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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.

Related work:

  • Provide a comparison with alternative approaches; clarify how the project will differentiate from them. Highlight originality.

Other matters:

  • Explicitly address ethics, safety and gender issues.

Implementation (management)

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.

International cooperation:

  • 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.