Call for new peer reviewers for the UK process of the HR Excellence in Research Award

Applications have now closed

Vitae are opening a call for expressions of interest for new peer reviewers to undertake the external reviews associated with the HR Excellence in Research Award, UK process. Applications are encouraged from both UK and non-UK applicants to provide broad representation for future peer review teams. We particularly welcome applications from disabled and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff.

The criteria for appointing peer reviewers are set out below. Applications will be reviewed by Vitae with support from the UK HR Excellence in Research Award Panel.  

If you would like to apply to become a peer reviewer, please complete the application form by 15 January 2024. Please with any queries you might have, including any reasonable adjustments needed.

On appointment, training and guidance will be given to new peer reviewers before they begin to undertake reviews. Training is expected to take place online late January – early February. Current peer reviewers will be available to share their knowledge, experience, and practice, and can act as mentors.

The peer review process

To support the UK external review process for the HR Excellence in Research Award, Vitae manages a pool of peer reviewers comprised of sector experts from a range of job roles and institution types. They include non-UK European reviewers to ensure comparability with the European process and have the backing of their institution/organisation to undertake the peer review work within their job role.

For each cohort of institutions, the pool is called upon to carry out reviews. Teams of three peer reviewers are selected by Vitae based on availability, aiming for a balanced mix of roles and experience. With one reviewer acting as Lead, the team evaluates an institution’s submission based on specific criteria, mapped to the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Following the team’s evaluation, Vitae schedules a call between the institution and the review team to clarify aspects of the report and to provide expertise and input. Subsequently, the peer review team submit their report and recommendation to the UK HR Excellence in Research Award Panel who ultimately decide whether an institution retains the Award.

"Contributing to the HR Excellence in Research Award peer review process has been transformative in the development of my cross-sectoral knowledge. This pivotal role not only garners recognition for my expertise as a peer reviewer at an internationally-accredited standard, but also allows me to absorb, adapt, and integrate multi-institutional knowledge that informs that work we do at Liverpool to foster a vibrant, inclusive and respectful research culture and forward-thinking environment for our researchers.” - Saneeya Qureshi, Head of Researcher Development and Culture at University of Liverpool

"I’ve recently joined the peer review team and it has been a really satisfying experience.  It felt quite daunting at first, but being part of a review team is incredibly rewarding on many fronts- It lets you reflect on your own work, allows you to have a wider view of the sector and its diversity, create networks as well as an opportunity to share and discuss common challenges with others. I love being part of the community and I feel it’s important to all play our part in contributing what we can to ‘our’ community of practice." - Quote from a current Vitae HREiR peer reviewer

The peer reviewer role

As a peer reviewer, you will be expected to:

  • attend training as required to undertake your role
  • review paperwork provided by institutions undergoing their external review
  • make judgements as to the extent to which an institution meets set criteria
  • provide your availability for attending interview calls to Vitae when requested
  • participate in conference calls with the peer review team and institutions as required
  • provide written feedback on each institution being reviewed and highlight interesting or exemplary practice
  • act as Lead reviewer, where required, collating comments from the panel and providing a short summary narrative for the participating institution.

Each review takes a maximum of two days per institution as follows:

  • 1 day to review documentation and complete paperwork
  • ½ day to undertake institutional call activities
  • ½ day for follow up report and recommendations (for Lead reviewers only).

Reviewers will be asked to undertake on average 5 reviews per year, dependent on availability and scheduling. Cohorts of institutions for review are distributed throughout the year and we aim to evenly share the workload amongst reviewers.

In the selection of new peer reviewers, we will seek those with demonstrable experience and expertise in the following areas:

  • good knowledge of the European Charter and Code, HR Strategy for Researchers, the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the development of researchers within the UK context
  • experience in designing, managing and/or implementing strategies around the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and the HR Excellence in Research Award
  • willingness to share their expertise as part of an enhancement-led peer review process
  • experience of participating as a peer reviewer, panel member or equivalent in similar review processes
  • able to work effectively online with the other members of the review team and Vitae
  • able to work to agreed procedures, deadlines and protocols, particularly with reference to confidentiality
  • able to write succinctly and coherently, and to summarise findings.

Your role as peer reviewer will need to be supported by your institution. Institutional support should be confirmed on application.

If you would like to apply to become a peer reviewer, please complete the application form by 15 January 2024. Please with any queries you might have.

Further information relating to the role can be found here:

-       HR Excellence in Research Award

-       Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers

-       Background information

-       European Charter and Code for the Recruitment of Researchers

-       HR Strategy for Researchers