The AEI has among its missions the ex ante evaluation of all those actions contained in the State Plan for Scientific and Technical Research and Innovation (PEICTI) that are within its competence. In addition, the AEI is also responsible for the scientific-technical evaluation of application proposals for public or private funding, agreed between the AEI and the different public and private organizations that convene or manage R+D+I programs (ministerial departments, communities autonomous, foundations and universities, among others).
The evaluation activities carried out in the AEI are based on the criteria of independent experts. AEI staff do not directly evaluate the proposals, but rather manage the entire evaluation procedure
The evaluation processes are based exclusively on technical aspects and scientific rigor, regardless of the origin or identity of the applicants.
All our scientific collaborators sign a commitment of responsibilities, deontological standards and treatment of conflicts of interest.
With the aim of giving the process the greatest possible transparency, all the evaluation criteria are published in the calls and in the corresponding regulatory bases. In the same way, the list of all the collaborators that are part of the coordination teams of the Thematic Areas (presidents, coordinators and managers) as well as the evaluators is made public, once the selection process is finished, and it is sent to the interested parties the result of the evaluation of their proposals.
All experts and AEI staff who participate in the evaluation process agree to the conditions of confidentiality before starting the evaluation. All our computer applications have mechanisms that guarantee the confidentiality of the experts and the traceability of all operations.
The AEI is committed to the objective of avoiding any gender bias in the evaluation processes. Work is continuously being done to implement measures, criteria or actions that favor gender equality in the field of scientific evaluation.
- Thematic Areas. Scientific-technical areas (ACT) in which scientific disciplines are organized in the AEI.
- AEI thematic panels. Collaborators are part of AEI thematic panels, which are established for each thematic area and subarea. Collaborators may have the responsibilities of Area Presidents, Subarea Coordinators, or Managers.
- Expert. It is a person external to the AEI with proven scientific-technical experience who evaluates or evaluates one or more applications submitted to a call. Experts can carry out their task individually, remotely, through the AEI applications, or as part of a technical commission (face-to-face or online). When these people participate in the AEI evaluations, they do so as "scientific and technological collaborators" of the Law of Science, Technology and Innovation (14/2011, of June 1)
What is the difference between a remote expert and a face-to-face expert?
The remote expert evaluates a request in isolation, does not know the rest of the requests and therefore cannot compare between them. The face-to-face expert evaluates several applications for the same call, and evaluates each application taking into account the rest of the applications, likewise, they normally participate in the Technical Commissions in which the total applications submitted are discussed. That is, she makes an evaluation relative to the total number of requests that she reviews.
The evaluation of applications can be carried out by remote experts (peer evaluation) , by on-site scientific-technical commissions (TC) or by a combination of both modalities. In some calls, specific conditions may be required, for example, that the experts be international (calls Severo Ochoa and María de Maeztu). In any case, the evaluation procedures and criteria are always established in the regulatory bases and the calls for aid.
Once the applications are accepted (after a review and correction process), they are assigned to the corresponding scientific technical areas in which the evaluation process will be managed by the coordination teams.
Once the applications have been assigned, the evaluation stages are as follows:
- Selection and assignment of experts. ACT collaborators select experts with the appropriate profile for the evaluation of each application, avoiding possible conflicts of interest. Each application has a minimum of two evaluations (peer review). In the case of face-to-face evaluators, the Coordination and Evaluation Branch determines the number of evaluators necessary per commission and may require the Vº Bº of the officials of the Division of Coordination, Evaluation and Technical Scientific Monitoring of the experts proposed by the collaborators of the ACT to be appointed by the AEI management.
- Meeting of the Technical Commission (TC). In the TC, the evaluations made for each application are analyzed in the context of all the applications presented in each thematic area, in order to make a global and unique evaluation by consensus for each application, according to the evaluation criteria and sub-criteria established in the call and taking into account the reports previously prepared by the experts.
- Financing proposal. The financing proposal for each selected grant will be made taking into account the comments of the expert reports and TC reports, as well as the available budget foreseen for each area or subarea.
- Evaluation Commission (CE). It is the collegiate body that formulates the proposal for granting the aid. Its composition is determined in the regulatory bases and in the calls. In view of the TC reports, it proposes the list of grants to be financed and the budget assigned to each one of them.
The scientific-technical aspects of the allegations and resources are analyzed by those responsible for the scientific-technical areas. In those cases in which it is considered appropriate, the Head of the Coordination and Evaluation Branch may request a new evaluation with remote experts who have not participated in the initial evaluation.
Where appropriate, if the result of the allegation considers that the application should be financed, the EC will decide on the prioritization and financing of the application, communicating the result to the corresponding AEI Division, which will proceed to notify by publication of the proposal for a definitive resolution and the sending to the applicants of the reports in response to the allegations.
All the people who make up the scientific-technical areas, as well as the experts who intervene in the evaluation process, receive remuneration for their collaborative work in accordance with the current rates approved by the Ministry of Finance.
The performance of the people who collaborate with the Agency, forming part of the coordination teams of the scientific technical areas or carrying out remote or face-to-face evaluations, is governed by the principles and good practices common to all professional deontology: respect for the person, sense of the responsibility, honesty, sincerity, professional competence and solidity of the objective and scientific foundation of their professional intervention. Before starting their collaboration or accepting the evaluation of an application, they sign a document committing themselves to respect the ethical rules and to communicate all possible conflicts of interest.
All persons participating in the process must be impartial and maintain a minimum personal and professional relationship with the requesting research team / requesting entities for the actions to be evaluated. The person who evaluates an application, by accepting said evaluation, formally agrees not to transmit information about the contents of the application, the evaluation carried out and his own identity. For its part, the AEI guarantees to maintain confidentiality regarding the identity of the evaluators in relation to the applications and areas evaluated.
People who, being collaborators or experts of the AEI, participate in a request for the call that they are managing or evaluating, or who consider that there are personal or professional reasons capable of compromising the fairness and probity of their action with respect to an application, must communicate this circumstance to the presidency of the thematic area and to the Subdivision of Coordination and Evaluation.
AEI evaluation applications have complete traceability, so that any action carried out on each of the requests to be evaluated is recorded (assignment of evaluators, modification of the status of the files, opening, closing or correction of reports ). The person who performs the action is also recorded, as well as the date and time it is performed.