working days prior to the sponsor deadline. While not required for Hanover eligibility, providing a sense of the budget in advance helps the Research and Innovation Service Team ensure project feasibility and assist with any exceptional conditions.


Please direct inquiries to Kirsten Wisneski, Research Development Specialist.