Beyond standard response mode funding, charities may choose to fund long-term research projects and/or a specific institute, centre, or location to support infrastructure, personnel, or multiple research projects to deliver on the charity’s mission. It is important that this funding is still allocated and reviewed/audited in line with AMRC’s principles of expert reviewRecognising that even if awarded in open competition in the first instance, decisions should be revisited over time to review and confirm this investment continues to support high quality research and is the most effective use of charity funds. 

Therefore, if a charity is funding a project, institute, centre, location or awarding long-term funding to an individual for a period longer than five years, through either single, multiple, or continuous grants, expert review must be carried out over the ‘long-term’. This must be undertaken by a panel or committee of experts (defined on our principles of expert review page) at a sensible mid-point of the funding period, no longer than six years after funding was awarded, whichever is sooner. Where relevant this funding must also be reviewed at least every six years thereafter. The review should assess both the ongoing quality of the funded research and the strategy and direction of this investment by the charity. 

Charities requiring long-term review, in general come under two groups: 

  1. Single institute funders: this includes charities funding a specific institute, centre, or location through either single, multiple, or continuous grants. This may be included in the mission or constitution of a charity.  

  1. Long-term strategic awards/investments: this includes charities making long-term strategic awards or investments e.g. programmes or awards for a period longer than five years. This may be through a single investment or multiple investments. This includes where a series of multi-year-long grants fund the same institute, centre, location, research project, programme, or award for more than five years where no expert review is conducted by the funder.  

Applying the principles to long-term review 

In addition to the principles which the charity must apply, the following describes steps that charities can carry out in the context of long-term review. 

  • Avoid using experts in the long-term review committee that are connected to the programme of work being assessed. The majority of members should be from outside the institution to ensure independent, impartial advice.  

  • When undertaking regular review of the long-term funding at the institute or location, a site-visit and meeting with the institute director and senior staff by at least a sub-set of the long-term review committee is strongly encouraged. 

  • If the charity put out a call for applications within a centre or location, ensure that all eligible researchers are aware of the call for applications.  

  • Ensure the timeframes of review are made clear to the researchers and reviewers well in advance.  

  • Ensure the findings of the review are fed back to the institute/programme/project in an accurate and timely manner. 

  • Have systems to ensure that the findings and recommendations are checked and have been acted upon. 

  • Have procedures for managing negative reviews, including potential disinvestment of funding, should it be recommended. 

  • Request regular progress reports from the funding recipient. These should be available to the long-term review committee for their review.