Peer Review

Purpose of peer review and demand management

We know from long experience that working through multiple drafts – considering feedback from a range of others and re-drafting to incorporate appropriate suggestions – can improve the quality of applications and the likelihood of their success.

Our peer review process provides the opportunity to obtain that varied feedback and increase the chance that your proposed project has been fully developed and clearly communicated. We hope that the process will smooth a proposal’s path to a successful funding panel result.

Some funders, including the UKRI funders, have asked us to operate ‘Demand Management’ to address concerns about falling success rates and the difficulty in managing large numbers of applications that are not well developed. For example, ESRC ask that Universities put in place a quality assurance process that has the aim of receiving fewer – but higher quality – applications. That means that the Director of Research in your School or Dean of Research will sometimes tell you that your proposal is not well enough developed for submission to a funding body and will advise on further work to be done to it prior to submission.


Levels of Peer Review

The arrangements for College of Social Sciences peer review stages are set out below, according to the size and destination of the proposal. Your project coordinator will guide you through the process.  

Each stage of review could take up to two weeks, so applicants need to allow four-six weeks for peer review if possible so that there is time for revisions to be made in the light of comments.

Peer review is not a substitute for collegiate support to help with the initial development of a research proposal. Please do ask for advice or assistance from experienced colleagues in constructing your initial draft proposal so that a fully formed proposal is submitted for peer review


What to provide reviewers

For Subject/School level peer review staff please provide the following:

  • Details of the scheme/call to which you are responding.
  • The Case for Support.
  • Any other submission documents ready at the time.

Reviewers will be asked to look at proposals and give constructive, formative feedback in line with the College guidance on internal review.


College guidance on internal review

The College 'Check-list for Internal Peer Reviewers' document is designed to help internal peer reviewers provide formative feedback on grant applications.


What if I am co-I on a proposal led my another HEI?

If a member of staff is participating in a research grant proposal being led by, and submitted through, another HEI, the following apply:

  • The College Research Support Office Project Coordinator will still need to be notified and given time to prepare costings for the University of Glasgow inputs.
  • Peer review is not a requirement, but applicants are encouraged to nonetheless seek to informally obtain at least one peer review from a colleague.

Peer Review Stages

Applies to: proposals under £75k (UoG Price)

Single Review

School (or in SPS Subject RD) to agree suitable reviewer, who could be from within the Subject or a cognate discipline.

Quality Assurance for submission provided by Reviewer.

Applies to: non-UKRI proposals under £200k (UoG Price)

Double Review

Review by either School RD (or Subject RD in SPS) and one other (the latter agreed between applicant and Subject RD; could be within or outside Subject/School as appropriate).

Quality Assurance for submission provided by these reviewers.

Applies to: proposals of £200k or above (UoG Price), all UKRI Research Proposals (not small amendments), & all Fellowships of more than 12 months duration

Two Stage, Triple Review

Stage One: Review by Subject RD or their nominee (the latter agreed between applicant and Subject RD; could be within or outside Subject/School as appropriate) plus review by School RD.

Stage Two: Review by College Dean of Research. Please provide the following:

  • A copy of the revised application following School review: minimum, the Case for Support but preferably also any other documents/forms required by the funder.
  • A copy of the brief, call, or scheme details to which the applicant is responding.
  • The names of the stage one reviewers.
  • An indication of any particular areas of the proposal that the applicant would like feedback on, e.g. an issue raised in the stage one review where the applicant is unsure whether they have made sufficient improvements.

Review by CoSS Dean of Research (DoR).

Quality Assurance for submission provided by Dean of Research.