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Evaluation Standards

Evaluative studies are an important instrument for the DFG in identifying dynamics and changing priorities in the research landscape.

They – or rather, their results –

  • are evidence-based control instruments to enable the DFG Head Office to manage the funding process effectively.

  • contribute to providing transparency on the DFG’s funding activities and evaluating them. They serve as instruments of communication with and accountability towards statutory bodies, sponsors and the public.

  • enable the alignment of funding programmes with the needs of researchers.

The following evaluation standards frame the DFG’s quality requirements for evaluation studies and evaluation process. These standards are used to measure every evaluation project the DFG commissions or that is carried out on its behalf.

Evaluation Standards

  • Evaluative studies are based on the overarching funding goals of the DFG. Programme evaluations are based on the specific aims of individual funding programmes.
  • Any funding programme is a potential subject for an evaluative study.
  • Evaluative studies are carried out by qualified third parties, independently and objectively. While these third-party contractors leverage the DFG’s expertise with regard to their programmes to ensure the quality and correctness of their reports, they are completely free to choose how to formulate their results and conclusions.
  • The resources allocated for use in the evaluative studies are utilised effectively and economically. This also means that inconvenience caused to third parties (such as interviewees) when collecting new information is kept to a minimum and only such information as is absolutely necessary is collected.
  • For each evaluative study, the contractors are tasked with selecting state-of-the-art evaluation methods suited to the specific needs of each case.
  • Evaluative studies should provide reliable, consistent information and empirical, well-reasoned conclusions.
  • The DFG endeavours – where appropriate – to create cross-connections between the evaluative studies with regards to questions, methods and indicators and, where possible, to draw comparisons with studies carried out by other funding organisations, both at home and abroad.
  • The DFG’s statutory bodies are responsible for making decisions on recommendations from evaluative studies and implementing these.
  • Evaluative studies are published.