EPSRC changes to Peer Review
In 2010 EPSRC published its Strategic Plan articulating a very clear goal of Shaping Capability – namely to focus their portfolio in areas of international research excellence and national importance. There are two key changes which will be phased in over the next six months, namely:
1. National Importance will become a primary assessment criterion alongside Research Quality from 15 November. Applicants will need to clearly identify the national importance of their proposed research project, over a 10-50 year time-frame. Examples are alignment to national UK priorities, responses to user/stakeholder pull and underpinning priority areas for other Research Councils.
I understand from EPSRC that the new section will need to be incorporated in the case for support. Guidance on how to complete this section is available on JeS and on the EPSRC website, which RDSO will review. Peer reviewers will be asked to consider national importance as well as research quality in their assessment and panel members will be asked to prioritise based on research quality and national importance as the primary criteria. New reviewer forms will be sent out with proposals received after 15th November additional advice and guidance will be available on JeS and on the EPSRC website.
2. In Spring 2012 EPSRC will ask that you align your research proposals to the EPSRC portfolio, using the information developed and published in the EPSRC’s “Our Portfolio” section. Additional information will be made available prior to implementation.
RDSO will keep you posted of all changes and how they affect you. In the meantime further information is available on their website.