What happens after you submit your application - NERC


Assessment criteria

We use the following criteria to assess, select and prioritise applications for funding.
The criteria are also used to guide evaluation of outputs from NERC funded projects and programmes.

Research excellence

There is no simple definition of research excellence. Applications may build directly on prior work, or may involve a speculative leap forward. It may involve progress along an established research direction or a tangential switch into a new or different area, or may bring together expertise and approaches from different discipline areas. All of these approaches could demonstrate excellence.

An application that demonstrates excellence can be characterised by terms such as novel, ambitious, timely, exciting, at the international forefront, adventurous, elegant or transformative, but need not demonstrate all of them.

Applications will be assessed on a numerical scale of 0 to 6 by reviewers and 0 to 10 by moderating panels.

Guidance on the use of the pre-award assessment criteria for reviewers and moderating panel members can be found in each scheme’s specific guidance notes.

Fit to scheme

Each grant scheme and strategic research programme will have specific objectives and requirements. These are set out in the scheme description or the programme announcement of opportunity.

When assessing a programme research grant application, reviewers are asked to assess the application against the programme’s objectives and requirements, as expressed in the specific announcement of opportunity.

Last updated: 6 December 2023

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