Press Release

ESF to support the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) in the evaluation of their research grants

The Strasbourg-based European Science Foundation (ESF) has recently been awarded a multi-year framework contract following a public call for tender launched by the Flanders Research Foundation FWO, to evaluate post-doctoral fellowships and research projects applications.

Scientific research is increasingly competitive and the process of assessing proposals for projects is more complex than ever. Decision-makers need high-quality and independent scientific assessment processes to help them make informed selection decisions. Benefiting from our experience of over four decades of grant selection and management, ESF and its expert services division Science Connect provides a robust platform to implement independent targeted project assessment in the context of competitive calls.

In November 2017 ESF responded to a public call for tender issued by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) dealing with “finding, contacting, persuading and delivering written evaluation reports from external reviewers of each scientific project and mandate applications evaluated by the FWO Expert panels  “. The contract was allocated to ESF in February 2018 for a four-year period (2019-2022). It covers two types of research grants: post-doctoral fellowships, and research projects.

The evaluation process should start in December 2018 with the assessment of post-doctoral fellowships (approximately 800) and continue in April 2019 with the assessment of research projects (approximately 1400).

The projects will be evaluated following ESF’s recognised peer-review procedures and by mobilising experts commissioned by ESF through the use of its Community of Experts.

Dr Jean-Claude Worms, ESF Chief Executive, said “We are very proud to have been chosen by one of Europe’s innovative research funding organisation to support their funding schemes through our best practices in research evaluation".

Dr Hans Willems, FWO Secretary General, said “The relations between FWO and ESF go a long way back. The evaluation services ESF provided in the past decades with regard to calls for research cooperation on a European level do convince FWO that it is an excellent partner for the handling of FWO’s own external peer review“.

Mr Nicolas Walter, ESF Corporate Science Officer indicated that this framework agreement demonstrates the relevance and robustness of ESF-Science Connect processes and the quality of its Community of Experts.

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Note for Editors

The European Science Foundation (ESF) is based in Strasbourg, France, and it was established in 1974 as an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation to provide a common platform for its Member Organisations to collaborate internationally on research programmes through its networking, funding and coordination activities. The launch of Science Connect, the new expert services division of ESF, marks the next phase of this development, borne out of the ESF deep understanding of the science landscape, funding context and needs of the research community at this critical juncture. Based on best international practice, ESF-Science Connect mobilises specialised experts and guarantees independence, probity and transparency in the assessment processes. ESF puts its expertise, experience and network at the service of its partners to ensure that research support is channelled to the most promising projects.

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The Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) is the agency that supports ground-breaking fundamental and strategic research at the universities of the Flemish Community in Belgium. The FWO also stimulates cooperation between the Flemish universities and other research institutes.

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