It is quite common that each proposal is reviewed by at least three independent expert having complementary knowledge and different nationalities. Since all information in a proposal is confidential it is important that evaluators and observers act confidentially and are obliged to report any potential conflict of interest immediately.

Usually, all funding organisations have already signed a NDA but if external experts/evaluators are involved they should sign a form provided by the network. As general rule, the evaluators have to confirm that there is no "conflict of interest". If a conflict exists, a clear definition of such a conflict is required

Download Link Non-disclosure agreement (NDA)

Finding suitable experts is a challenging task. A joint expert database can be established by exploiting national/regional expert databases, as well as European databases. Research funders participating in P2P initiatives have the possibility to request access to the EC database of experts for research activities and can use this pool of more than 90.000 qualified experts for evaluations.

Download a template for a letter to request for access to the European Commission database of experts

Evaluators are either concerned with compiling a list of proposals suitable for funding (i.e. outcome is a recommendation to the decision makers, possibly without any ranking of proposals) or they are also concerned with ranking the proposals according to the defined criteria (i.e. outcome is a recommended ranking list).

To allow flexibility categories such as "recommended for funding" and "recommended for funding, if funds are still available" vs. "not recommended for funding", i.e. a colour code (green-yellow-red) or similar might be helpful. Guidelines for evaluators provide evaluators and experts with the necessary information about the evaluation (process, criteria, thresholds, dates and deadlines) to perform their task properly. If scoring of criteria is involved, the guidelines must include precise instructions for allocating scores.

Download example for Guidelines for evaluators

The work of the evaluators usually starts with an individual assessment of the assigned proposals. Individual evaluation reporting forms are required. Evaluation results (scores, yes/no decision) will be accompanied by detailed comments explaining the evaluator's conclusion. Deadlines for returning the complete results shall be highlighted .

Download link example for Individual assessment form

Based on the individual evaluation reports, the evaluation panel prepares a consensus evaluation report as well as ranking (if needed). The final outcome of the evaluation is a list of proposals recommended for funding (ranked, grouped or both).

Download example for evaluation report

Advice for Co-funded European Partnerships: The selection procedure must be followed by an independent expert observer, who must make a report.

Advice for ERA-NET COFUND: The ERA-NET COFUND consortium must appoint an independent observer to confirm that rules for cofunded calls have been observed. Networks must agree on possible candidates with the EC project officers before appointing observers.
Download Link Guidelines for Independent Observers

Related Files

Non-disclosure agreement

The following templates can be used as basis for your own documentThe following templates can be used as basis for your own document
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Guidelines for Independent Observers for the co-funded call

The requirement to provide an independent observer’s report on the evaluation is mandatory for all EU co-funded joint calls including FP7 ERANET Plus projects, join ...
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