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Public Consultation on the NHMRC Draft Principles of Peer Review submission

This submission reflects the views of
Organisation Name: 
RDNS Institute, Royal District Nursing Service Ltd
Please identify the best term to describe the Organisation: 
Non-Government Organisation
Personal Details
General Comments

Our comments concern the principles

  1. Appropriateness and balance. The size, experience, expertise and operation of peer review panels is appropriate to the goals and scale of the funding vehicle.
  2. Research community participation. Peer review relies on the willing participation of the research community, including the training of junior researchers[1].

We believe there needs to be greater transparency concerning the appropriateness of researchers evaluating grant applications, and an increased number of reviewers from health services, non-lab research fields and non-medical backgrounds.  A disproportionate amount of funded research focuses on lab research to the detriment of health implementation and dissemination processes within the community. This situation is unlikely to change until more reviewers are selected from fields of translational and service research.  We suggest a defined number of researchers from non-traditional fields be included as grant assessors, which should include a set number of early researchers in order to increase the capacity of the next generation of reviewers.

[1] Section 6.4 of the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research, states that all researchers in receipt of public funding have a responsibility to participate in peer review.

Page reviewed: 19 February, 2013