Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Dr Judy Lowthian, invited to observe a NHMRC Grant Review Panel

judylowthian125Dr Judy Lowthian was nominated by Monash University to observe a NHMRC Clinical Trials Grant Review Panel (GRP) last week in Canberra. Dr Lowthian explained, seeing the GRP at work highlighted the importance of ensuring applications are concise and to the point, especially when the average GRP has ~70-100 grants to rate over a 5 day period. She further commented on how the external assessor commentary was highly respected due to his/her expertise on the topic.

The points to consider when preparing an application were:
  • The presentation of either (i) good pilot data or (ii) feasibility for the proposal was vital; as was the case for ‘how the study will contribute to our knowledge / improving health’;

  • Team capability and evidence of mentoring for any junior researchers as CIA / CIB was also important;

  • How the quality of the Response/Rebuttal was appraised, with a need to clearly respond to all comments made by the assessors; &

  • Budget assessment including reductions of PSP levels and of DRCs, without jeopardising completion of the study.
Dr Lowthian says “It was a tremendous experience to witness first-hand the meticulous process that our grants are subjected to by a panel of dedicated researchers and clinicians” (The 2013 induction video is worth watching: http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/grants/peer-review/nhmrc-grant-review-panels-induction).”

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