A guide for peer reviewers when evaluating industry-relevant skills, experience and achievements in its assessment of applicants’ track records.
NHMRC is committed to ensuring that knowledge from health and medical research is translated through commercialisation (e.g. by pharmaceutical or medical devices companies), improvements to policy, health service delivery and clinical practice.
Therefore, as a complement to other measures of research excellence (e.g. publication and citation rates), NHMRC considers industry-relevant skills, experience and achievements in its assessment of applicants’ track records.
These measures recognise that applicants who have invested their research time on technology transfer, commercialisation or collaborating with industry, may have gained highly valuable expertise or outputs relevant to research translation. However, NHMRC acknowledges that these researchers will necessarily have had fewer opportunities to produce traditional academic research outputs (e.g. peer reviewed publications).
Therefore, peer reviewers should:
- Appropriately recognise applicants’ industry-relevant experiences and results
- Allow for the time applicants have spent in commercialisation/industry for relative to opportunity considerations.
Who might have industry experience or be preparing for industry experience?
Many applicants to NHMRC may have had industry experiences of various kinds. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- Researchers who have left academia to pursue a full time career in industry (e.g. in pharmaceutical, biotechnology or start-up companies). In such instances, outputs must be assessed relative to opportunity, as there may have been restrictions in producing traditional research outputs (such as peer reviewed publications), but highly valuable expertise gained or outputs produced relevant to research translation (such as patents or new clinical guidelines).
- Academic researchers whose work has a possible commercial focus. These researchers might not have yet entered into commercial agreements with industry and have chosen to forego or delay publication in order to protect or extend their intellectual property (IP).
- Academic researchers who have translated their discovery into a collaborative agreement with industry. The researcher may be collaborating with the company in further research and development; may have alicensing agreement; or may have licensed or assigned their IP to the company. A researcher may ultimately leave the academic institution and become Chief Executive Officer, Chief Scientific Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Scientific Advisory Board Member or consultant for a start-up or other company, based on their experience.
- Academic researchers who are actively collaborating with companies, for example by providing expert research services for fees. Publications of such work might be precluded or delayed according to contract arrangements. The specialised nature of this research might also restrict publication to specialised journals only, as opposed to generalist journals.
Relevant industry outputs
|Level of experience/ output||IP||Collaboration with an industry partner||Established a start-up company||Product to market||Clinical trials or regulatory activities||Industry participation|
||Phase II or Phase III underway or completed||Major advisory or consultancy roles with international companies|
Established a formal arrangement such as a consultancy or research contract and actively collaborating
||Advisory or consultancy role with a national company|
||Approached and in discussion with an industry partner under a non-disclosure agreement. No other formal contractual arrangements.||Negotiated licence to IP from the academic institution||