5 Peer review |
16. The role of peer review in evaluating scientific
research proposals and in the allocation of funding is an important
component of the MRC process. The Cooksey Review recognises the
value of the peer review process in funding research, stating
that "Day-to-day decision-making will continue to be left
to experts through the peer review process".
However, it argues that while peer review is highly effective
in identifying high quality basic research projects, it can in
some instances "inhibit programmes in translational and applied
We have some reservations about this, a view shared by some of
the organisations who submitted evidence. The Council of Heads
of Medical Schools, for example, argued that "It is critically
important that the integrity of the MRC system of rigorous peer-review
is not compromised under the proposed framework and that the NHS
R&D system continues to embrace such existing best-practice."
We pressed Sir David on this and were pleased to hear him state
that "peer review should apply to everything that is funded."
the recognition that peer review should remain the primary tool
for assessing the scientific rigour of
research proposals funded through both the MRC and the NIHR.
19 HM Treasury, A Review of UK Health Research Funding,
December 2006, para 5.55; www.hm-treasury.gov.uk./media/56F/62/pbr06_cooksey_final_report_636.pdf Back
As above, para 4.12 Back
Ev 18 Back
Q 7 Back