The legitimacy of a funding agency in basic research depends at least on the following factors:
- organisation's ability to minimise distortions in approval probability by its decision procedure
- the scientific quality of results produced by funded research proposals
- the acceptance of the procedures by the scientific community
To ensure these requirements, the FWF started a sequence of empirical studies in 2010 which contain analyses of the decision making procedure (peer review) as well as statistical and bibliometric analyses of FWF funded proposals. In autumn 2013, a survey among the Austrian scientific community will follow. And finally, all studies will be round off by an umbrella paper which summarizes the results.
Some of the analyses are conducted by the FWF itself but additionally tested and supplemented by independent experts like a research group of the ETH Zurich and MPG Munich (Hans-Dieter Daniel, Rüdiger Mutz, Lutz Bornmann), the bibliometric research group of the CWTS Leiden and the Institute for Research Information and Quality Assurance (IfQ). All results are openly accessible and are published as policy papers or in relevant international journals.