Community of Experts

A quality-driven college of experts across all scientific disciplines

What is the ESF Community of Experts?

Over the past four decades the European Science Foundation (ESF) has built an invaluable network of international academics, science policy experts, key decision-makers and stakeholders across the European and global research landscape. 

Since 1974, over 300,000 scientists from 186 countries have benefited from participation in ESF’s programmes. This is an invaluable network, which we are reactivating and expanding as the ESF Community of Experts. Today, our database includes some 130,000 contacts.  By growing this base further we can continue to build sustainable links across multiple research fields in Europe and better enable researchers to meet future scientific challenges.

The ESF Community of Experts plays a vital role in sustaining scientific collaboration, supporting excellence in peer-review and in research grant and proposal evaluation. 

Members of the Community of Experts can be invited to act as reviewers for research project proposals and fellowship applications. They may also be invited to join review panels to select the best research proposals.

The Community comprises three Colleges:  The College of Review Panel Members, the College of Expert Reviewers and the College of Research Associates.

The College of Review Panel Members

ESF Review Panel members are experts of international stature with a proven record of scientific excellence and a broad knowledge of their disciplinary area, as well as experience in committee work and scientific assessment processes. 

This college is structured around five disciplinary areas: 

  • Humanities
  • Economics and Social Sciences
  • Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Engineering Sciences
  • Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Life and Biomedical Sciences

Members use their broad expertise to build consensus on the scientific merit of research proposals during dedicated in-person meetings.

Composed of internationally recognised scientists with a specialist knowledge of targeted research areas, members of the College of Expert Reviewers provide robust and well- informed scientific assessments and evaluations in their domain of expertise.

The College of Research Associates

Members are invited to collaborate with ESF on temporary missions, by identifying scientific peers and checking the scientific validity and quality of evaluation or peer-review reports.

Members have the opportunity to contribute to peer review and research evaluation exercises. 

Membership in the College of Review Panel Members is for 18 months (first pilot phase) and can be renewed for 3 years. Membership in the College of Expert Reviewers is for 3 years. This entails being ready to act as an expert reviewer for research project proposals and fellowship applications, and/or joining a review panel and participating in the identification of best research ideas.

How assignments are made

We always look for the best-fit for each assignment, taking into consideration the area of expertise, discipline, experience and availability - and of course potential biases or conflicts of interest. 

Members of the ESF Community of Experts are asked to upload (or update) their scientific profile on our web portal. This facilitates the efficient assignment of experts to proposals. 

Member benefits

Members have the opportunity to promote their work through the ESF Community of Experts network:

  • Annual publication of reviewers’ names on the ESF website (unless opted-out) for members having provided a review;
  • Posting articles and exchanging ideas with other experts from different fields, through our Experts Forum;
  • Certificate of recognition awarded to members having provided a review.

Testimonials from our Members:

"For me, participation in ESF-led peer review exercises has been a fulfilling experience for three reasons. First, because I get the opportunity to appreciate the breadth of the scientific talent that exists across several disciplines. Second, because I meet open-minded and engaging leading experts from other disciplines and countries, all dedicated to fairness and to scientific excellence. Last but not least, because the care demonstrated by ESF in the details of the review procedure, and the fair and equitable way the ethical and social issues that arise from time to time are dealt with, strengthen my belief in the value of the independent peer review process."

Professor Michael Tsimplis
Professor of Maritime Law and Ocean Sciences at the University of Southampton


"This year, 2017, will be my fourth year of collaboration with the European Science Foundation as a research associate. ESF is a great place to work, as it is a diverse organization with talented people and great leadership. The peer-review process I am involved in never gets boring. We’re all exposed to co-workers from diverse educational and technical backgrounds, and we participate in varied projects. "

Dr Marie Pelé
Researcher on Behavioral Biology

How to apply

If you are interested in joining our Community of Experts, please apply below:


For more information or questions, please contact us at: esfexperts[at]esf[dot]org

To download our Community of Experts brochure, please click on the image below: