Recent Developments

ESF was recently commissioned by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) Foundation for Science and Technology in Portugal - to set up review panels and implement the first stage of the 2013 Research Units evaluation. The independent evaluation delivered by ESF, its panel members and expert peer reviewers was performed in line with the highest international standards. Further details.

Responding to a growing need for high quality peer review, ESF has internal expertise and streamlined processes to provide the highest quality peer review. With its pool of highly regarded and experienced reviewers which is continuously enhanced and updated, ESF provides scientific peer review support to institutes, establishments and organisations implementing competitive calls. The nature and scope of its 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 implements 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. It aims to connect evaluation with strategy and process improvement - implementing lessons from evaluation in practice and helping to apply them.

ESF is focusing on the responsible winding down of its traditional research networking instruments and has transferred its policy activities to Science Europe. 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, ESF is involved in several work packages of the Graphene Flagship programme which includes the running of the Graphene Week conference in 2014.

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. A 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 develop a sustainable structure to meet their needs.