After each cut-off hundreds of small companies that applied for the SME Instrument get an Evaluation Summary Report (ESR) announcing the results of their submission. But how are the SME Instrument proposals scored?
Under the SME Instrument grant proposals are evaluated by 4 independent experts, on the basis of three award criteria: 'impact', 'excellence' and 'quality and efficiency of the implementation'. Proposals get a score of 1-5 for each of the three criteria, giving a total score of maximum 15.
To calculate the overall score of a proposal – the so-called 'ESR score' – first a median score across the 4 evaluators is established for each criterion. The median scores of all three criteria are then added up to get the overall score of a proposal. This overall score determines whether proposals are above or below the threshold to become candidates for funding. The threshold is 13 for Phase 1 and 12 for Phase 2.
The proposals above threshold are then ranked in order of excellence. The ranking is established based on the so-called 'normalised score'. The normalised score is calculated as follows: the score for 'impact' multiplied by 1.5, added to the score for 'excellence', added to the score for 'implementation'. The best proposals are then selected for funding according to the available budget by topic.
What happens if proposals have the same score?
Proposals whose 'normalised scores' are equal are ranked based on the higher score on 'impact'. If proposals have the same score for 'impact', the score for 'excellence' is used and if these are still similar, the score for 'implementation' is finally taken into consideration.
For more information have a look at detailed explanations and references to the work programme.