Principles for assessment by experts for calls under NordForsk

NordForsk employs international peer review as the basis for application assessment. The assessment process at NordForsk is based on the following principles.

Competence
The reviewers are to have suitable and adequate competence in relation to the themes and objectives of the call.

Objectivity and equal treatment
All assessments are to be carried out in the same way and be based on the quality of the proposal. To avoid any conflict of interest or problems relating to impartiality, assessments are to be based on clearly defined quality criteria and formalised processes.

Ethical considerations
The experts are not to carry out any formal ethical review, but should give consideration to the manner in which the applicant discusses the research and formulates the research question with regard to good research practice.

Openness and transparency
The assessment must be based on rules and guidelines established in advance and made publicly known.

Efficiency
The total resources used in the application and assessment processes, in terms of both time used and cost, are to be minimised for all parties involved, i.e. applicants, subject specialists and the NordForsk administration, with a view to maintaining quality, objectivity, transparency and appropriateness for purpose.

Impartiality
The reviewers may not have a vested interest in the applications or a close relationship with the applicants (see NordForsk’s Guidelines on Impartiality).

The panel’s gender composition must be in line with the NordForsk gender policy.

The peer review process is to be adapted to the call and the research area and must be proportional to the size and complexity of the call. As a baseline NordForsk prefers the use of panels, as this is an efficient and reliable method for processing applications. Ideally, panels should be put together so that there is at least one person with particular expertise on each application in the panel. If this is not possible, it is permissible to use individual experts in addition to the panel.