Our research panel & review process
Whether you’re applying for an undergraduate student bursary or looking for postgraduate funding, take a look at our research panel, the review process and how successful applications are decided.
Our Research Advisory Panel
Excellent research governance is a vital part of Big C’s decision making. The role of our independent Research Advisory Panel (RAP) is to provide expert independent advice on research grant applications submitted to Big C so that Trustees are well informed in their decision making. All of our RAP members and external peer reviewers are asked to declare any conflicts of interest and adhere to the Panel’s Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct for Advisory Panels. Following peer review, the RAP will discuss and rank the applications for funding for consideration by our Grants Committee and final approval comes from our Board of Trustees.
Dr Leo Alexandre
Consultant Clinical Associate Professor in Translational Medicine (Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia) and Honorary Gastroenterology Consultant (Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust)
Professor Dylan Edwards
Retired Executive Dean,
Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Chair of Cancer Studies,
Professor Sue Fairweather-Tait
Norwich Medical School,
UEA and Research Group Member,
Dr Ian Johnson
Quadram Institute Biosciences
Professor Lee Smith
Professor of Public Health, Anglia Ruskin University
Dr Ralf Zwacka
Reader, School of Biological Sciences,
University of Essex
Peer review process
Applications will be subject to an initial desktop review in order to establish that application criteria have been met and will then be submitted for peer review by up to three or more experts in the relevant field. Applicants are asked to suggest three independent reviewers to review their application and may also exclude up to three reviewers from this process. Big C reserves the right to forward applications to the charity’s own external reviewers for review.
Peer review assessment criteria
Peer reviewers will use a standard form to assess each application and will score against the following criteria:
Track record of principal applicant
Peer reviewers will also be asked to consider whether:
Big C is the most appropriate funding body
The duration of support and salaries/expenses are appropriate
The study has the appropriate statistical support
In relation to the application they have any conflicts of interest
The standard peer review form (which can be found as an appendix to the Research Funding Conditions) includes a section in which the peer reviewers are asked to give an assessment, suitable for anonymous transmission to the applicants as feedback. This section asks peer reviewers to give their opinion of the strengths and weaknesses of:
- The importance of the research topic
- Its originality
- The scientific quality (including the clarity of the research objectives, the suitability of the methods chosen and whether the planned experiments are likely to yield decisive results)
- The track record of the principal applicant in this area of cancer research
All applicants will be provided with feedback on their application however Big C will not enter into further communication (by telephone or email) or correspondence regarding the decisions of the Board.
“If science is what you are passionate about or what you love to do, then you should do it. Don’t let yourself, or anyone else, hold you back from it.”NANCY TENG, PhD STUDENT
Being based on the Norwich Research Park means we are ideally located to work alongside the research institutes that we fund, which currently include the Quadram Institute, UEA, and NNUH.
Research investment strategy
Download our Research Investment Strategy to read more about Big C’s vision and governance framework for the charity’s investment in scientific research.
Apply for funding
Do you have a cancer research project you believe we would be interested in funding? Perhaps we’ve funded the first stage of your research and you’d like us to consider the next stage? Take a look at what support we may be able to offer…
Research case studies
Every pound donated goes
to supporting those affected with cancer in our community.
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Fundraise by yourself, or
with family and friends, to raise vital funds for Big C.
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