Fri, February 19, 2021


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Joining the EPSRC Peer Review College

Author; Kevin Glazebrook, Chair of the Research Committee 

There is a wealth of new additional funding for the mathematical sciences available from EPSRC for the next five years. One of the Research Committee’s ongoing priorities has been to strengthen relations between the OR community and the funders of OR research, the largest of which is EPSRC. With OR well placed to take advantage of the research council’s additional funding, addressing some key areas to ensure that the potential impact of these funds can be realised is crucial.

Firstly, it has been brought to our attention that EPSRC struggles to identify appropriate OR specialists to review proposals. We have jointly identified some steps to take to remedy this. Can I urge all society members with Joint electronic Submission (Je-S) accounts to update their details? In particular, if OR is not already listed as one of your research areas, please add this to ensure you can be identified as an OR expert and invited to review submissions or to join the college.

Secondly, we would also encourage OR Society members to consider joining the EPSRC Peer Review College. We’ve answered some questions below to outline what this is, why to join and how it could benefit you and your career.

What is the EPSRC Peer Review College?

When an academic submits a funding application to EPSRC, the application is reviewed by other academics with expertise in the field. It is these academics who make up the EPSRC Peer Review College.

Why does the college need OR specialists?

The EPSRC Peer Review College is currently in need of OR academics to bolster its ranks and assess OR proposals. This will ensure that viable applications are thoroughly examined by those who have the most appropriate expertise. The OR Society would like to encourage its members to consider becoming part of the College. Further, we would like those who are already College members to update their Je-S profile to make sure that OR is one of their listed research areas. This will enable EPSRC to identify them as potential OR reviewers in the future.

What are the benefits of joining EPSRC Peer Review College?

As a full member, you will receive:

  • training and guidance to help you better understand the funding and application review process, which you can also apply to your own applications;
  • regular updates via newsletters and other means about changes to EPSRC policy and processes that may impact your role;
  • opportunities to network with fellow academics via meetings and otherwise;
  • and recognition for the proposals you have reviewed on your ORCID profile.

What are the responsibilities of joining?

Upon joining, you will complete a 45-minute training course to ensure you understand the review process fully. Following this, you are asked to:

  • provide informed, objective, and timely reviews via the online Je-S system, ideally within 15 days of receiving the request;
  • sit on assessment or moderation panels; keep your Je-S details up to date, particularly those elements relating to your availability to undertake reviews and your areas of expertise;
  • and keep up to date with developments that may affect your role as a member of the college, for example through attendance at EPSRC organised events, its website, and its newsletters.

To find out how to get involved with the EPSRC Peer Review College, please visit the webpage to find out more details, including how to update your JeS account. Here you can also read case studies from those who have joined the college to hear about their experiences.