The assessment process of each funding opportunity will vary. Specific details can be found on the funding opportunity guidance pages of the funding finder. More information on the peer review process, and the guidelines provided for reviewers can be found in our how we make decisions. The following outlines our standard assessment process for responsive mode funding opportunities.
When we receive your application, the first process it undergoes is examining. The purpose of examining is to check that all applications submitted are eligible to the relevant scheme, adhere to Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) guidelines and are ready to be peer reviewed and assessed by the panels.
Within responsive mode each of the four committees (A, B, C, D) cover different parts of the wider BBSRC remit. Alongside examining, remit checking is conducted to ensure that all proposals are within BBSRC’s funding portfolio. Each application is remit checked by BBSRC office staff with expertise and experience in the relevant remit areas.
Once your proposal has been confirmed to be eligible and within our remit, we will invite the experts nominated by you and other experts sourced by BBSRC staff to provide independent reviews of your proposal. We aim to acquire a minimum of two external peer reviews per application, prior to panel assessment, to safeguard the robustness of our decision making process. Each reviewer has peer recognition or established expertise in the relevant field to review the application and will assess your application against the seven assessment criteria:
- scientific excellence
- industrial and stakeholder relevance
- relevance to BBSRC strategy
- economic and social impact
- timeliness and promise
- value for money
- staff training potential of the project.
Principal investigator response
Following the review of your application, we will make all reviews available for you to comment on. You will receive specific details via your Je-S account, but you should respond to reviewers’ comments within 10 working days, with a one-page limit per review. Any responses you submit will be taken to the panel assessment together with the reviewer comments and full proposal documentation.
For each responsive mode, a bespoke panel is created from core committee members and members from our pool of experts. Each panel matches the expertise of the applications submitted for that round. Your application will be assigned to three panel members who will independently assess your application, against the assessment criteria. The three assigned panel members will discuss your application and come to agreement on the strengths and weakness, and any issues relating to animal use, ethics, data management and requested resources.
The panel will also agree a consensus score for your application, which will then be moderated by the whole panel and chairs to ensure all applications have been assessed fairly, objectively and consistently. The whole committee then meets to produce a recommended rank ordered list of the applications in the order that they should be funded, based on the evidence presented to the committee during the assessment discussions.
Outcomes and feedback
Due to the large number of high-quality proposals submitted to each responsive mode round, not all proposals that are deemed to be ‘excellent’ in the round are guaranteed funding. Feedback is based on a summary of the combined discussions that took place during the panel assessment process and does not include reasons why an application is or isn’t funded.
Last updated: 16 March 2023