Home Our work Peer review Introduction to peer review

Introduction to peer review

Last reviewed 
14 December 2015

Peer review is a way of assesings the quality of scientific ideas. Regardless of their size, all AMRC members use a peer review process to select which research to fund. Funders look at the quality of applications for funding, and ask independent scientific experts to examine the research to see if it is important, well designed and practical. 

Five principles of peer review

AMRC has five principles of peer review, which can be implemented in organisations of all sizes, across funding for all types of medical and psychosocial research. If the peer review process is accountable, balanced and impartial, uses independent researchers that rotate on and off the panel, it is likely to fit with AMRC's principles.

Government recognition of the AMRC peer reveiew

While AMRC members vary greatly in size of funding and scope of awards, the government had recognised that all charities that fund using good quality peer review are supporting excellent quality research.

Universities that receive grants from AMRC members that are awarded in open competition (where the funds are available to researchers across the country) can apply for the Charity Research Support Fund, which provides up to 28% extra funding to cover the infrastructure and indirect costs of charity research.

In the NHS, research funded by AMRC charities is eligible for AcoRD. The Department of Health will meet all costs for local trial co-ordination and management, data collection, and regulatory fees, where these activities are being carried out by staff employed by the NHS or an NIHR Clinical Research Network.

AMRC quality mark

We check the peer review practices of all our members when they join, and audit every five years. We also ensure that all our members have a published research strategy and policy for managing conflicts of interests. In this way, we hope we can assure you that AMRC membership is a sign of quality, regardless of size.