Equity, diversity and inclusion
Peer review is an important part of NSERC’s funding decision process. Elements that contribute to fostering a fair review process are detailed below.
- The Guidelines governing membership of NSERC’s peer review committees promote equitable, diverse and inclusive recruitment and nomination processes. Guidelines for committee composition include requirements for diversity in terms of knowledge and experience, language, equity and inclusion, sector and region.
- Resources for peer reviewers support fair review processes. Peer reviewers must take the Bias in Peer Review training module and are guided throughout the review process to ensure that each application is reviewed fairly according to the evaluation criteria.
- NSERC’s Guidelines on the assessment of contributions to research, training and mentoring provide information on the wide range of contributions that should be valued as part of the peer review process.
- Review committee members are instructed to take career interruptions, including leaves of absence, delays in research and training activities and impacts of COVID-19, into account when assessing applications.
- Instructions for external reviewers and those preparing reference letters include guidance on the use of inclusive language and on limiting unconscious bias in reviews of applicants/applications. Examples of such are the Instructions for completing a report on the applicant for students and postdoctoral fellows, the Instructions to external reviewers for Discovery grants, the Collaborative Research and Training Experience program Instructions to external reviewers, the Arthur B. McDonald fellowships - Instructions for external reviewers, and the Alliance grants Instructions for external reviewers.