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Conflicts of interest

It is not possible to list all scenarios due to the complexities of relationships between researchers, especially in niche research areas. Some cases will be clear cut and others will need to be judged on a case by case basis.

Note: If you have any collaborative work under development with an applicant that would place you into a conflicted category once it is complete/published, please seek guidance from the AHRC before starting a review.

You should not be involved in any way with a proposal prior to its submission or once a decision has been made, e.g. you should not comment on, or help colleagues in preparing a proposal, or sit on advisory boards, if you have already agreed to act as a reviewer for that call or scheme. If AHRC requests that you review such a proposal, please decline the request promptly.

If you are approached by applicants to discuss their proposals in any way – whether it be before, during or after an assessment process that you are involved in – you should decline. You are free to talk to applicants about the Council’s structures, policies, and modes of operation, so long as the information is in the public domain (e.g. in the Research Funding Guide or on the website). You must not divulge information about individual awards or application statistics unless the information is already in the public domain.

If you are in any doubt as to whether you should review a proposal due to a possible conflict of interest, before starting the review you should contact the AHRC by replying to the request to review or emailing operations@ahrc.ukri.org.

Type of Conflict







You have been or are currently a member of staff or Professor Emeritus at same Institution as any of the named investigators or Project Partner organisation involved in the project or receive personal remuneration from the institution

Conflicted if present or within the two years

Formal arrangement as an External PhD Examiner within the same institution as that of any of the named investigators

Conflicted if present or within the past two years


A personal friend or relative of any of the named investigators or named staff on the proposal


Professional relationship

Former PhD Supervisor for any of the named Investigators or named staff of the proposal


You have worked closely or are in close regular collaboration with the named investigators, research staff, collaborators and/or project partners

Conflicted if present or within the past five years

Book/Journal collaboration

Joint editor or author with any of the named investigators (excluding membership of Journal editorial boards)

Conflicted if present or within the past five years

Project collaboration

If you are directly involved in the work proposed by any of the named investigators, e.g. you have agreed to be a member on an advisory committee connected with the project



If you are intending to submit or have already submitted a proposal to any scheme/Call within six months of the time, or to the same round that you are being asked to provide a review for