Peer review is critical to our ability to make robust funding decisions, helping to ensure that we are supporting the very best research.  

Our peer review system relies on the submission of high quality review reports. You can find an introduction to our peer review process and what we expect from reviewers by looking at our peer review training tool.

We provide data to Research Organisations on their overall peer review performance helping them understand the contribution they are making to our peer review system and also the requirements they are placing upon that system through the submission of applications.

Peer Review College

To assess the application submitted to us we require over 3,500 reviews per year. To help reach this target we have established a Peer Review College. Our Peer Review College consists of approximately 2,000 independent academic experts drawn from across the social sciences. College members are expected to provide up to eight high quality reviews of proposals within their areas of expertise per year. The usual term of service for a college member is four years.

The College covers the majority of our schemes, including both directive and responsive mode initiatives. In addition to using members of the College, we will continue to draw upon the wider academic and user communities to conduct peer review assessment.

How do I become a member of the college?

All ESRC grant holders are automatically enrolled onto the College. In addition, we run an annual nominations process. This involves inviting nominations from Learned Societies and a self-nomination process. Through the process we particularly look to fill any gaps in subject area coverage. We will advertise any opportunities on our website.