Evaluation Process

 Selection principles

The selection process follows the highest international standards in terms of fairness, transparency, impartiality, consistency, and independence in order to identify the best research project irrespective of gender, age, beliefs, nationality.
 
It is based on a two-step evaluation procedure performed by international experts.

 Evaluation Process

  • Pre-proposals

All pre-proposals will be evaluated by a gender-balanced independent high-level international Panel of max. 10 members. This Panel will be composed of non-Belgian high-level experts working outside Belgium with different profiles to ensure a broad coverage of the scientific spectrum pertaining to rare diseases.
Prior to the Panel meeting, each pre-proposal will be evaluated by 3 Panel members acting as:

  • Rapporteur: responsible for scoring, commenting, and introducing the application during the Panel meeting.
  • Co-rapporteur: responsible for scoring and commenting the application during the Panel meeting.
  • Reader: responsible for reading and commenting the application during the Panel meeting.

 
The scores and comments will be provided by the rapporteurs and co-rapporteurs prior to the Panel meeting during a remote evaluation phase allowing the experts to evaluate the applications in a simple blind mode (i.e., the experts will know the identity of applicants but not the other experts’ identity).

The Panel meeting will allow for a consolidation phase during which all experts will discuss all applications pre-ranked on basis of the remote scores.

At the end of this meeting, the Panel will identify, either via consensus or a vote, a shortlist of applicants to be invited to submit a full proposal.

The applicants not reaching the second stage will be informed accordingly and will receive an appreciation of their application.


  • Full proposals

The shortlist of full proposals will undergo a two-phase evaluation procedure with a rebuttal stage.

During the first phase, each full proposal will be evaluated by (a target of 3) independent, high level, international and specialized remote experts evaluating the application in a simple blind mode.

The anonymized remote evaluations will then be sent to the applicants for information and allow them to submit a 1 A4 page of comments on these assessments before the file passes on to the second stage (rebuttal phase).

During the second phase, all full proposals will be evaluated by an international expert Panel.
This Panel will be composed of max. 5 members, some coming from the Stage 1 Panel and other being new, more specialized, high level and international experts selected to better match the scientific scope of the full proposals.

Prior to the Panel meeting, all Panel members will read and score all applications in a simple blind mode. Each application will also be assigned to a Panel member acting as rapporteur whose role will further include the introduction of the application during the Panel meeting.

The Panel meeting will allow all experts to discuss all applications leading to the identification of a laureate either via consensus or via a vote. The non-selected applicants will be informed accordingly and receive an evaluation summary report.

The laureate will be contacted by the Generet Fund, but his/her identity will remain confidential until the Award ceremony.

All experts involved in the evaluation process will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, a non-conflict of interest form and will be informed of the confidentiality chart of the FNRS.

An observer from the Fund Generet (with no voting rights) will attend the Panel meetings.

No redress procedure is foreseen.

 Evaluation Criteria

The evaluation of the pre-proposals will be made using the following evaluation criteria:

  • 40% Principal Investigator (CV and achievements),
  • 40% Research Project (originality and methodology),
  • 10% Research Environment (including international network),
  • 10% Potential impact.

The evaluation of the full proposals will be made using the following evaluation criteria:

  • 40% Principal Investigator (CV and publications, international recognition, main research achievements),
  • 40% Research Project (feasibility, originality, methodology, design of the study, data treatment and management),
  • 10% Research Environment (including international network),
  • 10% Potential impact (for science, health professionals, patients, society).

 Scoring scale

The evaluation will be made using the following scoring scale ranging from 0 to 5:
0 = The proposal fails to address the criterion.
1 = Poor. The criterion is inadequately addressed, or there are serious inherent weaknesses.
2 = Fair. The proposal broadly addresses the criterion, but there are significant weaknesses.
3 = Good. The proposal addresses the criterion well, but a number of shortcomings are present.
4 = Very Good. The proposal addresses the criterion very well, but a small number of shortcomings are present.
5 = Excellent. The proposal successfully addresses all relevant aspects of the criterion. Any shortcomings are minor.

 Final Decision 

The Award will be granted by the Steering Committee of the Fund Generet on basis of the recommendation of the international Panel.

 Research Integrity

Research integrity is considered of utmost importance. All experts involved in the evaluation process will be notified and asked to pay specific attention to scientific misconduct such as fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or misrepresentation of data. The evaluation of the mid-term report will also be an opportunity to check on it. 
 
Funded researchers are expected to strictly comply to all institutional rules and regulations that apply in terms of research integrity. In case of integrity breach suspicion or allegation, the Fund Generet will take the appropriate measures. 

 Open Science

The scientific outputs stemming from research supported by the Generet Award should be valorised to maximise societal benefits.  
 
To this end the Generet Fund supports the publication in Open Access, with a preference for the deposit requirement of publications resulting from the funded project (Green Open access). 
 
The facilitation of the free access to these research outputs not only aims at the benefit of the scientific community but is also meant to increase both national and international visibility of the researchers. 

 Ethics

Research projects may require prior consideration of ethical problems that might arise or that are inherent to the submitted research project. The possible ethical problems may relate to the use and storage of private data, the handling of substances that may cause environmental or biodiversity damage and the research on animals or human beings (non-exhaustive list). 
 
Applicants to the Generet Award who are concerned by ethical issues will be required to submit an ethical clearance provided by their local ethics committee. This process is aimed at ensuring that all the research and innovation activities under this Award comply with ethics principles and relevant national and international legislation. 

Schedule of the call

  • Opening of the call: February 1st
  • Pre-proposals deadline: April 3rd
  • First Panel meeting: End of May
  • Invitation for full proposals: June 7th
  • Full proposals deadline: July 10th
  • Second Panel meeting: Mid-November
  • Start of the research: January 1st, 2024

Documents of the call