After an eligibility check, the proposals submitted to a particular Call are sent for evaluation to independent experts, selected by the Commission taking into account their expertise and previous experience in evaluation of EU projects. Each evaluator may be asked to evaluate a number of proposals from the same Call – typically 5 to 10, depending on the size of the projects. The evaluators assess the proposals on the basis of a pre-defined set of evaluation criteria, which are listed on the call description page. The evaluation is done remotely, and then all experts who have evaluated the same set of projects are convened in Brussels to the so-called “consensus meeting”, where they discuss the proposals, and try to align their evaluation scores taking into account the opinion of the others. The outcome of this meeting is a Consensus Report, which contains the scores and comments for each of the evaluated projects.
The next step of the evaluation process is the “panel review”. The panel consists of representatives from each group of evaluators assessing the projects of a given Call. The task of the panel is to examine and compare the consensus reports in that area, to check on the consistency of the scores applied during the consensus discussions and, where necessary, propose a new set of scores. The panel then establishes the Ranking list for all projects submitted to that Call, and gives that list to the European Commission. The final decision regarding the funding or rejection of projects is taken by the European Commission unit in charge of that Call, based on the available budget, and has to be approved by the Programme Committee – representatives of the EU and H2020-associated states for a given programme area of H2020.
The competition for EU funding is very rigorous and the success rate for H2020 projects is expected to be similar as for FP7 projects (i.e. in general very low – 10 to 20% on the average). In H2020, no budget cuts are expected. The project will be either accepted for funding as it is or rejected.
The Evaluation Summary Report, which the Coordinator receives after the evaluation is completed, contains a number of comments that give an indication of the strong and weak points of the proposal.