Partnership grant - MRC


Assessment of applications

Your proposal will be peer reviewed by independent experts from the UK and overseas. More information on peer review at the MRC.

Reviews are based around three core criteria: importance, scientific potential and resources requested. Before applying for a partnership grant, consider each of the specific criteria below to ensure that your application fully addresses each of these areas. Failure to address any of the criteria sufficiently in your application could result in an early stage rejection.


  • What is the strategic importance of the subject area on a national and international level?
  • How will the partnership provide distinct and important contribution to the current research landscape?
  • How original is the proposal? Are there similar partnerships in the UK or elsewhere?
  • What impact will this partnership grant funding have on current or future research?

Scientific potential – partnership plans:

  • What is the potential of this approach to advance the scientific area?
    How appropriate are the network activities?
  • Are there clear plans for sustaining the partnership activities beyond the funded period of the grant?
  • Is the methodology robust and experimental design clear for any small scale/proof of principle work?

Scientific potential – participants in the partnership and existing funding:

  • How feasible are the plans? Does the team of investigators have the track record to show that they will be able to deliver the proposed work within the planned duration?

Scientific potential – environment:

  • How have the host research organisations (ROs) demonstrated commitment to supporting the proposed partnership? For example, by reducing or waiving co-investigator salary, associated estates costs and other in-kind contributions
  • Does the partnership provide opportunities for the training and career development of personnel working in the partnership?
  • If the proposal involves a request for studentships:
    • will the studentships provide a unique training experience which could not be supported by existing MRC studentship support for example doctoral training grant funding?
    • will the management strategy ensure high standards of supervision, mentoring and support for students?
    • do all studentships requested meet MRC’s research training objectives and expectations? See research council statement of expectations for doctoral training.

Scientific potential – management:

  • Comment on the effectiveness of the proposed planning and management. Are they proportionate to the scale and complexity of the activity to be undertaken?
  • If the proposal is for shared equipment or expertise, have the applicants described where this will be sited and how it will be supported by the host ROs? Does the management strategy ensure equitable access to any equipment or staff that will be shared between collaborators?
  • Are there any ethical or research governance issues?
  • Does the data management plan indicate whether the applicants have (or are likely to have) a sound plan for managing the research data funded through the award, and making it more broadly available in line with MRC’s data sharing policy (PDF, 108KB)?

Resources requested:

  • Are the resources requested well justified and sufficient?
  • Does the partnership represent value for money?


Last updated: 17 August 2021

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