Guide to become an Evaluator/Expert for the European Commission
The European Union Institutions appoint external experts to assist in the evaluation of grant applications, projects and tenders, and to provide opinions and advice in specific cases. The experts assist in:
- Evaluation of proposals, prize applications and tenders
- Monitoring of actions, grant agreements, public procurement contracts
In addition, experts provide opinion and advise on:
implementation and evaluation of EU programmes and design of policies.
The European Commission selects candidates with the most suitable profiles for each evaluation. Selected experts are contracted for short-term assignments lasting anywhere from two days up to two weeks, in some cases up to 30 days. The evaluation and review work may be carried out fully or partially at expert’s home or place of work, or on the Commission premises.
Who can become an Expert?
In order to be selected, experts must:
- have a high level of expertise in their relevant fields
- be available for occasional, short-term assignments
- have good knowledge of English and French and/or German
- be able to use IT tools
Anyone can register their interest to become an expert, but please note that most experts selected will come from EU countries and associated countries.
How is the selection process of Experts/ Evaluators?
The selection of experts will be made (as and when needed) from the Database, on the basis of selection criteria such as professional expertise and experience, language skills, geographical and business-sector balance, gender balance, regular rotation, and absence of conflict of interest. The procedure will be objective and follow the principles of non-discrimination and equal treatment.
Not only top scientists are selected for the Experts database, but also the Commission looks for experts with experience and knowledge in transversal areas such as project management, innovation, communication, capitalization of research results, etc.
Assignments are subject to the following ceilings: expert can normally not be paid more than 90.000€ during a period of four consecutive calendar years, excluding allowances and travel costs.
How I register as Expert?
Firstly, you need to create an EU Login account here, which is an unique identifier for individuals.
In ‘My Expert Area’ you can register, sign contracts, manage tasks, submit cost claims and receive payments.
In some calls, in addition to register as an expert, you may be required to send the CV in parallel. This is the case of CINEA Innovation Fund Calls. The Commission requires you to send your CV to CINEA-Innovationfundfirstname.lastname@example.org. More info about this call here.
How is the evaluation process of proposals?
Once you have been selected as an Expert or Evaluator for a specific call, you need to know how is the process of proposals’ evaluation.
- First, the Commission verifies the admissibility/eligibility of the proposal and then allocate the proposals to the evaluators.
- Experts assess proposals individually. Minimum of three experts per proposal (but often more than three).
- All individual experts discuss together to agree on a common position, including comments and scores for each proposal.
- The panel of experts reach an agreement on the scores and comments for all proposals within a call (or a meeting in Brussels), checking consistency across the evaluations. Then, they rank the proposals with the same score.
- The Commission/Agency reviews the results of the experts’ evaluation and puts together the final ranking list.
Why should I register as an Expert/Evaluator?
- Becoming an expert evaluator in Horizon Europe is the best way to get to know the evaluation process in the new programme and become successful as an applicant faster. Getting to know how the evaluation process works and what the experts are looking for in an excellent proposal will allow you to improve your own applications in the future.
- Furthermore, expert evaluators are remunerated for their work and have their expenses related to travelling to Brussels (if required) covered by the EU.
- In addition, it will be an added value to your CV and professional experience.
Remember you need to be free from conflicts of interest. Experts must declare that no conflict of interest exists and that they will inform the Commission if any such conflict should arise in the course of their duties. These aspects may be considered as potential conflict of interest and will prevent you to become an evaluator for a specific call:
- Be involved in the preparation of the proposal including as proposal writer or consultant;
- Stand to benefit directly/indirectly if the proposal is successful;
- Have a close family/personal relationship with someone involved in the proposal;
- Be a director/trustee/partner of an applicant or involved in the management of an applicant’s organisation ;
- Be employed or contracted by an applicant;
- Be a member of a Horizon Europe Advisory Group;
- Be a member of a Horizon Europe Programme Committee;
- Be involved in a National Contact Point or directly working for the European Agencies;
- Be employed or contracted by one of the applicants in the last 3 years
- Be involved in research collaboration with any of the scientists in the last 3 years;
- Be involved in a grant agreement/decision, the membership of management structures or a research collaboration with an applicant in the last 3 years;
How much I will be paid as an Evaluator?
Under the new model contract, the fees for remote work will be composed of different unit costs per task and proposal/ prize application, in accordance with the tables set out below. The unit cost per working day used previously (and also used for experts under Decision C(2007)58581) was broken down into a rate per work unit (i.e. EUR 45 per work unit; 10 work units are equivalent to 450€; 10 work units are equivalent to 1 working day) and each task was given the number of work units that correspond to the working time normally required for it. The resulting breakdown of fees allows for a simple and straightforward remuneration of the different tasks to be performed remotely during evaluations. The tasks and fees will be fixed in advance for each expert in his/her contract (Articles 3 and 4) and will apply automatically, depending on the number of tasks assigned.
The Commission also pays accommodation allowances and daily allowances to experts who are entitled to receive them:
- accommodation allowance is €100 per night
- daily allowance is a flat rate of €92 to cover all expenditure at the place where the meeting/work is held, including meals and local transport (bus, tram, metro, taxi, parking, motorway tolls, etc.) as well as travel and accident insurance
- experts who live less than 100km from the meeting venue receive a daily allowance of €46, and are not eligible to receive the accommodation allowance
More information about the remuneration can be found here.
Tips to be selected as Expert/Evaluator:
- Profile — Fill in all sections of the online form and kept up-to-date!
- Areas of expertise and professional experience must be adequately detailed and documented.
- Upload your ID documentation and bank account when required.
- Be aware that the Commission may use publicly available sources to confirm and cross-check the information you provide in the online form (including internet, social media, etc), so keep up-to-date your LinkedIn profile and website in case you have one.
- List and select all relevant keywords that best describe your expertise. This point is very important, try to choose the keywords of the call you are interested in evaluating.
- Women are highly encouraged to register as evaluators. In general, 40% of the evaluators are women. However, only 15% of the experts registered in the database are women.
- Last but not least, check your email! The Commission will use the email address in your profile to contact you (including for formal notifications). Formal notifications which have not been opened within 10 days after sending will be considered to have been accessed and deadlines will be counted from opening/access.
Finally, if you feel curious about the evaluators, you can check the list of experts for the 2021 Horizon Europe Programme here. The list shows more than 12.000 evaluators that have participated in the previous calls, you can filter by topic to narrow the list to the evaluators involved in the blue sectors.
Any questions? Check out the main documents produced by the European Commission: FAQs, Standard Briefing for Horizon Europe Proposal Evaluator.