The goal of GACR is to support scientific excellence across all fields of study. The evaluation process for Project Proposals is carried out according to criteria laid down in the relevant tender documentation on the basis of the “peer review” system and mutual comparison. The end goal is the maximization of professionalism, transparency and independence of evaluation. All project reviewers are bound by a strict Code of Conduct.
- At least two independent evaluations for each Project Proposal; if possible, two evaluations from abroad for Project Proposals proceeding to Phase 2 of the evaluation
- Those taking part in the evaluation process are bound by a Code of Conduct, which includes confidentiality and professionality; in the case of a conflict of interest, they are excluded from the evaluation of the given projects
- The length of the review period is set by law to be at most 8 months long.
Three levels of evaluation
In each phase, the Project is evaluated on three levels:
- 1. GACR Presidium – makes its final decisions on what Projects to fund on the basis of the recommendations of expert advisory bodies, the financial capabilities of GACR and the financial requirements of the Projects
- 2. Discipline Committees – expert advisory bodies per Law No. 130/2002 Sb.
- 3. Evaluation Panels – the expert bodies of discipline committees
PANEL MEMBER REQUIREMENTS
Become a panel member
1st phase of evaluation
1. Assigning Project Proposals to rapporteurs and evaluators
- The panel Chair and Vice-Chair name the principal rapporteur
- The supporting rapporteur and two evaluators are chosen at random by the GRIS app from a list of panellists who are not in any conflicts of interest
- Reviewers do not know which other panellists are going to review the same Project as they are and cannot discuss their evaluations
- In the case of interdisciplinary Projects, an additional third rapporteur is chosen from a secondary panel
2. Completing evaluations and Project classification
- Rapporteurs and evaluators study the Project proposal. Rapporteurs also complete their own, independent reviews
- Each panellist places their assigned Projects into one of four categories on the basis of quality via the GRIS app:
- A – top-quality Project Proposal, recommended for advancement into the second phase (max. 30 %)
- B – fair-quality Project Proposal, recommended for advancement into the second phase
- C – average or below-average Project Proposal, not recommended for advancement into the second phase (min. 30 %, including Cn)
- Cn – poor-quality Project (far below average)
3. Becoming acquainted with all assessments and evaluations before the panel meeting
- Each panel member gains access to all the Project Proposals in their panel through the GRIS app (with the exception of Project Proposals in relation to which they are in a conflict of interest)
- Each panel member becomes acquainted with all Project Proposals and their evaluations
- Appropriate foreign reviewers are chosen by the principal and supporting rapporteurs for Projects in the A and B categories
4. Project discussion at the Evaluation Phase 1
- During its meeting, the panel collectively assesses and discusses every Project Proposal and its evaluation and assigns it a grade (A, B, C or Cn) based on their consensus.
- Special attention is given to those Projects on whose grade the panel cannot agree.
- In the event of a panellist being in a conflict of interest in relation to a Project Proposal, they do not take part in the discussion about this Project and must leave the meeting room.
5. Assigning Projects categories based on quality
- The result of the panel meeting is the placement of Projects into categories. The total number of Projects placed into the A category is at most 25%, the number placed into the C and Cn categories is at least 50%
- For Projects placed into the C and Cn categories, an evaluation protocol must be written. The protocol contains, clearly stated, the conclusion of the Project’s collective evaluation by the panel.
- If the concluded evaluation of the panel is in opposition with one of the Rapporteur’s evaluation, the reason must be explained in the evaluation protocol.
6. Assigning external reviewers
- On the basis of recommendation by rapporteurs, the panel assigns external reviewers to each Project placed in the A or B categories, as well as discussing the order in which they will be asked for an evaluation.
7. Discipline Committee evaluation in the 1st phase
- Discipline Committee members become acquainted with the minutes of panel meetings, the evaluations of Rapporteurs, the placement of Proposals into the A, B, C and Cn categories by reviewers and with the suggested external reviewers
- Discipline Committees discuss and suggest the final placement of Projects into the A, B, C or Cn categories. Attention is given primarily to Projects placed in the C and Cn categories (Projects not recommended for advancement into the second phase of evaluation)
8. The role of the GACR Presidium in the first phase
- The GACR Presidium becomes acquainted with the evaluation results from the various Discipline Committees and approves them, if need be modifying the placement of Project Proposals in the various categories, as well as deciding on what Project Proposals, if any, to disqualify from the public call for not fulfilling the requirements of the relevant legal tender (this decision may be made throughout the evaluation period)
2nd phase of evaluation
9. Obtaining external reviews
- Evaluations are obtained for all Projects advancing into the second phase of evaluation from external reviewers with no connection to the Czech academic field, who were suggested in the first phase
10. Becoming acquainted with evaluations before the panel meeting
- Each panel member becomes acquainted with all evaluations (including external ones) before the panel meeting and independently uses the GRIS app to place all Project Proposals in the given panel which advanced into the 2nd phase of evaluation and in relation to which they are not in a conflict of interest into a category based on their quality
- a – top-quality Project, highly recommended for support (max. 30%)
- b – fair-quality Project, recommended for support
- c – average-quality Project, not recommended for support (min. 30%)
11. Discussion of Projects at the 2nd phase panel meeting (1/2)
- The panel once again discusses all the Project Proposals which advanced into the second phase of evaluation, agrees on their order and places them into one of three categories:
- Category A – recommended for funding (max. 25%)
- Category B – recommended for funding provided that there are enough funds
- Category C – not recommended for funding
- During this discussion, special attention is given to Projects whose previous individual classification was not unequivocal. Any potential conflict of interest is dealt with in the same manner as in the first phase.
12. Discussion of Projects at the 2nd phase panel meeting (2/2)
- If the panel agrees on a more critical evaluation than that of the external reviewers, the whole situation is commented on objectively and in detail in the evaluation report
- On the basis of discussion and mutual comparison of Project Proposals, the panel suggests an order of Projects in the A and B categories
- The results of the panel meeting and the suggested order of Projects are voted on by the panel and the results are written down in the evaluation report; the minutes of the meeting are recorded and serve as documentation for the Project evaluation report, which contains the panel’s stance
13. Discipline committee evaluation in the 2nd phase
- Before meeting, all Discipline Committee members become acquainted with the panel meetings’ minutes, the evaluations of external reviewers, the evaluation reports and the suggested ordering by the panels and the discipline committee
- The discipline committee discusses the Project Proposals and decides on the ordering of Project Proposals for each discipline committee. Should they change the Project order suggested by the relevant panel, they must justify this decision in the evaluation report of the given Project Proposal
14. The Presidium decides whether or not to finance the Project
- The Presidium, taking into account the suggestions of the discipline committees, makes the final decision on which Projects to finance. They discuss this in the presence of the Discipline Committee chairmen. After this, they decide and announce the results of the public call.
- The decision on which Projects to finance takes into account the financial capabilities of GACR.