Reviewers Report Form Guidance by ertwiw878272


									Guidance for Completing the Reviewers’ Report Form for
a Proposal to Run a Workshop or Summer School
The notes below are intended to provide reviewers with specific guidance for the
completion of the reviewers' form. They should be read in conjunction with any other
specific guidance supplied in connection with the particular programme or scheme.
Additional guidance on the role of the reviewer in EPSRC’s peer review process can be
found on our website at

Workshops & Summer Schools

EPSRC funds workshops or schools in order to stimulate research or to train postgraduate
students. Requests for complete or partial funding of the event are subject to peer
review. Organisers can apply at any time in responsive mode. They are advised that the
case for support should include:

          The purpose of the school/workshop;
          The programme/course content and likely speakers;
          The relationship to any similar schools/workshops;
          The numbers of attendees and target audience;
          The cost, detailing funds from EPSRC and other sponsorship;
          Plans for a user-based evaluation for the school/workshop.

Proposals should provide detailed explanations of the funding being applied for.

Peer Review
As an expert in this area, we would greatly appreciate your comments on the following

          Scientific quality and the appropriateness of the speakers;
          Relevance and impact and the relation to any other schools/workshops;
          Any collaborative aspects and dissemination;
          Cost-effectiveness and justification of the resources;
          Management arrangements.

Research Proposals made according to Full Economic Costing Principles

Where the proposal you are assessing accords with the Full Economic Cost methodology,
two sets of costings are shown: (a) the full economic cost (FEC) of the research, which
includes the total university contribution, and (b) the EPSRC’s contribution. When
reviewing this proposal, you are asked to concentrate on the FEC figures provided.
Please bear in mind, however, that the quality of the research proposed remains
the EPSRC’s primary criteria for allocating funds.

Note also that the research proposal includes requests for the estates costs and indirect
research costs incurred by the research organisation. You should ignore these elements,

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which are fixed by the research organisation, and instead confine your assessment to the
appropriateness of the directly incurred costs of the research and the proposed
investigators’ time, plus any other directly allocated costs and any exceptions to FEC, all
of which should have been fully justified by the applicant(s).

Under the FEC arrangements, applicants for funds to support workshops are advised that
the costs requested should relate to the work required to plan and manage the
workshop. The costs of attendees would not be supported.

Non-FEC proposals

Where the proposal you are assessing has been costed according to the methodology in
place prior to the 2005 introduction of the FEC regime, one set of costs is shown. In this
case, you are asked to consider the appropriateness of all of the requested resources.
Again, the quality of the proposed research is the primary criteria.

Completing Your Review

The EPSRC aims to process applications of this sort within 12 weeks, but it may be
necessary to put the proposal to a peer review panel, along with your completed review
form. As the decision to fund has to be made before the start date of the school or
workshop for the grant to be awarded, we would be grateful if you could review this
proposal before the deadline specified in the cover letter. If you are unable to do this,
please contact EPSRC as soon as possible.

Completion of the Form

SECTION 1: Before proceeding with your assessment, we ask that you consider the
Reviewer Protocols
EPSRC has adopted a code of practice for all those who assist in the work of the Council
which embraces the "Seven Principles of Public Life" drawn up by the Nolan Committee
and endorsed by Parliament. These Principles refer to selflessness, integrity, objectivity,
accountability, openness, honesty and leadership. The impact of this code is described in
more detail below.
Conflicts of Interest
An important aspect of this code is the avoidance of any conflicts between personal
interests and the interests of the EPSRC. In the context of peer review of research
proposals and final reports, a conflict of interest might arise, for example, if a reviewer
has, or has had in the past, a close working relationship, financial or personal
connections with any individual(s) in the academic department(s) or organisation (or any
collaborating company or body) from which a proposal or final report originates. Such
interests may be indirect and relate to immediate family members or any other persons
living in the same household as the assessor. The acid test is whether a member of the
public, knowing the facts of the situation, might reasonably think the judgement could
be influenced by the potential conflict of interest.
If you think that your involvement in assessing a particular research proposal or
final report might be perceived as a conflict of interest, you should decline the
invitation to act as a reviewer as soon as possible. Please contact the office if you
feel that you need further advice about this matter.
On occasion, applicants ask that certain individuals are not asked to review their
proposals. With this in mind please do not show the proposal to others or ask someone
to review the proposal in your place.

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Protection of Ideas and Scientific Misconduct
The integrity of peer review is dependent on the selflessness of reviewers. All papers
relating to the consideration of proposals and final reports must be treated as strictly
confidential and seen for the purpose of review only. After assessment they should either
be returned to the Office or shredded. Reviewers must not take advantage of any
information obtained as a result of their role, and should refer any questions to the
Office, and must not contact applicants direct.
Progress in scientific and engineering research depends on honesty in the presentation of
genuine results. The EPSRC takes scientific misconduct, including misrepresentation in
research proposals, very seriously and would wish that any instances which are observed
should be drawn to its attention as a matter of urgency. A Good Practice Guide on the
EPSRC website gives further advice, and questions about this issue arising from the
review of proposals or Final Reports should be raised with the Office.
Equal Opportunities
EPSRC is committed to equal opportunities in all its activities. Panel members should
ensure that they avoid any bias in the assessment of proposals and final reports due to
gender, disability, racial or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, or religious belief.
Comments on the reviewers must not contravene this policy. Defamatory or otherwise
actionable comments should also be avoided.
Level of confidence in your ability to provide an assessment of the proposal
If, for any reason, you feel that you are not able to confidently assess the proposal,
please advise EPSRC. Given the importance of high quality reviewer reports to the peer
review process, it is essential that you can speak with confidence with respect to your
assessment of the proposal, justifying your comments in full. Perhaps because of the
nature of the proposal, you may feel that you are only able to comment on some aspects
of it (see below). For this reason, confidence boxes are provided against each section.
Guidance for Reviewers on Handling Approaches from Researchers
The EPSRC operates an open peer review process, while at the same time preserving
reviewer anonymity. Reviewers are asked to treat proposals in confidence and proposers
are given the opportunity to respond to any factual inaccuracies made by the reviewers.
The EPSRC expects all parties to respect the roles of all involved in the peer review
The EPSRC will not disclose to researchers who reviewed their proposal. It is therefore
unacceptable for researchers to approach individuals who they think might have
reviewed their proposal. If such a situation does occur, the EPSRC advises the reviewer
not to enter into a debate about whether or not they reviewed a proposal. The reviewer
should then inform the EPSRC so that an appropriate form of action can be taken. The
relevant EPSRC contacts are as follows:
Engineering Process Interface Manager – Chris Elson, 01793 444504
Science Process Interface Manager – Jo Garrad, 01793 444348
Technology Process Interface Manager – Sarah Cooper, 01793 444422

Section 2: Your Assessment
A full justification for your assessment of the proposal should be provided. The prompts
are given as a reminder of those issues that are likely to be most significant in
determining the overall merit of a proposal. However, the relative spacing devoted to
each prompt should not constrain your response: please provide as full a response as
you believe you are qualified to.
Assessment Criteria
You are asked to assess the proposal against a number of criteria. These criteria may
vary according to the scheme or programme the proposal has been submitted to. For

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the vast majority of proposals submitted to EPSRC – those submitted to our ‘responsive
mode’ scheme - the criteria are:
    Scientific quality
    Relevance & impact
    Collaboration
    Dissemination
    Resources & Management arrangements
Prompts are given on the assessment form against each of these criteria. Where a
scheme or programme uses other criteria, details will be given either on the form itself or
in additional guidance associated with that programme.
Section 3: You should also feel free to comment on any additional aspects of the
project that you believe to be important. Please provide your comments here. If you are
unable to fit all your comments into the space available, we would encourage you to use
continuation sheets.
Any comments that you would prefer the proposer not to see should be
completed on a separate sheet of paper and clearly headed as "confidential

Section 4: We would encourage you to provide us with your area of expertise: this can
greatly assist both the proposer and panel members in placing your comments in
context. You should not be too specific about this, however, especially if you feel that
providing the information may reveal your identity to the proposer. However, a few key
words would be very helpful.
Web links in the proposal
The proposal you are asked to review includes a case for support. In some instances, the
case for support may include a link to a web site containing information on the research
proposed. Reviewers are not required to consider this additional information when
providing comments on a proposal. If you do choose to look at this information, it is
possible that your anonymity to the applicant will be compromised.
Data Protection Act 1998
The information that you provide on the reviewers form will be used in the processing of
all aspects of the relevant grant proposal. This will include recording on the in-house
grants processing computer and management information systems, and in the
preparation of material for applicants and for use by EPSRC peer review panels. In
addition information may be used in the generation and collation of output and
performance indicators and other management statistics. It may also be used in policy
and strategy studies to inform management in carrying out the business of Council and
in improving the business processes. Any queries should be addressed to the EPSRC Data
Protection Officer (tel: 01793 444100).

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