Guidance for Reviewers

Guidance for Reviewers


Thank you for helping us review an application for a BSAVA PetSavers’ grant! 

We greatly value the time and expertise of our reviewers in providing an independent assessment to help us decide which research to fund. A summary of the types of grants that we award can be found here

A project will be considered by BSAVA PetSavers to constitute 'small animal clinical research' if it meets most of the following criteria:

  • The study involves only naturally occurring disease in small animals; there must be no experimental or artificial induction of disease. The use of experimental animals is not permitted in any work funded by BSAVA PetSavers. This includes work on tissues derived from experimental animals.
  • The anticipated results of the research will result in a change in diagnosis or management of small animal disease.
  • The study is supervised by people with appropriate veterinary clinical skills and knowledge.
  • Any interventions on animals (including obtaining samples) would be considered part of normal veterinary practice.
  • The results will directly benefit cats, dogs or other companion animals. If the benefit is not direct, the application must suggest how many further steps (and at what cost) it will take before a benefit becomes apparent. By definition, therefore, such research would not require a personal or project license under the terms of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986. BSAVA PetSavers does not fund research using experimental animals.

If you have any questions, please contact us at

petsaversadmin@bsava.com


Conflicts of interest

The applications themselves are not anonymised because of the impracticalities of doing so in a fairly small veterinary world. Therefore, a robust conflicts of interest policy is in place in which you are asked to declare a conflict with any of the applicants. If a conflict is identified, we will choose an alternative reviewer. 

We consider a conflict to include: 

  • Being an applicant or co-applicant in the current round of BSAVA PetSavers' grants,
  • Advising on the BSAVA PetSavers grant application prior to its submission, 
  • A recent collaboration (within the last 2 years), 
  • A close personal friendship, or
  • Currently working in the same institution. 

The peer review process is confidential to allow reviewers to comment freely in the knowledge that their comments will only be shown to others directly involved in the decisions process. We may share unattributed reviewer comments with the applicants if they have been unsuccessful in their application or to give them a chance to respond to comments prior to the voting stage of the application process.


Review form

We will send you a copy of the grant application and a short review form which we will ask you to complete, usually within 4 weeks. 

You will be asked to grade various aspects of the proposed research, including: 

  • Clinical impact
  • Study design
  • Personnel
  • Resources

We then ask for a global grade, reflecting your overall assessment of the project. This is not necessarily a sum of the previous grades and may include consideration of elements you feel are relevant but are not captured in the other categories.

Your review form will be passed to the BSAVA PetSavers’ grant awarding committee who will use it to inform their assessment of the proposal. Please bear in mind the need to be objective and professional, providing justification for your comments, and do not allow your review to be influenced by bias for your own field of research.

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