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Rebuttal and interview

After the review of the written proposal, some evaluation procedures include a rebuttal to the comments of the reviewer and/or an interview to further clarify your proposal to the evaluating committee or panel. On this page you will find tips for preparing and dealing with a rebuttal or interview.


Almost all NWO evaluation procedures include a rebuttal phase. In 2-3 pages you get the opportunity to respond to the comments of the expert reviewers. The evaluation committee who will be ranking the proposals will use both the expert reviewer reports and your rebuttal to form their final judgement. It doesn’t matter whether you have to maximum score or if it seems hopeless, always respond. Especially when the reviewer responses contravene one another. A rebuttal can make the difference. Read our tips for writing a rebuttal.

Immediately arrange internal feedback on your rebuttal

You have 5 days to respond to a rebuttal. Arrange feedback from peers, faculty or your grant advisor. Give all a heads-up now that you need their assistance in the upcoming days. If notified upfront, grant advisors will give you written feedback on your rebuttal within a day. When you send your draft rebuttal, include the review reports and submitted proposal.


To judge whether the researcher behind the proposal is indeed the next research leader or field changer, interviews are held by funders. Usually it consists of you giving a very short presentation and 10 to 15 minutes of answering question from the panel. The institute or faculty will help you prepare for this by organising briefings and mock interviews. You will find more information on your faculty tab. Use our general guidelines for organising a mock interview, but adapt this to the instructions for the interview after you receive them.

Grant Development advisors are happy to serve as mock committee members themselves. Or can help you find experienced mock committee members, especially when you have an interdisciplinary committee or panel.

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