CLASP Panel member terms of reference and guidance

STFC Objectives

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) External Innovations runs a Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) to support the application and commercialisation of STFC-funded research in industrial, environmental and societal grand challenges.

Further information on the CLASP scheme.

Constitution of the CLASP panel

The panel is comprised of representatives from academia and the user community (for example industry, government departments and charities).

The membership of the panel initially will be for the duration of three years. If panel membership is extended at the request of STFC, this will be reviewed annually for a maximum of three years.

Remit of the CLASP panel

The CLASP Panel is a peer review body, set up to make recommendations on grant applications received against the CLASP funding opportunities.

It will undertake this task having regard to the overall strategy and policy of STFC’s Council and Science Board, and to the budget positions as advised by the executive.

Equality of opportunity

STFC is committed to eliminating unlawful discrimination. Our equality schemes for gender and disability are on the UKRI Equality, diversity and inclusion page. These schemes apply to all STFC committee members. Panel members should be aware of these schemes and the need to ensure equal treatment of applicants.

A particular equality issue in peer review is unconscious bias. Despite striving to be objective, people often hold implicit or unconscious assumptions that influence their judgement. Examples range from expectations or assumptions about physical or social characteristics associated with gender, ethnicity and age to those associated with certain jobs, academic institutions and fields of study.

Read the briefing note on unconscious bias.

Panel responsibilities

  • with reference to the assessment criteria, review and make recommendations to the STFC executive on all grant applications to the above schemes
  • attend panel meetings or provide written comments on all proposals
  • provide mentorship to at least one application per funding opportunity for the development of the full proposal
  • to comment on and make recommendations regarding any other business or partnership applications as required
  • review the progress of projects from reports and comment at panel meetings
  • to liaise with other bodies as necessary
  • to report to the Science Board and any other overseeing body as required.

Guidelines for managing conflicts of interest in the peer review process

STFC, as a publicly funded organisation, is accountable to government and the public for its actions and for the way it conducts its business, which must be undertaken in a way that is transparent and guards against ‘potential conflicts of interest’ influencing the outcome of decisions.

Read further information on peer review. Please note the assessment criteria are not the assessment criteria for the CLASP scheme.


STFC checks all submissions after the closing date. All eligible proposals will be sent externally for technical review. In general proposals will be made available on the secure community site to the panel before the panel meeting with reviewer comments, and applicants’ responses to reviewers comments made available on the site at least one week before the panel meeting. The panel will be notified when these are submitted.

Panel members should note that there is no limit to the number of proposals reviewed per panel. The panel meeting to review proposals generally lasts one day, but duration is dependent on the number of proposals submitted for review.

All externally employed panel members may claim reimbursement for their time given on the day of the panel meeting. Given the time required for review of applications and preparation for the meetings, self-employed or employees of SMEs only may, upon prior request in writing, be offered the standard Honorarium day rate also for preparation time.

Last updated: 11 September 2023

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