Robot holding a pen depicting AI tools in healthcare peer-reviewing grant applications

Leading research funders agree to not use AI during peer-review process

Generative AI tools will not be used when peer-reviewing grant applications, according to a group of the UK’s leading research funders.

Risks around compromising confidentiality and research integrity were highlighted by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) when explaining the decision.

The statement has been co-signed by a range of organisations, including:

  • NIHR
  • Cancer Research UK
  • British Heart Foundation
  • UK Research and Innovation
  • Wellcome Trust
  • Association of Medical Research Charities

The move comes in the midst of the continuing rise of AI tools such as ChatGPT and establishes consistent standards on the issue.

                                                                         Video credit: Canva

Such tools can be helpful in some regards such as aiding neurodivergent researchers and reducing language barriers, according to NIHR.

If generative AI tools are used in a different context to peer-reviewing grants – like preparing applications – clear citation and acknowledgement must be included.

NIHR’s director of strategic operations, Quinton Newell, said: “While the use of AI has huge potential in healthcare, we must ensure funding is awarded transparently, based on merit and has the potential to improve lives.”

He continued: “By ensuring the accuracy and honesty of applications, we help uphold the credibility of research, prevent misuse of resources and maintain public confidence.”

NHS England’s director of AI, imaging and deployment, Dom Cushnan explored what the future of AI in healthcare might look like for our online magazine.

Image credit: iStock

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