Assessment of applications is factual and impartial and takes into account the instructions and directions that applicants received in the call text. Applications are assessed by an international evaluation panel comprised of active researchers who have the competence to assess both the scientific quality and the potential societal benefits, as well as the bilateral dimension. The group can also evaluate multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research. Each application is evaluated for scientific quality and benefit to the forest sector and society in accordance with the criteria listed below. All criteria must be addressed in the application and applicants are encouraged to clearly and distinctly relate the application to these criteria. All scientific criteria and benefits are regarded to have equal importance, and the overall assessment of the application is made with no predetermined weighting of criteria.
Benefits resulting from the bilateral collaboration in the project with regard to the establishment of research environments that contribute to providing valuable knowledge for the forest industry and society in both countries.
Hypotheses and topics examined (1-6)
Originality and innovativeness of the project. The importance of the scientific purpose and the possibility to achieve significant results in the short-term and long-term. Degree of interdisciplinary research, i.e. multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches, are regarded as positive when appropriate to the topics under examination.
Method and performance, including budget (1–6)
Feasibility and suitability of the scientific methods. Defined and realistic work plan, coupled to a feasible budget. The budget for the project must be clearly specified and motivated.
Competence of the consortium and project constellation (1–6)
Ability to perform the project according to the project plan, sufficient experience of project leadership, strengths and competitiveness of the project constellation.
Potential and benefit (1–6)
Long-term potential and direct benefits of the project in being able to solve needs and genuine problems, as well as to contribute to profitability, competitiveness and sustainable development, for example by strengthening and developing the forest sector in a broad sense, or in creating preconditions for new businesses to emerge.
Communication and dissemination of results (1–6)
Description of relevant stakeholders and end users. There must be a defined and realistic plan for how the results obtained will be communicated further to the next phase, to enable the benefits to be utilised at the conclusion of the project. This plan should include the consideration of open science in the project, such as open-access publishing of the results and making the project’s data widely available. The degrees of data openness may justifiably vary, ranging from fully open to strictly confidential.
The reviewers evaluate the applications they have been allocated and rank these according to the evaluation criteria. They also write short comments describing the strengths and weaknesses of each application. These comments are mandatory and are used to facilitate discussions at the evaluation panel meeting and to assist the rapporteur in preparing the written opinion statement. The points allocated by the individual panel members and the written comments comprise the working material of the panel and are not communicated to the applicant. For each evaluation criterion, the evaluation panel members score the application according to the following scale:
When assessing the applications the evaluation panel also give the application an overall grade.
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