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Feature focus: reviewer management for grant managers in AIMS

At AIMS we know that reviewers can be a key part of any grant programme’s efficacy.  We also know that managing your reviewers can be a mammoth task.  We have seen clients managing unwieldy spreadsheets with list of contact details and areas of expertise, with no regular cleansing or update protocol – we see the pain that this can cause for a grant manager.

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Grant managers often need reviewers with diverse expertise to evaluate proposals across various disciplines and topics. As a result, maintaining a comprehensive database that covers a wide range of subject areas can be challenging. In addition, we know that reviewers’ availability can change. Keeping track of availability requires continuous monitoring – as does managing conflicts of interest which can change frequently when working with sector experts within your reviewer team. We know that maintaining accurate records of reviewers’ affiliations, relationships, and past interactions to avoid potential conflicts is critical in maintaining the integrity of the review process.

As with everything we do at AIMS, we believe that data security is critical for reviewer management. Reviewer records can contain sensitive data (including but not limited to contact details). We also understand that grant managers may need to provide access to the reviewer database to multiple stakeholders – and we have seen that ensuring appropriate access control and permissions whilst maintaining database usability can be challenging.

Despite these challenges, maintaining a well-curated reviewer base is essential for ensuring the efficiency, fairness, and quality of the grant review process. Grant managers can mitigate these challenges by implementing robust relationship management practices. By using a cloud based solution like AIMS, grant makers can regularly engage with reviewers to

  • maintain their contact information and availability
  • update reviewers’ skills and expertise
  • declare and maintain interests
  • track and assess suitability for future reviews
  • invite to be members of review panels
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How can you manage your reviewers with AIMS grant management software?

Contact management is simple with AIMS. We can remove the pain of managing your reviewers by supporting you to bring them into your grant management system.

The relationship management module allows panels of contacts to  be created and assigned to applications in bulk.  The module also allows sub-processes to be started for contacts that have been linked to applications within the module.

  • Step 1:

Create a new individual incorporating the following:

  • Create a new person
  • Edit personal details
  • Add a new address
  • Bank details
  • Add relationship to organisation
  • Add relationship to person
  • Add their specialism or expertise

If you have an existing list or database of external reviewers, these contacts can be loaded into your AIMS system and invited to register and to re-validate their details.

  • Step 2:

Create a new panel including the following details:

  • Name
  • Scheme
  • Panel contact status
  • Relationships

You can set the remit for a panel, and link them to particular schemes or programmes.

  • Step 3:

Maintain panel contacts, including the following:

  • Add your potential viewers to a panel
  • Send email invitations to panel contact
  • Reviewers can accept or reject an invitation
  • Update a panel contact’s panel contact status

All of your relationship management with external reviewers/panel members can happen in one place

  • Step 4:

Use the relationship management module to assign contacts to applications including:

  • Filter to matcn your grant applications with panels and expertise
  • Setting the relationship type
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Assign multiple contacts to multiple projects, quickly and easily
  • Identify conflicts of interest and choose to block assignments
  • Clearly see reviewer workload instantly and delete/re-assign relationships to applications ready for review as required
  • Step 5:

Use the relationship management module to start sub-processes for applications including:

  • Selecting the relationship type
  • Selecting the sub-process scheme
  • Starting sub-processes

This will put the tasks associated with the sub-process into the tasklist of the related users. This is generally a review task with a review form to complete, with email notification sent to the external  reviewer, with deadlines and reminders.

  • Step 6:

Configure a sub-process workflow that can be used in conjunction with relationship management, including:

  • Creating a sub-process scheme
  • Creating a sub-process workflow
  • Updating a contact’s sub-process status

Sub-processes can easily be used for external reviews. The same relationship management function can be also be used for a range of grant management processes. This functionality makes it easy to quickly assign relationships and then batch assign sub-process tasks. For example, review declaration of interests, schedule monitoring or site visits, closing grants.

AIMS grant management software’s relationship module allows you to invite and create panels of reviewers (which we know is very useful for external expert reviewers), and then link those reviewers to applications, with conflicts of interest noted. You can then start the review process as a batch exercise.

We help simplify both the reviewer relationship management and also the review process for your reviewers.

We know that effective reviewer management in a grant management system supports a healthy relationship with qualified experts, streamlines the review process and enhances the quality and fairness of evaluations – all of which ultimately can contribute to the success and impact of your grant programme. By maintaining a diverse and up to date reviewer database, grant makers can mitigate conflicts of interest, maintain fairness, and optimise resources. This leads to higher-quality decisions and improved outcomes for funded projects. A good grant management software solution can make managing your reviewers a simple task.

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Need help managing your reviewers?

We are here to help – without judgement and without pressure.

Our experts have seen everything when it comes to reviewer management.

Get in touch for a no strings chat.

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