Review Process


Expert Panel members are appointed by the Science Committee of the Icelandic Science and Technology Policy Council. Up to seven individuals with qualifications at associate professor level or higher, who have extensive experience of research, are appointed to each Expert Panel. At least two members of each Expert Panel shall be professionally active outside of Iceland. When appointing Expert Panel members, it should be endeavored to have members with expertise that represents the breadth of disciplines in the panel, and to ensure as equal a gender distribution of members as possible.

The Science Committee appoints one person from each of the panels to serve as chair for that panel. The chair is responsible, with the help of the expert staff member from the Icelandic Center for Research assigned to the panel, for coordinating the work of the Expert Panel and ensuring that the Panel works in accordance with the IRF mandate and role, and follows general rules regarding ethical conduct. When appointed, the Panels are made public on the website of the Icelandic Centre for Research.


When an application has been successfully submitted to the Icelandic Centre for Research through the electronic submission system, it is processed as follows: 


All applications are screened by the expert staff member from the Icelandic Centre for Research. Incomplete applications and applications where IRF rules have not been followed are rejected without further review, and the applicant is notified of that outcome.


All applications are assessed by the relevant Expert Panel, which seeks the opinions of two or more external reviewers for applications for project grants, grants of excellence and postdoctoral fellowships. Doctoral student applications are assessed within the Expert Panel. The Expert Panel processes each application with a reasoned, written report and ranks applications based on the expert assessment. 


When the Expert Panel has finalized its review and ranking of applications, the chair of each panel meets with the IRF Board and gives an overview of the Expert Panel's deliberations and whether problems arose in the assessment of applications. The Expert Panel chair covers in detail all applications that received an ‘A' rating. Decisions on funding are taken by the IRF Board following presentations from Expert Panels. If necessary, the Board can solicit advice beyond that which the Expert Panels of the funds can provide. In addition to the Expert Panel review, the IRF Board must take into consideration the general policy of the Science and Technology Policy Council, the funding policy approved by the Science Committee of the Science and Technology Policy Council, and the annual budget of the fund. When allocation has been decided, applicants are sent a reply containing the final assessment of the Expert Panel.

The Board's decisions on funding from the IRF are final. Under Art. 4 of Act No. 3/2003, the funding decisions of the IRF Board are not subject to administrative complaints.


Information on grants awarded is published on the home page of the Icelandic Centre for Research, where the Fund's database can also be searched for information on previous grants awarded.  

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