To fulfil its primary mission of providing project-based research funding, the French National Research Agency relies on rigorous competitive selection processes guaranteeing fair treatment, independent scientific peer review and impartiality.
ANR funds over 1,300 projects a year How are the projects selected?
Peer review by independent national and international experts
The selection of projects submitted for the Generic Call for Proposals (AAPG) and specific calls for proposals is based on the fundamental principle of peer review. It calls on two types of independent reviewers belonging to the scientific community:
• Scientific evaluation panels (CES)
consisting of office-holders and French or foreign scientific figures belonging to the research communities involved, who are appointed by ANR based on proposals from the chair of the panel.
• Experts outside the panels, French or foreign
specialists in the scientific field involved in the project, who are invited to contribute by ANR based on proposals from panel members.
Role of the chair of a scientific evaluation panel
The chair's primary task is to manage a committee formed from his/her proposals to the ANR. The chair organises and leads panel meetings with the support of the vice-chair.
They guarantee respect for ethics in the selection process and are trained in the Agency's commitments and values. They are appointed by ANR based on a call for applications for a one-year term, which can be renewed twice.
The criteria are defined precisely and published in each call for proposals (scientific excellence, project consortium and organisation, etc.). They are publicly available and can be found on the ANR website.
Before reviewing the projects’ documents, the panel members undertake to respect the principles of the ANR’s Code of Ethics and Scientific Integrity and the National Code of Research Ethics. They must also protect the confidentiality of the information and disclose any conflicts of interest. ANR takes the appropriate steps if any of the rules are breached, and has appointed an ethics and scientific integrity officer.
A collective decision
The panel members individually assess a portfolio of projects based strictly on the call's evaluation criteria, debate the assessed projects and reach agreement on the list of projects they propose for funding.