Grant Writing

When and What to Include in the Grant Appendix

Before making the decision to add appendix material, recognize that this could have a damaging impact. To your assigned reviewers the extra pages will be perceived as extra work. If you genuinely have vital information that must be included, ensure that you title each document in such a way that it immediately conveys to the reviewer that this information is imperative supporting documentation to facilitate their role as reviewer. Note, that reviewers may not be required to read the appendix when they review and assess your application.

  • All appendix items should serve one purpose: to make your reviewer’s life easier. Which means you should not use any appendix item to outwit instructions or guidelines or to get around formatting restrictions.
  • You cannot use the appendix to circumvent page limitations. The NIH application guide specifically states, “Do not use the appendix to circumvent the page limitations of the Research Strategy [section]. …Applications that do not follow the appendix requirements may be delayed in the review process…”
  • Double-check restrictions for including publications. Several funding agencies restrict or prohibit the inclusion of publications within the appendix, including NIH.
  • If allowed, include only publications that are:
    • Manuscripts and/or abstracts accepted for publication but not yet published,
    • Manuscripts and/or abstracts published, but a free version is not available online, and
    • Patents directly relevant to the current project.
  • When including such publications, upload a complete PDF of the article as an attachment in the appendixes section.
  • It is important to include articles that are not otherwise available to the reviewer, and especially those that are a source of preliminary data summarized in your specific aims.
  • Other materials that cannot be submitted electronically should not be submitted with the application, or mailed to the institute separately. Rather, either wait until you are notified as to the review panel that will review your application or speak directly with your program officer to navigate the best way to include such material in the review of your application.
  • Again, do not include any publication that is available to the general public in the appendix.
  • Do not include images in the appendix. In the past, many included smaller re-sized images within the proposal, with an enlarged photo in the appendix for reviewers. This is generally not allowed in current proposal guidelines.
  • Stop and Consider: Are each of your appendix items being included as a courtesy to the reviewers—to make their lives easier? If not, reconsider including the items.

Further Reading