7 October 2017

This document outlines key themes from NHMRC's peer review consultation process. 

In May 2017, the Federal Minister for Health announced a reformed architecture for the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) investment in health and medical research. The new structure for the NHMRC grant program was based upon extensive consultation and expert advice, and will see the introduction of three new schemes (Investigator, Synergy and Ideas) and the retention of the (revised) Strategic and Leveraging schemes.

To support this grant structure NHMRC is reviewing their peer review processes

An integral element of awarding NHMRC grants to date has been the peer review of the applications. In designing peer review systems for its new grant program, NHMRC reviewed the approach and process to peer review in light of the changes to the grant program structure. This will help to ensure that the new peer review processes support the new grant program and are appropriate going forward.

NHMRC undertook an extensive consultation process to inform design of the new peer review processes

In developing the peer review models to support the new grants programs, NHMRC has undertaken an extensive consultation exercise. Fora were held in six capital cities across Australia between September and November to gain input on the review process and parameters. This was undertaken in parallel with a written submission process that closed in December.

This document summarises the key themes from the consultation process to inform a targeted workshop

A stakeholder workshop is being held in early February which will provide an opportunity to test potential peer review models, informed by feedback from the consultations, with a diverse range of key stakeholders. This document summarises the key themes and findings from the consultation process and serves as pre-reading for the workshop. Nous has prepared the document based on observation of each consultation forum and analysis of the written submissions.