Application Review and Selection Process

The selection process for RIFP applications will consist of four stages:

  • Stage 1 Eligibility check. An eligibility check of candidates will be carried out to ensure candidates meet the EU’s requirements. If the candidate does not meet eligibility criteria their application will not progress. Any ethical issues will also be noted at this stage.
     
  • Stage 2 Referee review. Applications from eligible candidates will then be sent to at least two external, independent referees for review. At least one referee will be from outside the UK. Each referee will submit a report on the candidate’s application using the standard template.
     
  • Stage 3 Interview. Candidates scoring above a threshold in the refereeing process will be invited to interview. The interview panel will consist of a senior member of the host department, a member of the programme management committee not from the host department, and an external expert in the relevant science area. The interview itself will consist of a short presentation by the potential Fellow, followed by a Q & A session. Following the interview, the panel shall complete a report form using a standard template detailing the candidate’s performance, which will be submitted to the programme co-ordinator.
     
  • Stage 4 Final Selection. Final selection of Fellows will be made by the management committee following interview of all candidates based on the evaluations of the external reviewers and the interview panel.

Selection process: indicative timescales

An indicative timescale for the selection process is:

  • 29 Sept 2017: Call closes - deadline for applications.
     
  • 13 Oct 2017 Stage 1 complete: Initial eligibility and ethics check completed. Proposals sent to external referees.
     
  • 17 Nov 2017 Stage 2 complete: Reports received from referees. Suitable candidates invited to interview.
     
  • 31 Jan 2018 Stage 3 complete: Interviews carried out.
     
  • 15 Feb 2018 Stage 4 complete: Final decision made by MC. Applicants informed.
     
  • Mar - May 2018: Fellows start. Fellows must start their Fellowships by 30 June 2018 at latest.

Selection criteria for each process can be found on the Review and Selection Criteria page.

Appeal process

At stages 1, 2 and 4, rejected candidates can appeal to the project Co-ordinator within one week of the decision being communicated to them. They will have the opportunity of providing reasons why they wish the decision to be reconsidered. This may include, but will not be limited to, mitigating circumstances such as illness. The Co-ordinator shall consider the candidate’s request, taking advice from other members of the management committee if needed, and shall decide whether or not the candidate’s application shall continue within the process. The Co-ordinator will inform the candidate of their decision within one week. If the candidate remains concerned regarding the decision, they can ask for this to be reconsidered by a member of the programme Advisory Board who will be delegated to deal with such disputes. The candidate will need to submit their request within one week of having received the Co-ordinator’s response. The Advisory Board member will consider the candidate’s request, and inform the candidate and Co-ordinator of their decision within 2 weeks. The Advisory Board member’s decision will be final.

Ethical issues management

The EU requires that the research proposed by applicants be subject to ethical scrutiny. In particular, the ethical principles of Horizon 2020 will govern the Fellowships. This will include the need for projects to have an exclusive focus on civil applications, and that projects aimed at human cloning for reproductive purposes, or those intended to modify the genetic heritage of human beings which could make such changes heritable, or those intended to create human embryos solely for the purpose of research or stem cell procurement, will not be supported.

Applicants will be asked to identify any ethical issues which they feel their proposal will generate as part of their application using the template provided. The ethical issues forms will be reviewed by the management committee at Stage 1 of the evaluation process. Potential ethical issues will be referred to the Director of the relevant host department. The Director will be asked to consider the research proposed from an ethical and legal point of view, and to advise the management committee on the nature of the issue and how it should be addressed. In the event of a research proposal being contrary to Horizon 2020 ethical principles, UK legislation or to UK Research Council policy or the policy of the host department, the application will be removed from the process, the candidate informed and given the opportunity to appeal as described above.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000