Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Archived in January 2013 Schedule 6: Peer Review


This information has been archived. Visit the This link will take you to another Web site Agreement on the Administration of Agency Grants and Awards by Research Institutions page for current information.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the This link will take you to another Web site Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats by contacting us.

1. Definition

Peer review, for the purposes of this schedule, refers to the review processes used by Agencies to evaluate applications for funding against established criteria. While peer review also includes activities such as providing referee/assessor reports and participating in site visits related to specific proposals, this schedule focuses on participation in advisory and selection committees.

2. Policy

Each Agency has established policies and guidelines for the membership of its various committees. These guidelines enunciate the principle that committees must be competent to fulfill their task, balanced in terms of regional, sectoral and gender representation and capable of reviewing applications in either official language. Each Agency has also established codes of conduct for committee members, addressing, for instance, issues of conflict of interest in research and confidentiality. These documents can be obtained on the Web site of each Agency or by contacting the Agency in question.

3. Responsibilities

3.1 Responsibilities of the Institution

The Institution is encouraged to:

  1. nominate individuals whom it considers suitable to serve as members of each Agency's selection and/or policy committees. The individuals nominated can be from the Institution itself, i.e., faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research administrators, as well as from the private and government sectors. As far as possible, the Institution should seek permission and obtain an up-to-date CV from the person it wishes to nominate; and
  2. recognize both the contribution to the research enterprise made by committee members and the time commitment involved in peer review.

3.2 Responsibilities of Agencies

Each Agency will:

  1. assemble the expertise appropriate to the committee's responsibilities, adopt effective and efficient processes to minimize the workload put on committee members and to encourage the participation of as broad a cross section of the national and international communities as possible;
  2. inform relevant Institution administrators (e.g., department heads, deans and Vice-Presidents, Research) about the appointment of individuals from their institutions to standing and peer review committees;
  3. recognize the time commitment involved in peer review; and
  4. reimburse travel expenses and other costs related to membership (e.g., courier fees, administrative assistance to committee chairs).

4. Good Practices

Membership on committees provides a unique opportunity to understand the peer review process and to develop expertise on proposal writing. Members can be invited to share this expertise with colleagues and to mentor junior faculty.

This Schedule forms part of, and complements, a Memorandum of Understanding between the Institution and the Agency/Agencies published at: