The French National Research Agency Projects for science

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Projects and ResultsWork Programme 2015Evaluation – Stage 1

The evaluation process, details of stage 1

The first stage consists in submitting a pre-proposal containing relatively summarised information. The pre-proposal file contains 5 pages at the most and is structured to allow pre-selection of the projects according to three criteria:

  1. Originality of the concept / subject / problem (significance of the subject, ability to generate results, potential progress in the area, ambition, novelty, disruptive potential)
  2. Relevance with respect to the orientations of the call for proposals (link with the scientific fields of the major challenges, compatibility with scientific priorities, etc.)
  3. Consistency of the pre-proposal with respect to the project objectives (quality of the consortium, consistency of the requested funding, etc.)

An overall view within each challenge

A mapping of the pre-proposals submitted for each challenge is established taking into account the information provided by the applicants. ANR presents this mapping to each Scientific Challenge Steering Committee (CPSD in French) which validates it.

The pre-proposals are evaluated by the Pre-Proposal Evaluation Panels (CEP in French). Within each challenge concerned and in view of the generic call for proposals, the members of the panel fill out individual evaluation reports in which each of the three evaluation criteria is rated on a scale of 0 to 5 with a short written argued comment for each criterion. Each member thus produces a relative ranking of the portfolio of pre-proposals he/she has to evaluate.

ANR examines all the evaluations received within each challenge in order to identify any conflicting evaluations. Conflicting evaluations are examined at a restricted meeting of the Scientific Evaluation Panel (CES in French) to determine whether or not it is appropriate to keep them.

On the basis of the ratings assigned by the individual evaluations, the pre-proposals are ranked in accordance with the mapping validated by each Scientific Challenge Steering Committee. The members of the Steering Committees thus have an overall view of the submitted pre-proposals. On the basis of the ranking resulting from the ratings given by the Pre-Proposal Evaluation Panels, they define selection thresholds within the mapping and thereby validate the list of selected pre-proposals.

On account of budget constraints, a large proportion of ANR's actions were transferred in 2014 to a two-stage selection process through the generic call for proposals, but without changing their scope. For the scientific community, the added value of this system is that the first stage requires less preparation, with the prospect of a much higher success rate in the second stage with a "target" success rate of 30 to 40% for the projects selected from the first evaluation stage.


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