SOAS University of London

Research Office

Peer Review

Peer review is an important part of the funding application process. Some funders require you to get your application and research concepts peer reviewed. However, even if this is not a stated requirement, peer reviews are beneficial and can make the difference between being successful and unsuccessful. Contact the Research Office at research@soas.ac.uk to find out more about peer reviews at SOAS and to get expert advice from your Research Funding Officer.

  • Why?

    Peer review is an important part of developing your research ideas. The role of peer review should be seen as a constructive part of the application process and be welcomed by the author. It is imperative to engage with the peer review process and use it to maximise your chance of success. It’s better to get advice from a colleague or your Research Funding Officer than to be criticised by the funding panel. If you are reluctant to take the advice, you will probably lessen your chances of success.

  • Who?

    Peer review can be sought from fellow researchers (both internally and externally) and from the Research Funding Officers. Your Research Funding Officer is involved in supporting the development of many different grant applications and can spot a clear, well written proposal and advise as to whether or not your idea fits the funder's interests. Also be sure to contact the Library early on (researchdata@soas.ac.uk) who can review and provide advice on your data management plan and the Impact Officer (impact@soas.ac.uk) who can review and provide advice on your impact planning and statements, both of which are an important part of your funding application. Before sending to a reviewer be sure to check our proposal and budgeting tips.

  • When?

    In order for peer review to be beneficial a draft of the proposal must be circulated as early as possible and at least two weeks ahead of the deadline. It is best practice to identify who will review your proposal and then set a date by which you will get them a draft and a date when they will return their comments to you. This should be far enough ahead of the deadline for you to be able to address any comments effectively. Ideally this process should be repeated several times.

  • How?

    Your Research Funding Officer can request a peer review from one of your SOAS colleagues easily through the SOAS grant application management system, Worktribe. The information about the review will be held in the Peer Review tab of your project. If you would like an anonymous peer review, please contact your Research Funding Officer, who can help arrange this.  

    If you want several non-SOAS colleagues to be able to review your proposal at the same time, it can be helpful to set-up a shared document to insure that people are reviewing the most up-to-date version and can also see the comments of other reviewers. This can be done through collaborative software such as Dropbox or Google Docs. When you receive peer review notes, from SOAS or non-SOAS colleagues, please upload these to your Worktribe project Documents tab (guide to uploading documents to Worktribe). These notes can be helpful for the Research Office and your departmental approvers.