BSF Research Grants: Evaluation & Selection Criteria

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    Evaluation & Selection Criteria

    1. Applications Distributed to Panels
    2. Panels Select Reviewers
    3. Ad-Hoc Reviews Collected
    4. Panels Rank the Applications
    5. Board Determines Grants No. & Average Size

    The selection process at the BSF is made by U.S.-Israeli scientific panels, and is based solely on the scientific quality of the applications, and on the expected level of collaboration between the PIs. Evaluation and screening of the applications are aided by ad-hoc reviews from around the world, with 3 to 5 reviews per application. Neither the BSF staff nor the Board of Governors intervene in the process.

    The following criteria are used in evaluating the proposed project:

    • Scientific and technological merit of the research program, including its originality, importance, novelty and uniqueness, and whether the research is on the cutting edge of its field;
    • The strength of the collaborative arrangements between the Israeli and US investigators and the manner in which the joint research effort manifests itself, e.g., joint contribution, complementary research, exchange of materials or equipment, use of special research facilities, exchange of scientists, etc.;
    • Anticipated benefits in advancing and developing the scientific area in question, and/or possible social and economic benefits;
    • The suitability of the investigators and the means at their disposal, such as equipment and facilities;
    • Scientific and cooperation record in existing or previous BSF grants (when relevant). If an applicant had a previous BSF grant, did it result in joint products, such as joint papers with collaborators?

    Once all the ad-hoc reviews are in, the panels meet to select eligible applications and prioritize them for funding. This ranking is used as a guide after the Board of Governors determines the overall number of grants, and their average size.


    After the board approves the number of grants, an email is sent to all applicants and research authorities, notifying them that the results are available online.

    About 2 weeks later, all the reviews and panel summaries will becomeĀ available online for the applicants.

    The BSF staff is prepared to discuss the outcome of the evaluations with the applicants, and when possible, offer relevant background information. However, the BSF has no appeal mechanism.

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