Applications for research grants are assessed by review panels composed of expert researchers. They assess the scientific quality of the application using four basic criteria:
- Scientific quality of the project
- Novelty and originality
- Merits of the applicant(s)
Based on the assessment of these four criteria, the review panel then gives the application an overall grade.
The first three criteria and the overall grade are assessed on a seven-point grading scale. The criterion of feasibility is assessed on a three-point grading scale (see further information below on our grading scales).
Assessment criteria for assessment of the needs inventory
- Scientific relevance (text only)
- Strategic and national relevance (text only)
- Other aspects important to consider? (text only)
- Overall assessment (grade A-X and text)
The assessment of the first three criteria is only described in text, while the overall assessment is made on the below grading scale.
In the assessment, the advisory groups place the needs proposal in one of seven categories indicating varying degrees of priority (A1 – X).
A1: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest and the thematic area is considered ready for call.
(Only RFI: A2: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest within VR’s remit, but is at the moment not prioritised by VR)
A3: The described need could be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest but the thematic area is not considered ready for call.
B: The described need could not be fulfilled by an infrastructure of national interest.
C: Not relevant to be prioritised by VR, because need can be handled within existing national or international infrastructure or should be funded/handled by another organisation or in a different way.
X: Need cannot be assessed due to incomplete information or unclear description.
The Swedish Research Council uses two different grading scales when assessing applications for research grants.
Our seven-grade scale
This grading scale is used for most of the assessment criteria by far when assessing applications for research grants. It is also used for certain criteria when assessing applications for grants to research infrastructure.
7 = Outstanding. Exceptionally strong application with negligible weaknesses
6 = Excellent. Very strong application with negligible weaknesses
5 = Very good to excellent. Very strong application with minor weaknesses
4 = Very good. Strong application with minor weaknesses
3 = Good. Some strengths, but also moderate weaknesses
2 = Weak. A few strengths, but also at least one major weakness or several minor weaknesses
1 = Poor. Very few strengths, and numerous major weaknesses
Our three-point grading scale for assessing applications for research grants
This grading scale is only used when assessing the feasibility criterion:
3 = Feasible
2 = Partly feasible
1 = Not feasible
Our three-grade scale for applications for research infrastructure grants
This three-grade scale is used only for assessing applications for research infrastructure grants based on the criteria Social benefit, E-infrastructure and National interest.
3 = Excellent
2 = Good but with weaknesses
1 = Weak/Insufficient