These guidelines are derived as subjective interpretations of the reviewer statements on this page.
Excellence (the research idea itself, methods, ..)
Clarity, being ground-breaking, ..:
- Project outputs: be specific about analytic evaluations.
- Describe concrete project results (e.g., simulation model, prototype etc.) in sufficient detail. Benefits shown as a vision are not concrete enough.
- Be clear about goals. E.g., when describing a % improvement over the state of the art, clarify which metrics will be used to quantify the improvement.
- Be ambitious. E.g., 20% better than the SoA is not enough. Explain the ground-breaking nature of the research and its generalisability.
- Avoid looking incremental - careful with showing initial results.
- Be clear about the research plan: how will the research questions be tackled?
- Avoid looking too narrow: there should be a reasonably large research community interested in your work.
- Avoid looking too broad: research objectives should not seem like they could each be a project in its own right.
- Avoid redundancy in the text - e.g., don't embed the research questions in the objectives.
- If the focus is on experiments, 1) provide sufficient details on experimental evaluation, and 2) consider adding complementary analytic methods to also attain more theory-oriented scientific achievements.
- Make sure that quantitative research methods are described for all the research activities related to the topics mentioned.
- Make sure to provide a comparison with alternative approaches; clarify how the project will differentiate from them. Highlight originality.
PhD student supervision:
- State who will advise the Ph.D. students.
- Give enough details regarding the supervision of PhD students, especially when the project manager's own research has previously had a different focus.
- When cooperating with international partners, explain how the international consortium will be managed.
- When cooperating with industry, engage with other stakeholders from the same industry beyond only one major company.
- Clarify how collaboration will work in the project (a plan of exchange visits, and stating the intention to submit joint publications is not enough).
- If external collaborators primarily have the expertise on a topic, this is a risk for the project. Avoid this, or state it as a risk and provide a mitigation plan.
Other management issues:
- Consider including (a) work package(s) for integration, result evaluation, project management and dissemination.
- Describe the management structure in sufficient detail.
- Describe task dependencies, timing and deliverables.
- Clarify the division of research tasks and responsibilities between team members.
- Avoid looking too generic with the risk management plan (still, include general risks like failing to recruit the right staff); mitigation actions must be detailed and clear.
- A "waterfall arrangement" work package structure may look too simple. Clarify the timeline and dependencies.
Impact (dissemination, exploitation, ..)
- If dissemination activities only describe publications in journals and international conferences, consider adding something more. Maybe what the EC calls "communication", i.e. talking to the public, via other media?
- In addition to the technological impact, describe the impact on / importance for society at large and/or industry.
- To convince reviewers that there will be a significant impact on the research community, avoid too many self-cites in the reference list.
- Provide KPIs for dissemination activities.
- Address the potential exploitation of the research results.
- In case of doing standardisation, provide information about contacts to standardisation channels, and explain in detail how an impact in standardisation will be achieved.
- Explicitly address ethics, safety and gender issues.
- Avoid making the impact description too generic looking. It must be specific to the project.
- Avoid road-blocks like requiring a systemic change across different parts of the value chain before the proposed system can become effective.