The Decision-Making Constraints and Processes of Grant Peer Review, and Their Effects on the Review Outcome6 jan 2022
Forfatter(e): Liv Langfeldt
Antalogi: Peer review in an Era of Evaluation
Sammendrag: When distributing grants, research councils use peer expertise as a guarantee for supporting the best projects. However, there are no clear norms for assessments, and there may be a large variation in what criteria reviewers emphasize – and how they are emphasized. The determinants of peer review may therefore be accidental, in the sense that who reviews what research and how reviews are organized may determine outcomes.
This paper deals with how the review process affects the outcome of grant review. The case study considers the procedures of The Research Council of Norway, which practises several different grant-review models, and consequently is especially suited for explorations of the implications of different models. Data sources are direct observation of panel meetings, interviews with panel members and study of applications and review documents.
A central finding is that rating scales and budget restrictions are more important than review guidelines for the kind of criteria applied by the reviewers. The decision-making methods applied by the review panels when ranking proposals are found to have substantial effects on the outcome. Some ranking methods tend to support uncontroversial and safe projects, whereas other methods give better chances for scholarly pluralism and controversial research.