Application assessment by external referee panels


Submission of application

You create an application via a call for proposals. When you submit the application via "My RCN Web", you will receive an email confirming receipt of your application.


Preliminary assessment

As soon as we receive the application, we will check whether it satisfies all the requirements set out in the call. If it does not, it may be rejected, but you can apply again at the next opportunity.


Assessment by external referee panels

The application will be sent to a panel of at least 3 referees. All panel members read and assess all applications assigned to the panel. Then they meet to discuss and agree on grades and feedback.


Relevance rating and ranking

The call states whether the application will be assessed for relevance. If so, we assign a mark for how well the application fits the topic and priorities in the call Then the applications are ranked.


Decisions made by the portfolio boards

A decision on funding is normally made by one of our portfolio boards. The call for proposals states what they will prioritise. See the overview of when you can expect to see the call results.



Feedback on the results will be provided in "My RCN Web" and by email. All applicants will receive an explanation of the decision. We also publish which projects receive funding on our website.


Revision of application

When the funding decision has been made, we will inform you about what you must do with your application before we can enter into a contract.


Sign a contract

Projects awarded funding must sign a contract with the Research Council.

Referee panels of external referees will assess the applications

Most grant applications submitted to the Research Council will be assessed by referees for the thematic areas and subject areas concerned. We bring in referees from nationally and internationally leading research and innovation environments.

The referees assess the application in relation to the assessment criteria. The application will be assessed by several referees who have been appointed to referee panels. The impartiality of all referees is clarified before applications are assessed.

The referee panels will reach a consensus-based assessment of each grant application. The referee panels' assessments form the basis for our decision on whether or not to grant funding.

We have created separate videos for you as applicants to explain how these meetings take place for Researcher Projects and for Innovation Projects for the Industrial Sector.

Common assessment criteria

The Research Council has common assessment criteria that the external referees use to provide an overall quality assessment of grant applications:

  • Excellence
  • Impact
  • Implementation

The content of the three criteria is adapted to the Research Council's different application types, but has a similar structure. Read more about the scale of marks and assessment criteria used by the referees and the administration.

For individual grant applications, the application's relevance in relation to the requirements and priorities set out in the call will also be assessed. This assessment of relevance is carried out by the Research Council's case officers.

Messages at time of print 23 April 2024, 17:03 CEST

Important message

For the application deadline 24 April, we manage our hotline +47 22 03 72 00 Monday 22 April and Thursday 23 April at CEST 08.00–15.45 and Wednesday 24 April at CEST 08.00-13.00.