Peer Review Strategy
The Institute for Food Brain and Behaviour commissions research in order to further its aims and objectives. It is not normally in a position to advertise research grants. However, the Institute’s Board expects the charity to review scientific research projects to the highest standards of transparency and accountability and in accordance with best practice in the sector. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Institute’s Research Strategy and its Conflicts of Interest Policy.
The Role of the Board
The Institute’s Board of Trustees is the ultimate decision-making body within the charity. The Board reflects a wide range of expertise and is responsible for the final decision on any research project. It is responsible through the executive staff of the charity for the operation of the Science Advisory Council (SAC). It is also responsible for ensuring that its policies and priorities are monitored and reviewed appropriately.
Executive Staff of the Institute
The Institute’s staff is responsible for the provision of appropriate administrative support for the SAC and for ensuring that Board’s policies and instructions are enacted. They have no role in assessing the quality of proposed project from a scientific perspective. They will, however, advise the Board on any policy, communications or public education implications of a proposal.
The Science Advisory Council
The Science Advisory Council advises the Institute’s Board on scientific matters and acts as the charity’s peer review body. Members are appointed by the Board for three years renewable for a further three. They are required to conduct their reviews under the terms of the Institute’s Conflicts of Interest Policy.Any proposal for scientific research for which the Institute has raised funds, or intends to raise funds must be reviewed by at least two members of the SAC in addition to the Chairman or Vice Chairman. Any proposal costing more than £25,000 must also be reviewed by two independent examiners.Members of the SAC who are also members of the Institute’s Board may vote either at the review stage or when the proposal is brought to the Board but not both.The Chairman of the SAC is responsible for reporting the findings of a review to the full Board whether or not he/she is a Trustee.
Two independent assessors must review any proposal with an anticipated budget greater than £25,000. Independent assessors may be nominated by members of the SAC.
The author(s) of any research proposal will receive written feedback following the Board’s consideration of a project. The Institute’s Research Strategy notes that final decisions will reflect the charity’s aims and objectives, which go beyond purely scientific concerns.