Q. What are the categories of grant decision?
 A. They are:
Recommended pending revision
Reject with possibility of resubmission

The details are on the web page http://dbt-neuro.ncbs.res.in/node/6

 Q. Will I be called to defend my proposal in person?
 A. Unlikely. The Neuro task force has moved to using careful multilevel peer review, involving screening by the Task Force members as well as external reviewers. Presentations of research proposals are therefore not done for regular proposals. This shift improves processing speed, and saves on travel costs and time. It does  however require that the review process is more formal, and requires  that the grant proposals are well written and the responses to  reviewer comments are carefully thought out and complete.
 Q. I have been asked to submit a revised grant. Do I really have to write both a pointwise response and change the grant itself?

Yes. You have to send in two documents: A cover letter and a complete revision of the grant. The cover letter must have a pointwise response to all the reviewer comments, and must refer to all changes made in the grant. The revised grant must have all changes incorporated into it, and highlighted so it is easy to see where the changes are.

The pointwise response helps the Task Force members check that their recommendations are taken into account. The revised grant is required as the DBT and the Task Force need a single, complete, updated version of the proposal for all future reference. Consider it like a journal revision. The final version of the paper is the fully revised one. The same is the case for your grant.

 Q. Do I really need to submit proposals in hardcopy?
 A. Yes for now. However, the DBT will soon move to an all-electronic form.
 Q. How much money can I ask for?
 A. Ask for a well-justified amount that is appropriate for your experiments. The Task Force members and reviewers know the field and know how much things should cost. They can and do ask for budget revisions, both upwards and downwards. In the interests of quick processing, get your budgeting right.
 Q. Can I ask for more than 1 crore?
 A. Yes, but be aware that grants over 1 crore must be examined at a higher level than the Neuro Task Force, and so there will be a second committee meeting to discuss these proposals. In other words, the grant is likely to take longer to clear.
 Q. Do I need to budget and justify every small purchase?
 A. Budget and justify every major item of equipment or consumables, and do not hesitate to put things into categories when there are lots of small items. For example, an electrophysiology rig will need  separate justification for the amplifier, the oscilloscope and  other big items, but you can lump the sundry electronic connectors,  cables etc. as electronic consumables. Similarly, you will need to justify large consumable categories like antibodies, but don't have to list every individual one you will buy.
 Q. Do I need to send quotations for everything?
 A. Send quotations for all major equipment items listed in your budget. Ideally you should do this at the time of grant submission, otherwise you will be asked for these quotations again when the grant is  approved and needs to go for financial clearance. This extra cycle may cause delay.
 Q. I'm doing exploratory research! How can I budget for everything before I know what my results will be?
 A. We expect that you have a clear research plan in mind, and this level of organization should be reflected in your budgeting. However, if at  any stage in your research you find that technology has improved greatly, or that your most current results highlight new key questions, you can ask for a budget revision. This should be done within the constraints of the original approved budget if you hope for quick processing, otherwise further review will be needed. The changes themselves should be consistent with the original aims of the proposal: it is not a good idea to decide to do a completely different project midway through.