Peer review college - EPSRC


How to join the college

The EPSRC Peer Review College plays an integral part in our peer review process. It enables the scientific community to be nominated as suitable to review proposals, so giving general quality assurance of EPSRC’s peer review process.

All new members have to complete college training, which provides an insider view of EPSRC’s peer review processes and valuable tips on writing high-quality reviews that will help you, as well as the peers you are reviewing for. New members will also be asked to provide details of their expertise on the Joint Electronic Submissions (Je-S) system, to enable us to best match you to relevant proposals for reviewing and serving on our panels where appropriate. Once you have completed the training and provided your expertise details, we will add you to our college and look forward to working with you.

The college membership is reviewed periodically to address any imbalances and to replace members who have not responded to EPSRC review requests over a period of time. Please know that you can always notify us of any career breaks or changes in situation that may prevent you from reviewing or serving on our panels. Once you are appointed to the college, you can opt out at any time.

There are several routes to becoming a college member, but all require you to complete the online college training and Je-S details. This includes:

  • self-nomination: we encourage you to apply to become a college member using the application form. Applicants will be assessed on their relevant experience and our portfolio requirement for expertise
  • recipients of an EPSRC fellowship award (apart from postdoctoral fellowships) will be invited to join our college
  • calls for members: EPSRC will periodically announce calls for members to fill gaps in the membership portfolio
  • EPSRC nomination: having a recent track record of reviewing, either through frequently being a nominated reviewer, or consistently writing reviews judged as appropriate and helpful at panel
  • industrial partner nomination: EPSRC encourages its industrial partners to proactively nominate members from organisations using research in industry, health service, public sector and charities
  • international partner nomination: EPSRC encourages its international partners to proactively nominate members including via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) international offices

Who is eligible to join our college

EPSRC seeks college members from academic and non-academic backgrounds (such as commercial or industrial, health services, public services and charity roles). We are looking for UK and international college members.

We welcome applications from a broad range of roles and expect you to provide evidence of significant experience and expertise in areas such as:

  • scientific expertise
  • grant or project management
  • multidisciplinary work
  • public engagement
  • collaborative work (academic and non-academic)
  • international work
  • influencing policy
  • working with clinicians

Expectations of college membership

Expectations we have of college members are:

  • when required, use your expertise to provide detailed and objective reviews of proposals as per our peer review guidance
  • keep your Je-S details up to date, particularly those elements relating to your contact details, availability and areas of expertise
  • notify EPSRC within five working days if you are unable to meet a request to review
  • undertake training provided by EPSRC for college members and refresh this when the reviewing process changes, or if you are undertaking a new role (for example, as a panel member)
  • keep up to date with developments that may affect your role as a member of the college, for example through attendance at EPSRC organised events, EPSRC’s website and college newsletters
  • serve on prioritisation panels when invited but recognise that such opportunities are limited

In return we will provide:

  • opportunities for you to review
  • training
  • newsletter which will inform you of current EPSRC activities
  • opportunities to engage with wider UKRI work (for example, the new Funding Service)
  • provide limited opportunities for members to serve on EPSRC panels

Diversity and inclusion

Diverse representation within our college and advisory bodies is important to ensure we include a range of opinions and viewpoints in our decision making. Appointments to the college are made primarily on merit and we are keen to obtain greater diversity across the membership.

We particularly encourage applications from:

  • women
  • people who identify as an ethnic minority
  • people with a disability
  • other groups who are currently under-represented

We welcome applications from people based in all regions and nations of the UK and internationally.

We will continue to improve the gender balance of the college, in keeping with EPSRC’s overall goal of achieving at least 30% participation of women (as the underrepresented group).

We are also committed to working towards increasing ethnic minority representation to 20% on the Peer Review College. This is part of our commitment to race equality and is one of our immediate actions.

Assessment criteria for potential college members

To enable us to balance the college in terms of diversity, portfolio needs and more, it is possible that you may not be invited on to the college at this time even if your expertise and experience match our requirements.

Primary criteria


Evidence of knowledge and expertise in an EPSRC research field. This can be demonstrated by activities including (but not restricted) to:

  • research activities in academia or industry (for example, grants, research projects, patents, publications, articles or conference papers)
  • technical expertise (for example, software engineering or instrument development)
  • other relevant activities
Experience of peer review skills

Evidence of skills applicable to peer review. Peer review skills can be demonstrated through competencies including (but not restricted to):

  • peer reviewed applications or journal papers in any context relevant to EPSRC research areas
  • constructive criticism in a professional or academic context
  • maximising the potential of others
  • analytical thinking
  • engagement with and knowledge of a research community in academia or industry
  • advocacy

Secondary criteria

Relevant experience in other fields

Evidence of knowledge or expertise that would allow you to comment on proposals in the wider scientific and strategic context. These could include evidence of:

  • project management
  • collaborative working
  • advocacy, communication or presentation of work
  • policy development
  • technical expertise
  • day-to-day research management
  • research equipment
  • facility management
  • industrial involvement
  • supervision of PhD or training
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • environmental sustainability
  • responsible research and innovation expertise or advocacy
  • public engagement
  • mentoring or career development
  • network or scientific committee participation
  • regional development or similar

Last updated: 14 November 2023

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