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New classifications of review panels for medicine and health

The classification of the review panels for medicine and health will be changed as from 2020. The purpose is to make it easier for researchers to find the right review panel for their grant applications.

The previous classification of review panels was based on disease groups and organs. The new classification is based on systems instead.

“Research within the medical field has become ever more multi-disciplinary. Many diseases affect several different organs, and there are many cellular and physiological processes that are linked in the same tissue or organ. They can, for example, be metabolic diseases or inflammatory conditions”, says Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Secretary General of the Scientific Council for Medicine and Health at the Swedish Research Council.

The new classification makes the review panels more homogenous. This will result in better discussions at the review panel meetings, he emphasises.

“Each review panel has a number of sub-divisions which provide guidance for researchers when trying to find the panel that can make an optimal assessment. It is therefore important for applicants to carefully read which subject areas fall under each review panel.”

The process of designing a new peer review organisation has involved the medical and pharmaceutical faculties, representatives of patient organisations, review panel chairs, and also members of the Swedish Research Council’s board, scientific councils and committees with medical or clinical competence.

“We also sent out a survey to all those who applied for project grants in 2019 within medicine and health. The survey asked which review panel they would had chosen for their application if the classification had been according to the new proposal. This gave us a clear picture ow how the applications will be distributed across the review panels,” says Jan-Ingvar Jönsson.

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