The review process for the DRS -Fellowship COFUND consists of four phases which are further described below:
I) Eligibility check
II) International peer-review
III) Structured interviews
IV) Final selection by a supervisory committee.
Each phase must be passed successfully to proceed to the next. Candidates will receive an identification code which will allow anonymised results of each selection phase to be published on a secure website with limited access. After completion of phase 1, applicants will receive login details for the secure site and will from then on be notified by e-mail each time new results are announced.
I. Eligibility check
The eligibility check is conducted by the project coordinator and managing director of the DRS according to the published eligibility criteria.
a) Applications meet the eligibiliy criteria and are complete.
b) Applications are based on the research themes pursued in the relevant excellence program and feasible within the program’s scope.
II. International peer review
The excellence programs appoint two international peers per application. The selection criteria are weighted differently, in line with the general objectives of the COFUND program, and are as follows:
Special circumstances and personal commitments (especially family-related career breaks) that place applicants at a disadvantage may be considered.
Applicants who obtain a score of at least 3.75 points (75% of the total points) are recommended for phase III.
III. Structured interviews conducted by selection boards of the excellence programs
The structured interviews are conducted via Skype or videoconference by an internal selection board consisting of at least three principal investigators from the relevant excellence program. The selection board prepares a list of applicant rankings and issues a recommendation to the external selection committee.
Criteria during the interview are:
Applicants who obtain a score of at least 15 out of 20 possible points (75%) are recommended for the final selection phase.
IV. Final decision by supervisory selection committee
The Competitive Selection and the final decision on admission or rejection will be the responsibility of the Supervisory Selection Committee. The committee will consist of four members of the Excellence Council of Freie Universität, two experts from international research institutions as well as two representatives from German non-university research institutions.
The Supervisory Committee will take the final decision based on the competitive ranking of candidates from phase II and the recommendations of the selection boards from phase III.