Strengthening Peer Review College Membership
NERC is committed to developing and maintaining a peer-review system that is fit-for-purpose and sustainable in the long-term, both in terms of excellent peer review and the workload for community members themselves.
NERC is consequently introducing a range of measures to increase confidence in the peer-review process. Amongst these, NERC has recently moved from a Peer Review College membership selection process based on self-nomination to one that includes a focused nomination process.
The additional change that we will introduce from 2013 is to increase the proportion of College members that are active grant holders, on the grounds that being a Principal Investigator of a NERC grant is generally a strong indicator of high-quality scientific judgement. In order to achieve this, a new condition will be introduced to all newly awarded NERC research grants and fellowships.
The following condition will apply to any funded grant submitted to a call where the closing date is on or after 1 July 2012:
'The Principal Investigator is required to consent to membership of the NERC Peer Review College, if a membership invitation is issued by NERC during the period of award (grant acceptance to grant closure).
Failure to accept membership without adequate reason, or unsatisfactory performance as a Peer Review College member, could lead to the application of sanctions in the form of withdrawal of eligibility to apply for NERC research grants for a period of 12 months.'
For joint grants the condition will apply to the Principal Investigators of all components.
Only selected Principal Investigators will be invited to join the NERC College in areas where a strengthening in their area of expertise is required. Members of the environmental science community who are not NERC grant holders will continue to play an important part in the NERC College and the peer-review process.
Related to these changes, the NERC College membership terms and conditions have been revised to reduce the workload on individual members.
For further information please contact:
Tel: 01793 411794