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Our review processes

Applications are externally reviewed and considered by our funding committees.

Step 1: External peer review

Our peer review processes were audited in 2020 and meet best practice for the five principles of the AMRC’s ‘principles of peer review’: accountability, balance, independent decision making, impartiality and rotation of scientific advisers.

Up to six referees will be consulted for individual applications. Reviewers are asked to provide detailed comments on the application and provide a score of the application based on review criteria.

We screen all external peer reviewers for any potential conflict of interest, before we send an application to them. We also ask our reviewers to declare any conflicts of interest they have with the application or applicant, which we might not know about.

Read our conflict of interests policy.

Step 2: Committee meeting

At the committee meeting, members discuss the applications and recommend a list for funding to our Board of Trustees.

Three committees consider the different categories of application:

  • Our Research Funding Committee considers applications for research grants and advises on research strategy. This committee also considers the recommendations of awards made by the Training and Career Development sub-Committee. The committee members are expert in disciplines relevant to our mission and serve on a voluntary basis for a maximum of two terms (six years in total). 
  • Our Clinical Trials Review Committee considers new applications for clinical trials and also monitors progress on our clinical trial grant portfolio. The committee members are expert in trials and drug discovery and serve on a voluntary basis for a maximum of six years. Applicants applying for phase I/II clinical trials are invited to provide a response to reviewer comments, which will also be considered by the committee.
  • Our Training & Career Development sub-Committee considers applications for all our career development awards. The committee members have experience in graduate and post-graduate training and mentoring.

Step 3: Board of Trustees

All recommendations for all awards made by the three committees are sent to our Board of Trustees. They then make the final decision on which applications we fund.

Notification of the outcome of applications will be made after consideration by the Board of Trustees, which usually meets within three to four weeks after the meeting of the Committees. Notification of a positive recommendation from the Committee does not represent a funding offer. The Trustees decision is final and non-negotiable.

The Blood Cancer UK Research Team will provide feedback on your application, comprising the anonymised external peer review and a summary of the committee’s evaluation. To ensure fairness and to protect the integrity of the funding process, committee members cannot discuss any decisions with applicants and individuals should therefore not be approached.