Undertaking internal peer review (the RPRS) at BU became mandatory for all Research Council UK (RCUK) applications over a year ago in response to many funders demand management measures (which include banning applicants with two unsuccessful proposals within a time frame from applying to that funder for 12 months). The European Commission will also bring in demand management measures for all European Research Council grants under Horizon 2020.
But the RPRS is more than just a mandatory hoop for RCUK grants. In fact, most of the applications we receive are on a voluntary basis for a range of funders and schemes and those who have undergone it once, tend to use the scheme several times because of the value it adds. Indeed an analysis of recent RCUK submissions to the RPRS found that it has a 44% success rate when the proposals are sent off to the funder and with some finders such as the ESRC having a 15% success rate in 2012 – that is not a bad statistic!
The RPRS has been described by applicants as a ‘very valuable service’ giving a ‘positive’ experience. Not only are the comments helpful in further refining the bid, but the peer support helped eradicate the loneliness which often accompanies writing a proposal ‘[The RPRS] is a great support when writing bids – it can be a lonely business sometimes.
If you haven’t used the RPRS yet, why not give it a go for your next proposal?