Selection Process


Exploratory Research Space aims to make transparent and dependable funding decisions. This requires an appropriate evaluation process and an adequate selection of reviewers. In selecting ERS projects for funding, a well-defined code of conduct is adhered to. This code of good practice has been defined by ERS, generally following the Code of Good Practice published by Volkswagen Foundation. Reviewers have to adhere to this code of good practice.


Review / Evaluation Process

Schematic representation of the ERS Review Process Copyright: © ERS Schematic representation of the selection process

First, the ERS Management Team will check whether the application for funding fulfills the criteria published in the call for application. In this context, interdisciplinarity is of particular importance, i.e. at least two faculties have to contribute to the research projects. Also, maximum length in terms of number of pages will be checked.

Two supervisors from the ERS Selection Committee will be assigned to projects. The chosen supervisors are expected to be unbiased, and they should have a background in a field which is closely related to that of the assigned project.

The selection of the reviewers is done by the supervisors. Those involve one or more reviewers from the research area of the project under review. Thus, there will be at least two reviews for each application, which facilitating a reliable and comprehensive assessment.


Code of Conduct

  1. 1
    Excellence: The aim of the project evaluation is to judge the scientific excellence of the proposal
  2. 2
    Absence of bias: All applications are assessed equally.
  3. 3
    Transparency: Nominations for funding follow a standardized assessment process. Applicants receive feedback on the results of the evaulation.
  4. 4
    Quality: The review process is conducted following high quality standards, comparable to other national and review processes.
  5. 5
    Confidentiality: All proposals and the knowledge, data, and documents contained therein will be kept in the strictest confidentiality.
  6. 6
    Ethics and Integrity: Proposals which fall short of the University's ethical standards will not be considered.

Project proposals with a volume of up to 60,000 euros will be evaluated in a university-internal review process. For project proposals with a volume between 60,000 and 90,000 euros, the assigned supervisors from the ERS Selection Committee decide whether the review process will be conducted by internal or external expert reviewers. Projects with a volume above 90,000 euro will be evaluated by external reviewers.

The ERS Management Team collects the anonymized reviews and creates an overview of all evaluations. If both supervisors of the selection committee have strong reservations about the quality of the proposal, an evaluation is not conducted upon agreement with the ERS Steering Committee. In this case both supervisors issue a short evaluation, in which the most significant critical points are summarized. The ERS Selection Committee draws on these anonymous evaluations when deliberating on which projects are to be recommended for funding.

The Rector's Office has the final decision making authority and decides on which projects will receive funding.


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