Guidance for Clinical School Researchers
As part of the Research Governance process the scientific quality of a study needs to be reviewed by an external expert in this field and by someone who is not named as being involved in the research. The level of review should be commensurate with the level of risk involved in the study.
If your study is jointly sponsored with Cambridge University Hospitals then you will be expected to adhere to their external peer review process.
If the University is acting as sole sponsor for your study we have set out below what the Research Governance Office will accept as appropriate peer review.
Peer review as part of the funding application process
Where funding is awarded for a specific study from external funders such as NIHR, MRC or Wellcome Trust then we will not require further peer review as this will have been undertaken as part of the application process. Where funding is awarded as a fellowship or equivalent then it is unlikely that the specific study will have been reviewed and you will be expected to get a separate scientific peer review.
If funding has been awarded for a specific project from one of the charities on the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) list then this too will be accepted as appropriate independent scientific peer review.
Please note smaller charities such as the Evelyn Trust do not consider their individual review processes as suitable for independent scientific peer review from another source.
Independent Scientific Review
If your study has been reviewed by Addenbrooke’s Research Advisory Committee (RAC) then this will be accepted as appropriate review.
Peer review can also be carried out by a specialist in the relevant field outside Cambridge University. Researchers should also supply the appropriate peer review or letter confirming peer review has been undertaken, signed by the peer reviewer.
It is expected that peer review will be carried out by the educational supervisor and therefore does not require an additional review, however confirmation of protocol review should be provided by the supervisor.
Where the study is for a PhD, it would normally be expected that peer review was undertaken by someone outside the research team who has the relevant experience. We would expect the peer review to be appropriate for the level of risk.