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The MHLS Faculty Research Committee (FRC) implemented an Internal Peer Review (IPR) process in September 2017 to support the development of responsive mode applications to RCUK. The process aims to increase researchers’ chances of success, by allowing them to avail of the expertise that exists among colleagues.

IPR is an MHLS initiative that is managed by the MHLS Research Development (RD) team which aims to complement existing School, GRI and PRP based systems of mentoring, collegiate discussion and joint proposal writing. Peer reviewers will not have a binding view on whether or not an application should proceed to submission – the purpose of the IPR is purely to provide feedback and critical appraisal to assist in the further development of the application – it has no ‘selection’ remit.

To support the IPR system, staff from across QUB have agreed to join the IPR College; these staff have experience of reviewing for RCUK Grant Assessment Panels, Peer Review Colleges or other funders and have secured substantial research funding.

FRC has decided to introduce the IPR process in a phased manner. It is currently mandatory for Lecturers within 7 years of their appointment to the role who are submitting Standard/New Investigator responsive mode application to UK Research Councils (e.g. BBRSC, MRC, EPSRC) led by QUB.

Other staff not falling within the above defined 7-year post-appointment bracket are encouraged to take advantage of the facility; a number of voluntary submissions by senior academics have been received so far and the feedback provided was found to be valuable.

The mandatory IPR requirement will extend to include the following Early Career Fellowship applications to the UK Research Councils where FMHLS will be the host. The 6 weeks prior internal deadline applies here as well, but the Faculty recognises that this may need to be reduced slightly in a limited number of cases; please contact the Research Development team at the earliest opportunity if you require this relaxation.



Next funder deadline

Next internal peer review deadline


Discovery Fellowship



David Phillips Fellowships




EPSRC Fellowships - Postdoctoral

No set deadlines

Six weeks prior to planned submission

EPSRC Fellowships – Early Career

No set deadlines

Six weeks prior to planned submission


Clinical Research Training Fellowship Post-Doctoral



Clinician Scientist Fellowship



Career Development Award




Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships

This opportunity is temporarily closed


Directed Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships

This opportunity is temporarily closed


Independent Research Fellowships

1 Oct 2020 (Forecast)

20 Aug 2020


Ernest Rutherford Fellowship

25 Sept 2020 (Forecast)

14 Aug 2020


Future Leaders Fellowships

Round 6 to be announced (expected Jan 2021)


IPR Process for ECRs

  • Applicants should provide a ‘near-final’ draft of their “Case for Support” (CfS) to MHLS Research Development team ( at least six weeks prior to the planned submission date. (e.g. applicants to the BBSRC New Investigator Grant call with a deadline of 24 April 2019 are required to submit a draft CfS by 13 March 2019).
  • The RD team will forward the CfS to two reviewers – it will be aimed that one of these will be an expert in the given area of research, and another will be someone with significant experience of submitting successful bids to the funder in question. Each reviewer will complete a form and return to RD.
  • Peer Reviewers should submit their comments to RD within 10 working days, earlier if at all possible especially if significant changes are being recommended.
  • Applicants should take account of the comments of all reviewers as appropriate, which may include the need to reconsider whether an application is appropriate at this stage. Where advice appears contradictory or unclear, they may wish to seek further advice from a third reviewer or from their Dean of Research.


  • Where QUB is involved in a collaborative proposal but is not the lead organisation, IPR is encouraged but not required.
  • Where QUB is the lead organisation in a proposal, the QUB applicant should inform all collaborating organisations of QUB’s peer review requirements (and their processes adhered to as well if required).
  • Where proposals have undergone expert review from subject matter experts within an applicant’s school, GRI or PRP, it is still a mandatory requirement that additional review is sought on the overall project via the IPR system.
  • Peer Review may be undertaken by staff already acting as peer supporters on the application, or could be undertaken by different College members. This may include reviewers who are colleagues within Schools/Centres provided they are not directly involved in the proposed project

If you have any queries about the IPR process, please contact the MHLS RD Team

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