MRC Board and Panel Observer Scheme

We select new board and panel observers every year. We will open again for applications in early 2025.

This scheme gives researchers at the career stage where they are transitioning to independence the opportunity to apply to observe a Medical Research Council (MRC) board or panel meeting.

As part of the MRC’s commitment to the development of people and skills, we are making changes to our existing board observer scheme. We have expanded the scheme into more of our boards and panels, broadened the eligibility beyond MRC award holders, and will prioritise places for underrepresented groups.

MRC also has a board and panel associate’s scheme. Find more information about the scheme.

What the scheme offers

We hope the opportunity to observe a board or panel allows observers to better understand how complex elements (research questions, methodological approach, expected value or impact and cost effectiveness) come together to prioritise our awards. We hope this experience:

  • is informative for attendees to help in developing their own successful research applications
  • assists attendees in providing better quality reviews
  • enhances transparency and provides insight into the work our research boards and panels do to ensure we fund the best quality science
  • gives attendees the opportunity to provide their views on the assessment process and suggestions for improvements

All observers will receive a briefing on the MRC grant assessment process. We encourage observers to use this information for further dissemination and to share their experience with colleagues.

MRC will monitor the impact of the scheme over the next 12 months and make any necessary changes to ensure that it remains responsive to both our data and the needs of our research community.

How to apply

This scheme is currently closed. It will be open again for applications in early 2025 for selected boards and panels. Details will be available on this page.

UK Research and Innovation is Disability Confident Committed. We will do our best to support any particular requirements to enable you to apply, and participate fully as a board or panel observer if you are successful.

Ask a question about the scheme


Further information

Equality impact assessment

Last updated: 31 May 2024

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