International Peer Review

The International Peer Review ensures an external, international and independent evaluation of each eligible application, which will be assessed by at least two renowned experts from the proposals field of research. Reviewers will then rate the proposal by assigning scores (see Scoring System for details) to predefined criteria.

Reviewer Selection:

Reviewer 1: Applicants are asked to name up to three (including at least one female) potential reviewers in their application. From among these, the most suitable for the submitted proposal will be selected.
Reviewer 2: The second reviewer will be selected from a pool of reviewers provided by the University of Siegen.

The University of Siegen aims to achieve gender balance among the peer reviewers.

Independency of Reviewers

To ensure independency, and to avoid conflicts of interest, the candidates should consider the following criteria (based on the “Guidelines for Avoiding Conflicts of Interest” published by the German Research Foundation) when suggesting reviewers. If any of these criteria apply, this will result in exclusion of the proposed reviewer. Each reviewer therefore has to declare that there is no conflict of interest.

I First-degree relationship, marriage, life partnership, domestic partnership
II Personal financial interest in the proposal’s success or financial interest by persons listed under no. 1
III Current or planned close scientific cooperation
IV Dependent employment relationship or supervisory relationship (e.g., teacher-student relationship up to and including the postdoctoral phase) extending six years beyond the conclusion of the relationship


Each proposal will be sent to two reviewers for evaluation according to a Scoring System. If the scores from the two reviewers differ by more than 2 points on any sub-criterion, a third reviewer will be called upon. The final score for each sub-criterion will then be calculated as the average of the scores given by the two (or three) reviewers.
On the base of the obtained scores two ranking lists will be created (INCOMING and OUTGOING) for those candidates who meet the required thresholds. The 6 highest scoring female and 6 highest scoring male candidates (INCOMING) and the 4 highest scoring female and 4 highest scoring male candidates (OUTGOING) will then be invited for a personal interview. Respecting national law, additional candidates may be invited (e.g., disabled candidates meeting the thresholds). In addition a waiting list for each funding scheme will be prepared and applicants will be informed about their place on the waiting list
The Selection Committee will also inform unsuccessful candidates who are neither invited for an interview nor on the waiting list. The rejection includes an individual Evaluation Summary Report stating the scores achieved and the main strengths and weaknesses of the application. If an application was rejected the unsuccessful candidates have one week to submit a process related appeal.

In the process of the evaluation of your application it can be relevant, if breaks in your career path are mentioned in your proposal. Your scientific track record will be assessed according to the quantity and quality of your achievements in relation to your current career stage. Therefore you should explain reasons for unavoidable delays in your career. These can be but are not limited to:

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, or childcare
  • Care of family members
  • Chronic illness or disability
  • Long periods of serious illness
  • National military or civil service

Those who also want to explain extended qualification phases, publication gaps, etc. can do so by stating the circumstances in the Covering Letter of your application.

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