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The University of Southampton
NIHR Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating CentreResearch on research

Realist synthesis study

Study title: A realist synthesis of decision-making approaches to grant funding allocation

Study description: The NIHR Strategic priorities in the NETSCC 3.0 contract have endorsed and highlighted the need for further action on improving the peer review process (Turner, Bull, Chinnery, et al. 2018). Peer review is at the heart of the NIHR effort to increase efficiency in research from application to contract, and to final dissemination. Reduction of bias (e.g. early career researchers versus established research teams) and burden identified in the peer review process may require innovative alternatives to decision-making. This study will identify the elements of peer review and/or alternative approaches, and the contexts relevant to the NIHR which support decision-making at the funding allocation stage. Findings from the realist synthesis will directly inform the next stages in the RoR programme of work.

Turner S, Bull A, Chinnery F, et al Evaluation of stakeholder views on peer review of NIHR applications for funding: a qualitative study published in the BMJ Open in 2018

Current study status: Screening/Analysis – further literature searches.

Study contact details:




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