NERC to Introduce Demand Management Measures

From the 1st April demand management measures will be introduced for applications submitted to the following NERC responsive mode schemes: Urgency, Large and Standard grants (including those led by new investigators).

The RCUK efficiency of Peer Review Project report published in February 2006, advised that success rates below 20% introduce unacceptable inefficiencies, and NERC’s success rate for standard grant proposals has fallen from 20% in 2088 to just 16 per cent in recent rounds. This is despite measures to manage demand, such as limiting re-submissions and publishing the success rates of research organisations to encourage self-regulation.

All research organisations that apply to NERC for funding will be required to participate in demand management and will be eligible for sanction if they fail to reduce the number of uncompetitive proposals to certain agreed targets within the agreed timescales. However the type of sanction has not yet been announced by the Council.

NERC will be contacting research organisations in the summer to provide relevant information that will assist self regulation, with annual reports produced from autumn 2013. From the autumn of this year, NERC will be engaging with research organisations in order to provide further information and advice in support of these demand management practices, including setting targets for changes in submission behaviours.

The provisional timetable for the introduction of the measures is below:

Provisional timetable for introduction of demand management measures

1 April 2012
Monitoring of submissions and outcomes for demand management purposes commences

April 2012
Request for research organisations to nominate designated point(s) of contact for demand management interactions.

July 2012
Initial identification of research organisations with high number or proportion of uncompetitive submissions.

Summer 2012 
Provision of past performance data.

Rolling schedule starting Autumn 2012
Scheduled visits and dialogue.

Annually from Autumn 2013
Provision of updated data and analyses.

To read the full announcement please visit the NERC website.