Grants process overview

Please note that the Anniversary Fund provides English translations of the materials it publishes on the OeNB website for information only. In case of discrepancies, the German original will prevail. To get the complete picture, therefore please also refer to the German content.

The award of research grants involves great responsibility and frequently proves to be a delicate balancing act. This is all the more so because both the total number and the total amount of funding requests have been on the rise whereas the award budget remains nearly unchanged. To provide for a balanced and integrated approach to evaluation, the Anniversary Fund assigns all research proposals to qualified experts for review.

Stage 1: Preselection

In all of the four scientific disciplines supported by the Anniversary Fund, expert panels preselect proposals (stage 1) based on different criteria (e.g. priority of the research topic, quality of the research proposal). Once each proposal has been reviewed on its own, the expert panel meets to discuss and compare all proposals. The goal is to apply objective criteria to preselect applications that qualify for a peer review.

In light of capacity constraints, no reasons will be given why a proposal did not qualify for an expert review. Project proposals that were rejected by the expert panel during the preselection stage are barred from resubmission to the Anniversary Fund.

If expert panels reject proposals at this stage, applicants are notified in writing in a timely fashion to allow them to plan their research projects accordingly.

Stage 2: Scientific peer review

Scientific peer reviews (stage 2) provide the key basis for our funding decisions. Expert reviewers fill out a structured review form, evaluating “research priority,” “research quality,” “methodology” and “research team qualification.” They assign scores to these four criteria and have to reasonably justify the scores.

In selecting reviewers in close cooperation with the expert panels, the Anniversary Fund strives to achieve a reasonable balance between Austrian and foreign experts.

A single blind procedure – a method commonly used to assess research proposals – is applied to both preselection by expert panels (stage 1) and scientific peer reviews (stage 2).

Scientific reviews by qualified experts provide the key basis of our funding decisions. They are invaluable in helping the Anniversary Fund make funding decisions with maximum impact.

Apart from supporting the decision-making processes of the Anniversary Fund, reviews provide constructive feedback to applicants, helping them to enhance and finetune their research design. Efforts will be much appreciated by them as well.


Hence, any input provided by reviewers empowers us to help advance scientific research. We would like to thank reviewers for their time and efforts in advance!

The Anniversary Fund