Grant Review Process

The Banting Research Foundation Grant Review Panel consists of University of Toronto faculty members plus two additional faculty members from outside the University of Toronto. The normal term for panel members is three years, renewable once.

The Chair and Vice-Chair/Scientific Officer (SO) of the Panel, with the assistance of the Executive Director, review all applications for eligibility and assign the applications. The Chair runs the review meeting and the SO summarizes the panel discussion of each grant in a confidential report that is sent to the applicant.

Each panel member is sent a list of applicants and application titles and is asked to declare their level of expertise (high, medium, low or conflict) for each. Applications are assigned accordingly. Each panel member reviews approximately 12 grants in total, eight as Primary or Secondary reviewer and four as Reader.

Each application is reviewed by a Primary Reviewer and a Secondary Reviewer, who each complete a brief (1-2 pages) report, and a Reader who reviews the grant but does not write a report. The two reviewers use a scale of 0-4.9 to rate each application and provide an initial score:

  • 4.5-4.9 Outstanding
  • 4.0-4.4 Excellent
  • 3.5-3.9 Very Good
  • < 3.5 Not fundable

In addition, each Primary and Secondary Reviewer is asked to rank order each application of all applications they reviewed as Primary and Secondary Reviewer. Applications ranked in the top ~1/3 by both reviewers will be discussed at the Grant Review Panel meeting in order of the average initial rating scores, as well as any application ranked #1 by either reviewer. The other applications are not discussed but applicants receive comments from the two reports.
Applications are reviewed based on:

  1. Track record of the applicant and research environment
  2. Merit of the proposal and justification of the request
  3. Potential impact of the Banting Research Foundation funding on the research program
  4. The letter of support from the Institution is also taken into consideration.

At the panel meeting, the Primary and Secondary Reviewers each declare their initial scores. The Primary Reviewer provides a brief summary of the applicant, the proposal, the potential impact of the funding, and their analysis of the application. The Secondary Reviewer comments on any points of disagreement. The Reader and other panel members provide additional comments. The SO summarizes the discussion and a consensus score is decided. Each panel member provides a confidential score +/- 0.5 from the consensus score, 4.9 being the maximum. The average scores are compiled by the Executive Director to come up with an overall rank order of all the applications that are recommended for funding to the Banting Research Foundation Board of Trustees. Funding is subject to approval by the Board of Trustees.

All applicants receive reviewer comments as feedback on their applications, with reviewers’ identities removed.