You are here: Assessment process

Spinal Research is a member of the Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) and accredited with the latest audit certificate for best practice in peer review.

Best practice includes demonstrating that a charity has accountability, balance, independent decision-makers, rotation of scientific advisers and impartiality.


Strategy Awards

Strategy rounds comprise a two stage assessment process. Following a call for proposals, applicants are requested to submit a short Letter of Intent of no more than two pages. This short proposal will be assessed by our internal review panel comprising members from our Scientific Advisory Committee. Proposals are assessed on their relevance to the theme of the call, competitiveness of the proposal and the strength of the applicant(s) research background and environment to deliver the proposed objectives.

Applicants that have been successful at this stage are then invited to submit a full application using one of our application forms. Full applications are peer reviewed using internal and external referees. Reviewers judge the application on relevance to the call, importance of the research proposed, the environment and people involved and the quality of the research plan.

From call to award takes six to seven months.


Nathalie Rose Barr Studentships

Applications for a Nathalie Rose Barr studentship grant are assessed through a simple single step process. On receipt of completed proposals applications are peer reviewed using internal and external reviewers.

From call to award takes on average three to four months.


Guidance notes for applicants

Under the arrangements approved by the Trustees, applications for research grants are put forward and judged exactly as they are received: applications which do not conform to the accepted layout will be returned. In their own interests, therefore, applicants should provide the information requested in the application form as fully and as clearly as possible within the space provided, completing each section of the form as appropriate. Stapled or pinned additions are not acceptable.

The form must be completed in typescript no smaller than 10pt in size which is sufficiently clear (and dark) to ensure good quality reproduction. The applicants should return the completed electronic application form via email no later than 5pm (BST) on the date found at the top of the first page of the form. If there are any queries related to the application, please email the Research Department as soon as possible. Note that faxed applications are not acceptable.

Personal direction of project

The first-named applicant will assume responsibility of the Principal Investigator/grantholder, to whom any correspondence will be directed. Any research worker supported by a Spinal Research grant is expected to be actively engaged in the project.


Full references must be given (authors, title and source), limited to not more than two pages.


All costs are to be quoted in local currencies. Please include an approximate conversion in Sterling at current exchange rates in the appropriate section of the form.

Reporting procedures

Successful applicants will be required to submit at minimum, annual progress reports on their work. According to the source of of the grant, additional reports and indication of future goals may be requested. A Final Report is required at the end of the grant and must include a review of the research carried out during the entire project.
The final report must be received within three months of the end of the award and payment of final invoices will be withheld until receipt of final report. All investigators will be expected to disseminate the results of their research in a suitable and timely manner.

Acknowledgement of funding source

Spinal Research must be acknowledged when presenting research based on this work, or in published papers arising from work carried out under this grant.

Experimental procedures

The Principal Investigator is responsible for ensuring that any appropriate personal or site licences for experiments involving animals, ionizing radiation, biologically hazardous organisms or genetically modified material are obtained and up-to-date. All local regulations and guidelines regarding the experimental and ethical use of animals or human subjects must be strictly followed and appropriate permissions obtained.

Review of applications

Recommendations on each application are made by the Grant Advisory Committee following a detailed peer review process and applicants will be informed of the outcome as soon as we are able. A grant will not become active until a legal contract has been agreed and signed between Spinal Research and the host Institution that will have responsibility for administering the grant.