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Astronomy Grants

STFC announces new application and assessment procedures. STFC proposes 
*Shorter applications, focussed on key questions that will be used in the assessment process.
* Metrics that enable links between the output of the grants process and the investment priorities of the Council.
* Separate panels for Rolling and Standard Grants, but with a common Chair.
* Elimination of Rolling Grant panel visits except in the case of a new Rolling Grant application, or where problems of underperformance are identified.
* A clear and documented decision process at a high enough level to ensure transparency and tensioning across the whole programme, but which nevertheless makes use of specialist expertise where needed. 

For details see the attached PDF

pdf_small AGPguidelinesFINAL3April2007_3_.pdf

RAS President, Professor Michael Rowan-Robinson, welcomed many of these changes expecially

* greater transparency and efficiency
* continuation of 5-year rollers with 3-yearly review
* exceptional responsive scheme, which would be particularly important for new young lecturers whose work is not covered by an existing roller.

However, concern remains about the way in which increasing emphasis on metrics will operate. The RAS accepts that these can inform peer review, but they should not replace
it. Measuring the numbers of refereed publications is in itself inadequate. Quality not quantity is what really matters.

Details of how the Astronomy Grants Panel will undertake its work will be issued following further consultation with the community , including during 2 sessions at the RAS NAM