Research Grant Evaluation

Identify the best research and optimise the use of your internal resources


Annual list of external reviewers and panel members - 2017

ESF-Science Connect is very grateful to the external reviewers and panel members who participate in our evaluation exercises by providing constructive and insightful feedback. Their efforts are vital in ensuring and improving the quality of our evaluation process. We would like to thank the following experts for their valuable support and contribution in 2017. Click below to download the Annual List of External Reviewers.

Download Reviewers List

Our Evaluation Core principles

When evaluating proposals, ESF Science Connect strictly follows core principles to ensure the robustness of the process, in particular:

Excellence – excellence of the proposals is based on an assessment performed by targeted experts. These experts are selected according to clear criteria and they operate using procedures to avoid bias and to manage conflicts of interest.

Impartiality - all proposals submitted are treated equally, they are evaluated on their sole merits, irrespective of their origin or the identity of the applicants.

Transparency- decisions are based on clearly described rules and procedures that are published prior to the start of the process. Applicants receive adequate feedback on the outcome of the evaluation of their proposal.

Appropriateness for purpose - the evaluation processes are appropriate to the nature of the call and the research area.  The evaluation process is in proportion to the investment and complexity of the work.

Efficiency and speed - the evaluation process is as rapid as possible from start to finish, while maintaining the quality of the evaluation and respecting any legal framework. 

ESF’s support in Research Grant Evaluation

Our research grant evaluation processes include:

  • Well established, discipline based, peer review.
  • Impact systems with substantial multi-disciplinary input.
  • Mission oriented approaches, focus on technological outputs.

We design and implement scientific evaluation of research proposals

With our pool of highly regarded and experienced reviewers (which is continuously enhanced and updated) ESF Science Connect has the capacity to provide scientific peer review support to institutes, establishments or organisations implementing competitive calls.

The nature and scope of our action ranges from the provision of expert reviews for specific competitive calls to full-scale call management.

In particular, ESF Science Connect:

  • Collects research proposals (e.g. projects, fellowships)
  • Identifies and appoints the most relevant experts to assess the scientific merit of submitted  research proposals
  • Sets up disciplinary review panels
  • Hosts and provides the secretariat to these review panels while they reach consensus

Throughout all of these processes, ESF Science Connect ensures that best practices and ethical guidelines are respected, especially in managing conflicts of interest, ensuring confidentiality of information and controlling the quality of the information produced. 

We provide advice and transfer of knowledge

As well as implementing scientific evaluation operations with third parties, ESF Science Connect also makes its expertise directly available to research funders and research programme management teams by:

  • Advising on evaluation processes and providing consultancy in the design of such processes and systems
  • Checking assessment approaches and operations and providing recommendations on how to make them more robust
  • Seminar-based training in peer review best practices

Benefits of working with ESF-Science Connect

In working with ESF-Science Connect, research funders gain access to a solid expertise in the scientific evaluation of research proposals. 

Since 2014, ESF has processed more than 4,500 research proposals across 32 competitive calls implemented by international programmes, philanthropies or national funding organisations. Through these collaborations, our partner organisations benefited from:

  • Optimised, independent and transparent evaluation processes and procedures
  • An efficient online scientific evaluation platform
  • Access to a wide range of international experts
  • Quality-controlled outputs directly transferable to applicants