School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

Departmental Review Board


Sandra W. Jacobson, Ph.D.
Tolan Park Medical Building Suite 2-C
(313) 993-5454

Vaibhav A. Diwadkar, Ph.D.
Tolan Park Medical Building Suite 5-B
(313) 577-0164


The Departmental Review Board (DRB) is constituted with the primary aim of providing a robust and constructive peer review process for grant/research proposals originating from Principal Investigators in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience (DPBN).

The DRB’s co-Directors are appointed signatories of the Chair of the Department and are responsible to the Department for ensuring the scientific merit, safety and cost effectiveness of proposals originating in the Department. For these reasons, research protocols must henceforth receive DRB approval in advance of their submission to granting agencies.


DRB approval is required in the following cases:

  • Submission of a grant for funding to any agency (external or internal)
  • Submission of a proposal to the Human or Animal Investigation Committees (HIC/AIC).

DRB approval is required for all proposals on which a DPBN faculty, Post-doctoral fellow or Instructor is listed as Principal Investigator. In the event that the PI is a doctoral student, a DPBN faculty mentor should provide written sponsorship for the proposal.

Format: Investigators are required to submit a 2-3 page (5 page maximum) summary that follows the NIH format for grant submissions. That is, proposals should include clearly stated sections with each of the following: (A) Specific Aims, (B) Background and Significance, (C) Preliminary Data (optional), (D) General Methods, (E) References. PIs are advised to be as clear and as detailed as possible to allow reviewers to provide an informed assessment.

Submissions: Proposals will be accepted for review on an ongoing basis and can be emailed (preferred) or submitted in print to either of the Co-Directors. Whereas the DRB is committed to rapid turnaround of submissions, as a rule only submissions made three weeks in advance of external/internal deadlines can be guaranteed review in advance of the deadline. It is the responsibility of the PI to coordinate the timing of their submissions with other external or internal deadlines (e.g.: Grant/HIC/AIC). The DRB will not guarantee a timely turnaround if proposals are submitted within three weeks of an external deadline. At its discretion the DRB will make judicious exceptions in cases in which the turnaround for external deadlines is unusually rapid.

Review Process: Once received, proposals will be evaluated for completeness by the DRB’s co-Directors. In addition, the DRB will also assess the appropriateness of the proposal’s content for departmental review. If deemed incomplete, additional information will be requested from the PI. Complete proposals will be disseminated for review based on content. The DRB will solicit reviews from at least two faculty members with expertise in the proposal’s area of content/methodology. It is the responsibility of the DRB’s co-Directors to ensure that proposals are disseminated to appropriate reviewers, to collate and communicate reviews, and to communicate the DRB’s decision to the PI within two weeks from when the proposal is received. The DRB may require additional information from PIs if desired by the reviewers, therefore PIs should plan the timing of their submissions accordingly.

Summary: A formal process of internal peer review will provide a platform for constructive feedback and the growth of research in the department. The DRB aims to provide such a formal platform. The Board acknowledges the critical role played by numerous departmental faculty who have contributed to the process in the past, and looks forward to the cooperation and help of faculty at all levels.