Privacy proposal

November 4, 2005

Full economic costing of grant research proposals is now live and its arrival is to be applauded.

The issue of salary costing and calculation of "effort on project" for principal and co-applicants is an integral part of the costing exercise. Reviewers of an application need to assess that the percentage of full-time effort for each applicant is appropriate to the allocated task(s). This assessment does not require knowledge of the basic salary of each applicant, but this information is available to reviewers in completed application forms submitted to the research councils.

Salaries are a matter for employers and their employees and the administrators within the research councils who calculate salary costs attributed to grants.

Could the research councils not remove salary information from electronic applications prior to peer review?JThis would respect the privacy of applicants and protect against potential misuse of the information.

Nigel Scrutton Manchester University

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