The selection and evaluation process will contain the following stages:
- Eligibility check – selection of eligible applications
- Peer-review evaluation – assigned experts provide scores and feedback on applications
- Final selection
Stage 1. Eligibility check
Before the peer-review evaluation of the applications, all applications will be checked according to the eligibility criteria. The eligibility check will be checked by the Coordinator of the doctoral programme. In case applicants fail to meet the eligibility criteria and/or the application is incomplete, their application will be declared ineligible and will not be included in the peer-review evaluation.
Stage 2. Peer-review evaluation
The evaluation will be carried out by an independent Advisory board. The Advisory Board will be composed by the following representatives:
- Internationally distinguished researchers working in the main research areas of Biomechanical Engineering and Medical Physics
- A member of the Steering Committee, who will act as an Advisory Board Director will supervise if the selection of the experts follows the ‘Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researcher’.
To support the evaluation process a Guide for Evaluators was prepared giving detailed information about the selection criteria and the evaluation process. The guide can be found from the Documents page. Applications will be independently evaluated by 2-3 international experts with relevant expertise in the research area addressed in the research proposal.
The experts will review each application and will give scores based on three selection criteria. Applicants should therefore be outstanding in all three selection criteria:
- The excellence of the applicant (academic excellence, previous mobility)
- Quality of the research environment
- Scientific quality of the research proposal.
They will also review any ethical issues that might be raised within the research project involving research on animals and/or human subjects. The final score for each application will be calculated as the average of the total scores given by the 2-3 experts. Based on the decision of experts, only candidates who have passed all thresholds in their evaluation shall be shortlisted in the ranking list. All applicants who failed one of the thresholds shall be informed immediately that their application was not successful. Ranking list will be prepared by the Advisory Board Director according to the final scores. In case of serious complaints, the applications will be reviewed by the Steering committee, who (within two weeks) decides on whether the complaint is justified, in case this is within doubt then the members of the Steering committee might modify the score of the complaining applicant appropriately. This can happen only in serious cases and has to be approved by the Director of the programme. The results of the peer-review evaluation will be available approximately one month after the application deadline.
Stage 3. Interview
A maximum of 30 top-ranking applicants will be invited for an interview (via Skype), in order to get a better view on their motivation and background. The interviews will be performed by 2 members of the Steering Committee together with the prospective supervisor from the hosting institution. During the interview, attention will be paid to the ability of applicants to present their research project, their motivation, communication skills and English fluency. Based on these evaluations, the candidates will be ranked in a priority list.
Stage 4. Final selection
The priority list will be used to select the best 15 applicants and will be provided to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will perform a final review of the 15 top-ranked successful applicants and will assess if all the research focus areas covered by the doctoral programme are represented in a balanced way. The successful applicants will be immediately informed by e-mail about the decision and invited to sign an employment contract. All interviewed candidates will receive adequate feedback on their evaluation results. The following 5 candidates, who were shortlisted but not selected, will be informed that they are on the waiting list and that they will be informed about the final decision within 4-6 weeks. The remaining candidates are informed that they were not selected.
Selection of experts
External experts will be selected by the Steering Committee based on the following criteria:
- Research expertise in the field of biomedical engineering or medical physics, covering the BioMEP research areas
- Previous expertise in the evaluations of national and international funding programmes
- Reviewers come from European and international organizations
Special attention will be given to an adequate gender balance and selection of experts from both public and private sectors.
Ethical issues management. Compliance with the ethical principles of H2020
Confidentiality and non-disclosure:
When accepting the applications, all experts will be required to sign an agreement, declaring that they will follow the code of conduct for the experts and agree to maintain absolute confidentiality of applications and associated documents they have received.
Conflicts of interest:
All experts will be asked to declare if they have any conflict of interest in relation to the application that they are reviewing. In case such conflict is declared the expert cannot participate in the entire evaluation process.
Indirect conflict of interest can occur when the expert has some indirect ties to one of the applicants (same organization) or knows the applicants (from university/conferences/same co-authors, etc.). In this case, the application is assigned to another expert who has no conflicts of interest.