Unless otherwise stated in the scheme-specific guidance in the Research funding section, the following criteria are taken into account by the peer reviewers when assessing your proposal.

Quality and importance

  • the extent to which the proposal meets the specific aims of the scheme to which you are applying
  • the significance and importance of the project, and of the contribution it will make, if successful, to enhancing or developing creativity, insights, knowledge or understanding of the area to be studied in a national or international context
  • the extent to which the research questions, issues or problems that will be addressed in the course of the research are defined and their importance and appropriateness specified
  • the appropriateness of the research context and specification of why it is important that these particular questions, issues or problems are addressed. The extent to which other current research conducted in this area has been considered, and the range of audiences that might be targeted
  • the appropriateness, effectiveness and feasibility of the proposed research methods and/or approach.


  • The quality and importance of your work to date
  • your ability to monitor the project and bring it to completion as demonstrated in the application
  • the appropriateness of the level and balance (in terms of time and seniority) of the proposed staffing on the project, and the extent to which opportunities will be made available for less experienced researchers
  • whether the other named participants have the appropriate experience and expertise to deliver the project
  • The suitability of the opportunities which the project will make available to support the development of the research staff on the project

Management of the project

  • Whether the lines of responsibility and accountability are clearly articulated
  • whether a realistic timetable, incorporating milestones, is presented which will achieve the project’s aims and objectives within the proposed timescale
  • the extent to which you have understood the amount of work to be involved, allocated sufficient time and resources to achieving each aspect.

Data Management

  • does the information in the DMP seem appropriate for the research project being proposed? Would you expect to see anything different in your view?
  • will the DMP enable the project’s data creation, outputs and storage needs in your opinion?
  • are there any other areas that need more attention?
  • overall - does the plan for data seem feasible, sensible, appropriate and valid?

Value for money

  • The extent to which the likely outcome of the research will represent value for money, and in particular the relationship between the funds that are sought and the significance and quality of the projected outcomes of the research
  • whether the resources requested are reasonable in the context of the proposed research.

Outputs, dissemination, and Impact

  • The appropriateness and effectiveness of the proposed dissemination methods
  • the extent to which the research process is documented or recorded in a way to enable dissemination of research outcomes to the widest possible audience
  • the likelihood that the outputs and outcomes of the project will be highly valued and widely exploited, both in the research community and in wider contexts where they can make a difference
  • whether the plans to increase impact are appropriate and justified, given the nature of the proposed research
  • whether sufficient attention has been given to who the beneficiaries of the research might be and appropriate ways to engage with them throughout the project.

You are encouraged to disseminate your research and its outcomes to as wide an audience as possible, and where appropriate to engage in communication, dissemination and exploitation activities throughout the period of the project. You should therefore specify the audiences to whom your research could be of interest, and how you propose to engage with those audiences about your research.

Although nothing debars an AHRC-supported project from aiming to charge for access to its results whether in electronic or other format, peer reviewers are encouraged to scrutinise dissemination and access strategies and to consider the extent to which the outputs that are produced by AHRC-funded projects will be utilised by the arts and humanities research community and other interested parties.