The assessor maps the proposal qualitatively to each of the three criteria below, and taking each into account decides on a single letter grade (A, B, or C) for the proposal as a whole.
A high standard is expected of successful applications; proposals graded A will have a significantly higher probability of being awarded funding than those graded B.
Thus a project should be graded A only if an assessor considers it to meet A-grade thresholds in all 3 criteria.
A project graded C for scientific quality cannot score higher than a C overall.
The failure to evidence the capability to undertake the research (e.g. a C score for Capability to deliver the research) will result in a C grade overall.
|A||Projects graded A will typically be original proposals addressing questions of clear scientific significance; the work proposed is novel and timely; the results would advance understanding with the potential for significant scientific impact in the specific research field.|
|B||Projects graded B will typically be original and address questions of clear scientific significance, but will fall short of the highest levels; approaches (e.g. methods and/or materials) may show some novelty, and there may be a degree of timeliness; the results would represent a valuable or important contribution to the specific research field.|
|C||Projects graded C will typically lack originality and address questions of limited scientific significance; approaches (e.g. methods and/or materials) will be routine; the results would be of limited interest, even to specialists in the research field.|
Feasibility: methodologies and costings
|A||The project description is sufficiently detailed to confirm both the following: (a) The investigative methodologies/techniques chosen, and the detail provided on these, confirm there is limited to no discernible operational risk and at least a very high probability that the research can be completed. There are circumstances in which an element of risk is acceptable. Established methodologies that have not been used hitherto to address a specific research question, or projects involving the development of novel analytical techniques, may involve some level of risk. Also, the risk that the results may not allow a definitive answer to the research question posed (i.e. failure to reject a null hypothesis) is acceptable. (b) The project has been costed thoroughly as evidenced by a detailed itemised budget plan, with realistic costings for each item. The information provided confirms that the research proposed can be delivered, and represents excellent value for money.|
|B||The project description is such that one or both of the following reservations are raised. (a) The investigative methodologies/techniques are unlikely to yield the results indicated, or have been described in insufficient detail, as a result of which there is some discernible operational risk and uncertainty as to how feasible the research is. (b) Elements of the project’s costings either do not represent value for money or this cannot be confirmed because they lack the precision and/or accuracy to allow this to be assessed.|
|C||The project description indicates either of the following: (1) there are obvious flaws in the design of the research that indicate significant operational risk and the strong possibility that the results anticipated cannot be obtained. (2) The costing provided is inadequate to determine whether the budget is realistic, the project can be delivered, and that it represents acceptable value for money.|
Capability to deliver the research proposed
|A||The applicant has the skillset and experience to deliver the research proposed.|
|B||It is not possible from the information provided to assess the fit of the applicant to the above; or, I have some reservations re the fit of the applicant to the above.|
|C||The applicant’s skillset is not sufficient to deliver the project proposed.|
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