Grant Approval Process

Research Process and Management

Rounds of applications for SRUK grants are advertised on the SRUK website and by direct email circulation to the research community. The research team has recently carried out a survey of members including patients, relatives, carers, supporters, clinicians, allied health professionals and researchers to identify high-priority areas of research. SRUK would particularly welcome applications in areas identified as being of high priority.

SRUK aims to ensure research proposals are assessed objectively, transparently and impartially. Review by a scientific advisory panel in addition to external peer review comments is an essential element of the decision-making process. The board of trustees relies on the willingness of members of the research community to give their time to participate and appreciates their willingness to do so. The role of scientific advisory panel members is advisory and awards are made by the board of trustees.

The review process

Applications are judged on scientific merit. Those applications involving humans must include full ethical approval from the appropriate ethics committees. SRUK supports the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) position statement on the use of animals in research. Any application involving the use of animals will be judged in accordance with 3R principles (replacement, refinement and reduction) as part of the peer review process. In such cases, applicants should view the AMRC statement on the use of animals in research.

The SRUK scientific advisory committee works alongside external peer reviewers to shortlist, peer review and select fundable grants. Decisions made by the scientific advisory committee in conjunction with comments provided by external peer reviewers are presented to the board of trustees, who are responsible for awarding the grants. Feedback on grant applications is provided to applicants by the head of research. Queries with regards to any feedback should be directed to the head of research.

The board of trustees agrees a programme of grants in any financial year according to available funds. The executive team is responsible for the administration of grants when awarded.

Conflict of interest

Peer reviewers

Peer reviewers are selected based on their area of expertise and the type research for which funding is requested. They are required to provide details of any apparent or potential conflict of interest, and must keep the details of any applications confidential.

Scientific advisory committee

Scientific advisory committee members are required to disclose any conflicts of interest to the chair before the meeting, if apparent, or during the meeting as soon as the existence of a conflict becomes apparent. When applications that may cause a conflict of interest are discussed, conflicted members will be required to leave the meeting.

Grant management

Grant holders must be employed by a recognised research centre within the UK and agree to supervise the research project in line with the Universities UK – Concordat to Support Research Integrity.

A formal agreement covering the terms and conditions of the grant is made between SRUK and the grant holder. A final report must be submitted within 2 months of project completion and must include a lay summary. Annual interim reports are required for projects that run for a period longer than 12 months.

Further details can be requested from the Research Communications Officer charlotte.lindsay@sruk.co.uk

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