EPSRC Peer Review College Newsletter


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EPSRC Peer Review College Newsletter - Spring 2019

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Peer Review Team

Business Improvement Team

Welcome to the Spring 2019 edition of the College Newsletter. 2018 brought some big changes for EPSRC; the launch of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the arrival of our new Executive Chair, Professor Lynn Gladden. It was also a busy year, especially due to the Centres for Doctoral training call, which many of you will have been involved with. See the outcomes from the call in the article below. 

During 2018 EPSRC processed just under 3,000 proposals within many different schemes and various peer review processes. See the diagrams below, or the attached table, which show how much peer review work was undertaken.  This could not have been achieved without a huge effort from our College members.

Peer Review Stats

We hope that you enjoy the content of this newsletter, if you have any feedback or suggestions for future content please do let us know by emailing Business Improvement team.

Thank you!

The Business Improvement Team

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Outcomes of Centres for Doctoral Training Call

EPSRC recently announced seventy five new Centres for Doctoral Training, EPSRC received 198 full proposals in July which needed to be peer reviewed culminating in 19 interview panels held in November 2018.

UKRI have also announced the creation of 16 Centres for Doctoral Training in Artificial Intelligence, 37 full proposals were received by EPSRC which needed to peer reviewed culminating in 4 interview panels also held in November 2018. 

EPSRC would like to thank College Members for their integral role in helping to achieve this.

EPSRC CDT announcement

EPSRC CDT new funded centres

UKRI AI CDT announcement

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Increasing non-academic participation within Peer Review

EPSRC recognises the valuable contribution to the peer review process from non-academic members of the Peer Review College and consequently it is currently undertaking a study to understand how participation in peer review can be increased.

A request to complete a survey was sent to non-academic reviewers including non-academic members of the Peer Review College, who have contributed to the Peer Review process over the past 2 years.

167 responses (25%) have been received which captured perspectives on the benefits of participating in Peer Review, the barriers to participation and what process measures or incentives could be offered to improve levels of participation.

In addition, a selection of EPSRC Portfolio Managers were interviewed for their thoughts on the same aspects.

The analysis of responses is currently underway, and the outcomes will identify a range of interventions, in the short, medium and long term, for further consultation.


100 Haldane: marking the centenary

The Haldane Report was a landmark study when it was published in 1918. It set out the principles that it thought should underpin the Government’s use of evidence and formation of policy.

To mark the centenary, UKRI, the Government Office for Science and the Institute for Government held a short conference on 12 December to discuss the report.

Read more

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Year of Engineering

In 2018 EPSRC, alongside the UK’s other Research Councils and Innovate UK, supported the Year of Engineering, a year-long government-wide campaign to celebrate UK engineering and inspire a new generation into engineering careers.

One of the principal goals of the Year of Engineering is challenging people’s ideas about engineering and inspiring the next generation of innovators, inventors and problem solvers by showing them what engineers do.  

Read more

Holding hands

2019 Research Office Workshop

EPSRC’s University Relationships Team and the Business Improvement Team are hosting this year’s workshop for University Research Managers and Administrators in May.

The workshop will enable information to be shared on EPSRC’s policies and strategies as well as provide an opportunity for Research Office staff to share examples of best practice.

This year’s event will feature presentations from key members within UKRI and the Business Improvement Team will be discussing the flexibility within EPSRC grants, reviewer incentives and potential areas for mutually beneficial secondment opportunities.

Peer Review Updates

Panel Member guide to managing Unconscious Bias in Peer Review

EPSRC are committed to safeguarding the Peer Review decision making processes. 

As part of their panel guidance all Panel members will be send information on how to manage unconscious bias and its impact on decision making.

Researchers in emerging areas

Are you working in an emerging research area? Don’t forget to update your expertise regularly in Je-S to enable us to match you to proposals that are more relevant and which you may find more interesting. 

Log into your Je-S account

Promotions to Full College Membership

Congratulations to those members who have moved from the Associate to Full College.

67 members have been promoted to the Full College.

View details of all Peer Review College members

An important element to being promoted to the Full College is completing the online College training and updating your personal classifications in Je-S.

If you have not already completed the College training please contact us for login details.

Panel Member Feedback

Thank you to those College members who have provided feedback following a Panel Meeting.

The feedback we receive is extremely important and we would like to remind anyone attending a Panel meeting to please ensure that they complete the feedback questionnaire.

Portfolio Manager Perspective Blogs

EPSRC Portfolio Managers (PMs) from our Engineering theme have created a series of blogs designed to clarify the Peer Review Process, as well as provide hints and tips for stronger applications.

There are five blogs:

  1. Getting started with the Peer Review
  2. Writing your case for support
  3. Writing and responding to reviews
  4. The Panel process
  5. After peer review