Evaluation Criteria for Application Review and Selection

Katakyna Lielinska (Queen Mary University of London) preparing for an experiment using Surf at ISIS.
(Credit: STFC)

Please see the Application Review and Selection page for an outline of the review and selection stages.

Evaluation criteria for Stage 2: Referee review

For stage 2, referees will be given a template on which to write their comments and score the candidate. The template has the following areas:

  1. Quality of the candidate
     
    • Ability to perform independent research: evidence that the candidate can initiate and carry through a programme of independent scientific research.
       
    • Previous research outputs (publications, invited talks, awards, grant funding, etc): quality and quantity of previous outputs, given the candidate’s current level of experience.
       
    • Ability of the candidate to perform the proposed project: do they have the relevant experience and expertise to carry out the project?
       
  2. Quality of the proposed research
     
    • Scientific excellence, novelty and timeliness of the proposed research project.
       
    • Is the project likely to have impact within its subject area?
       
    • Relevance of the proposed project to the host department and supervisor’s research interests.
       
    • Evidence of cross-sectoral involvement within the research, e.g. industrial or commercial collaboration; evidence of interdisciplinary activities within the proposal, including cross- departmental activities at RAL, DL and UKATC. Evidence of the candidate wanting to broaden their research experience through contact with facilities, departments or techniques which they have not previously had experience of.
       
    • Quality of the research plan and milestones.
       
    • Has the candidate considered dissemination or exploitation routes? Or proposed methods of communication to a non-technical audience.
       
    • Quality of writing and presentation of the proposal.

In addition to giving comments on the candidate in each area, referees will be asked to score each area on a scale of 1 to 5, based on the following guidelines:

5: Very good – category is at the highest level which could be expected

4: Good – category is at a level well above the average which would be expected

3: Fair – category is at an average level

2: Poor – category is at a level which is below the average which would be expected

1: Very poor – category is at an unacceptable level

This will produce a mark out of 50 from each referee. Total scores from the three referees will be averaged, and candidates will need to score at least an average of 40 to proceed to the next stage. In addition, candidates will not be taken forward where two of the three referees have scored a ‘1’ in the same category. Referees will be asked to justify their scoring through comments on a template provided.

Evaluation criteria for Stage 3: Interview

Diana Taylor (UCL) during her Sandals experiment on ISIS.
(Credit: STFC)

Stage 3 will be an interview with three or four panel members. The interview will involve the candidate giving a short presentation describing themselves and their proposed research topic, and they will then be asked questions to enable them to demonstrate both their scientific knowledge and experience together with other qualities required for a Fellowship.

The panel members will complete a report form on each candidate following the interview based on  the following categories:

  • Relevant knowledge and experience – including personal contribution to previous research projects; ability to perform independent research; knowledge of scientific area of proposed research; knowledge of science and technique areas more broadly related to area of proposed research; knowledge of techniques and facilities available at RAL, DL and ATC as appropriate to their project.
     
  • Comments on the proposed research project – including fit to the proposed host department; technical feasibility; timeliness or other scientific comments.
     
  • Comments on the proposed research project – including fit to the proposed host department; technical feasibility; timeliness or other scientific comments.
     
  • Communication abilities – including presentation skills; ability to communicate their research area to non-experts; desire for public engagement activities.
     
  • Awareness of any health and safety issues relevant to their proposed research topic, including awareness of likely hazards within the project; ability to describe safe working methods; awareness of own and others’ responsibilities to health and safety.

The panel will score each of the above areas and provide comments to support their scoring. They will also give the candidate an overall score between 1 and 5 as a summary of the candidate’s ability to perform well as a Fellow. The scoring categories, from 1 to 5, will be as described above for Stage 2.

Final decision criteria at Stage 4: Final Selection

At Stage 4, the management committee will meet to review all interview report forms and will make a final selection of candidates. The management committee will have a ranked list of candidates’ scores in order to make their decision; but they will also take into account the distribution of posts across departments and gender balance in order to make a final decision. The management committee will also consider the suitability of the staff contact named by the applicant to act as supervisor to the Fellow if a Fellowship is awarded.

Science and Technology Facilities Council Switchboard: 01793 442000