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Each application will be assessed on the following criteria:

• The research background of the applicant and ability to undertake the proposed research
• The strength of the applicant and partner organisation (including institution/library/archive) in the area of proposed research
• Excellence of the research proposal
• The mutual benefit of the international collaboration
• Potential contribution to Irish-based research resulting from the proposed visit

Reviewers and Assessors will evaluate the ability of the applicant to undertake the proposed research, considering their track record in terms of publication and their stage of career. The primary assessment of quality will be based on the specific research objective of the proposal, and whether the research activities outlined are likely to lead to successful achievement of the objective within the stated timeframe.

Applications are assessed in a competitive context and with consideration of the available resources. Comparative judgements about value for money may be considered at the final stage of assessment.

Applicants are asked to bear in mind that that applications will be read by a non-expert panel as well as peers in their own field and to present their application content accordingly.

How applications are processed and assessed

• Applications that are deemed eligible will be passed on for assessment. If an application is ineligible the applicant will be informed via email and the application will not be assessed.
• An initial assessment is carried out by reviewers drawn from the RIA’s networks, based on the discipline/s identified by applicants in the application process.
• A shortlist is agreed by the V.P. for Research together with the Secretaries for Humanities and Social Sciences and Sciences based on the initial assessments.
• Two distinct assessment committees are chaired by the RIA’s V.P. for Research and the Secretaries for the Humanities & Social Sciences and Sciences are involved in the final assessment of the applications in their respective areas. These two panels make the final funding decisions.
• Each applicant will then receive a letter of decision. If an application has been successful the letter will include information about next steps.

Role of the Chair of the Assessment Committee

The primary role of the Chair is to facilitate the Assessment Committee in making its assessment, and to make sure that fair decisions are made in as efficient a manner as possible. In conjunction with RIA staff, the Chair must also ensure that assessments are made in line with the published criteria and that assessment procedures are followed. The V.P. for Research chairs both panels.

In general, the Chair does not have a voting role on the Assessment Committee. The exceptions to this are:

  • when a conflict of interest is declared by another Assessor member.
  • In extraordinary circumstances when consensus cannot be reached and a casting vote is necessary.

Role of the Reviewers and Assessors

Based on the applications presented to them, reviewers and assessors are asked to use their expertise and knowledge to assess, score and make decisions in line with the published criteria for the award and in the context of available funds.

Through its network of Members, multidisciplinary committee members and international contacts, the RIA sources the very best national and international peer reviewers across a broad range of disciplines to ensure that all applications received are rigorously assessed to the highest international standards. An initial assessment is carried out by reviewers drawn from the RIA’s networks, based on the discipline/s identified by applicants in the application process.

Assessors are required to review and assess material in advance of the Assessment Committee meeting and on the day to score each application against the criteria and to articulate the rationale for their support or otherwise of an application. Assessors cannot abstain from making decisions unless an interest is declared.

The RIA staff member (Senior Programme Manager) who is present at the Assessment panel does not have a vote in the scoring of applications. However, the staff member is there to offer support and advice to the Assessment Committee when needed.

All Reviewers and Assessors must complete both conflict of interest and confidentiality forms.

Outcome of application

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application approximately 12 weeks after the closing date. Results are issued by email. A full list of successful projects will be published on the RIA website.