Discovery science panels

From the July standard grant closing date, NERC is revising the panel structure moving to three portfolio areas (A-C) to manage the assessment of all discovery science Standard / Standard New Investigator and Fellowship calls.

The change follows a review of the panel areas after two years of implementation. The reduction from five to three panels has been made possible by the reduction in the number of proposals received as a result of the demand management measures for standard grants. The reduced number of panels also makes the process more efficient in terms of both community and NERC office support and contributes to the wider NERC efficiency goals.

The three panel portfolio areas are designed to cover the full NERC remit. The mapping below to the 51 science topics is only meant as a guide and just in the same way as many individual grant proposals would have relevance to multiple science topics, many science topics cover a range of research and map to multiple panel areas.

Each portfolio area covers a broad range of areas within the NERC remit and will have an associated moderating panel. The actual moderating panel membership convened in each portfolio area will vary from meeting to meeting based on the expertise required, but panels will consist of core Peer Review College (PRC) members complemented by additional members drawn from the wider PRC. The ratio of core and college members on each panel will vary, but is intended to be around 50:50.

PRC members will be reassigned to one of the new panel areas, but as previously, the NERC office will use expertise as the primary driver for inviting them to review a proposal or participate in a panel meeting rather than the panel area to which they are assigned.

The panel can be selected via the 'panel areas' section on the Je-S proposal form. NERC reserves the right to change the panel allocation of applications post-submission, but applicants will be informed if this happens. Please note that for joint applications, the panel selected for component proposals should match the one selected for the lead.

Due to the nature of the awards, applicants to Large Grant calls are not required to select a panel. These proposals will be assessed by an interdisciplinary panel drawn from the Peer Review College according to the expertise required.

Panel portfolios

NERC's classification of science within its remit is part of 'RCUK Research Classification'. NERC has 51 science topics grouped within higher-level research subjects as part of this classification. NERC has used these topics as a guide to differentiate the three portfolio areas as detailed in the document below.

Panel portfolios (PDF, 59KB)

Further details on how the topics are divided between panels can be found in the document below.

Panel area details (PDF, 130KB)

Panel area details

Core membership of each panel will be published in the downloads section of the Peer Review College page. Lists of panel members attending discovery science panel meetings are also published.