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Call for new committee members – apply now!

23 Jul, 2015

WT stock KAG

At the Wellcome Trust, peer review plays a fundamental role in our decision-making process, and we rely upon high quality expert advice from reviewers to enable us to select the best researchers and proposals to fund. Alyson Fox, Head of Grants Management, describes two recent developments to our peer review process.

Like any funding body, we receive far more grant applications than we are able to fund, and deciding which projects receive our support is not easy. Peer review continues to form an essential part of our decision making when awarding grants, either through written referee reports or in the form of our funding committees. We currently have over 300 committee members, serving on Expert Review Groups, Interview Committees, Selection Panels or scheme-specific committees.

browser-98386_640These members come from a wide range of organisations – universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and policy organisations, both within the UK and internationally – but are all chosen because they are experts in their field and we believe offer the most appropriate insight and advice.

There is an ongoing turnover of these committees and new members are usually identified through various searches or recommendations, but this week we will be inviting applications for new committee members. In doing so we aim to improve the diversity of membership, and we will create a pool of prospective members across our Science, Innovations, and Humanities and Social Science portfolios which we will draw upon when creating new committees, refreshing membership of existing committees or co-opting experts to specific meetings.

Credit: Wellcome Library

Credit: Wellcome Library

Our committees are at the heart of what we do, so we have high expectations of members. Successful applicants need to have an excellent track record in research for their career stage, consistent success in securing competitive funding, experience in the assessment of research proposals or publications, and, importantly, the ability to consider and critique research outside their immediate area.

The funding committees are helped in their decision-making by written peer reviews – last year alone we received over 5000 written reviews. While peer review may be regarded as ‘part of the job’ for researchers, we recognise the effort and commitment that referees show and believe that this should be acknowledged. For that reason we are publishing the names of those who have contributed peer reviews for the Trust, and are writing to institutions informing them of who as acted as a reviewer for our grant applications.

The members of our committees and those who provide written peer review can be found on our website. We’d like to take this opportunity to once again extend our thanks to our all existing reviewers and committee members, and we look forward to receiving applications for these new positions.

If you are interested in becoming a funding committee member, further information and application details can be found here. The closing date for applications is 9th September 2015.


One Comment leave one →
  1. Alfred Oliver permalink
    25 Aug, 2015 11:54 pm

    Pleased to serve on grant application committee

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