Rules for experts

Rules for the participation of experts in the competitions held by the National

Research Foundation of Ukraine

These Rules for the participation of experts in the competitions held by the National Research Foundation of Ukraine (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Foundation’) define general terms and conditions for the participation of recognized Ukrainian or foreign scientists (hereinafter referred to as ‘scientists’) in the scientific and technological expert evaluation of research projects (hereinafter referred to as ‘projects’).

I. General Terms and Conditions
Scientists who have expressed their wish to act as experts for the Foundation should comply with the legal requirements for persons authorized to carry out a scientific expert evaluation of research (hereinafter referred to as ‘expert evaluation), namely to have an academic degree, research publications, experience in the research field related to the
subject of the project. Scientists who have expressed their wish to become experts for the Foundation should register on the official website of the Foundation (under the heading «INVITING EXPERTS FOR COLLABORATION»).

PLEASE NOTE: Being registered as an expert for the Foundation does not prevent you from participating in submitting a project to the Foundation for funding (either as the principal investigator or as a team member), however, in that case, you cannot be involved in the evaluation of any projects within the same competition (call for funding). By registering as an expert, the scientist consents to the processing of their personal data during the competitive selection of projects funded by the Foundation. Their personal data is made available to the Competition Commission with the purpose of selecting experts to evaluate the submitted projects.

ІІ. Legal basis of the expert activity
Experts involved in the evaluation of projects submitted to the Foundation for funding should comply with:
1. The Code of compliance with the ethical principles in science and prevention of conflict of interest during the evaluation of research projects submitted to the Foundation
2. The Terms of the Competition.

III. Expert evaluation of projects
Following the receipt of a project proposal sent by the Competition Commission with an offer to carry out an expert evaluation, the expert (online, via the Expert’s personal account in the automated data processing system «The NRFU Competition Projects»), within three working days from the date of receipt of the project, shall provide the
Commission with:
– a statement of their consent to carry out the project evaluation and of the absence of conflict of interest with the authors of the project proposal(s);

OR
– a statement of their refusal to carry out the project evaluation if the project(s) do(es) not fall within their competence, or of refusal due to a conflict of interest.

By accepting to evaluate the project, the scientist also agrees to observe the Code of compliance with the ethical principles in science and prevention of conflict of interest during the evaluation of research projects submitted to the Foundation.

Below are some indications of a conflict of interest that may lead the Commission to exclude the involvement of an expert in the project evaluation. They equally apply as reasons
for experts to recuse themselves from carrying out an evaluation. Such reasons include:
 family and kinship links with persons who belong to the project team;
 employment with an organization participating in the competitive selection (during the last three years prior to the day when the competition was announced);
 membership in supervisory or oversight bodies of an organization participating in the competitive selection (during the last three years prior to the day when the competition was announced);
 the presence of a former (during the last three years prior to the day when the
the competition was announced) scientific supervisor of the expert in the project implementation team;
 other close research or commercial cooperation;
 other direct research or commercial competition;

Experts shall also recuse themselves from project evaluation in case of a personal conflict with persons participating in the competition.

Projects shall be evaluated by experts within the time limits determined by the Scientific Council of the Foundation.

During the evaluation, the expert evaluates the project based on the criteria determined by the Terms of Competition and instructions for experts.

Evaluation of the project by an expert on each of the criteria should be balanced and justified. Written justification is provided for each numerical assessment.

The expert is personally responsible for the reliability and completeness of their analysis and the tenability of their recommendations in accordance with the requirements of the
evaluation procedure.

In order to ensure that projects are evaluated objectively, experts shall remain independent of any influence or pressure, and shall not allow any external interference in their professional activities.

While drafting the expert opinion, the expert provides answers to all the questions specified in the project evaluation form.

Authorized members of the Competition Commission may discuss the completeness and correctness of the evaluation report with the expert. In the framework of such a discussion, the expert is free to decide how and to which extent the suggestions of the Competition Commission should be taken into account in his/her evaluation report.

IV. Expert opinion
Based on the results of project evaluation, the expert prepares (online, via the Expert’s personal account in the automated data processing system «The NRFU Competition Projects») a reasoned expert opinion and recommendations. The expert opinion shall be submitted to the Competition Commission before the deadline.

V. Confidentiality and integrity
Information about the identity of the expert shall remain confidential, shall not be made public, disclosed to the participants of the competition, or any persons outside the Competition Commission. Experts shall be obligated to maintain the confidentiality of the information and not disclose any information which they received while performing their duties. Any public comments or evaluation of the work of other persons involved in the competitive selection and evaluation of projects shall be unacceptable.

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