Research Design Service: East Midlands
National Institute for Health Research
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Plain English Summary to be reviewed at funding panel meetings!

  Created on Thursday, 29 Jan 2015. Posted in Funding

NIHR funding panels are now being asked to review plain English summaries during their first meeting as part of the new guidance. 

Panel members must consider the quality of the plain English summary for all applications and rate them as excellent, good, fair or poor. Committees will then rate the plain English summary for each application during the meeting using the electronic scoring system according to this four point scale.

Appendix C: Plain English summary guidance for reviewers and board and panel members

The plain English summary is intended for an interested audience, who are not necessarily specialists. The summary should be written at roughly the same level as an article in a newspaper. With this in mind, please comment on the following:

  1. Does the plain English summary give a clear explanation of the research?
    • Does it help you carry out your review? If not, why not?
    • Is the language used appropriate and clear? If not, where are the problems?
    • Are scientific terms, abbreviations and jargon explained? If not, which terms need explanation?
  2. If this research is funded, the plain English summary will be published on a variety of websites, without the rest of this application form. Could this plain English summary be used on its own to describe the proposed research? If not, what further information is needed?