The USER stakeholder committee, made up of lay patients and non-research clinicians, was established by Arthritis Research UK in early 2008 to review applications from research-led funding schemes.
Every application for funding that Arthritis Research UK receives is reviewed by both scientific peers and the USER committee members.
The USER stakeholder committee operate separately from the scientific committees. Where the scientific committee base their review on scrutinising the scientific importance and rigour of the research question, USER assess the importance of applications in terms of potential patient benefit.
Specifically, the purpose of USER review is to:
- advise on the relevance of the research to the charity’s remit and goals
- evaluate the potential benefit to stakeholders
- comment on funding priority
- raise issues of feasibility and appropriateness.
Scores and reviews are collated for each application during USER committee meetings. This review is then considered, alongside scientific peer review, by a scientific committee which then allocates funding within an agreed budget.