Peer Reviewed Detailed Assessments

The ARC received notification of inappropriate assessments through applicant rejoinders, research office correspondence and from members of the College of Experts. The following types of assessments were identified as inappropriate in recent scheme rounds:

  • minimal text provided in the assessment (e.g. a one sentence statement)
  • assessment text does not match the scores provided in the assessment (e.g. low scoring, but positive, encouraging text and vice versa)
  • comments copied across multiple assessments or from previous assessments/scheme rounds
  • assessment text indicates the assessor has not actually read the PDF
  • scores are detailed within the text
  • assessment text includes information that indicates an undeclared conflict of interest
  • inappropriate comments, e.g. malicious or denigrating remarks. (Note: hard, constructive criticism is permitted)

Key points of a good assessment

  • 1. Assessments show consistency between the text and score

    While assessment text is released to applicants for rejoinder, assessment scores are not - they are only visible to the ARC College of Experts. Consequently, it is important that text and score agree, as this allows the applicant to address weaknesses in the proposal in their rejoinder and provides clearer information for the ARC College of Experts to better understand the scores the assessors have assigned against the selection criteria. Positive text with a weak score can give the applicant a false sense that the reviewer supports their proposal and also does not provide an opportunity for applicants to learn how to improve proposals in the future.

  • 2. Assessments give clear details on the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal

    This assists the applicant and gives the ARC College of Experts a clear understanding of the assessor's arguments and how these underpin the scores assigned to proposals. This is immensely valuable as College members rely on the expertise of assessors to bring to light the merits and weaknesses of proposals.