‘there will be a short multiple choice knowledge test’

vintage_louis_wain_cat_school_dunce_card-r055681a5c3314ceabc4e5d66e2d2e25b_xvuat_8byvr_512Dear Professor Totaro,

As you may be aware from recent correspondence EPSRC has been working to update and revise the [Peer Review] College online training course we provide for members.

We believe this training provides valuable information on EPSRC and our strategies and priorities, and essential guidance on best practice on reviewing proposals as well as training on roles and responsibilities for being part of an EPSRC peer review panel. For this reason we are making this training a mandatory requirement for all college members.

This updated training course is now ready for use and we would therefore ask you to complete this training at you earliest convenience. You should find this course to be engaging, informative and interactive but most importantly it will provide you with valuable and important information on best practice for reviewing and panel membership. The course will take approximately one hour to complete. Your progress will be saved so you can complete it in convenient sections, the course is available on all commonly used browsers and on tablet devices and includes tools to takes notes and provides links to pages on the EPSRC website as well as relevant documents for your reference.

The course is available via the EPSRC website and will require you to log in using the details we have set up for you below:

Your username is : XXXXXXXXXX

Your password is: XXXXXXXXXX (this password is for your first log in only and you will be prompted to change this to a password of your choice).

The details we have used to set up your account on our training portal are all anonymous and do not include any personal information such as your email address, name or organisation.

‘As the training is provided by a third party we need to ask your permission to pass your contact details on to the training company to comply with the Data Protection Act (1998). The company that will be providing the training is Safron Interactive and details of how to update your profile details are listed below. If you decide to update your profile details on the site, in doing so you give your express consent for these details to be held by Saffron Interactive for the sole purpose of managing your training account.’

Updating your profile on the site will provide you with certain benefits. These include the ability to receive reminder emails if you forget your log in password and the ability to take part in and receive emails relating to a college member blog which will enable discussion between college members and information from EPSRC. It is recommended that you do update your profile information on the site but as stated above this decision is up to you.

Instructions for updating your profile details:
1. Log on to the site using the username above and your password.
2. This will take you to the home page for the training site
3. Click on your username at the top of the page where it says “You are logged in as xxxxxx (Logout)”
4. This will take you to your profile
5. Click on the “Edit Profile” tab
6. You will then be able to update your profile details. It is recommended that you change the following details; First name, Surname, email address, City/Town and select a country. You can also add a user description and a user profile picture of yourself if you wish to.
7. Click “Update profile” at the bottom of the page.
8. Lastly click “Home” to return to the training site homepage.

The training course comprises of three modules at the end of which there will be a short multiple choice knowledge test of five questions. You will be required to correctly answer at least four out of the five questions in order to pass each test. Once you have completed the training and successfully passed the tests you will be sent a certificate to the address listed on the Je-S system to acknowledge your successful completion of the training.

We are constantly looking to improve the services we provide and would very much like to know what you think about the new training course. In order to facilitate this we have put together a short survey which we would appreciate you taking the time to complete. This is available via a link on the home page of the training site.

If you happen to encounter any problems accessing this site or have any questions related to the training or any aspect of college membership please don’t hesitate to contact us at: college@epsrc.ac.uk.

Kind regards
XXXXXX XXXXXXXXXX
Senior Peer Review Integrator
EPSRC

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “‘there will be a short multiple choice knowledge test’

  1. My (American) university also has online training modules with multiple-choice quizzes to test completion of the training. Of course usually this is for COI, sexual harassment training, etc., not for peer review panels. I suppose this is something to look forward to in the future :)

  2. Burt Totaro

    I’ve recently done training of the sort you describe for UCLA, which I thought was okay for an employer to request. The EPSRC letter struck me as funny because peer review is voluntary, and — unless EPSRC wants me to apply lots of non-intellectual criteria — I’m already good at it.

    I hope someone who does the EPSRC training modules will report on what they’re like. I realize it’s a little unfair to make fun of them sight unseen, and I’m not going to do them.

    • Gregory Sankaran

      I did them, after some trouble logging on. There actually is some point: they serve as a guide to EPSRC’s procedures, and they tell you what kind of response EPSRC wants at different stages. So if you’re on a prioritisation panel, that’s not the moment to start marking down application 7 because you think their approach via Galois representations won’t work and they should be using wavelets instead. Some bits (Delpy talking to the camera) can safely be skipped and some bits aren’t particularly relevant to mathematicians, but overall I found the letter more irritating than the module. If they make me do many more of these, though, I am going to lose patience quite fast.

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