Transparency & Conflict of interest guidance

1. Project Scoring and weighting

Each application will be scored by each member of the External Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC). They are requested to assess and score each project and each criteria between 0 – 5, where 0 is a poor fit for the criteria and 5 is an excellent fit.
A grade point average (GPA) is calculated based on the number of reviewers who actually scored. Each member of ESAC is required to stipulate for each project if they have a conflict of interest (see section 2) and if they do, they will not score that particular application. The GPA is calculated without the conflicted ESAC member.
A weighting will be added to the GPA if the project includes SME or a Pharma company.

2. Conflict of Interest

ESAC members
LSTM and the Consortium is committed to transparency throughout the decision-making process and recognise the importance of managing all real, potential or apparent conflicts of interest with integrity, impartiality, honesty and openness. An ESAC member must never influence, or be seen to influence, the outcome. A conflict of interest exists where:
• The applicant is a close friend or relative
• An ESAC member is directly involved in the work the applicant proposes to carry out
• An ESAC member may benefit financially from the work (for example if involved with a company acting as a project partner)
• An ESAC member works in the same research organisation as the applicant(s), co-applicant(s) or project partners
• An ESAC member works closely with the applicant (for example as a co-author or PhD supervisor) or has done within the last five years
As part of the scoring, each ESAC member will be asked to state (Y or N) if they feel they have a conflict of interest for any of the projects. If they answer Y, they will not score that particular project and the final GPA will be adjusted to reflect the lower number of scorers.

Consortium Senior Management Group

The GPA scoring of the applications is used to rank the projects. The Senior Management Group of the Consortium will be presented with the list of projects shown in ranked order.
The Senior Management Group of the Consortium then meet to discuss the ranked projects and to make the final decision on which projects to fund within the funding envelope. Minutes of this meeting will be taken and retained for future inspection.
At the start of the meeting, any member of the Senior Management Group who is involved in a project on the list will be requested to declare their conflict of interest, which will be detailed within the minutes. When the Consortium members discuss each individual project, the member of the Senior Management Group with the conflict will be requested to leave the meeting for that part of the discussion. This will be detailed within the minutes.