After submitting a proposal, the project Co-ordinator receives an Acknowledgement of Receipt confirming that the proposal has been received by the Commission. The Commission can sometimes make recommendations for changes neede to fulfil the minimum criteria, if the proposal has been submitted some weeks before the deadline. Each proposal is sent to a select group of external experts who will carry out an unbiased and confidential evaluation according to a basic set of criteria. Each criterion will give a 1-5 rating and an Evaluation Summary Report is sent to the Co-ordinator stating whether the proposal should be recommended for funding or not.
|4.2 Receiving the project proposals
When the proposal is received by the Commission, the Commission's staff check to see that all forms are complete and all the necessary signatures are inserted. The Commission can sometimes, when time permits, but not always, contact the Project Co-ordinator to ask for missing data.
When the Commission has received a complete project proposal, an Acknowledgement of Receipt form is signed, dated and sent back to the Co-ordinator within three weeks. This is the official confirmation that the proposal has been received.
The next step for the Commission is to examine each proposal and eliminate those which do not fulfil the minimum criteria, such as SME eligibility, number of partners, budget conditions, etc. If a proposal is rejected at this stage, the Project Co-ordinator is informed as soon as possible.
Note that the Commission only has the possibility of informing about necessary changes in a proposal if it is submitted a couple of weeks before the deadline.
|4.3 Selection of external experts
In order to match each proposal with competent external evaluators, the Commission's personnel read the summaries and group the proposals according to their technical contents. Once the proposals have been filed, evaluators can start their work. It is important to note that the Commission's staff do not evaluate the scientific and technical contents of any proposal.
External independent experts are chosen by the Commission from a list of contacts provided by national members of the Programme Committees. To avoid having the same experts for each evaluation, experts are interchanged regularly. The role of the Commission official in the evaluation process is to prepare and co-ordinate the work to be carried out by the experts selected. The role of the experts is to evaluate the scientific, technical and economic content of the project proposals.
To select the most suitable evaluators for the evaluation, Commission officials examine the curriculum vitae of each potential expert. Experts having any links with the proposers are automatically excluded. The complete list of potential experts is made available to the CRAFT Programme Committee but is never made public. All experts have to sign a confidentiality agreement before they are allowed to start working.
|4.4 Proposal evaluation, rating and selection
The proposal evaluation is confidential and is carried out by a panel of independent experts. During the evaluation process copies of each proposal are kept under lock and key. After the evaluation is concluded, the copies of rejected proposals are destroyed.
In order to compare different proposals and to make the evaluation process as fair and impartial as possible, the experts are given a basic set of criteria for evaluating, examining and rating the proposals. For more detailed information on these criteria and how to write a proposal, see chapter 2.
Each criterion will give a rating on a 1-5 scale, where 5 is very good and 1 is very poor.
The rating, as well as additional remarks and recommendations made by the evaluators, leads to one of the following four recommendations:
Very good Recommended for funding (Sometimes with slight modifications)
Good Well prepared, some changes are required
Work needed Proposals which can be considered (possibly with substantial changes) only if funding is available
Not retained Proposals which are deemed not acceptable
On the basis of the evaluation, the ratings, the recommendations and - where applicable - consultations with the Programme Committee, the Commission makes a final decision on whether the proposal should be recommended for funding or not. This is summarised in an Evaluation Summary Report.
The Commission will then send a letter to the Project Co-ordinator with informating about the outcome of the evaluation. Attached to this letter is the Evaluation Summary Report.
In the case of rejected proposals, the reasons for rejection are given. This enables the proposers to resubmit the application with modifications taking into account the Evaluation Summary Report.
The final decision for funding is made by the Commission after contract negotiations. For further information on contract negotiations with the Commission, see section 6.