FP7 Space Research Proposal evaluation and role of the REA European Commission REA S2 Space Research

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1 FP7 Space Research Proposal evaluation and role of the REA Christine Bernot Head of Unit European Commission REA S2 Space Research Rome, 20/09/2012

2 Overview 1. REA mission REA activities & Space Research Role of REA & EC GMES - SSF - Cross-cutting budget 2. Understanding the evaluation process Evaluation roadmap for the call FP7-SPACE Evaluation process ESA input 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Eligibility Evaluation criteria Additional explanations and hints Where to find relevant information

3 1. REA mission REA = Research Executive Agency Created by EC decision to externalise programme management - Separate legal entity with its own administrative budget - Implementing part of FP7 using EC budget lines - Controlled by the European Commission (steering committee) - Director and HoU seconded from the EC The REA implements some actions: o Space and Security actions (Cooperation) o SME-specific actions (Capacities) o Marie Curie actions (People) The REA provides also horizontal services across all programmes (evaluation facility, validation of beneficiaries, FP7 enquiry service)

4 Space Research at the REA The REA Space Research unit is responsible for implementing the part of the Space work programme dedicated to co-financing research projects In practice it means: Organising and being responsible for the evaluation Negotiating projects, preparing and signing financial and legal commitments Monitoring projects progress, dealing with contractual issues Checking on the use of resources and making payments Implementing audit results

5 REA & EC The European Commission s role in FP7 Space research Policy work remains within the Commission - DG Enterprise (ENTR) > this includes the definition of the Space work programme DG ENTR finances directly specific topics identified in the work programme (e.g. development of the Space component of GMES) Space Research budget: 1.43 billion around 640 externalised to REA

6 Interaction REA.S2 - ENTR.H2 Smooth cooperation on evaluation, negotiation, project implementation, dissemination... DG ENTR Work programme definition Dealing with Programme Committee (PC) Presentation of the WP and support to applicants Presentation to PC Inter-Services Consultation Commission selection Decision Development of WP, publication on projects, organisation of conferences REA Guides for applicants, Call publication Organising the evaluation Support to applicants Evaluation of proposals Reporting on evaluation outcome Negotiations process End of negotiations Financial commitment and signature of grant agreement Information on projects, success stories, contributions to conferences & publications

7 EU funding per activity (and call) CC 7% SSF 38% M 141, GMES 55% M 121,8 M 107,3 GMES SSF M 285,6 M 193, M 54,6 M 89,1 CC M 35,5 Total: M 514,8 204 projects FP7-SPACE FP7-SPACE FP7-SPACE FP7-SPACE FP7-SPACE

8 FP7-SPACE evaluation results evaluated proposals Evaluated proposals successful Selected proposals GMES SSF CC

9 2. Understanding the evaluation process Evaluation roadmap for the call FP7-SPACE Evaluation process ESA input

10 2. Understanding the evaluation process Evaluation roadmap for the call FP7-SPACE Call publication: 10 July 2012 Call closure / submission deadline: 21 November 2012 at 17:00:00 Selection of experts: June- Sept 2012 Eligibility checks and allocation of experts to proposals: December 2012 Evaluation: December 2012 February 2013 Information to coordinators: March 2013 Start of negotiations: April 2013

11 2. Understanding the evaluation process Selection procedure - Main actors Experts: evaluate proposal in an individual manner and then agree on marks and comments during consensus meetings Moderators: REA/EC staff moderating discussions during consensus meetings Rapporteurs: read but do not evaluate proposals, draft consensus reports, support the harmonisation process (consistency between comments and marks) Panel of experts: examine and compare consensus reports in a given area, check consistency, recommend priority order of proposals if necessary Independent observers: assess the evaluation and report on the conduct & fairness of the evaluation

12 2. Understanding the evaluation process Overview FP7 selection procedure remote using IT tool Brussels Brussels Submission Individual reading Consensus Panel Finalisation Full Proposal Proposal forms Evaluators Criteria Evaluators Rapporteur Moderated by REA Evaluators Moderated by REA Criteria Final ranking list Rejection list Eligibility Criteria Proposals in suggested priority order REA External experts EC

13 2. Understanding the evaluation process Evaluation procedure for each proposal Individual reading Proposal X copy 1 Proposal X copy 2 IER expert 1 IER expert 2 Consensus meeting CR (+EIR?) 3 experts Proposal X copy 3 IER expert 3 Note: There may be more than 3 expert evaluators IER=Individual evaluation report CR=Consensus Report EIR=Ethics Issues Report

14 2. Understanding the evaluation process Guiding principles Objectivity o Each proposal is evaluated as it is written Transparency o Evaluation experts make their judgment against the official evaluation criteria, and nothing else Consistency o The same standard of judgment is applied to each proposal (including resubmitted proposals)

15 2. Understanding the evaluation process Selection of experts Minimum 3 experts per proposal Initial selection of experts based on topics of the work programme (June to September 2012) - taking into account geographical and gender balance, types of organisation, broad coverage of areas of expertise Final selection of experts based on proposal received (end November) - taking into account expertise and avoiding conflict of interest (e.g. remove experts if their organisation participate to a proposal) Experts mainly from EU MS and associated countries, but can be any other country (eg USA). Each evaluation 40 to 50% of new experts If you want to become an evaluation expert yourself register through the participant portal When describing your areas of expertise, use the keywords of the work programme and keep your profile up-to-date!

16 ESA input DG ENTR works closely with ESA on the development of the Space policy and its implementation through FP7 ESA does not participate in FP7 Space projects ESA is involved in the evaluation process by providing comments on potential duplication with their programmes. Finally, ESA may provide experts with the role of reviewers for running projects

17 3. Key highlights on proposa preparation Eligibility Evaluation criteria Additional explanations and hints

18 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Eligibility A proposal is eligible if: 1. Received before the deadline (seconds count!) 2. Minimum conditions for participation met o o At least 3 independent legal entities from 3 Member states or Associated countries Other conditions in the work programme met (e.g. maximum requested EU contribution respected, presence of SMEs) 3. Complete o Requested administrative forms + proposal description (readable, accessible and printable) 4. (At least partially) in scope of topic(s) and funding scheme Ineligible proposals are not evaluated Ineligibility can also be discovered later during evaluation

19 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation EU Member States and FP7 Associated Countries EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. FP7 Associated Countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Faroe Islands, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Israel, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia, Switzerland and Turkey.

20 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation International cooperation Third country participants Third countries may participate in FP7 activities If the minimum conditions in FP7 Rules for Participation & the Work Programme are met. 1) International Cooperation Partner Countries (ICPCs) (complete list: ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/docs/icpc-list.pdf). - eligible to receive EU funding. - they can be the coordinator 2) High-income countries - all the countries not included in the ICPC list and not associated to FP7. - e.g. USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. - eligible to receive EU financial contribution if certain conditions are met: 1. if funding is provided for in a bilateral scientific agreement or 2. if clear provisions are included in the work programme/call for proposals NB: NASA has signed a specific agreement with EC for FP7 Space Programme

21 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Evaluation criteria 1. Scientific and/or technological Excellence (relevant to the topics addressed by the call) 2. Quality and efficiency of the implementation and the management 3. The potential impact through the development, dissemination and use of project results Collaborative projects (NO CSA in 2013 Call) Soundness of concept, and quality of objectives Progress beyond the state-of-the-art Quality and effectiveness of the S/T methodology and associated work plan Appropriateness of the management structure and procedures Quality and relevant experience of the individual participants Quality of the consortium as a whole (including complementarity, balance) Appropriateness of the allocation and justification of the resources to be committed (staff, equipment, ) The evaluation experts use assessment forms with these questions Contribution, at the European and/or international level, to the expected impacts listed in the work programme under relevant topic/activity Appropriateness of measures for the dissemination and/or exploitation of project results, and management of intellectual property.

22 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Evaluation criteria Or in other words.

23 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation What are the experts looking for Scientific and/or technological Excellence Objectives should be focused (what do you want to achieve in this project?) and clearly linked to the call topic. Progress beyond the State of the Art should be up-to-date! (be careful if resubmission...) Methodology and work plan: include risk analysis & contingency plans

24 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation What are the experts looking for Implementation & Management Management structure & procedures: Include decision making & conflict resolution Quality & relevant experience of individual participants Quality of the consortium: complementarities & balance Allocation of resources: should be explained and justified o How is the totality of the necessary resources mobilised o Will the resources be integrated in a coherent way o Is the overall financial plan adequate for the project Subcontracting: no core tasks - no predefined subcontractors Must be described and an estimated budget provided If third parties involved described their role!

25 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation What are the experts looking for Impact, Dissemination and IPR Contribution to the expected impact listed in the work programme under the relevant topic/activity Dissemination and exploitation of project results How this will increase the impact? What are the targeted audiences of the activities? Management of intellectual property: Which existing knowledge is needed for the project? How this existing knowledge will be available to the partners?

26 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Scores and meaning 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. Scores with half points are possible Individual criteria threshold: 3 Total score threshold: 10

27 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Presence of SMEs The expertise of the SMEs should be clearly highlighted and their work well linked to the activities: part of the quality of the consortium Can be an added value for the exploitation of results and thus the impact Potential criterion taken into account if prioritisation is needed between proposals Rule: no special evaluation criterion Exception: Topic 3.1-1: mandatory SME participation!

28 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Type of activities Collaborative projects (CP) o RTD (Research and Technology Development) Including Scientific and Technical coordination o Demonstration: key aspects for projects demonstrating that they are close to market/users o Management: Overall legal, ethical, financial and administrative management Scientific technical coordination under RTD o Other activities e.g. IPR issues, training and dissemination (including publications)

29 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Gender aspects In the consortium, promote mixed teams at all level (Work Packages, Work Package leaders, steering committees, advisory boards...) Check if gender may be a factor to be taken into account in your research (e.g. users) Proactive activities to promote gender equality in your project or field of research (e.g. specific events) Gender toolkit available at

30 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Ethics issues Highlight in the proposal any ethics issues, e.g. - data protection issues (privacy) - Dual use: research having direct military use or the potential for terrorist abuse New enhanced ethics issues procedure Rules for submission, evaluation, selection, award Pre-screening by evaluators Flagged proposals go through Ethical Review (body of independent ethics experts) = > implementation of requirements at negotiation stage

31 3. Key highlights on proposal preparation Put yourself in the shoes of the experts Understand the work programme topic and address its essential spirit o A proposal fully out of scope is ineligible o A proposal partially out of scope will score low Respect requirements and instructions in the work programme (e.g. maximum amount of requested EU funding, SME participation) and check the Guide for Applicants (e.g. page limits). Proposers need to convince the evaluation experts o They are under time pressure during both the individual evaluation and the consensus meeting o Make it easy for them to find the answers in your proposals to the questions to assess the proposal against the evaluation criteria o They must justify their marks, give them evidence. o Avoid inconsistencies in the proposal to make a good impression. o Evaluators are instructed to look at the substance, not the presentation, but a careful presentation helps.

32 Where to find relevant information Relevant reference documents FP7 Legal basis documents generally applicable Decision on the Framework Programme Rules for Participation /find-doc_en.html Legal documents for implementation Rules for submission, evaluation, selection, award REA grant agreement Rules on verification of existence, legal status, operational and financial capacity Guidance documents Ethics issues: Negotiation Guidance Notes Guide to Financial Issues Ethics check list Supporting documents Guide to IPR Checklist for the Consortium Agreement Templates for Description of Work Call documents: Participant portal

33 Where to find relevant information Relevant information sources Participant Portal: CORDIS: More background documents on Call-specific questions (up to 2 weeks before deadline): General FP7 related questions: Specialised and technical assistance efp7 Service Desk: EPSS Help desk: IPR help desk: Ethics help desk: National Contact Points:

34 Thank you for your attention! REA Research Executive Agency COV Brussels Belgium site 16 Place Rogier 1210 Brussels Copyright Close Comfort

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