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Join the NIHR Reviewer Development Scheme

What is our Reviewer Development Scheme?

Our Reviewer Development Scheme is for you if you are an early career researcher or professional who is new to reviewing funding applications and you want to develop your skills further. As a member you will have the opportunity to gain experience of peer reviewing for NIHR funding programmes, and in turn influence research commissioning. 

Why review for us?

  • You will make a significant contribution to the NHS, social care and public health by shaping the research we fund. Our funding programmes identify the highest impact questions for health and social care. The research you review will make a real difference.
  • You can develop valuable insight into best practice in health and social care research. You will also have the opportunity to see the standards of successful applications for funding.
  • Reviewing can be used as evidence of continuing professional development (CPD). We provide written confirmation of completed tasks for inclusion in your CPD portfolio. For consultant grade medical reviewers, peer review for NIHR is also recognised in Clinical Excellence Award submissions.

How does the scheme develop my reviewing skills?

As a scheme member you will be given guidance on how to complete a review task. You will receive constructive feedback on your reviews to help hone your reviewing skills. You will also be able to view anonymised comments from other experienced reviewers who have been given the same review task, to see how your review compares to theirs. We will let you know the committee’s decision about the research brief or proposal you have reviewed, which will allow you to judge how closely your views on the project are aligned with other experts. 

Other benefits to joining our Reviewer Development Scheme

Each year, all post-doctoral scheme members have the opportunity to apply for a limited number of NIHR Committee Member Development Scheme (CMDS) Participant roles. 

CMDS Participant roles are one year mentored positions that give members guided first-hand experience of sitting on an NIHR committee. The roles provide insight into the assessment of proposed research, how to write good research applications and produce well designed studies, as well as enhancing the skills and confidence of members to empower them to apply for their own grants and other committee roles.

Who can apply for the scheme?

This scheme is intended for early career researchers and professionals with little or no experience of reviewing.

Currently the scheme is open to: 

  • NIHR Academy and Associate members
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) Researchers
  • Health and Care Research Wales (HCRW)-funded personal award holders
  • Band 6 or above nurses and midwives
  • Speciality Registrars

To be eligible to apply, you  should have or be one of the following: 

NIHR Personal Awards

  • Doctoral Fellowship (final year fellows only)
  • Advanced Fellowship
  • Development and Skills Enhancement Award (DSE)

MRC personal awards 

  • MRC Career Development Award
  • MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship
  • MRC Clinical Academic Research Partnership
  • MRC Skills Development Fellowship
  • MRC New Investigator Research Grant
  • MRC / UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships (FLF) award (with relevant healthcare background)

HCRW Personal awards

  • Health and Care Research Wales-funded personal awards (such as doctoral level awards and post-doctoral fellowships).

HEE-NIHR Integrated Clinical Academic (ICA) Programme

  • Clinical Lectureship
  • ICA Bridging Schemes
  • Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship (CDRF) – (Final year)

Integrated Academic Training (IAT)

  • Clinical Lectureship (CL)

Training within NIHR or MRC Infrastructure and NIHR Schools

Final year doctoral or post-doctoral researchers whose training is within one of the following centres:

  • Applied Research Collaborations (ARCs)
  • Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs)
  • Health Protection Research Units (HPRUs)
  • Patient Safety Translational Research Centres (PSTRCs) or Patient Safety Research Collaborations (PSRCs)
  • School for Primary Care Research (SPCR)
  • School for Public Health Research (SPHR)
  • School for Social Care Research (SSCR) 
  • MRC Centres and Institutes

NIHR Associates and MRC postdoctoral researchers

Final year doctoral or postdoctoral researchers whose training is funded as part of an NIHR research funding award such as an HSDR funded research project, or MRC funded post-doctoral researchers.

Midwives, Nurses and Specialist Registrars 

  • Nurses and midwives Band 6 or above (or in an equivalent academic role) who have a good understanding and experience of front-line health and care practice.
  • Specialist Registrars

In addition, members should also:

  • either be in their final year at doctoral level or be postdoctoral (or able to demonstrate equivalent experience or training) 
  • be below consultant level

Members should not be experienced reviewers or chief/principal investigators with a strong publication track record

Register to join the NIHR Reviewer Development Scheme