Essay Writing

Reflect upon your own funding source/RFP you selected, and note similarities or differences as compared to your colleagues.


Comment on five of your colleagues’ posts in one or more of the following ways:

  • Reflect upon your own funding source/RFP you selected, and note similarities or differences as compared to your colleagues.
  • Note what you have learned and/or share any insights you have gained because of the comments your colleagues made.


An outline of the review process of your selected funding source/RFP.

  1. Applications will be evaluated for scientific and technical merit using the criteria by an appropriate Scientific Review Group by NIH peer review policy and procedures. 
  2. All applications will receive a written critique as part of the scientific peer review.
  3. Applications may undergo a selection process in which only those applications deemed to have the highest scientific and technical merit (generally the top half of applications under review) will be discussed and assigned an overall impact score.
  4. Applications will be assigned based on established PHS referral guidelines to the appropriate NIH Institute or Center
  5. The following will be considered in making funding decisions:

a.) Scientific and technical merit of the proposed project as determined by scientific peer review.

b.) Availability of funds.

c.) Relevance of the proposed project to program priorities.

d.) Geographical distribution of the portfolio

e.) Balance between HRA and LRA awards

What criteria are used?

The criteria used is a score that evaluates the significance, investigators, innovation, approach, and environment.

What do you see as the benefits and challenges of this review process?

The benefits include knowing what criteria are necessary to apply for the grant and whether it fits my project idea well. The challenges include the overwhelming list of what the criteria entail. However, when I copied and pasted the overview process into Word and created an outline, it was easier to see it as a list of what I have already completed and what I still need to add to strengthen the proposal.

How can you use this understanding to prepare your proposal better?

When I created the outline, I saw that this project does need collaborators and not a cooperative level approach. That means that I need to go back and adjust some things in my proposal. I must ensure the collaborators are well-suited for the project with the appropriate experience and training. However, I already knew I needed to strengthen my methodology approach, but I needed to present challenges and plans to address those along with ensuring that the strategies presented have an unbiased approach.


NIH (n.d.) Department of Health and Human Services. to an external site.


The following is taken directly from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Archeological and Ethnographical Field Research opportunity.

Application Review Information

  1. Review Criteria

Peer reviewers will use the following criteria to review applications under this notice:

  1. The intellectual significance of the proposed project, including the project’s potential to

stimulate new research, and its relevance to larger questions in the humanities.

  • The clarity and feasibility of the research design, including the appropriateness of the

methods to answer an explicit set of humanities questions, and the project’s ability to

access the research site, a community, or other resources.

  • The qualifications, expertise, and levels of commitment of the project director and,

where relevant, any collaborators, including the appropriateness and value of the


  • The soundness of the dissemination and access plans to convey information to the

relevant audiences. For organizations whose projects have been previously funded, its

productivity in relation to previous goals and accomplishments.

  • The likelihood that the project goals will be completed within the stated time frame (not

necessarily during the period of performance).

Each review criterion aligns with specific sections of the narrative and other application


  • Review and Selection Process

NEH staff review all applications for eligibility, completeness, and responsiveness. The agency

then conducts a peer review process for all eligible and complete applications.

Peer reviewers are experts in their fields with knowledge and expertise relevant to the project

activities supported by the program. NEH instructs peer reviewers to evaluate applications

according to the review criteria in this notice. Peer reviewers must comply with federal ethics

rules governing conflicts of interest.

NEH program officers supplement the peer reviewers’ comments to address matters of fact or

significant points that the peer reviewers have overlooked. They then make funding

recommendations to the National Council on the Humanities. The National Council meets at

least twice each year to review applications and advise the NEH Chair. By law, the Chair has the

sole authority to make final funding decisions.

Following NEH’s public announcement of funded projects, you may request copies of the peer

reviewers’ evaluations of your proposal by contacting

There is a lot of room for interpretation throughout this entire document. Who is defining characteristics and/or traits like expertise, clarity, etc..? Even the staff review process is not well defined. In addition, the applicant must refer to additional material to ensure compliance. 


NEH (2023). National Endowment for the Humanities.


1. An outline of the review process of the funding source/RFP you selected

RFP Evaluation Process
An evaluation team will evaluate proposals. Neither the lowest price nor highest scoring proposal will necessarily be selected.
Delaware reserves full discretion to determine the competence and responsibility, professionally and/or financially, of Providers. Providers are to provide in a timely manner any and all information that Delaware may deem necessary to make a decision.
Proposals will be evaluated pursuant to the selection criteria of the RFP and procedures established in 29 Del. C. §§ 6981 and 6982. The following is the process proposals will be handled after submission:
1. Initial Review
For Phase I funding, the State of Delaware staff will review proposals and reject all that do not meet the minimum criteria as listed in Appendix E. Those not rejected will be advanced to the next review (Written Review).
2. Evaluation Team
The Proposal Evaluation Team shall be comprised of at least one (1) DWDB member or DWDB Staff, one (1) Department of Education staff, and other representatives as Delaware sees fit.
3. Proposal Review
Proposals who meet the RFP criteria described in Section (C)(1) above (for Phase I) and all submitted LFCPs (for Phase II), will be reviewed by an Evaluation Team in up to two (2) phases:
a. Written Review-The Proposal Evaluation Team will individually review and score written proposals (LFCPs for Phase II). Points will be awarded based on the Proposal Evaluation Team’s review of the written proposals. The Proposal Evaluation Team will
decide which proposal(s) will move forward and be invited to Proposal Clarification Day. Those proposals not invited to Proposal Clarification Day will be rejected at this point and not considered for funding. Delaware will notify all Providers of the outcome of this phase. Delaware and the Evaluation Team reserve the right to not hold a Proposal Clarification and make recommended awards based solely on the Written Review.

2. What criteria are used?

  • Applicant Group-
    Proposal demonstrates the Lead Provider can coordinate with various stakeholders on other initiatives and proposer has credibility and partnerships with identified
    employers and stakeholders. Proposal demonstrates applicant group consists of relevant stakeholders.
    Maximum Points – 15
  • Program Design and Results-
    Proposal demonstrates that Planning Phase I goals can be achieved through the proposed activities.                          Maximum Points – 20
  • Budget-                                                                                                                                                                                       Proposed budget is reasonable and competitive as compared to other proposals                                                           Maximum Points – 10 
  • Bonus Points-
    ● Proposals that maximize the potential of the collaboration through direct financial or in-kind contributions by members of the planning Phase I applicant group or other stakeholders and/or
    ● Proposal demonstrates that the Applicant Planning Group represents or contains at least four employers and/or
    ● Proposal demonstrates that the Applicant Planning Group contains at least one Local Education Agency or Postsecondary Programs and/or
    ● Proposal demonstrates that the Applicant Planning Group contains at least one
    Local Education Agency with the intent to use the state model program of study for work-based learning                                   Maximum Points – 20 

3. What do you see as the benefits and challenges of this review process?

I do not foresee any challenges of this review process as I feel if you follow the criteria to apply for the grant, you will be fine. The benefits of having a proposal evaluation team with members of those that are involved is huge as it doesn’t allow for favoritism in my eye. I also find the point system to be very beneficial as the bonus points. It states that not just the lowest price or highest scoring proposal will be the one who gets the grant, which makes me believe it is all about how well-rounded the RFP is and if it truly meets the need. 

4. How can you use this understanding to better prepare your proposal?

Understanding the criteria and the review process allows me, as the writer of the RFP, to ensure I am meeting all bullet points and that I am not only trying to get all points possible but keeping the mission of reaching the students with WBL opportunities at the forefront of my mind.

Alyssa Babuca


Delaware Department of Labor. (n.d.). Learning for Careers (LFC). Bids – Delaware bids and contracts. to an external site.


  • An outline of the review process of the funding source: Walmart

Walmart awards local community grants through an open application process.  The funds are provided directly from Walmart and Sam’s Club to local organizations.

  • The grants range from $250.00 to $5,000.00.
  • Eligible nonprofit organizations must operate on the local level (or be an affiliate/chapter of a larger organization that operates locally) and directly benefit the service area of the facility from which they are requesting funding.
  • Grant applications are accepted quarterly during the 2023 calendar year. The deadlines for submissions are as follows:
  • Quarter 1: Feb 1 – April 15
  • Quarter 2: May 1 – July 15
  • Quarter 3: August 1 – October 15
  • Quarter 4: November 1 – December 31
  • Applications may be submitted at any time during each quarter funding All applications will be reviewed prior to the next funding cycle.
  • Organizations may only submit a total number of 25 applications and/or receive up to 25 grants within the 2023 grant cycle.
  • All organizations applying for a Local Community grant must be CyberGrants FrontDoorLinks to an external site.verified prior to applying.
  • What criteria are used? Walmart uses the following criteria for grant applications.
  • An organization holding a current tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, listed on the IRS Master File and conducting activities within the United States, classified as a public charity under Section 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) (Types I or II); and CyberGrants FrontDoor verified.
  • A recognized government entity: state, county or city agency, including law enforcement or fire departments, that are requesting funds exclusively for public purposes and CyberGrants FrontDoor verified.
  • A K-12 public or nonprofit private school, charter school, community/junior college, state/private college or university; or a church or other faith-based organization with a proposed project that benefits the community at large, such as food pantries, soup kitchens and clothing closets and CyberGrants FrontDoor verified.
  • Non-charities, including organizations recognized as 501(c)(4)s, (c)(6)s, and (c)(19)s
    like homeowner’s associations, civic leagues, or volunteer fire companies, are not eligible at this time.
  • Management at the facility will review the application and make initial funding recommendations on all submitted requests.
  • Each facility manager may set the frequency and process in which application determinations are made.
  • The facility manager and the grant administrator reserve the right to adjust the amount awarded to each organization without prior notice.
  • Organizations will be notified of any decision via e-mail. All funding decisions are final.
  • If an organization is approved, grant checks will be mailed directly to the recipient’s address listed in the Cybergrant’s FrontDoorLinks to an external site. profile for the organization. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery.

Walmart  includes a list of 8 funding areas an organization can apply for. Applicants are asked to ensure that their organization falls within one of the listed areas:

  • Community and Economic Development: Improving local communities for the benefit of low-income individuals and families in the local service area
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Fostering the building of relationships and understanding among diverse groups in the local service area
  • Education: Providing afterschool enrichment, tutoring or vocational training for low-income individuals and families in the local service area
  • Environmental Sustainability: Preventing waste, increasing recycling, or supporting other programs that work to improve the environment in the local service area
  • Health and Human Service: Providing medical screening, treatment, social services, or shelters for low-income individuals and families in the local service area
  • Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating: Providing Federal or charitable meals/snacks for low-income individuals and families in the local service area
  • Public Safety: Supporting public safety programs through training programs or equipment in the local service area
  • Quality of Life: Improving access to recreation, arts or cultural experiences for low-income individuals and families in the local service area

Walmart also includes an additional statement regarding the review of applications.

  • All grant applications are made subject to review of the organization’s reputation and activities and its agreement to comply with applicable terms and conditions. Submission of an application does not guarantee funding. Funding exclusions include: organizations that deny service, membership or other involvement on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, veteran, or disability status.
  • What do you see as the benefits and challenges of this review process?

The benefit of this review process is that it does not require an official from my institution to sign various forms.  According to Gitlin, L.N., Kolanowski, A., and Lyons, K.J. (2021) if I was applying for a federal grant, I would be required to consult with the grants administrator with my agency to obtain signature for the forms required for the grant application.  Setting up a time to obtain signatures or submitting forms for required signatures takes time.  I could submit my request for signatures in a timely manner but still miss a deadline because I did not receive the forms back for my submission deadline. The Walmart application process allows me to set my schedule and adhere to the required deadlines without relying on second party signature.  When applying for federal grants, applicants are also required to submit the number of their congressional district, the identification number of their institution, and the contact information for the responsible officials who can sign off on a proposal at their institution.) Gitlin, L.N., Kolanowski, A., and Lyons, K.J. 2021) A benefit for applying for the Walmart grant is that the grant application process is not subject to change.

Another benefit for applying for the Walmart grant is that the organization requires applicants to be CyberGrants FrontDoorLinks to an external site. verified prior to applying.  CyberGrants works with the Internal Revenue Service and other global databases to guarantee that nonprofits meet the charitable standards of our corporate customers. FrontDoor is a web-based tool that thoroughly vets the individuals who claim to represent these nonprofits to ensure that they are the right person(s) to make decisions on the organization’s behalf. Once approved, an administrator can access their information via a single website — — or provision additional users to help them maintain their organization. CyberGrants FrontDoor- Register (n.d.)

The challenge with the review process for Walmart is that the applicant is given limited directions for applying for the grant. The review process does not state that the request for funds should have a needs statement, goals, and objectives. Also, although applicants can be granted up to 25 grants in the 2023 grant cycle, applicants are not required to submit a budget, budget narrative, or a sustainability plan.

  • How can you use this understanding to better prepare your proposal.

I want my application to stand out among all other grant applications. I can use this understanding to better prepare for grant application by going beyond the requirements provided by Walmart.  To achieve this goal, I will add to the application a needs statement, goals, objectives, a budget, budget narrative, and a sustainability plan.


CyberGrants FrontDoor- Register to an external site.

Gitlin, L.N., Kolanowski, A., & Lyons, K.J. (2021). Successful grant writing: Strategies 

health and human service professionals.


          The outline of the review process was not provided regarding the Aliquippa school district (Aliquippa School District, n. d.): Request for proposal student transportation services. After reviewing the week’s resources, I completed the following RFP Evaluation Scoring Sheet (Gitlin, Kolanowski, & Lyons, 2021).

RFP Evaluation Scoring Sheet
Evaluation Factors (based on the RFP proposal’s criteria)PointsProposer Companies
1. Qualifications and liability and insurance1-10  
2. Proposed personnel supervisors, bus drivers, and other employees1-5  
3. Training and safety plans1-5  
4. proposed management and operations plan1-5  
5. Bus Routes and feasibility1-5  
6. proposed maintenance and equipment plan regarding buses and servicing buses1-5  
7. Transportation coverage (primary and extracurricular)1-5  
8. Cost of Primary Transportation Services1-10  
9. Cost of extracurricular Transportation Services1-10  
10. Understanding of rules and guidelines1-5  
11. Interview of core personnel1-5  
12. References1-5  
13. Driving history of bus drivers1-10  
14. Background checks (police, criminal, and child abuse checks)1-10  
15. Overall financial plan and sustainability plan1-5  
Total of All Evaluation Points15-100  

          The evaluation factors are the criteria needed for the RFP for the Aliquippa School District’s proposal for student transportation services applicants. The fifteen factors are important to the school’s need for the students to receive transportation for the regular school day and for the children’s extra-curricular activities. The benefits of the review process are that it is directly from the RFP request, which focuses on each aspect of the RFP and if the proposal meets the fifteen criteria, then it should score high. The challenge would be to ensure that all the factors are the best available because other companies will apply. The primary possible issues are the backgrounds of the drivers and other personnel to ensure that the children are safe because people generally do not disclose any of their history until they complete or are asked to complete background checks. When knowing the benefits and challenges of the review process assists with understanding what the criteria are trying to match it to the best of the availability and seeking advice from sources that would be better able to understand the needs of the RFP.


Aliquippa School District. (n. d.). Aliquippa school district: Request for proposal student transportation services. Aliquippa School District. to an external site.Links to an external site.

Gitlin, L.N., Kolanowski, A., & Lyons, K.J. (2021). Successful grant writing: Strategies for health and human service professionals (5th ed). Springer Publishing Company.

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