ESF is focusing on the responsible winding down of its traditional research instruments and the transfer of policy activities to Science Europe. To ensure the continued high level and quality of science management we have restructured the organisation to run more efficiently and work with a more streamlined approach to our science network.
ESF’s former scientific Standing Committees, composed of leading scientists nominated by the ESF’s Member Organisations, have been transformed into 5 smaller Scientific Review Groups (SRGs). The SRGs are designed to work more efficiently on the decreasing number of programmes and advise ESF and its Chief Executive on research matters.
In addition to the 5 SRGs, ESF is pleased to continue hosting 6 Expert Boards and Committees (EBCs) that provide in-depth and focused scientific expertise in selected disciplines. The EBCs address specific scientific needs and provide high-level advice in areas of research, policy, infrastructure, environment and society in Europe. Today the EBCs operate under the strategic guidance of either ESF Member Organisations or other European organisations.
The review by ESF and Science Europe concluded that the EBCs are a very important contribution to the successful development of the ERA. Their future at ESF is guaranteed until the end of 2015. Between now and then ESF is actively working with each EBC to assist into evolving a sustainable structure to meet their needs. The governing bodies of ESF and of Science Europe recognised that the EBCs are of value within their domains and that there is potential benefit to collaborating with these interdisciplinary groups.
There will be no new calls for EUROCORES, European Collaborative Research Projects (ECRPs), Exploratory Workshops, Research Networking Programmes (RNPs) and Forward Looks. ESF will continue to manage the project "Mapping of the European Research Infrastructure Landscape" (MERIL) throughout 2014.
The ESF Research Conferences will continue in 2014 with a much reduced but high level calendar of events, with prestigious partners including FENS and EMBO. In addition, we are pleased to announce that we will be involved in several work packages of the Graphene Flagship programme which includes the running of the Graphene Week conferences. We are excited to take on this dynamic and ambitious project.
Responding to a growing need for high quality peer review, ESF has developed internal expertise and streamlined processes to provide the highest quality peer review. With our pool of highly regarded and experienced reviewers which is continuously enhanced and updated, ESF has the capacity to provide scientific peer review support to institutes, establishments or organisations implementing competitive calls. The nature and scope of our offering includes contributions from provision of expert reviews for specific competitive calls to full-scale call management, including planning, coordination of specialised peer review and research evaluation assignments. ESF is also eager to develop and implement the best approach tailored to the specific needs of a partner organisation or the specificities of a given competitive call, taking into account the many elements that drive the quality and relevance of a Peer Review process.
ESF is developing its activities to become a high quality international evaluation service provider, providing excellence in basic research, development and innovation. We aim to connect evaluation with strategy and process improvement - implementing lessons from evaluation in practice and helping to apply them.