July 2007 Grant Evaluation FCT Portugal
In late June I was invited by the Foundation for Science and the Technology Portugal (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia) to evaluate a number of grant proposals on a Computer Engineering Panel. This involved the detail review and evaluation of over 15 proposals followed by a two day scientific evaluation panel meeting hosted at the offices of the Science and Technology Foundation – Lisbon.
Overall this was a very rewarding and enlightening experience. Having been involved in remote project evaluations in Ireland, the UK, Australia and Canada this level of involvement and commitment took the oversight process to a new level of rigour. This process is how the SFI in Ireland reviews many of its grant applications and it really is international best practice. The Foundation for Science and the Technology promotes national scientific inquiry and the technological development through financing project at institutions of scientific inquiry. All project funding decisions are made through a public competition and independent evaluations are carried out by panels consisting by foreign scientists, such as the one I was involved with.
The round I was involved with had over 5,000 applications which has kept the hard working staff in the FCT busy for many many months!