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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 of all eligible applications: ~ 20%).

The FCFP selection process involves three steps:

  1. Eligibility check
  2. Peer review by external experts
  3. Final selection by the external FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board


1. 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 formal eligibility criteria (1) and the basic academic quality criteria (2) of the programme. The formal eligibility and the basic quality check are conducted under the supervision of the chair and co-chair of the 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. Peer review by external experts

    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
    • familiarity with the area
    • distance from the applicant (non-bias)
    • broad overview of the research landscape
    • experience as a referee
    • international expertise

    The reviewers are asked to give a written assessment on the applicant’s CV and the research proposal.

    The evaluation of the research project takes into account the following standardized criteria:

    1. Academic excellence of the applicant (weighting 40 %):

    1.1.  Excellence of the candidate in terms of career development

    1.2.  Excellence of his/her contribution to the research field

    2. Excellence of the proposed project (weighting 40 %):

    2.1.  Quality of the proposed project and the proposal

    2.2.  Innovativeness of the proposal

    3. Experience and capability of the applicant (weighting 20 %):

    3.1.  Is the candidate well qualified to conduct the research project?

    3.2.  Can the candidate be expected to benefit from an FCFP fellowship?


    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

    The applicants are informed when the peer-review process is completed.


    3. Final selection by the external FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board

    Fellows under the Marie S. Curie FCFP are finally selected by the FRIAS Scientific Advisory Board (SAB). This board consists of up to 11 internationally renowned academics from different disciplines , all from outside of the University of Freiburg and many of them from abroad. The Board is independent in its decision making. Both the FRIAS Board of Directors and the SAB are responsible for compliance with highest standards of academic quality in its research programmes and selection processes. The functions, rights and responsibilities of the SAB are described in the FRIAS statutes.

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

    The top candidates are directly 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 directly selected applicants. Upon request, applicants will 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. Annette Doll

    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. This is an official and independent position working on the basis of an official university statute.

    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 2022/23 selection process

    Publication of the call for applications

    June 2021

    Submission deadline for applications

    03 September 2021

    Basic eligibility check

    September/October 2021


    November 2021 – January 2022

    Final selection by SAB

    February 2022

    Notification of selected fellows

    March/April 2022

    Start of fellowships

    01 September 2022



    About the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

    Visit the website of the European Commission


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