Frequently Asked Questions

The launch of Science Connect, our new expert services division, marks the next phase of ESF’s role. It has been born out of our deep understanding of the science landscape, funding context and needs of the research community at this critical juncture.

Science Connect will deliver practical, skilled and interdisciplinary support and consultancy services across all sectors of the science community - from project leadership to peer review.  It will also provide expert tools and metrics to support the effective administration of research projects, ensuring time and resources are used effectively.

With its legacy of knowledge, extensive networks and skilled team, Science Connect will be your partner in science.

1/ What is ESF today and how has its role changed?

ESF’s mission is to continue serving the European Research Area for the sole benefit of science.

We have wound down all our collaborative research instruments and networks, but have retained the expertise gathered over 42 years of managing these programmes to create an expert division called Science Connect, providing services to the science community.

ESF, a non-profit association, continues to serve its member organisations by enabling them to access key decision-makers through its broad network, and by providing strategic advice such as road mapping at the national level. ESF also helps its members to develop sound, science-based methodologies and structures in their countries; provides science metrics and an evidence-base for scientific decision-makers; and contributes to the debate about the future of peer-review and evaluation, the funding gap in research instruments, etc.

2/ What is Science Connect?

Science Connect is the new expert services division of the ESF. It is a start-up with a 42-year history. It connects services, knowledge, and research bodies with the needs of its clients and partners. 

Science Connect builds from ESF’s heritage and experience to offer its partners and clients the highest standard in science services in the areas of peer review, evaluation, career tracking, programme/project management/administration, and expert board hosting. Science Connect’s positioning and ambition is to become the premier provider of independent science support services in Europe.

3/ Has ESF become a private consultancy company?

No. ESF is a non-profit association with over 4 decades of experience in science administration and programme/network management, across borders and disciplines. ESF has peers, a very broad network of scientists, and a history. 

ESF’s Expert services division, Science Connect, provides its clients and partners with the highest standard of quality in science services, billed at the most economically competitive rates.

4/ What are Science Connect’s key expertise and capabilities?

Since 1974 ESF has managed over 2,000 world-class science programmes and networks, with support from 80 Member Organisations in 30 countries. Science Connect builds on these core strengths and heritage to achieve a very high level of expertise in science administration and project management, across all domains. Key capabilities include networking, expert support, proposal writing, financial and HR management, and consensus-building.

5/ What can you do for your members and partners?

Science Connect is able to deliver tailored solutions engineered to fit the specific needs, processes, and environment of the ESF Member Organisations, partners and clients. Our staff can contribute at any stage in a project, from specifications to implementation and follow-up. For additional information about our services, please click here  or contact us.

6/ How can I become a member of ESF? Can anyone join?

ESF Members are not individuals but public or private organisations (a) whose chief mission is in promoting or providing financial or other support to scientific research and/or operations; (b) who are interested in scientific research in any capacity whatsoever.

ESF Members are divided into two categories: full members, who undertake to participate regularly in the activities of ESF and work towards achieving its aims; and associate members who undertake to contribute occasionally to the ESF’s objectives through their scientific or other capacities. Full members pay an annual fee and have voting rights in the General Assemblies, while associate members participate without voting rights and are not required to pay an annual fee.

Organisations that wish to join the ESF as full or associate members should submit a formal application to the ESF Chief Executive who will refer this application to the Executive Board for decision.

7/ What is the ESF “Community of Experts” and how can I join?

Our community of Experts is our invaluable network of international academics, science policy experts, key decision-makers and stakeholders in the European and global research arena, built from the 300,000 scientists from 186 countries that have benefited from ESF’s programmes since 1974. Today our database comprises 130,000+ names.

We are reactivating and expanding our network as a quality-driven college of scientific experts across all areas of research. Invitations were sent out in October 2016 and over 2,000 researchers have already registered. The Community of Experts comprises a College of Review Panel Members and a College of Peers, with a total panel of 5,000 experts available for assignments.

For more information about our Community of Experts and eligibility criteria please click here.

8/ How is ESF-Science Connect funded?

ESF derives its funding from (i) its Member Organisations through the payment of annual membership fees and (ii) from contracted scientific services (peer review, evaluation, programme and project management, and career tracking) carried out for its members, partners, and clients by its expert division, Science Connect.

9/ Do you grant any type of financial support to scientists and students?

As part of the change of scope of ESF’s activities following conclusion of our traditional research support activities (European Collaborative Research Projects, Exploratory Workshops, Research Networking Programmes, etc.), ESF no longer provides any type of financial support.

10/ How can I join the ESF-Science Connect Team?

Take a look at our Careers page for information about our recruitment process and current vacancies.