Expert Review Committees (ERCs) are nominated by, and report to, the Research Advisory Board (RAB). They consider funding proposals and make recommendations to the RAB on which projects APHCRI might fund in a specific funding round.
Types of funding mechanisms
APHCRI invites applications to a range of funding mechanisms. These may include
- Centres of Research Excellence
- Targeted programs of research (Stream research), where several applications may be funded in one round
- International Visiting Fellowships
- Specific research capacity building programs and smaller, individual projects
Funding mechanisms vary in value and focus. The complexity of the selection process and the composition of the ERC will reflect the value of the funding round.
Different funding mechanisms require different application procedures. Essentially, there are two types of application procedures
- Single-stage process
- Two-stage process
Single stage process
A single-stage process is used for applications for funding rounds of lesser value, such as stream funding. A full application is invited and the ERC reviews all applications.
Where a large number of applications are received, the ERC will be invited to form a small sub-committee to pre-screen and cull the number of applications that will proceed to review by the full ERC. This reduces reviewer burden.
For larger funding mechanisms such as the Centres of Research Excellence, applications for funding are first made through invitation to submit an expression of interest (EoI) to the Head of Programs and the RAB. An ERC will be appointed by the RAB to review EoIs and recommend which should be invited to prepare full proposals. The same ERC will subsequently review the full proposals and make recommendation to the RAB as to which proposals might be considered for funding.
Calendar of funding mechanisms
Some funding mechanisms are offered annually, while others are offered in response to Governmental requirements at the time. The regular funding mechanisms have to date been
- The APHCRI-Robert Graham Centre International Visiting Fellowship
- The APHCRI-RACGP Indigenous Fellowship
Composition of the ERCs
The RAB invites and appoints the Chair and members of each ERC.
The Chair of each ERC is an independent appointment – that is, neither an employee of the ANU nor of the DoH. The Chair is an experienced primary health care researcher of standing within the primary health care research field and with specialist interest and experience in the specific topic of their Committee.
Each ERC comprises members who have specialist research expertise and/or clinical or policy experience relevant to the research topic on which the Committee is considering research funding proposals.
Depending on the value of the funding round being reviewed, the ERC may have 3-4 members. Larger funding rounds, funding rounds that have attracted a large number of applicants, and funding rounds inviting applications for International Visiting Fellowships will have at least one international member.
APHCRI Network staff and DoH representatives or staff may not serve as Chair or members of the ERCs. APHCRI Network staff will provide secretariat support.
One member of each ERC will also be a member of the RAB.
Tasks of the ERCs
- To review applications for funding to various APHCRI funding rounds
- To make recommendations to the RAB on which projects might be funded from a particular funding mechanism to support research addressing APHCRI’s priority-driven research questions
- To implement APHCRI policies on the identification, declaration and management of conflicts of interest and commitment among research funding applicants.
In its assessments of proposals for funding, ERCs are guided by the principles of scientific merit, relevance to primary health care policy and practice, plans for translation and implementation of research outcomes, and by the Selection Criteria applicable to each specific funding mechanism.