Via Branwen Hide at Nature Network, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) has today announced changes to the way its peer-review committees are organized, the way new research and policy priorities are highlighted and a reorganization of funding structures for its five sponsored Institutes. The research council website summarizes the changes:
-The creation of four new research committees from the existing seven
-The setting up of a mixed economy of peer review membership, including core committee members and a pool of reviewers able to be called on flexibly for their specific expertise
-New research and policy priorities that will overarch all of BBSRC’s activities. The policy priorities will help BBSRC researchers to consider the strategic relevance of their proposals when they make applications
-A system of highlight notices that BBSRC will use to generate demand when it identifies the need for more applications in certain areas
-Institute Strategic Programme Grants to replace Core Strategic Grants to the BBSRC-sponsored Institutes
The BBSRC is holding a series of roadshows during November to explain and discuss the changes. Presentations will be available to download from 15 November (2008).
Another UK research council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences research council, is also currently undertaking a review of its peer-review processes.