- The competition for research funds is high and is likely to increase. Research Council funding presents a particular challenge – with the ESRC having one of the lowest success rates.
- In recent years funders have expressed their growing concern over the number of poor quality research proposals they receive, with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) taking the action to implement a ban on submissions from unsuccessful candidates who fail repeatedly and requesting evidence on steps institutions take to improve academic skills in producing research proposals.
- Internal peer review has been credited with producing higher quality research proposals and increased success rates and is a process encouraged by the Research Councils.
Who reviews the applications?
- The Peer Reviewers are a selection of BU academics who have a considerable track record in successfully gaining research funding, who sit on funding panels and who review research proposals for funders.
- We select two reviewers to review your proposal.
Who can apply to the RPRS?
- The service is open to anyone at BU and for any type of research funding.
What kind of feedback can I expect?
- Peer reviewers will provide feedback on the proposed research in terms of topic selection, novel value, clarity of ideas proposed and advise on how the proposal can be further strengthened. They may also provide the names of potential collaborators where applicable.
- The Research Development Unit will provide feedback on general structure and style, clarity of ideas, timescales proposed, estimated costs, potential funders, eligibility for funding schemes, and any potential ethical issues.
- Feedback will be delivered within 3 weeks of submission – often before.
How do I submit an application?
- Contact Research and Knowledge Exchange Operations to obtain a rough costing for your proposal. R&KE Operations will guide you through the process
- Send in a Word or PDF version of your electronic submission draft (such as Je-S) and submit to Caroline O’Kane
- The Research and Knowledge Exchange Development team will undertake review of the proposal and forward to 2 experts
- You will receive feedback within 2-3 weeks
Will the RPRS help with unsuccessful applications?
- Yes, if you have a unsuccesful proposal, the RPRS will provide feedback on your submission on how you could potentially improve the style of the proposal, advise on other possible funders and provide other useful information. The system works as for as yet unsubmitted drafts.
- It is now mandatory for all Research Council applications to go through the RPRS
- Please allow sufficient time in your proposal development to allow for the mandatory internal deadline of five working days for the submission of Research Council bids via the Je-S system.
- This also applies to applications made via the E-Gap2 and Leverhulme Online e-submissions systems (affecting applications made to the British Academy, the Royal Society and the Leverhulme Trust).
Who can I ask for further help?
- Caroline O’Kane in the Research and Knowledge Exchange Development team manages the RPRS and will answer any questions you have.