At RealClimate Gavin Schmidt gives an insiders look at what goes on during the science proposal review process.
He wrote this post partly to counter the commonly heard accusation that "climate scientists are just in it for the money".
His view on that accusation is that:
....There could always be improvements (shorter proposals might be easier to
get reviewed by outside specialists, calls can be clearer about what
they want etc.) but none of the problems are anything like the
contrarian imaginings of hysterical climatologists trying to outbid each
other in who can come up with the worst case scenario.
This is a very informative article for those not familiar with the process of science funding through grants.