In a recent letter to UK Research Organisations written by Dr Rob Buckle (Director of Science Programmes at the MRC), the Medical Research Council have outlined some changes to their funding policy and application process, to allow the inclusion of a one-page ‘methodology and experimental design’ annex to the case for support.
With immediate effect the MRC is introducing an optional one page annex within all research proposals, allowing applicants to specifically detail the methodology and experimental design aspects of their proposals and to include figures, tables and/or diagrams relevant to this, where appropriate.
The MRC have said, “The methodological rigour of all applications to the MRC is scrutinised closely during the peer-review process. However, we are increasingly aware that applicants often focus on presenting a compelling scientific rationale at the expense of providing sufficient methodological detail to persuade reviewers that the study will deliver robust and convincing findings. To help address this deficit, and in response to feedback from the community, we are making an important change to our application process”.