An interesting meeting of the Board for Research and Enterprise yesterday. On the agenda was the question of Internal Peer Review. I'd prepared a paper outlining the reasons for considering having such a system - success rates falling, less funding available, more competition - and looking at what exists already, both internally and externally. Jacqueline Aldridge then discussed the experience from the 'Grants Factory' workshops over the summer, which brought academics together to learn from the Dean of Social Sciences about how best to frame an application, and then to give feedback to each other on their proposals.
The Grants Factory had been a valuable experience, and we're hoping to offer something along these lines on an on-going basis - such as a monthly mock panel. It has the potential to benefit from the pros of Internal Peer Review - getting objective feedback on applications prior to submission - whilst avoiding the cons - such as it being time-consuming, burdensome, and bureaucratic.
In the meantime there will be the last of Andrew Derrington's Grants Factories in SSPSSR on 26 November, which is open to all members of the Social Science Faculty. Contact Jacqueline if you would like to take part.