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FAQ on the assessment of proposals
FAQ on the assessment of proposals
29 May 2018
Last modified: 29 May 2018
Reading time: 11 minute(s)
What is the timing of assessment for my proposal?

Proposals are assessed in multiple stages.

  • After the admission of the proposals and the expiry of the relevant deadline, the proposals are forwarded for formal assessment. At this stage, if necessary and permitted by the call, notices of deficiency are sent out to the applicants.
  • The evaluation of the professional content of proposals verified against the formal requirements are carried out by review panels using a set of criteria known to applicants. The review panels are assisted by anonymous peer reviewers having professional experience in the relevant field of science, selected by the NRDI Office from a database of 15,000 experts based on their expertise. Each proposal is assessed by 2 to 5 reviewers (depending on the type of the call) independent from each other. The anonymous reviewers may not access each other’s reviews and may not contact the applicants. The reviewers must rely on currently available information and may only ask for additional information if absolutely necessary and only through the NRDI Office. The selection of reviewers, the sending out of invitations, the review of the proposals and the forwarding of reviews takes approximately 30 to 45 days depending on the number of proposals.
  • The designated review panel assesses all proposals in the given assessment stage considering the anonymous reviewers’ reports on the individual proposals, but comparing them to the overall quality of proposals, to independently create its own assessment and ranking. The panel reviews and discusses each proposal and then makes a proposal for decision.
  • After the review panel’s meeting a combined proposal and motion is prepared for the Disciplinary Councils in the case of research and development proposals, and for the Innovation Board in the case of innovation projects. These bodies make the final proposals to the President of the NRDI Office for adopting the funding decisions and for determining any additional criteria they consider reasonable for the conclusion of the funding agreements (reduced budget, unique terms and conditions etc.) Funding decisions are made by the President of the NRDI Office.
  • The panel review stage takes approximately 20 to 30 days. Note that in the case of international, in particular bilateral, calls this stage may take longer due to the international composition of the review panels and the organisation of international meetings.
  • No later than 10 days after the funding decision, the Office notifies the applicants and also publishes the list of awarded applicants, the titles of funded projects and the amounts of awarded funding on its websiteNo interim information may be provided about the results of individual assessment stages.

 

What does it mean that my proposal has met the admission criteria?

In the admission stage the submitted proposals are only checked against 3 to 5 admission criteria defined in the provisions of Government Decree 368/2011 (XII. 31.) governing the admission of proposals and in the call documentation. The applicants are notified of the result of this assessment within seven days from submission. The following admission criteria are always checked:

  1. the proposal must be submitted by the set deadline;
  2. the requested amount of funding may not exceed a predefined maximum, and funding intensity may not exceed the maximum funding intensity set out in the call documentation;
  3. the applicant is eligible as defined in the call documentation.

Naturally, the admission notice of a proposal does not mean the selection of the proposal for funding, however, if the proposal does not meet any of the admission criteria, it will be rejected without any notice of deficiency and without the assessment of its content.

 

When and how to submit an appeal, request for legal remedy, request for review, complaint or objection?

As the NRDI Fund is an extra-budgetary fund within the meaning of the Act on Public Finances, application processes relating to the calls financed from it are regulated by Government Decree 368/2011 (XII. 31.).

The only legal remedy permitted by the said Decree is “Objection” which may be filed as follows:

The applicant (or for funded projects: the Beneficiary) may file an objection with the NRDI Office pursuant to Section 102/D of the Decree, if the application procedure, the adoption of the funding decision, the conclusion the funding agreement or the disbursement or reclamation of the funding is unlawful or breaches the provisions of the call or the funding agreement.

It follows that the objection must include clear references to the legislative provision, rule of procedure, part of the call or guidelines that was breached in the objected procedure, otherwise the objection will be rejected without examination on the merits. It also follows that no objection may be filed against the content of professional assessment as legislative, procedural and other provisions do not apply to the content of reviews and the considerations of reviewers.

Objections must include the following:

  1. name, seat/residence of the objector; name of the representative if the objector is not a private individual;
  2. identification data of the proposal or funding agreement affected by the objection;
  3. description of the objected action or omission;
  4. facts supporting the objection, and exact reference to the legislative provision breached by the objected action or omission; and
  5. in the case of non-electronic communication, the signature of the objector.

Objections may be filed within the time limits set for notices and notification, or in the absence thereof, within 10 days from becoming aware of the objected action or omission. No objection may be lodged after 30 days from the objected action or omission.

In all cases, objections must be submitted in writing to the NRDI Office as follows:

  • by regular mail or courier service to the mailing address of the NRDI Fund (Nemzeti Kutatási, Fejlesztési és Innovációs Hivatal, 1077 Budapest, Kéthly Anna tér 1. 2. emelet);
  • in person, exclusively in opening hours, at the NRDI Fund Customer Services (NRDI Office, 1077 Budapest, Kéthly Anna tér 1. 2nd floor).

The objection is assessed on the merits by the NRDI Office within 30 days of submission, or rejects it without examination on the merits in the cases listed in Section 102/D(5) of Government Decree 368/2011 (XII. 31.). The deadline of assessment may be extended on one occasion by not more than 30 days, with prior notification sent to the objector. The NRDI Office notifies the objector in writing of the decision made in the matter of the objection.

No further objections may be filed, or other legal remedies be sought, against the decision made in the matter of the objection.

 

What is formal assessment?

In the formal assessment stage, the proposals are checked against the formal and eligibility criteria set out in the call documentation.

Formal assessment is carried out after and separately from the assessment against the admission criteria. If the submitted proposal is incomplete or contains errors, and if so permitted by the relevant call, the NRDI Office calls on the applicant to remedy the deficiencies in a notice specifying such deficiencies and setting an appropriate deadline. Deficiencies may be remedied only upon a notice to that effect and only on one occasion.

The formal requirements which are excluded from the notice of deficiency procedure are typically listed item by item in the call documentation. If a proposal fails to meet any of these requirements in full or at all, it will be rejected without examination on the merits and without sending out a notice of deficiency.

In the formal assessment stage, notices of deficiency are always sent out electronically either as a message sent to the contact person’s email address within the proposal administration and evaluation systems or as an email sent directly to the contact person’s email address, depending on the call type. Details are regulated by the call documentation. The period open for remedy of deficiencies starts on the business day following the sending of the email notice.

Note that any corrections, supplements and replacements made in any way other than in response to a notice of deficiency or in addition to the deficiencies listed in the notice of deficiency, will be disregarded by the Office. If costs are reorganised on the form submitted in response to the notice of deficiency by deviation or in excess of what was requested in the notice of deficiency, the response will be rejected as defective.

If the response to a notice of deficiency is also deficient or incomplete, and the applicant fails to remedy the deficiencies within the set deadline, the proposal will be rejected without further examination. Applicants are notified of the formal acceptance or rejection of their proposal.

 

What is the assessment of the professional content of a proposal?

In addition to being formally compliant and eligible, RDI project proposals are also expected to feature outstanding professional quality and novel content in the given thematic field. This expectation is checked by assessing the professional content of proposals with the involvement of independent reviewers who are experts in the given thematic field.

  • The evaluation of the professional content of proposals verified against the formal requirements are carried out by review panels using a set of criteria known to applicants. The review panels are assisted by anonymous peer reviewers having relevant professional experience in the field of the proposal, selected by the NRDI Office from a database of 15,000 experts based on their expertise. Each proposal is assessed by 2 to 5 reviewers (depending on the type of the call) independent from each other. The anonymous reviewers may not access each other’s reviews and may not contact the applicants. The reviewers must rely on currently available information and may only ask for additional information if absolutely necessary and only through the NRDI Office. The planned schedule of the assessment process is published on the NRDI Office’s website.
  • The designated review panel assesses each of the proposals in the given assessment round considering the anonymous peer reviews on the individual proposals, but comparing them to the overall quality of proposals, to independently create its own assessment and ranking. The panel reviews and discusses each proposal and then makes a proposal for decision.
  • After the review panel’s meeting a combined proposal and motion is prepared for the Disciplinary Councils in the case of research and development proposals, and for the Innovation Board in the case of innovation projects. These bodies make the final proposals to the President of the NRDI Office for adopting the funding decisions and for determining any additional criteria they consider reasonable for the conclusion of the funding agreements (reduced budget, unique terms and conditions etc.) Funding decisions are made by the President of the NRDI Office.
  • The panel review stage takes approximately 20 to 30 days. Note that in the case of international, in particular bilateral calls this stage may take longer due to the international composition of the review panels and hence the arrangements of international meetings.
  • No later than 10 days after the funding decision, the Office notifies the applicants and also publishes the list of winning applicants, the titles of funded projects and the amounts of awarded funding on its website.

No interim information may be provided about the results of individual assessment stages.

Updated: 29 May 2018
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