Questions about the Review Process
The scientific review of proposals submitted to the DFG is an integral part of the DFG's funding process. Each year, the DFG solicits assessments from approximately 10,000 reviewers from within Germany and abroad. They are selected by the Head Office on the basis of their expertise and volunteer to evaluate proposals according to scientific excellence, relevance and originality. After extensive examination, they make their recommendation, which later forms the basis for a decision in the respective decision-making body.
Suitable reviewers are selected by the DFG Head Office and asked to provide reviews of proposals. They are also asked to consider their own competence in the particular field and whether there are any conflicts of interest. Naturally, the proposals must be treated as confidential. Reviewers are entrusted personally with the review process which cannot be passed to anyone else.
The reviewers judge proposals according to the
quality of the project
opportunities for employment in a scientific environment
objectives and work programme and proposed research methods
Guidelines 10.20, "Guidelines for the Written Review" contains more details of the criteria.
The principles of good scientific practice also apply to the review process. For example, a breach of confidentiality on the part of a reviewer represents scientific misconduct.