The awards committee comprises scholars and scientists employed at a university or a non-university research institution in Austria. The committee members are nominated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences.
The selection procedure for a L’ORÉAL Austria Fellowship takes approx. four months.
The applications of the candidates shortlisted in the preliminary selection procedure are reviewed by international experts. At least one meaningful review is sought for each application. The committee’s decision to award Fellowships is based on the reviews and the reports of the individual committee members.
Applicants do not have recourse to legal action.
The applications are assigned to the members of the awards committee according to their fields. Great attention is paid to avoiding potential conflicts of interest. Hence committee members and applicants may not work at the same university or research institute. Furthermore, professional or private relations or rivalry are also taken into consideration, and, if necessary, external experts are called upon to assess an application.
The first stage of selection decides which applications will be sent for external review. If the panel is of the view that an application does not fulfil the criteria of the funding programme, it is rejected.
For the applications that are to be externally assessed, the members of the committee suggest reviewers abroad who seem suitable in the relevant fields. Their selection pays close attention to bias and potential conflicts of interest.
There is no set pool of reviewers; for each application experts are sought who are in a position to judge the application on the basis of their own academic experience or research activities in accordance with the international standards in the field in question.
Applicants have the right to exclude up to three experts from the review process (e.g. due to rivalry or to dispute between schools).
The review process
At least one reviewer is enlisted for each application in the framework of the L’ORÉAL Austria programme. In the case of interdisciplinary applications embracing several fields of research this number can be increased.
A review consists of a written assessment and a formal evaluation of the academic qualification of the applicant and parts of the research project on a scale from 1–10 (1–2 = inadequate, 9–10 = outstanding):
Finally, the reviewers are requested to provide a summary stating whether they recommend that the application be funded without reservation or should be rejected.
If the written statement does not seem particularly meaningful, another review is sought. The reviewers are requested to state potential conflicts of interest. If conflict of interest is established retrospectively, the review is not taken into consideration.
The decision concerning selection of the Fellows is made in the awards meeting.
On the basis of the reviews, the members of the committee rank the applications assigned to them and present them to the committee. The applications are dealt with in comparison with one another; the reviews, but also other criteria – such as performance at university and duration of studies, publication history, mobility – are discussed in detail.
The decision to award the Fellowships is made by the entire committee.
If an application has been submitted by someone with whom individual committee members have a close professional or personal relationship and goes through to the assessment stage, these committee members do not sit in that round of selection.
Information for applicants
Applicants are informed by mid July about the decision of the awards committee.
No correspondence will be entered into concerning reasons for or against the awarding of a fellowship.