Putting our region's cancer needs first

Peer Review Process

Our peer review processes are adopted in line with the AMRC guidance. Our process varies depending on the funding amount being reviewed and reflect the total of our research spend for the year.


This means projects that are less than 5% of our research spend undergo steps one, two, four, five and six of our peer review processes.

Projects, such as infrastructure grants and project grants, where the research spend is greater than 5% of the annual research spend will complete all tiers of the peer review process including the review of proposals by independently appointed external reviewers.

Our Peer Review Process

Step 1 - Charity Triage Check 

The research manager checks the applications meet with the charity’s submission criteria and all necessary documents have been submitted. A check that applications previously funded by researcher applicants have met the terms and conditions of the charity. At this stage, the Charity considers the principle investigator and co-applicants previously funded projects and their added value. 


Step 2 - Nominated Referee Reviews 

All reviewers identified in the applications by the PI are approached to provide reviews of the submitted proposals.


Step 3 - Independent Review 

The Project Advisory Group (PAG) review the submitted proposals and recommend independent reviewers who are then approached to provide a scientific review of the submitted proposals.


Step 4 - PAG Review 

The PAG committee sign and return the Conflict Of Interest (COI) policy. They then meet to review and vote on the scientific merit of the submitted proposals and make recommendations for future funding.


Step 5 - Board of Trustees Review and Approval of Funding

The projects recommended for funding are put forward to the Board of Trustees for approval of funding.


Step 6 - Awards Letters Sent 

Letters are sent to PIs and Co-investigators detailing projects that are successful and unsuccessful along with feedback from the PAG review.


North West Cancer Research is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC). We support the use of animal research when there is no alternative available and all research must follow the 3 Rs – replace, reduce, and refine. For more information please refer to the AMRC statement on the use of animals in research.