The definition and delivery of the STFC science programme is aided by a range of advisory, peer-review, co-ordinating, steering and management committees. Each has specific terms of reference and a membership decided in consultation with the community in many cases following a call for nominations.
Scientific assessment of research grant proposals is made by experts in the field from academia, government and industry. Research grant proposals are assessed by individual reviewers and by peer review panels.
Normally at least two reviewers (for Consolidated Grants this will be per project or post-doctoral research assistant (PDRA) within the proposal) are used, one of whom may be nominated by the applicant.
Nominated reviewers must not be collaborators. They should either be from the applicant’s or collaborator’s home organisation. STFC reserves the right not to use nominated reviewers.
Using independent reviewers as part of our assessment process
We appoint experts from the UK and overseas with recognised expertise in the relevant areas of research to review applications independently of other applications.
A review is based on the reviewer’s judgement of the assessment criteria alone, and should not normally benchmark the assessment against other applications of the funding opportunity.
Reviewers are expected to have peer recognition or established expertise in the field to review the application. They are often able to provide input from specific areas of expertise not directly covered by the panel.
Reviewer comments and scores are part of the evidence that a panel member has available to help provide an objective and informed assessment.
Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA) and UKRI principles
STFC, as part of UKRI, are committed to the principles set out in the San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA).
STFC are also committed to the UKRI principles of peer review throughout our assessment and decision-making processes.
Applicants are given the opportunity to reply to reviewers’ comments.