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Assessment criteria

We fund pioneering research to improve survival rates and reduce the harm caused by brain tumours. This is led by our research strategy, with the most promising projects selected using rigorous peer review. 

Accelerating a Cure

Our current Research Strategy defines our priorities to 2027 as we aim to create a world where brain tumours are defeated. The Strategy is led by patients, international professionals and key opinion leaders working in the field. All grant calls will focus on the research priorities highlighted in the strategy and all grant applications must address specifically the priority outlined in the call text. 

Peer review and AMRC accreditation

We fund research through a fair, open and transparent process. This process is called peer review, recognised as best practice in awarding research grants. We are proud members of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC), which governs this process.

Why peer review is essential

Peer review is recognised as best practice in awarding research grants, with each application subject to review by independent experts in the field. This process is followed by all major medical and health research charities in the UK. We are proud to be members of the Association of Medical Research Charities who govern this process and have been regularly recognised with a best practice award for our peer review process.

The research and peer review process

Following an open peer review process means we actively and publicly advertise our grant rounds and we follow an agreed strategy for the research we plan to fund – and make that public. Our Research Strategy defines our priorities over five years as we aim to create a world where brain tumours are defeated.

Choosing what to fund in practice

The process differs for each type of grant but in every case we openly advertise for applications: for example, in relevant journals, on our and other websites and by contacting people on our mailing list which any academic is free to join. If you would like to be added, please send an email to grants@thebraintumourcharity.org.

Before applications are sent out to external reviewers, there is an internal triage stage whereby The Charity checks the eligibility of the research applications to ensure they are within the scope of the grant. For two stage applications whereby a letter of intent is submitted first, the letters will be given to the most appropriate Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) to shortlist applicants to invite for a full application submission.

Every application is then reviewed by external peer reviewers. We use online databases and existing contact lists to identify individuals from around the world with the most relevant expertise for each application. We ask them to comment on the suitability of the applicants’ expertise, feasibility, the potential impact for people with brain tumours and the costs. Applicants then have an opportunity to respond to the reviews.

Following external peer review all applications, review forms and responses are sent to our SABs who meet to discuss all the applications. The SABs are made up of internationally renowned scientific and medical experts that work in different areas of cancer research and social science. The two boards, Biomedical SAB and Quality of Life SAB, are responsible for the assessment and rating of applications for research funding and making recommendations to our board of Trustees

The final decisions about which projects to fund are made by our Trustees on the basis of the advice from the SABs.

If an applicant or grant holder has a query or concern relating to their application or grant they should contact our research team. Under no circumstances should they contact our SAB members or Trustees.

Confidentiality and conflicts of Interest

Throughout the process all information contained in applications, reviews and committee discussions is kept strictly confidential. Both written reviewers and SAB members must accept our conflict of interest policy before they agree to review a grant application. We make every effort to ensure our decisions are fair, objective and transparent. Any individual who has a conflict of interest with an application is excluded from its assessment.

More information

Conflict of Interest Policy for Peer Reviewers – PDF

Conflict of Interest Policy for Peer Reviewers

Conflict of Interest Policy for SAB members – PDF

Conflict of Interest Policy for SAB members