Consumer Reviewer Self-Nomination Form

Peer Reviewers Form

Research Panel Volunteer Expectations and Responsibilities 

The Arthritis Society strongly values the voice of consumers in research and welcomes consumer reviewers on the Arthritis Society’s research peer-review panels. This is a unique opportunity for volunteers to join expert scientists to review the best new arthritis research ideas in the country and gain an appreciation of the integrity of the peer-review process as well as the value and impact of donor dollars.  

Consumers meaningfully contribute to the evaluation of applications and have considerable impact on the review process. Consumers provide a means of public accountability and convey a sense of urgency and importance to the process.  

The consumer reviewer’s role is to assess the feasibility, relevance, and potential impact of the research as well as the quality of the lay sections (i.e., sections written for a non-scientific audience). Detailed scientific knowledge is not required. Consumers are not required or expected to review the scientific methodology or approaches. Consumers must consider all applications equally regardless of their specific arthritis-related interests.

Consumer reviewers actively participate in the peer-review process as a member of the review panel and consider relevance and feasibility from a patient/caregiver/public perspective and comment on the non-scientific sections for ease of understanding. They are assigned applications to review, are required to read all of their assigned applications in advance of the meeting and prepare brief written reports, assign descriptors/ratings reflecting their assessment, as well as participate in the panel discussion by offering their comments at the meeting. After hearing the scientific members, consumers may alter their comments and scores as a result.  

Consumer reviewers must commit time to read the applications before the meeting (approximately 6-10 hours of review time) and be willing to attend either one or two weekday meetings, depending on the competition. Currently, panels are meeting virtually, however, if in-person meetings are resumed, meetings would take place in Toronto. Travel and accommodation would be arranged and paid by the Arthritis Society. The number of applications for a panel range from 15 to 50 depending on the research area and the program. Researchers from across the country submit in our online grants management platform (Apply) and the review is conducted online. Consumers require access to the internet to review the submissions and prepare reports prior to the meeting. Consumers should feel comfortable navigating our online grants management platforms. Training and support will be available.

Consumers are recruited for our grants and awards programs: 

There are currently four peer-review panels, each with 8-14 scientists and 2-5 consumers, depending on the number of applications under review. The panel for PhD student and postdoctoral Training awards normally meet in July. Panels for the SOG, Innovation grants and Stars Awards meet in October and November. The SOG panel also has a Letter of Intent review meeting in July where the strongest applications are identified and invited to submit a full application.   

Consumer Reviewer Self-Nomination Form [PDF 1.2MB]