Dataset Information


Evaluation of stakeholder views on peer review of NIHR applications for funding: a qualitative study.

ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:Innovations resulting from research have both national and global impact, so selecting the most promising research studies to fund is crucial. Peer review of research funding applications is part of the selection process, and requires considerable resources. This study aimed to elicit stakeholder opinions about which factors contribute to and influence effective peer review of funding applications to the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and to identify possible minor improvements to current processes and any major changes or potential innovations to achieve a more efficient peer review process. DESIGN:Qualitative interviews with 30 stakeholders involved in the peer review process. PARTICIPANTS:Participants were drawn from three NIHR coordinating centres and represented four types of stakeholders: board members with responsibility for making funding decisions, applicants, external peer reviewers and NIHR staff. METHODS:All interviews were conducted by telephone apart from three that were face to face with NIHR staff. Data were analysed using a thematic template method. RESULTS:The responses from NIHR staff, board members and reviewers differed from those received from applicants. The first three groups focused on how well the process of peer review did or did not function. The applicants mentioned these points but in addition often reflected on how their personal application was assessed. Process improvements suggested included: developing a more proportionate review process; providing greater guidance, feedback, training, acknowledgement or incentives for peer reviewers; reducing the time commitment and amount of paperwork; and asking reviewers to comment on the importance, strengths and weaknesses of applications and flaws which are potentially 'fixable'. CONCLUSIONS:Overall, participants were supportive of the need for peer review in evaluating applications for research funding. This study revealed which parts of the process are working well and are valued, and barriers, difficulties and potential areas for improvement and development.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC6303555 | BioStudies | 2018-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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