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Chisinau, November 6th, 2012 Dr Sebastiano FUMERO

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Presentation on theme: "Chisinau, November 6th, 2012 Dr Sebastiano FUMERO"— Presentation transcript:

1 The evaluation process in the 7th Framework programme for Research and Technological Development
Chisinau, November 6th, 2012 Dr Sebastiano FUMERO Head of Unit “FP7 support” European Commission Research Executive Agency

2 Overview How to apply The evaluation process: basic facts and figures
Role of Commission/REA staff Key issues: Eligibility check Expert selection Conflicts of interest The criteria The observer Redress

3 FP7: how to apply Participant portal Calls for proposals Annual Work
Budget, deadline, OJ ref., legal documents Links to SEP NCP Annual Work Programme Year N Guide for Applicants Call X Funding Scheme Y SEP Electronic proposal submission system

4 The Participant Portal (PP)

5 The Participant Portal (PP)

6 The Participant Portal (PP)

7 To consider prior to submission
Rules on submission and evaluation The common reference for FP7 Consistency vs flexibility! Guide for applicants (annexes 1 and 2) The work programme The topics and criteria against which the proposals will be judged (all criteria are important – consider sub-criteria - think as an evaluator)

8 Submission Drafting the Proposal
Respect page limits specified in guide for applicants Ensure you meet the minimum eligibility requirements Excellent science is a condition but not enough. Consider also: - impact, dissemination and IPS - consider project implementation and management (role of coordinator is essential) Be precise, less is sometime more… Impartial view…ask your colleagues, friend to read it before… Start with SEP asap – a missed deadline implies proposal is not admissible administrative data (part A forms) should be consistent with info in part B

9 Evaluation process Submission Individual evaluation Consensus Panel
May be “remote” May be “remote” Submission Individual evaluation Consensus Panel Finalisation Full Proposal Proposal forms Final ranking list Evaluators Evaluators Evaluators Rejection list Criteria Criteria Criteria Proposals in suggested priority order Eligibility COMMISSION COMMISSION Experts' role

10 Applicants are informed
Evaluation process Proposal Individual Evaluation Consensus Panel review Hearings For large projects (optional) Thresholds Eligibility Negotiation Commission ranking Commission rejection decision Remote or in Bruxelles Quick Information Letter Applicants are informed of the Commission decision Commission funding decision

11 Basic facts and figures
Evaluation of proposals Basic facts and figures Funding decisions are based on peer review of research proposals Peer review can also “add value” to projects High quality evaluators are at the core of the system Over experts registered for FP7 in the old database Over experts registered in the new database (Expert Area in the Participant Portal) Over independent experts engaged in 2011 Approx proposals evaluated in 2011

12 Evaluation Process: basic principles

13 Three References Evaluation of proposals
RULES Submission & Evaluation Rules on submission and evaluation The common reference for FP7 Consistency vs flexibility! Guide for applicants (annexes 1 and 2) The work programme The topics and criteria against which the proposals will be judged Guide for Applicants Call X Funding Scheme Y Annual Work Programme

14 Some basic misconceptions clarified
Evaluation of proposals Some basic misconceptions clarified The EU’s peer review system is not a political process Lobbying has no influence Quality of the proposal is the sole criterion for success However, “quality” involves a number of factors

15 Role of Commission/REA staff
Evaluation of proposals Role of Commission/REA staff Check the eligibility of proposals Oversee work of experts Conduct briefings Moderate discussions Organise the panel and its work Ensure coherence and consistency May advise on: Background on previously supported or on-going projects Relevant supplementary information (directives, regulations, policies, etc.) (Can even act as experts!)

16 Eligibility checks Evaluation of proposals
Receipt of proposal before deadline Firm deadlines (SEP) Minimum number of eligible, independent partners As set out in work programme and the call Completeness of proposal Presence of all requested forms and readable, accessible and printable "In scope" vs "Out of scope" Others

17 Expert selection Evaluation of proposals Based on:
A high level of expertise An appropriate range of competences If the above conditions can be satisfied, then also: Balance academic/industrial Gender Geography Rotation But also, of course constrained by: Availability Avoidance of conflicts of interest Uncertainty over number and exact coverage of proposals Not an easy process…!!!

18 FP7 Expert from this area
Number of experts having supported the EC in FP7 by country Country Number of Experts (participation) Greece EL 646 Romania RO 365 Hungary HU 311 Bulgaria BG 165 Slovenia SI 163 Slovakia SK 95 Croatia HR 76 Serbia RS 62 Macedonia MK 8 Bosnia and Herzegovina BA 5 Moldova MD 3 Number of experts registered in the EMPP by country Country Migrated Valid Bosnia and Herzegovina BA 8 Bulgaria BG 204 162 Croatia HU 115 89 Greece HR 914 687 Hungary 297 Macedonia MK 25 21 Moldova MD 16 12 Romania RO 464 361 Serbia RS 101 78 Slovakia SK 121 94 Slovenia SI 166 123

19 Conflicts of interest (1)
Expert selection Conflicts of interest (1) More clarity in FP7 Types of COI set out in appointment letter Disqualifying COI Involved in preparation of proposal Stands to benefit directly Close family relationship Director/trustee/partner Employee (but, see exception…) Member of advisory group Any other situation that compromises impartiality Potential COI Employed in last 3 years Involved in research collaboration in previous 3 years Any other situation that casts doubt… or that could reasonably appear to do so…

20 Conflicts of interest (2)
Expert selection Conflicts of interest (2) Experts with a “disqualifying” COI cannot evaluate Neither in consensus group considering “problematic” proposal Nor in final panel One exception… if: The expert is employed in same organisation, but different department/lab/institute (e.g. CNRS) The constituent bodies operate with a high degree of autonomy Justified by the limited pool of qualified experts … then the Commission/REA might allow expert to participate in a panel review Should abstain if the specific proposal is discussed Exceptionally (very rare!!!), might participate in consensus group Experts with a “potential” COI Need to consider circumstances of case

21 The evaluation criteria
1. S/T quality (in relation to the topics addressed by the call) 2. Implementation 3. Impact Sound concept, and quality of objectives Appropriateness of the management structure and procedures Quality and relevant experience of the individual participants Contribution, at the European and / or international level, to the expected impacts listed in the work programme under the relevant topic / activity

22 The evaluation criteria
Some exceptions Marie-Curie schemes for training and mobility of researchers Include, e.g. quality of training programme, suitability of host institution, etc. European Research Council (ERC) grants Scientific quality only criterion Excellence!!!

23 Each criterion is scored 0-5
Proposal scoring Each criterion is scored 0-5 Half-scores allowed Whole range should be considered Scores must pass thresholds if a proposal is to be considered for funding Thresholds apply to individual criteria: Default threshold is 3 … and to the total score Higher than the sum of the individual thresholds Default threshold is 10 Can vary from call to call!

24 Interpretation of the scores
Proposal scoring Interpretation of the scores 0 - The proposal fails to address the criterion under examination or cannot be judged due to missing or incomplete information 1 - Poor. The criterion is addressed in an inadequate manner, or there are serious inherent weaknesses. 2 - Fair. While the proposal broadly addresses the criterion, there are significant weaknesses. 3 - Good. The proposal addresses the criterion well, although improvements would be necessary. 4 - Very Good. The proposal addresses the criterion very well, although certain improvements are still possible. 5 - Excellent. The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion in question. Any shortcomings are minor.

25 Individual reading Evaluation process
The experts evaluators first carry out individual readings (often done remotely) The experts: Evaluate the proposal individually (without discussing with the other evaluators) Check whether the proposal is “in scope” second check after the one done by the EC Complete an Individual Evaluation Report (IER) giving scores and comments on all criteria Scores should be in line with comments

26 IER Individual Evaluation Report
Evaluation process May be remote Proposal 1 IER Individual Evaluation Report Expert A Consensus meeting Consensus: Scores & comments Proposal 1 IER Expert B Proposal 1 HEARING (optional) CR Consensus Report IER Expert C One proposal can be evaluated by more than 3 experts

27 Consensus Evaluation process
Build on the basis of the individual assessments of all the evaluators Usually involves a discussion Moderated by a Commission/ REA representative Agreement on consensus scores and comments for each of the criteria One expert acts as rapporteur

28 Consensus reports – key points
Evaluation process Consensus reports – key points The rapporteur is responsible for drafting the consensus report (CR) Includes consensus marks and comments The quality of the CR is paramount The aim is A clear assessment of the proposal, with justification Clear feedback on weaknesses and strengths To be avoided Comments that do not correspond with the scores Recommendations in view of resubmission A proof reader might be appointed for quality control

29 Hearings Evaluation process
Co-ordinators whose proposals have passed the thresholds are invited to Brussels Intended to clarify any points raised by the experts in advance Not an occasion to “improve” the proposal Not an occasion for a multi-media show!

30 The final Panel Review Evaluation process
Key function is to ensure consistency Final marks and comments for each proposal Evaluation Summary reports (ESR) New scores (if necessary)… carefully justified Clear guidance for contract negotiation Split proposals with identical consensus scores Approach is spelled out in WP and GFA Resolve cases where a minority view was recorded in CR [Exceptionally] recommendations for combining List of proposals for priority order

31 “Initial information” to applicants Sending of ESR
Information to proposers “Initial information” to applicants Sending of ESR The Commission/REA does not change the ESR, except if necessary to: Improve readability [Exceptionally] To remove factual errors or inappropriate comments that may have escaped earlier proof-reading The scores are never changed The ESR is sent to the proposal co-ordinator – no commitments at this stage regarding funding This is the public face of the evaluation!

32 Redress? Appeal In the past, complaints arrived haphazardly
Handled at different levels No systematic treatment No common record The redress procedure introduced for FP7 does not give a new right of appeal…… but it ensures a consistent and coherent approach to complaints Establishes “due process” Uphold principles of transparency and equal treatment

33 Redress: Principles and guidelines
Appeal Redress: Principles and guidelines Redress will not “stop the train” Non-contentious proposals negotiated and selected as normal Complaints must relate to shortcomings in the handling of proposal evaluation Before a Commission decision has been made The procedure will not call into question the judgement of appropriately qualified experts

34 Independent observers
Monitoring Independent observers Provide assurance that the process is fair And can provide constructive advice Not experts in the scientific area concerned Their reports are made available to the Programme Committee IOs are convened annually to a Round Table What are the common issues?

35 Commission/REA follow-up
Evaluation process Commission/REA follow-up Evaluation summary reports sent to applicants Draw up final ranking lists Information to the Programme Committee Contract negotiation Formal consultation of Programme Committee (when required) Commission decisions Survey of evaluators Independent Observers’ reports

36 Expert questionnaire Survey
For every call, experts receive a message on returning home Invited to complete an on-line survey Personal profile Evaluation process Evaluation criteria Opinion on the task and the other evaluators Logistics Comments and recommendations Early results sent to call co-ordinator after one month Full analysis at end of the year

37 Survey 96% of the respondents found the quality of the evaluation overall 'satisfactory' to 'excellent'

38 Survey 91% found the EU evaluation process similar or better than national or international schemes

39 Links EU research:
7th Framework Programme: Information on research activity and projects: Questions? Contact the Research Enquiry Service 39 39

40 Thank you for your attention!
Dr. Sebastiano FUMERO Head of Unit “FP7 Support” European Commission Research Executive Agency Tel:

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