NHMRC – Functioning of Grant Review Panels
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NHMRC – Functioning of Grant Review Panels NHMRC – Functioning of Grant Review Panels Presentation Transcript

  • NHMRC – Functioning of Grant Review Panels Martin Lavin The University of Queensland Brisbane, Australia and Queensland Institute of Medical Research Brisbane, Australia
    • How Grant Advisory Groups (GAG) and Grant Research Panels (GRP) operate
    • What is expected in the application
    • How applications are assessed
  • Evolution of NHMRC Assessment System
    • Regional Grants Interviewing Committees (RGIC)
    • Discipline Panels
    • Grant Review Panels – internal review.
  • Review Panels
    • NHMRC establishes a number of panels responsible for review of EOI’s and Full Applications.
    • Panels known as Grant Review Panels (GRPs)
    • Grouped under Grant Advisory Groups (GAGs)
  • Grant Advisory Groups
    • GAGs established to ensure appropriate range of expertise available for the review of each EOI/Full Application and conflicts of interest are dealt with in an appropriate manner
    • Each GAG consists of a GAG Coordinator and the Chairs and Deputy Chairs of each GRP within the GAG
    • Role of GAG is to determine the membership of, and assign appropriate applications to, each GRP.
    • Applications are initially allocated to each GAG based on the Grant Type and Research Fields, Courses, and Disciplines (RFCD) selected by the applicant.
    • Final allocation of each application is determined by the GAG members who consider the expertise available and conflicts of interest.
  • Grant Advisory Groups (GAG1-6)
    • GAG1
      • Biochemistry (x2)
      • Oncology (x2)
      • Genetics (x2)
      • Cell Biology (x2)
      • Cancer Biology (x2)
    • GAG2
      • Immunology (x2)
      • Microbiology (x4)
      • Inflammation (x2)
  • Grant Advisory Groups (GAG)
    • GAG3
      • Endocrinology (x2)
      • Perinateorlogy/Paediatrics/Obstetrics/
      • Reproduction (x2)
      • Respiratory Medicine/Sleep (x2)
      • GIT Liver/Nutrition/Diabetes/Obesity (x2)
  • Grant Advisory Groups (GAG)
    • GAG4
      • Molecular Neuroscience (x2)
      • Autonomic/Peripheral & Sensory Nervous system (x2)
      • Neurology and Brain Imaging (x2)
    • GAG5
      • Public Health (x4)
      • Geriatrics / Other Health (x2)
      • Health Sciences/Primary Care (x2)
      • Psychiatry/Psychology (x2)
  • Grant Advisory Groups (GAG)
    • GAG6
      • Pharmacology (x2)
      • Cardiovascular/Renal Sports Medicine (x2)
      • Surgery/Dental/Nuclear Medicine (x2)
  • Peer Review Timetable
  • Grant Review Panels
    • GRPs are formed within each GAG.
    • The Research Committee appoints members of the GRPs.
    • Members normally hold or have recently held a medical research grant obtained through a nationally or internationally competitive peer review process
    • Usually members will not be appointed for more than 3 years
  • Grant Review Panels
    • The GRP will include a Chair, Deputy Chair and up to 20 members
    • Number of members relative to number of applications assigned to the GRP and relevant expertise required to ensure each application can be suitably assessed
    • In the event of a GRP member withdrawing from the peer review process due to illness or other reasons, the NHMRC will replace the member with another member with similar expertise.
  • Grant Review Panels
    • If withdrawal occurs late in the process and a replacement member cannot be found, the NHMRC will reallocate the affected applications throughout the relevant GRP, ensuring that each application is appropriately represented.
    • If member is contactable after withdrawing from the process, the NHMRC may contact the member to obtain additional information if required.
  • GAG Coordinator
    • One member of a Research Grants Committee will be appointed as the GAG coordinator. Primary duties and responsibilities are to:
    • Nominate GRP members within their GAG
      • Ensure appropriate allocation of grant applications to their GAG
      • Coordinate the distribution of applications to the GRPs within their GAG
      • Ensure GRP Chairs fulfill their duties and responsibilities; and
      • Act as the point of contact for their GAG
  • GRP Chair
    • The primary duties and responsibilities of the GRP Chairs are to:
      • Assist the GAG coordinator in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities
      • Ensure that the policies and procedures covering the relevant grant types are strictly and consistently adhered to
      • Approve the allocation of members to GRPs
      • Approve the allocation of Research Grant applications to their GRP
      • Declare potential conflicts of interest
  • GRP Chair
      • Nominate spokespersons, as appropriate, for each application allocated to the GRP (in consultation with the Deputy Chair)
      • Review and endorse the GRP report on applications to ensure it accurately reflects the consensus of the GRP
      • Chair the GRP meetings and
      • Ensure the GRP members are fulfilling their duties and responsibilities
  • GRP Deputy Chair
    • The primary duties and responsibilities of the GRP Deputy Chair are to:
      • Assist the GAG Coordinator and GRP Chair in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities
      • Declare potential conflicts of interest
      • Act as Chair for applications where the GRP Chair has a conflict of interest and
      • Fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a GRP member
  • GRP Members
    • The primary duties and responsibilities of GRP members are:
      • Declare any potential conflicts of interest
      • Act as a Primary Spokesperson (1SP), Secondary Spokesperson (2SP), or Tertiary Spokesperson (3SP) for those applications allocated by the GRP Chair (the number of applications allocated to each spokesperson will vary between each grant type)
      • For relevant applications, score EOIs as outlined in Attachment B
      • As a spokesperson, lead the GRP meeting discussion for each application
      • Assist in the preparation of the GRP report to the applicant.
  • Assignment of Spokespersons
    • Chair
      • Have a good understanding of the applications being considered by the GRP
      • Ensure each member has fulfilled their responsibilities in the lead up to the meetings
      • Contact all members by phone to discuss their preparation for the meetings. This will allow the Chair to provide advice to new members and identify any potential issues that may arise at the meetings
      • Attend a meeting of all GRP Chairs to discuss the progress of each GRP and any problems that may have arisen
  • Members
      • Members, in particular, new members, should speak with the Chair or other experienced members and seek advice on what is expected of members at the meeting
      • Inform the Chair and Secretariat of any issues they believe may arise during the meetings
      • In conjunction with the 2 nd Spokesperson and 3 rd Spokesperson prepare a draft GRP Report for each application assigned to you as 1 st Spokesperson. This draft report is to be provided to the Chair and Secretariat prior to the GRP meeting
      • Prepare thorough speaking notes for each application assigned to them as a Spokesperson
      • Read all Full Applications to be reviewed by the GRP.
  • Review Format
    • Following is the process for the review of each application:
      • Chair to announce the application including the title, institution and investigator names
      • Members will declare conflicts of interest and where appropriate, leave the room
  • Criteria for Assessment
    • Significance and Innovation
    • Scientific Quality
    • Track Record
  • Review Format
    • 1SP to comment on the application
      • The 1SP will comment on the application including a summary of the proposed research
      • Where an application has received additional review by the IHRP or the LSCTC, an IHRP/LSCTC member will be present to comment on the application
      • The 1SP will nominate the category they consider most appropriate for the application
  • Review Format
    • 2SP & 3SP to comment on the application
      • The 2SP & 3SP will provide additional comments on the application
      • The 2SP & 3SP will highlight their agreement/disagreement with the view of the 1SP.
      • The 2SP & 3SP is to nominate the category they consider most appropriate for the application.
  • All Members to Discuss the Applications
    • The Chair will open discussion to all members of the GRP
    • Members may provide additional comment on aspects of the application or ask questions of the Spokespersons
  • Voting by Members
    • All members, excluding the Chair, are to nominate a Category for the application in a secret ballot
    • Any member, who intends voting more than one Category away from the 1SP, must declare this to the GRP.
    • The Secretary will collect the ballot sheets and determine:
      • Category: the mode of the votes
      • Rating: the mean of the votes recorded to two decimal places
      • Recommending budgets
      • Combining applications
  • Final Ranking of Applications
    • On the final day of the GRP meeting, the panel is required to conduct the final ranking of those applications that fall into the category(s) nominated by the Research Grants Committee
    • The purpose of the of final ranking is to ensure applications in the nominated category(s) are ranked from “best-in-category” to “least-competitive-in-category” and that no applications within the nominated category(s) have the same score
  • Category Descriptors
    • Highest International Quality and Research Performance [7]
      • It is anticipated that only 1-5% of applications will fall into this category
      • Significance and Innovation. The planned work addresses an issue of utmost importance to human health and will translate into fundamental outcomes in the science and practice of clinical medicine or public health.
      • It will be published in journals of the highest impact factor and will be the subject of invited plenary presentations at international meetings, often with relevance across several fields.
  • Category Descriptors
      • Track Record. Applications in this category are generally from the most outstanding researchers in the country. They have strong international reputations or are well on the way to developing them.
      • Scientific Quality. The proposal is lucid in its objectives, exemplary in design and certain to be accomplished.
  • Category Descriptors
    • Highly Competitive [6]
      • The Panel regards these applications as in the “absolutely must fund” category
      • It is ancipated that 5-10% of applications will fall into this category with a maximum of 10% in categories 6 & 7
      • Significance and Innovation. The planned work addresses an issue of major importance to human health. It will be published in journals of the highest impact factor for the field and could be the subject of invited plenary presentations at international and national meetings. The work is innovative with respect to the question being addressed and the approach to it.
  • Category Descriptors
      • Track Record. The applicants have a record of achievement, relative to opportunity, that places them in the top 10-20% of peers and have a growing international reputation. One or more of the CIs are frequently on the stage at international specialty meetings as leaders in their field, or as emerging leaders.
      • Scientific Quality. The proposal has clarity of purpose and a near-flawless design. There is a high probability of successful accomplishment.
  • Category Descriptors
    • Excellent [5]
      • The Panel regards these applications as in the “strong desire to fund” category
      • It is anticipated that approximately 15% of applications will fall into this category
      • Significance and Innovation. The planned work addresses an issue of considerable importance to human health. It will be published in the top two or three journals for the field and could be the subject of invited plenary presentations at national specialty meetings. The work contains at least one innovative idea.
  • Category Descriptors
      • Track Record. The applicants have a record of achievement, relative to opportunity, that places them well above average for their peers. They have a growing national reputation and their work appears frequently at national meetings.
      • Scientific Quality. The proposal has clarity of design, and any reservations are minor and unlikely to prevent successful outcome.
  • Category Descriptors
    • Good [4]
      • The Panel regards these applications as in the “fundable” category, budgetary restrictions aside
      • It is anticipated that approximately 25% of applications will fall into this category
      • Significance and Innovation. The planned work addresses an issue of some importance to human health. It will be published in middle-ranking to major journals for the field. The work may have some novel aspects, while others underpin or extend existing knowledge. There are minor concerns about successful completion.
  • Category Descriptors
      • Track Record. The applicants have a solid record of achievement, relative to opportunity. One or more of the CIs has an existing or emerging national reputation, albeit in a niche area.
      • Scientific Quality. The proposal is sound, but has several areas of minor concern in experimental design or feasibility.
  • Category Descriptors
    • Satisfactory [3]
      • It is anticipated that approximately 50% of applications will fall into categories 1,2 or 3
      • This category includes all applications which, budgetary restrictions aside, are fundable, based on a satisfactory research approach and design. The GRP will be confident that the applicants will be able to undertake the research. However, on balance the application is one that is no competitive in the NHMRC round this year.
  • Category Descriptors
    • Marginal [2]
      • These applications display a number of good features but are not competitive
  • Category Descriptors
    • Poor [1]
      • Unfundable grants
  • Project Application - Synopsis
    • Overall aim (Specific Aims)
    • Hypothesis
    • Background (Progress)
    • Research Plan (Outcomes and Significance)
  • Main Body of Application
    • Overall aim –
    • Specific aims – 0.5 page
    • Hypothesis –
    • Background – 2 pages
    • Preliminary data – 2-3 pages
  • Research Plan
    • (Preamble to put into context)
    • Aim 1 as stated previously
    • Subsections (include on page 1)
    • Aim 2 etc
    • Outcome
    • Significance
    • References – 1 page
  • Significant Scientific Achievements
    • 1996 – 2006 (1 page)
    • Overall comment on research interests
    • Dot points of achievement (Reference)
  • Other Achievements
    • Invites to National/International Meetings
    • Committee Chair
    • Prizes
    • Awards
    • Publications (5 years)
    • Progress Reports
  • NHMRC Website Linkage Information
    • 2007 Peer Review Guidelines
    • Go to:
    • http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/apply/granttype/prodevapply.htm
    • Scroll down to Download Research Grants Peer Review Guidelines
    • Download
    • Research Grant Funding Policy
    • pages 26-33 Attachment B