Peer review for external grant applications

Peer review is compulsory for all external grant applications led by a Victoria University researcher, with the aim of ensuring high quality and competitive grant applications. The scheme is optional for Level E researchers for non-ARC/NHMRC schemes.

The process for peer review is:

  1. Applicant approaches peer reviewers (1 for <$50k; 2 for >$50k VU income and for ARC/NHMRC applications) to discuss and agree on timelines and to provide peer reviewers with feedback sheet (see below).  While discussing timelines remember to allow time for revision and note Office for Research cut-off dates. 
  2. Provide draft application to peer reviewers.
  3. Peer reviewers provide feedback using feedback sheet with tracked changes and comments enabled.
  4. Revise draft based on feedback.
  5. Submit application to Office for Research with signed cover sheet 5 days before application due date.

Please note: Peer reviews do not need to be provided to the Office for Research only the final (post peer reviewed) application.

Role of peer reviewer

The peer reviewer should:

  • Be clear, honest and balanced in their assessment.
  • Encourage where appropriate.
  • Not encourage where this creates false hope or a waste of effort.
  • Highlight strengths of the application.
  • Identify areas where the application should be improved to maximise its chances of success.
  • Complete the questions in the peer reviewer sheet appropriate for the grant scheme.
  • Track suggested changes and comments in the draft application.
  • Communicate directly with the applicant as a peer.

Responding to peer review

Peer reviewers’ comments are valuable – they give the best indication of how someone else might read your application and assess it. The chief investigator is expected to consider these suggestions, but may make their own judgement as to whether to incorporate them into the application.

Chief investigators can contact peer reviewers directly to discuss any issues raised and how they might be addressed.

Peer review forms