What is the Scientific Assessing Committee (SAC)?
The Scientific Assessment Committee (SAC) of the Canterbury Medical Research Foundation has been crucial in implementing our vision of supporting research excellence in Canterbury. It is composed of experienced and respected senior researchers and clinicians from the region’s academic institutions, including University of Canterbury and University of Otago, Christchurch.
The SAC is responsible for assessing the funding applications received by the Foundation each year and providing their recommendation to the Executive Board of the Foundation for final approval. This process ensures that high standards of research excellence are maintained for all the funding applications that are approved each year by the Foundation.
How do they assess grants?
When assessing the Major Projects Grant Round applications, the CMRF Scientific Assessing Committee is weighted to 40% Significance & Rationale, 20% Methods & Rationale, 20% Research Team and 20% Feasibility of Project.
Dependent on the number of applications received in any given ‘round’, committee members each take responsibility for initial assessment of a small number of applications, which are rated according to a standardized rating system. These are then sent to a small selection of area-specific experienced referees for peer review.
Once the reviews have been taken into account along with the scores from the initial assessment, a recommendation is made to the CMRF Executive regarding the projects that the SAC feel have the most merit.
The Foundation will also accept proposals for projects suitable for Co-funding by CMRF in partnership with another funder. Such proposals should include the original research application, all applicable project information and supporting assessments that have been undertaken prior to approaching CMRF. If necessary, CMRF will overlay its own assessment procedures as outlined above, where it does not consider previous assessments as being sufficient. We accept proposals for co-funding year-round.
The Executive then overlays a budgetary constraint assessment and decisions are made regarding how many applications can be funded. Decisions are final and no appeals are accepted.