ESF Member Organisation Forum on Evaluation of Funding Schemes and Research Programmes



Getting the evaluation of funding schemes and research programmes right for improving both the internal operations and the external accountability of funding agencies and research organisations is gaining importance. However, the procedures and organisational integration of evaluation activities are rather different across Europe. The ESF Member Organisation Forum on Evaluation of Funding Schemes and Research Programmes brought together more than 40 evaluation officers from ESF Member Organisations to exchange experiences and gather best practice.  From October 2007 to November 2009, the Forum convened in five workshops, focused on the following topics:

  1. 1st Workshop (hosted by DFG – German Research Foundation): Evaluation of Funding Schemes and Research Programmes: Expectations, Practices and Experiences

  2. 2nd Workshop (hosted by the INFN - Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics): Quantitative Indicators in ex-post Evaluation of Funding Schemes and Research Programmes

  3. 3rd Workshop (hosted by FWF – Austrian Science Fund): Best practices in “Quality assurance”

  4. 4th Workshop (hosted by OTKA – Hungarian Scientific Research Fund): Socio-economic impact assessment

  5. 5th Workshop (hosted by SFI - Science Foundation Ireland and HRB - Health Research Board) in November 2009 was the Final Forum workshop.

Aims & Objectives

  • to facilitate networking of science officers engaged in evaluation,

  • to exchange and document experiences with current practices,

  • to explore needs and possibilities for collaboration in future evaluation exercises.

Strategic Alignment


On 1st October 2009, the Final Report of the Forum: Mapping Of Research Evaluation Practices In Europe: A Report Of The ESF Member Forum On Evaluation Of Funding Schemes And Research Programmes was delivered.

The structure of this report follows the different evaluation levels identified in the Forum. While the first chapter focuses on the evaluation of research funding agencies, the second focuses on selected evaluation studies of research fields.  The evaluation of strategic issues is a field that is exemplified by the topics 'socio-economic impact' and 'gender issues'.  The main chapter is dedicated to the evaluation of research funding schemes and gives a comprehensive overview of funding schemes and the corresponding evaluation studies of ESF Member Organisations. The last chapter explores the use of final reports for evaluative purposes.

All chapters are based on case studies presented during the workshops of the ESF MO Forum which served as an input into the discussion.  An extensive annex gives details on many evaluation studies conducted during the past five years.

During the course of its work, the ESF MO Forum on ex-post Evaluation brought together the expertise of many partners. Based on the outcome of the workshops, the MO Forum developed the mapping report of current evaluation activities at hand, which highlights differences and commonalities among evaluation practices. Since evaluation is a very dynamic field, this report should be regularly updated, further elaborated and disseminated. At the same time, the participants of the Forum are going to continue to exchange their experiences.

For more information please contact mo-fora[at]