Internal Peer-Review Process

With a view to improving grant application success rates, internal peer-reviews, for the School of Health and Wellbeing, will be managed and coordinated by the Research Management Office, in consultation with the Institute Director.

Applications Subject to Review

First stage or outline bids are excluded. Notwithstanding, there may be grant structures that preclude internal peer-review e.g. applications involving extensive networked contributions. These should be discussed with the Project Coordinator.

Research grants £100,000 or greater (Led by IHW PI)
Internal peer-review is mandatory.

Research grants £50,000 or greater (Led by IHW PI)
Internal peer-review is optional but recommended.

PhD studentships and post-doctoral fellowships
Internal peer-review is mandatory, regardless of the size of award being sought.

Outline Bids
Internal peer-review is optional but recommended.

Criteria and Selection of Reviewers

Pertinent applications will be required to undergo peer-review by at least two academic colleagues. Peer reviewers are selected either by request from the applicant or Research Management Office (at the request of the applicant). Reviewers are drawn from award holders and grant panel members. All academic staff and senior postdoctoral researchers (Grade 8 and above) are expected to participate in the peer-review process.

Format of Review

‌‌‌All requests for internal peer-review must be submitted by email to the research support administrator for your unit:

Please include:

  • A completed  IHW Peer Review Form
  • An electronic copy of the draft proposal.
  • Any other relevant information.

All requests for review are logged by the Research Management Office which is kept confidential to those involved in the process. Reviewers will be passed the close to final draft scientific proposal and proposed budget to examine and assess scientific quality, importance, fit to funding scheme, originality and value for money before submission to the funder. If the reviewer recommends that the proposal requires major amendments s/he can suggest that it is reviewed for a second time.

Timing of Review

The review is undertaken when the application is close to a final draft - at least 3-4 weeks ahead of the application submission deadline or as agreed with the reviewer. This timetable will afford sufficient time to incorporate feedback and meet the University’s administrative deadlines for grant submission.

It is anticipated that reviews will be undertaken and returned to applicants - copied to the applicant’s Project Coordinator and Research Support Administrator - usually within 14 days of receipt by the reviewers, where time permits. One to one feedback is also encouraged, especially in the case of early career researchers.

The Research Management Office will log that the appropriate process has been followed and will record reviewer activity to ensure equitable workload distribution among reviewers, where possible.


The Research Management Office will also carry out ‘post-mortem’ analyses on unsuccessful grants as well as capturing knowledge on successful applications. We hope to learn lessons from analysing reasons for failure although we are mindful that failure to secure funding is not always a true reflection of scientific merit. We therefore propose to capture reviewers’ feedback from the peer-review of proposals and any additional comments from the funder, for both successful and unsuccessful applications, to allow us to assess reasons for failure as well as success, thereby informing future proposals. 

The impact of the current peer-review process and ‘post mortem’ analysis on application success rates will be monitored and evaluated, particularly in view of the new mentoring process to be implemented across the School.