Peer Review

Overview

Peer review is central to the assessment of proposals for ARC funding. The ARC engages both General and Detailed Assessors to peer review proposals.

General Assessors

Each funding scheme round has a Selection Advisory Committee (SAC) comprised of General Assessors. General Assessors are commonly distinguished academic researchers, often drawn from the ARC College of Experts (CoE). For some funding schemes the SAC will include members from end-user communities.

General Assessors utilise knowledge of their disciplinary areas and a broad understanding of intellectual and methodological issues and good research planning.

Each proposal has a lead General Assessor (known as Carriage 1) who is typically close to the academic field of the proposal, and one or more General Assessors (known as Other Carriages) with supplementary expertise.

Selection Advisory Committee structure

SACs recommend to the ARC CEO which proposals should be funded and how much funding successful proposals should receive.

The size and structure of the SAC is influenced by the nature of the funding scheme and the volume of proposals expected. For most schemes, the SAC will be divided into three, four or five broad disciplinary Panels.

For specialist and highly prestigious schemes such as Australian Laureate Fellowships, Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities, Industrial Transformation Research Program (ITRP) and Centres of Excellence, the SAC consists of a single interdisciplinary panel.

Detailed Assessors

Detailed Assessors are drawn from the ARC Assessor Community and are assigned proposals to review for their specific expertise in a field of research.  Information enabling Detailed Assessors to be matched and aligned with proposals is held within their RMS profiles.

Detailed Assessors provide a written assessment and ratings against the scheme selection criteria for each proposal to which they are assigned. These assessments are central to the considerations of the General Assessors in determining which proposals to support for funding.  

Peer review flow chart

Peer Review Flow Chart—more details below

  1. Step 1: General Assessors are assigned to proposals.
  2. Step 2: Detailed Assessors assigned to proposals by Carriage 1 General Assessors (or by ARC Executive Directors in some schemes).
  3. Step 3: Detailed Assessors provide detailed assessment with scores and written analysis against selection criteria.
  4. Step 4: Applicants have opportunity to submit a rejoinder to assessment text provided by Detailed Assessors.
  5. Step 5: General Assessors review proposals, detailed assessments and rejoinders and confer with co-carriages before providing assessment scores for each proposal.
  6. Step 6: General Assessors convene at Selection Meeting to discuss and determine funding recommendations.
  7. Step 7: CEO makes funding recommendations to the Minister. Minister gives final approval.