Most funding agencies rely on peer review to evaluate grant applications and proposals, but research into the use of this process by funding agencies has been limited. This paper authored by David G Pina from the Research Executive Agency, European Commission et al. Explores if two changes to the organization of peer review for proposals submitted to various funding actions by the European Union has an influence on the outcome of the peer review process. Based on an analysis of more than 75,000 applications to three actions of the Marie Curie programme over a period of 12 years.
It finds that the changes:
- reduction in the number of evaluation criteria used by reviewers and
- a move from in-person to virtual meetings
had little impact on the outcome of the peer review process. The results indicate that other factors, such as the type of grant or area of research, have a larger impact on the outcome.