Independent scientific review or ‘peer review’ is an essential process when setting up a research project. It mainly involves a researcher or clinician with expertise in the area to be researched reviewing and commenting on methodology, aims, statistics, primary end points, originality and the importance of your research project. It is important that the reviewer is in no way connected to the project itself as the review does have to be independent.
One of the main advantages of a peer review is that suggestions made by the reviewer may enable a stronger protocol, which in turn can aid ethics approval and R & D trust management approval.
It is now a requirement for NHS Trusts to ensure that each protocol has been submitted to adequate peer review before R & D management approval can be given.
The Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust has a policy on accepted forms of peer review when making an application for trust management approval.
The R&D Department can provide a template for peer review.
It is more than likely that the Ethics Committee will also ask to see a copy of your peer review during the process of ethical review.
RDS South Central
Research Design Services South Central are able to support researchers with all research design including peer review and statistical review. This new research infrastructure supports Topic Specific & Comprehensive Local Research Networks (CLRNs) with recruitment, Clinical Trials Units with trial management & Biomedical Research Units to undertake translational clinical research.
They will also provide high quality research advice and support to NHS health and social care professionals wishing to apply for funding for research projects. Including developing research proposals by refining research objectives, sources of funding, budgets, developing study methodology, involving patients and public in research.
For those whose studies are eligible for the NIHR portfolio, the cost of the service is covered. For own account research help may be available but there will be a cost incurred.
See www.rds-sc.nihr.ac.uk for more information, or contact:
Telephone: 01865 289443