Instructions Regarding Peer Review for Scientific Merit

Instructions to Faculty Regarding Peer Review for Scientific Merit

Peer review of animal-related research proposals for scientific merit is a requirement of:

For Principal Investigators

  • Identify (at least) three potential reviewers (knowledgeable internal or external reviewers; Reviewers nor the graduate students they currently supervise can be involved in the project for review;
  • Submit your Animal Utilization Protocol (AUP) proposal, your research proposal or abbreviated research proposal, and the names of (at least) three potential reviewers (with postal and e-mail addresses as necessary) to Animal Care Services (ACS);
  • Confidential peer review of the research proposal will be arranged by ACS and the Office of Research in accordance with the Animal Care Policy.


  • Peer review will be waived if the research sponsor conducts adequate peer review for scientific merit as the first stage of its competitive funding award process (and reference to this process is available on either the sponsor’s web site or with application instructions), and funding is successful; please indicate the full name of this sponsor in your documentation to ACS;
  • Peer review will be waived if an application to a sponsor with a competitive funding process is unsuccessful, but the sponsor’s favourable peer review assessment is forwarded to ACS along with the research proposal and AUP.

For Principal Investigators Supervising Graduate Students

  • follow procedure for Principal Investigators as above, OR
  • have the graduate student’s Advisory Committee peer review the research proposal for scientific merit; complete the University’s peer review form and have three Advisory Committee members sign the one form.

Instructions for Peer Reviewers of Scientific Merit

In accordance with CCAC Policy, expert opinion must attest to the potential value of studies with animals.

  • Evaluate the research proposal by addressing the four criteria identified on the University’s peer review form (provided with the materials for review);
  • Provide sufficient critical and/or constructive information concerning your evaluation to justify your conclusion about scientific merit;
  • Document your review using the University’s peer review form.