Reviewers are chosen for their expertise in a particular field of research. Some schemes may require reviewers with different levels of expertise or particular skill sets. In certain circumstances we may ask a reviewer to consider a single aspect of a proposal, for example a particular methodological approach or one strand of a multi-faceted proposal.
If you are approached to provide a review, you will receive an email containing the details of the proposal. You will normally be asked to complete the review using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system. Logging into Je-S gives access to all the information you need to carry out your review. You will be able to see the proposal documents including the case for support, justification of resources, data management plan, CVs and other documents.
You will be asked to complete an online review form containing various questions about the proposed work and your assessment of it. You should refer to the assessment criteria for each scheme and the guidance on how to write a good review.
You will also be asked to provide an overall score from one to six. You should refer to the scoring matrix for what we expect of proposals in each scoring band and should justify why you are giving this score within your comments.
What happens to your review?
Your review is passed to the board or panel members who use it to inform their assessment of the proposal. In most cases, apart from the Developmental Pathway Funding Scheme (DPFS) and some Medical Research Council (MRC) strategic funding opportunities, this involves a triage or shortlisting after which some proposals are rejected. This is followed by a meeting at which the most competitive proposals are discussed and a final funding decision is made.
Your review will be made available to the applicant. Applicants who are successful at triage are given the opportunity to respond to all reviewers’ comments before the board or panel meeting. (This does not apply to applications for fellowships, DPFS and some MRC strategic funding opportunities.)
You will be informed when a proposal you have reviewed is successful. The outcomes of all funding decisions are published online soon after the board or panel meeting.
If you cannot comment within the suggested timescale, confirm this immediately so we can discuss extending the deadline or consider approaching another reviewer. You can contact our board and panel teams, see details below.
Ask a question about the peer review process
Ask a question about Je-S
Telephone: 01793 444164
Further guidance on using Je-S can be found on the Je-S help pages or by contacting the Je-S help desk. The help desk is staffed Monday to Thursday 8:30 to 17:00 and Fridays 8:30 to 16:30, excluding bank holidays and other holidays.
Last updated: 28 February 2022