Application, Evaluation and Selection Process
Stage 1: Call and Application:
The applicants might submit their application through the open call links available in DIGI+ webpage. All applications will be checked for completeness and eligibility. Once all checks are performed, applicants will receive feedback on whether their application is progressing to the next stages.
Stage 2: Evaluation and Interview
The DIGI+ Ethical Review Committee (REC) will review all potential ethics issues arising from eligible proposals by checking that ethical issues have been adequately addressed by the applicant. The DIGI+ REC will be composed of 5 members, nominated and agreed by NUIM and DIGI+ implementation partners.
Each application will be reviewed remotely by the members of the international, independent peer review panel.
Interviews will be held within 4 weeks from the invitation for interview and will be held face-to-face where feasible, or alternatively through video / remote Teams call following the NUIM recruitment and selection procedures.
Stage 3: Funding Decision
The selection committee will endorse the final funding decision based on recommendations of the members of the international, independent peer review panel and the interview panel.
Criteria for the selection
DIGI+ will use the three sub criteria for selection including 1) Excellence; 2) Impact; and 3) Implementation. The details for these criteria have been summarise as follows:
- Quality and pertinence of the project’s research and innovation objectives (and the extent to which they are ambitious, and go beyond the state of the art).
- Soundness of the proposed methodology (including interdisciplinary approaches, consideration of the gender dimension and diversity aspects, and the quality of proposed open science and data management practices.
- Quality of the supervision, training plan and of the two-way transfer of knowledge between the researcher and the host.
- Quality and appropriateness of the researcher’s professional experience, competences and skills.
- Credibility of the measures to enhance the career perspectives and employability of the researcher and contribution to his/her skills development.
- Suitability and quality of the measures to maximise expected outcomes and impacts, as set out in the dissemination and exploitation plan, including communication activities.
- Feasibility and quality of the measures to sustain and scale research, as set out in the funding plan and related activities.
- Alignment of the proposed research to support the EU Sustainabllity goals, Digital Europe Programme, Regional Development and Policy making.
3. Quality and efficiency of the implementation
- Quality and effectiveness of the work plan, training and funding plan, assessment of risks and appropriateness of the effort assigned to work packages.
- Quality and capacity of the proposed host institution and participating organisations, including hosting arrangements, IP arrangements and secondment objectives.
- Quality and Alignment of personal career development goals and plan with the proposed research, funding, exploitation and training plan.
The evaluation is on a 5-point scale; 0 (very poor) to 5 (excellent) for each of the 3-evaluation criterion. In cases where proposals have exactly the same score, they will be ordered on the ranked lists following the priority.
0 Very Poor. Proposal fails to address the criterion or cannot be assessed due to missing data.
1 Poor. The criterion is inadequately addressed, or there are fundamental weaknesses.
2 Fair. Proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant gaps.
3 Good. Proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of flaws are present.
4 Very Good. Proposal addresses well the criterion, but a small number of flaws are present.
5 Excellent. Proposal addresses all relevant aspects of criterion, and any shortcomings are minor.
The evaluation criteria are weighted differently, and the set of weightings shown below will be applied to the scores provided for each of the criterion. The priority outlined below will be used to rank applications that achieve exactly the same score. If the priority in the case of ex aequo measure does not resolve the situation, then all concerned proposals will go through to the next selection stage. There will be no thresholds per individual evaluation criterion.
Weighting of Scores:
Overall threshold of 70% applied to total weighted score.
Excellence 50% ( Priority in case of ex aequo 1)
Impact 30% ( Priority in case of ex aequo 2)
Implementation 20% ( Priority in case of ex aequo 3)
- The final mark for the applicant will be composed equally from the peer review of the written proposal (50%) and the interview (50%) (with priority in case of ex aequo)
- The final score will be between 0 (min) and 10 (max) with an inbuilt overall threshold of 7 (70%)
- Highest scoring candidates above the threshold will be included in a ranked list of 10 candidates per call for funding approval by the DIGI+ SC, plus up to 10 remaining applicants scoring above threshold laced on a reserve list.
Remote reviewers and interview panel members consider any career breaks from research a candidate may have taken, particularly when considering the candidate’s publication record (particularly relevant for applicants returning to research following a career break and researcher at risk applicants).