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Principles of peer review

9 May 2016

Medical research funders aim to make the most effective use of their resources through supporting the best science, and the best scientists. This document outlines essential standards to which all AMRC member charities should operate. It also highlights best practice that we encourage our members to adopt or work towards, in order to reduce bias and increase quality. We recognise the challenges in implementing these principles in ‘single-institute’ charities, and offer supplementary guidance.

Peer review within all AMRC member charities is carried out according to the following principles:

  • Accountability: Charities are open and transparent about their peer review procedures and publish details, including the names of members of scientific advisory panels or other decision making bodies.
  • Balance: Scientific advisory panels reflect a fair balance of experience and scientific disciplines.
  • Independent decision making: The scientific advisory panel is independent of the charity's administrative staff and trustees.
  • Rotation of scientific advisers: Scientific advisory panel members have a fixed term of office and do not have tenure.
  • Impartiality: Scientific advisory panels include a significant number of non-beneficiaries. There is a conflict of interest policy and potential beneficiaries are not present when decisions are made.
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