National Information Centre for European Research

Proposal Evaluation and Evaluators



The evaluation of a project proposal represents a turning point within the entire project lifecycle. At the end of the evaluation phase, applicants find out if their project succeeded in the international competition and get funding. Successful projects advance to the stage of grant agreement preparation. For rejected proposals, the journey ends.


In projects implemented within a consortium of researchers, applicants may encounter single-stage and two-stage calls.


Single-stage calls


Project proposals are evaluated based on three evaluation criteria: Excellence, Impact, and Quality and efficiency of the implementation. In general, each criterion is assessed on a scale of 0-5 points, with a resolution of half points. The necessary precondition for obtaining EU funding is reaching a threshold of at least three points for each of the criteria and ten points in total. However, since the competition of project proposals is fierce, reaching the threshold on its own usually does not guarantee that the project gets funded.  


Two-stage calls

In two-stage calls, a shortened version of the project proposal is submitted at the first stage, and only the criteria of excellence and impact are evaluated. For each of the criteria, at least four of the total five points must be achieved. In total, it is necessary to gain at least 8 or 8.5 points. In the second stage, successful applicants from the first stage submit the full version of the proposal.



For Innovation Actions, a higher weight (1.5) is assigned to the impact to determine the final ranking of the project proposals.



 Evaluations are carried out by independent experts selected by the Commission (first individually and subsequently in plenary in "consensus group" and "panel review"), who assign points and verbal comments to each of the criteria evaluated. Based on independent expert opinions, the Commission will select projects eligible for funding and projects on a reserve list.


Experts with relevant experience who are interested in the work of an evaluator can register and create their profile on the FTO Portal


Evaluation results

The evaluation phase, i.e., the time from closing the call to the evaluation results' receipt, is usually around five months for one-stage calls and 3 + 5 months for two-round calls. At the end of the evaluation process, all applicants are informed of the evaluation results by the EC (Evaluation Result Letter). Successful applicants are then invited to the preparation phase of the grant agreement.


Evaluation review procedure

 If the consortium believes that the evaluation procedure was flawed, the coordinator can submit a complaint. An evaluation review applies only to the procedural aspects of the evaluation, not to assess the merits of the proposal. A request for review must relate to a specific proposal and must be submitted within 30 days after the beneficiary access the evaluation results.




Right to react - pilot

In selected schemes (e.g., EIC Pathfinder), a rebuttal process will be piloted. Applicants will respond to individual evaluators' comments before a consensus is reached on the final scoring of the project proposal. The reaction of the applicant will be taken into account during the consensus.



Blind evaluation - pilot

In the first stage of two-stage calls, the concept of blind evaluation will be pilot-tested. The identity of the organizations involved in the project proposal will be anonymized. The blind evaluation aims to avoid bias and mistrust of applicants from countries with lower intensity of research.



*The evaluation of projects outside the second pillar of HE has its specifics, such as interviews with applicants in EIC and ERC actions.






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