Grants

Grants Review Committee

The Foundation's Grants Review Committee is responsible on behalf of the Board of Trustees for reviewing grant proposals and prioritising funding for specific research projects.

In supporting research in a manner that is consistent with the purpose, objectives and principles of the Foundation, the Grants Review Committee recommends to the Board of Trustees financial support for research that ensures the allocation of research funds achieves high quality research results and demonstrates to them that a robust mechanism of prioritising of financial support for projects underpins each decision.

It submits a report following its grant reviews to indicate the basis for its funding recommendations, including average scores for each grant, reasons underlying award decisions - positive and negative - and feedback to applicants.

Committee membership

Members of the Grants Review Committee appointed in 2015 for three-year terms are:

Professor Susan Brain, King's College London (Chair)
Dr Anthony Davenport, University of Cambridge
Professor Derek Gilroy, University College London
Professor Andrew Pitsillides, The Royal Veterinary College
Professor Tim Williams, WHRF Trustee
Mr Peter Marshall, WHRF Trustee

2015 grant awards

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2015 funding criteria

1. The WHRF invites grant proposals for small research projects that focus on areas of therapeutic innovation, particularly those that address unmet need. Priority will be given to investigations that aim to identify or characterise a new therapeutic target, or provide further validation of a novel target. Applications should be aimed at developing an area sufficiently for funding to be obtained from a major grant-funding body.

2. Small projects up to £25,000 to include personnel costs, consumables and small equipment (less than £5,000). This amount may also be granted for projects with matching funding.

3. Small equipment grants up to £10,000.

4. The funding period will be no longer than 12 months except in special circumstances.

5. The principal applicant for each grant proposal must be a staff member of WHRI who is either employed by Queen Mary, University of London, or in the case of employees of Barts and The London NHS Trust have an honorary contract with Queen Mary, University of London.

6. Applications from WHRI junior researchers are encouraged. Where junior researchers are the principal applicant, a WHRI senior investigator with long-term HEFCE funding must be nominated as a co-applicant to mentor the junior researcher and ensure that the terms of a grant award are fulfilled.

7. To be eligible for salary support from an open-call grant proposal, staff employed on grants should be WHRI staff members and employees of Queen Mary, University of London.

8. All proposals will be expected to state clearly the likely research outcomes and demonstrate the public benefit of the research.

9. Grant recipients must be willing to present to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees the outcomes and impact of their research projects supported by the William Harvey Research Foundation, and any potential next steps.

10. Potential applicants can discuss eligibility and suitability of proposals with the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the William Harvey Research Foundation.

Grants Review Committee - code of conduct

1. The Grants Review Committee of the William Harvey Research Foundation operates under terms of reference and this code of conduct, including the declaration of vested interests, approved by the Board of Trustees. Its provisions apply to Trustees, Grants Review Committee members, applications reviewers and Foundation staff.

2. For each grant round, funding criteria are set by the Board of Trustees in line with the Foundation’s objects, against which the committee members and reviewers assess research proposals, along with their scientific merit, and make their recommendations.

3. The Foundation aims to ensure that research proposals are assessed objectively and impartially. Review by academically-relevant reviewers and an appropriately constituted committee is seen as an essential element of the decision-making process.

4. The role of the Grants Review Committee is advisory. Nevertheless, as part of its commitment to impartiality and the integrity of the review process, the Foundation has agreed this code of conduct.

5. The Board of Trustees relies heavily on the willingness of the relevant academic community to give their time and expertise as reviewers and members of the Grants Review Committee and appreciates their willingness to do so. External, non-Trustee, members of the Grants Review Committee are offered a fee for their participation, and reasonable travel expenses are reimbursed.

6. If the Foundation has reason to believe that a committee member or reviewer has breached this code of conduct, they may be asked to step down as a committee member or reviewer.

7. As a condition of participation, committee members and reviewers agree that documents and correspondence relating to applications for funds and funding are strictly confidential. The following provisions apply.
(i) Applications should not be disseminated beyond the nominated reviewers and committee membership.
(ii) Any printouts of applications or other papers for the Grants Review Committee meeting should be kept secure and disposed of securely after the decision has been reached.
(iii) Applications should not be discussed with anyone outside the review process. No discussion should occur between committee members except during the business of the meeting.
(iv) Committee members and reviewers have the right to expect their comments to be treated in confidence by both the Foundation's staff and other committee members.
(v) Grant applicants will receive anonymised feedback from the reviewers as part of the feedback provided by the Foundation.
(vi) Feedback to candidates (successful or unsuccessful) will be provided by the Foundation alone, to avoid confusion. Committee members and reviewers should not, under any circumstances, provide feedback directly to the candidate.
(vii) Should a reviewer or committee member have a vested interest (organisational, collaborative, personal or other) in the outcome of a grant application they should declare it at the time at which the vested interest becomes known to them or as soon as practical thereafter and withdraw from any consideration of that application.

March 2016

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