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Selection Procedure

The selection of fellows under the Marie S. Curie FCFP is highly competitive and strictly merit-based (expected success rate: ~20% of eligible applications).

The selection process is organized as a multi-stage procedure:

  1. Basic eligibility check
  2. International peer-review by external referees.
  3. Information gathering concerning suitable support at Freiburg University (assessment of the applications regarding how they match Freiburg’s research landscape in order to guarantee the best possible support).
  4. Formal selection by FRIAS’ international Scientific Advisory Board (SAB).


1. Basic eligibility check

In order to be eligible for application, candidates must fulfill all of (1) the formal eligibility criteria and (2) the basic academic quality criteria listed in the application section.


  • The FRIAS Board of Directors will conduct an initial check of candidates in accordance with the basic formal eligibility criteria (1) and the basic academic quality criteria (2) of the programme. The basic academic quality check is conducted under the responsibility and supervision of the FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is comprised of renowned senior scientists from outside the University of Freiburg. The committee is responsible for the selection of applications for fellowships.
  • An application failing on one or several of the formal eligibility and basic academic quality criteria is not to be subjected to the next step - the international peer-review process.
  • Applicants are informed whether they have passed the basic eligibility check, and their applications are forwarded for peer review.


2. International peer-review

In the second stage, the eligible proposals are forwarded to external experts who evaluate the research project and the CV. These experts are selected in line with the following criteria (based on criteria defined by the German Research Foundation, DFG):

  • no formal affiliation to the university at present or in the last five years
  • familiarity with the area
  • distance from the applicant (non-bias)
  • broad overview of the research landscape
  • experience as a referee
  • international expertise

The expert’s reviews follow a number of standardized criteria; the main criterion is the applicant’s excellence in research. The reviewers are asked to give a written assessment on the applicant’s CV and the research proposal.

The peer-review procedure takes into consideration primary and secondary criteria. These criteria apply to junior as well as senior applicants.

Primary criteria (weighting 80%):

  • Applicant’s academic excellence (weighting 40%): academic achievements (publications; patents; inventions etc.), qualification for the proposed project
  • Quality of the proposal and the proposed project (weighting 40%): quality and feasibility; creative, original or potentially transformative concepts


Secondary criteria (weighting 20%):

transnational/international expertise; level of independence; expertise in research management, teaching and supervision; interest in interdisciplinary approaches; general openness towards other disciplines; engagement in knowledge transfer and public awareness activities.

Additionally, the working environment in Freiburg is also taken into account (adequate resources, suitable research environment, added value to conducting research at FRIAS/University of Freiburg).


Finally, all reviewers are asked to give a clear rating on the application:

Excellent – relevant criteria are fully met and exceeded

Very good – relevant criteria are fully met

Good – relevant criteria are met, but with shortcomings

Fair – while relevant criteria are met, weaknesses are clearly visible

Clearly below average - relevant criteria are not sufficiently met

After peer-review: information about the outcome (shortlisted candidates will be informed that they have made it to the next formal selection round; all others are informed that they have not made it to the final round and, only upon special request, receive anonymised summaries of the peer reviews).


3. Information gathering concerning suitable support

In order to safeguard that a Freiburg stay will be of the greatest benefit to a future fellow, an internal assessment will provide additional information concerning the ability of the university to support a proposed research project (e.g. laboratory space and certain laboratory equipment). This information is not a selection step but is expected to support the SAB in making an informed decision.


4. Formal selection by the FRIAS’ Scientific Advisory Board (SAB)

Fellows under the Marie S. Curie FCFP are formally selected by the FRIAS SAB. This board comprises nine members, all from outside the university, the majority coming from abroad and covering all larger disciplinary fields. The Board is independent in its decision making. Both the FRIAS Board of Directors and the chairperson of the SAB are responsible for compliance. The functions, rights and responsibilities of the SAB are described in the FRIAS statutes.

On the basis of the original proposals, the expert reviews and the information gathering concerning suitable support, the SAB makes a final ranking list. The SAB is asked to guarantee the above-mentioned criteria.

The top candidates are selected for funding under the Marie S. Curie FCFP and informed immediately of this by FRIAS. They are offered an External Senior or Junior Fellowship at FRIAS co-funded by Marie S. Curie Actions. The applicants not selected in the final round are informed accordingly. Depending on the quality of the applications, there will be a waiting list in order to fill any positions not accepted by one of the selected applicants. Only upon special request will applicants be given access to anonymised assessments of their proposal.



Complaints or a formal redress can be sent either to the Managing Director of FRIAS or to the University of Freiburg’s Representative for Academic Self-Regulation at any stage of the application/selection process until two months after notification of the final selection results. However, in general, the referee reports and decisions of independent experts will not be overruled.

FRIAS Managing Director:

Dr. Carsten Dose

FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, 79104 Freiburg i.Br., Germany


Representative for Academic Self-Regulation

The representative investigates the concreteness and significance of the allegations in accordance with plausibility criteria and informs the responsible governing bodies if he deems further action to be necessary. He is bound to strict confidentiality.

Representative for Academic Self-Regulation:

Prof. Dr. Uwe Blaurock

University of Freiburg, Fahnenbergplatz, 79100 Freiburg, Germany


Gender & diversity

Where two candidates are equally suitable for a post, candidates of the underrepresented gender in the relevant academic field shall be given priority.

The duration of the applicants’ academic career with respect to family-related career breaks and careers outside academia will be taken into account during the selection process.


Calendar of implementation of the current selection process

Publication of the call for applications June 2016
Submission deadline for applications September 15, 2016
Basic eligibility check September/October 2016
International peer-review November 2016– January 2017
Information gathering February 2017
Formal selection by SAB February 2017
Notification of selected fellows March 2017
Start of fellowships September 1st, 2017


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