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Thinking of Withdrawing Post-Review? Not So Fast
A word to the wise: think twice before withdrawing your application after peer review. At this point, your application counts as an official submission and there's virtually no advantage to withdrawing.
Worse, pulling the plug at that point has serious repercussions, so you don't want to make a hasty decision.
For an initial application, the consequences are different depending on whether you withdraw before or after getting your summary statement.
•Before. You lose your chance at a resubmission.
◦Because you don't get your summary statement and resubmissions must address reviewer comments, you'll have no choice but to submit a new application. Note: your initial application submitted again doesn't count as being new.
◦Rather than withdrawing at this point, wait for your summary statement and read what your reviewers have to say. That way, you'll have options: 1) resubmit if you can address reviewer comments and make changes accordingly, or 2) create a new application if problems aren't fixable.
•After. You can resubmit.
◦Review results stand and peer reviewers will have access to the summary statement.
◦Proceed as usual, i.e., take your summary statement to heart and decide whether to resubmit or start from scratch with a new application.
For a resubmission, you'll relinquish any chance of funding. And, since you can't resubmit again, you'll have to write an entirely new application. Instead of withdrawing, wait to see how your reviewers evaluate your application. If you don't get a fundable score, their comments may help you create a stronger application the next time around.
Before doing anything—whether contemplating withdrawing or how to proceed after receiving review results—get input and advice from your program officer.
•Investigator Withdrawal of an Application SOP
•New Investigator Series:
◦"Application Snag: What to Do if You Get Bad News"
◦"Your Application Did Not Succeed—What's Next?"