Peer reviews - BBSRC

All applications for research grants undergo scientific assessment of research quality by UK and overseas experts in the field from academia, government or industry.

This assessment considers how applications meet the criteria for:

  • scientific excellence
  • strategic relevance
  • industrial and stakeholder relevance
  • economic and social impact
  • timeliness and promise
  • value for money
  • staff training potential of the project.

Reviewers should not use journal-based metrics, such as Journal Impact Factors, as a surrogate measure of the quality of individual research articles, to assess an individual scientist’s contributions. This is in line with our commitment to the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).

Download BBSRC guidance notes for fellowship (Discovery and David Phillips Fellowship) reviewers using the Je-S system.

Download the BBSRC guidance notes for grant reviewers using the Je-S system.

Download a spreadsheet of keyword classifications for reviewers’ areas of expertise.

Download a guide to BBSRC keyword classification for reviewers.

Additional guidance for reviewers on COVID-19

UK Research and Innovation recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused major interruptions and disruptions across our communities and is committed to ensuring that individual applicants and their wider team, including partners and networks, are not penalised for any disruption to their career such as breaks and delays, disruptive working patterns and conditions, the loss of ongoing work, and role changes that may have been caused by the pandemic.

When undertaking your assessment of the research project, you should consider the unequal impacts of the impact that COVID-19-related disruption might have had on the track record and career development of those individuals included in the proposal, and you should focus on the capability of the applicant and their wider team to deliver the research they are proposing.

UKRI acknowledges that it is a challenge for applicants to determine the future impacts of COVID-19 while the pandemic continues to evolve. Applicants have been advised that their applications should be based on the information available at the point of submission and, if applicable, the known application specific impacts of COVID-19 should be accounted for.

Where known impacts have occurred, these should have been highlighted in the application, including the assumptions and information at the point of submission. Applicants were not required to include contingency plans for the potential impacts of COVID-19. Requests for travel both domestically and internationally could be included in accordance with the relevant scheme guidelines, noting the above advice.

When undertaking your assessment of the research project you should assess the project as written, noting any changes arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic that the project might require in the future. These will be resolved as a post-award issue by UKRI if the project is successful. Potential complications related to COVID-19 should not affect your assessment or the score you give the project.

Please also refer to the UKRI principles of assessment and decision making.

Contact

Email: peer.review@bbsrc.ukri.org
Telephone: 01793 413290

Last updated: 28 February 2022

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