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The 'FP6 step by step' section is a structured walk- through of what FP6 participation entails.
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Evaluation by independent experts

Reference documents and sites

 Basic principles for evaluation of FP6 proposals

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The processes for evaluating proposals rest on a number of well-established principles common to all proposals:

  • Quality: projects selected for funding must demonstrate a high scientific, technical and managerial quality in the context of the objectives of the RTD programme in question.
  • Transparency: the process of reaching decisions on the proposals must be clearly described and available to any interested party.
  • Equality of treatment: all proposals will be treated alike, irrespective of where they originate or the identity of the proposers.
  • Impartiality: all proposals are treated impartially on their merits.
  • Efficiency and speed: the procedures have been designed to be as rapid as possible.
  • Ethical consideration: any proposal which contravenes fundamental ethical principles may be excluded from being evaluated or selected at any time.

  Evaluation criteria

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Proposals are evaluated against a set of criteria. This set varies between instruments and can also be further specified for each thematic priority or activity. The place to look for the actual set of criteria for a given Call for Proposals is the Work Programme (in annex B).


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Eligible proposals are evaluated by the Commission, assisted by independent experts (peer review). For choosing experts, the Commission has three sources:

  • A call for candidatures, whereby individual experts can register in a database of potential evaluators
  • A call for research organisations, where these organisations may recommend lists of experts as potential evaluators
  • Direct selection of any individual with the appropriate skills from outside the lists obtained through the above-mentioned calls

The lists of individuals for a given evaluation session take into account an appropriate balance between academic and industrial expertise and users, a reasonable gender balance and a reasonable distribution of geographical origins of independent experts.

  Proposal evaluation

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Each proposal is evaluated against the applicable criteria independently by at least three experts (five minimum for Integrated Project and Network of Excellence) who fill in individual evaluation forms giving marks and providing comments. For each proposal a consensus report is prepared.

A panel discussion may be convened, if necessary, to examine and compare the consensus reports and marks in a given area, to review the proposal with respect to each other and, in specific cases to make recommendations on a priority order and/or on possible clustering or combination of proposals. The panel discussion may include hearing with the proposers on specific issues.

The coordinator of each proposal receives the Evaluation Summary Report. It reflects the consensus reached between the independent experts as well as the panel results on each block of criteria as well as providing overall comments and final score for the proposal.

  Two-stage submission and evaluation procedure

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For certain instruments in certain calls, the Commission uses a two-stage procedure, where in a first stage only a short outline proposal has to be submitted. This outline proposal will be evaluated against a restricted set of core evaluation criteria (defined in the work programme). Only proposals passing all thresholds in the first-stage evaluation are invited to submit a full proposal that is then evaluated against the full set of criteria.

  Reference documents and sites:

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