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Evaluation process

Evaluation: Individual evaluation > Consensus group > Panel review

Briefing of evaluators

Before starting the evaluation process, the evaluators are briefed on:

  • the evaluation processes and procedures (including award criteria)
  • the content of the topics under consideration
  • the need to evaluate proposals as they were submitted, rather than their potential should certain changes be made
  • for outside experts: the terms of their contract (confidentiality, impartiality, conflicts of interest, completing tasks and approving reports, penalties for non-compliance, etc.)

(warning) For most EU programmes, there is no scope for recommending improvements to proposals (including improvements on the budget).

Individual evaluation

During the individual evaluation, the evaluators work individually. Each evaluator gives a score for each criterion, with explanatory comments, and prepares an individual evaluation report (IER).

Proposals are normally evaluated by at least three individual evaluators (for some programmes and types of action, two may suffice; for many it is five).

The evaluators should also indicate if they consider that the proposal:

  • is out of scope or
  • involves security issues that will need further scrutiny.

Consensus group

After the individual evaluation, all evaluators who have evaluated the proposal will get together in a consensus group, to agree on a common position on comments and scores.

For consensus groups made up of outside experts, the group will normally be assisted by a member of the Granting Authority staff who will act as moderator to:

  • seek a consensus, impartially and
  • ensure that each proposal is evaluated fairly, according to the award criteria.

Panel review

After the consensus phase, the evaluation committee (panel) will take over and discuss the proposals to:

  • reach an agreement on the scores and comments for all proposals evaluated together, checking consistency across the evaluations
  • if necessary, propose a new set of marks or revise comments, and resolve cases where evaluators were unable to agree
  • rank the above-threshold proposals and give a priority order for proposals with the same score.

Proposals with the same score

The evaluation committee will recommend a priority order for proposals with the same score, using the procedure set out in the call conditions.


If provided for in the call conditions, the evaluation committee (panel) may arrange interviews/hearings.

In this case, invitations are sent to the coordinators of above-threshold proposals (and, sometimes, also to those with scores above individual thresholds but below the overall qualifying threshold).

The interviews/hearings may be held remotely or on site, in Brussels.

The questions to be asked will be determined by the panel beforehand and sent to all proposals. The interviews/hearings will be used to get further information to clarify the proposals and help the panel establish its final ranking list and scores. They may not serve to change proposals or add missing information.

Outcome of evaluation

On the basis of the report and ranked list provided by the evaluation committee (panel), the Granting Authority reviews the evaluation result, puts together the final ranking list and informs the participants.

You can find the timing the evaluation and information on evaluation results in the call conditions on the Topic page.

Final ranking — Reserve list — Rejections

The Granting Authority produces the final ranked list and the list of applications proposed for funding.

The number of proposals in the list depends on the available budget. If the available budget is too small to fund all above-threshold proposals (normally the case because EU grants are heavily oversubscribed), some proposals may be put on a reserve list. These will then be offered funding if a higher-scoring project does not go ahead or additional funds become available.

The below-threshold proposals will be rejected.

(warning) Proposals will NOT be offered funding if the Granting Authority finds that it is already funding very similar work elsewhere, or a proposal is in any way manifestly contrary to EU general principles or established EU priorities or policies.

Evaluation result letters — Evaluation summary report

The participants will be informed (through the coordinating organisation) about their evaluation result (together with the evaluation summary report (ESR)) and it will be posted in their Portal library ( My Proposals > Actions > Follow-up > Proposal Management & Grant Preparation > Documents ).
If your proposal was successful, you will get a grant preparation invitation letter. To follow the further steps of preparing your grant, you will be prompted for each of the actions that need to be carried out. Details are explained in the next section Grant preparation.

(warning) Please note that invitation to grant preparation is NOT a formal commitment for funding. The final decision on your project will only be taken at a later stage — this depends on the finalisation of grant preparation and further checks which we still need to make (i.e. financial capacity, non-exclusion, etc.)

If your proposal was not successful, you will receive a rejection letter. The means of redress for such rejections are described in the section Complaints about proposal rejection.