Tagged / NERC peer review college

NERC Peer Review College call for membership 2016

ANERCpplication deadline: 15 August 2016

NERC is recruiting for Peer Review College (PRC) members, core panel members and panel chairs to refresh its current membership and support its peer review processes. College members have a vitally important role in the peer review of discovery science grants and provide specialist advice, either by reviewing individual grant applications or by acting as panel members and panel chairs. College membership provides an excellent opportunity to represent the NERC community and hold a critical position, providing the subject expertise which is essential to the effectiveness of the NERC’s decision-making processes.

NERC are looking for members with experience in all types of environmental sciences, including observational sciences. Those selected will play a vital role in determining the research that NERC funds and in maintaining its quality.

In particular, NERC would like to enhance membership with the following areas of expertise:

  • Aerosol science
  • Argon-argon dating
  • Atmospheric convection
  • Atmospheric modelling
  • Climate modelling
  • Geo-dynamo
  • Geological carbon storage
  • Marine biology
  • Meteorology (weather prediction / extreme events / techniques)
  • Multiphase fluid flow
  • Physical oceanography
  • Plant biology
  • Population modelling
  • Satellite retrievals
  • Science based archaeology
  • Sea ice
  • Solar terrestrial physics
  • Statistical ecology
  • Theoretical ecology

NERC is committed to the principle of providing equal opportunities for all. NERC are keen to attain more diversity in our public appointments, so would welcome applications from a range of candidates from all backgrounds and from across all sectors of our diverse communities.

All appointments would start from 1 January 2017.

We are seeking candidates for the following roles:

Panel chairs

Nine exceptional individuals are required to take on the key role of chairing our discovery science moderating panels and fellowship sift and interview panels in each of our panel portfolio areas.

In the first year of appointment, successful applicants will act as deputy to the existing chairs, before taking up the post of chair themselves in January 2018. Chairs will be recruited for four years (one year as a deputy plus three as a chair). They will be required to attend an annual chairs meeting and must be prepared to hold the dates that will be provided for future moderating panel meetings.

PRC chair application form (Word, 56KB)

Core panel members

Individuals are required to join the core membership of each of our panel portfolios areas.

Core members are needed to join the existing panel portfolios. These members will be asked to complete reviews in the same way as other Peer Review College members but will have lead responsibility for attending moderating panel meetings to ensure consistency within and between different panel areas and funding schemes.

PRC core application form (Word, 56KB)

Peer Review College members

New college members with a high level of expertise and experience.

PRC members will have a lead responsibility for completing reviews as part of the peer review process but will be asked to attend moderating panels meetings where their expertise is required, according to the proposals submitted.

PRC member application form (Word, 54KB)

Conditions of membership

In accepting the invitation to join the college, all members are expected to agree to NERC’s terms and conditions for membership.

College terms and conditions (PDF, 71KB)

Application process

All roles are open to any members of the environmental sciences community who meet the criteria for membership. Recruitment to the core membership will be focused on members of the PRC who have performed well with reviewing and on panels, and who meet any extra criteria for the PRC core. Recruitment to the chair roles will be mainly from the core membership. In exceptional cases, there may also be a case for inviting other individuals, who have previously contributed significantly to NERC peer review, to cover particular expertise needs or to help address the current gender imbalance.

NERC require detailed information about each candidate’s expertise, experience and suitability for the roles on offer, as detailed in the membership criteria.

Criteria for membership (PDF, 73KB)

Each application must be supported by a senior colleague within a higher education institution or other research organisation. The supporting statement can be associated with different organisations if appropriate.

Email the completed form to by 15 August 2016, along with a CV (maximum two sides A4 including a list of publications).

Applicants will be informed of decisions in October 2016.

Selection process and criteria

NERC welcome UK-based applicants / nominees from all research backgrounds who are ready to make the necessary commitment to the peer review process. NERC will consider how applicants / nominees fit our criteria for membership for each role.

They also need to ensure coverage of NERC’s wide remit and to avoid over-representation from any single department or organisation. Therefore they cannot always invite even excellent candidates to join the college when they apply.

NERC Peer Review College chairs and members of Science Board will be involved in the selection of Peer Review College members. Membership will be posted on the NERC Peer Review College website when the recruitment has been finalised.

Further information

Further information on college membership is available online or by contacting:

Andy Adams
Peer review college manager
01793 442503

Emma Devine
Peer review college co-ordinator
01793 411792

NERC peer review college call for members 2013

I don’t need to sell you the benefit of sitting on a funder review panel as I know you are already aware of what a fantastic experience this is in terms of meeting potential collaborators, learning how the assessment process works and discovering what makes a great proposal. BU’s Dr Richard Shipway is a peer reviewer for the ESRC and recently wrote an excellent blog post on the benefits of being a peer reviewer. You can read Richard’s post here.

 

You may recall that NERC recently announced initiatives to increase confidence in peer review; these include measures to increase the status and performance of the NERC College. As a result they are currently recruiting for members of their Peer Review College with the nomination deadline of 5 August 2013.

BU is fully supportive of you becoming a reviewer, including helping with ensuring you have time to perform reviews for funding bodies. If you want to take up this opportunity, please email me and I can inform you of the BU process for this.

How is NERC changing its peer review processes?

NERC is making changes to its peer review processes to strengthen and streamline the assessment of responsive mode grants.   NERC  has agreed a series of reforms to improve the consistency, quality and transparency of peer review that identifies the very best research proposals to fund.

The following changes will apply to responsive mode research grant and fellowship calls with closing dates on or after 1 October 2013.

Consistency of review number and expertise – For each scheme minimum and optimal number of peer review reports required have been agreed; these are detailed in the assessment process. Decisions will only be made based on lower or higher number of reviews in exceptional circumstances.

The reviews will be provided by a combination of NERC College members and internationally-recognised experts, depending on where the most appropriate expertise exists. Reviewers who consider they have low expertise will no longer be asked to contribute.

Standard grant process – There will no longer be a ‘sift’ to reject uncompetitive proposals during the review process. All proposals will reach the stage where there is an opportunity to respond to review comments. Proposals, reviews and responses will then be assessed by two panel members who will assign a ‘pre-score’ for excellence. The Chair will then prioritise the proposals to discuss at the moderating panel. NERC will aim to provide decisions on the majority of Standard Grant proposals within 20 weeks of the closing date.

Moderating panels – Half of the membership of any panel will regularly attend as ‘Core Panel Members’ and there will be an identified Chair. Flexibility to select members from the College according to the particular proposals being considered will remain. For schemes where multiple panels meet (ie Standard Grants and Fellowships), business will be divided between panels with stable remits. A preliminary panel structure will be announced in June 2013. Applicants will select the panel to consider their proposal during submission.

Feedback – Panel members will be responsible for the content of feedback from panels to applicants. For any proposal discussed, moderating panel feedback will automatically be provided.

Peer Review College – Changes to the NERC Peer Review College from January 2014 are also planned, and its performance will be more actively managed. A membership review and recruitment initiative (call opening June 2013) will take place, to continue to increase the number of established academics and grant holders involved as College members and Chairs. Members will have a lead responsibility for either reviewing or moderating panel activities. Core Panel Members will be identified to work within the new moderating panels.

When will these changes happen? 

From January 2014. The PRC year will start from January rather than July from that point onwards. In the meantime there will be a call for new membership in June 2013.

Congratulations to BU’s newly appointed NERC reviewers!

Congratulations to Prof Matthew Bennett and Prof Rudy Gozlan who have both been appointed as reviewers to NERC.

The NERC Peer Review College provides assessments, advice and guidance across NERC’s range of research investments. However, members are most involved in reviewing Responsive Mode research proposals and participating in Responsive Mode moderating panel meetings. The are currently c. 440 college members.

This is great news for Matthew and Rudy, and also for the School of Applied Sciences and the University. Congratulations!