Five times a year, the FWF’s Scientific Consultants gather at Scientific Board meetings to decide on proposals on the basis of the reviews. All approved projects are listed online on the FWF’s Research Radar page.

Selecting excellent researchers and their ideas – all funding decisions are made by the FWF’s Scientific Board after successful review

The FWF treats all scientific and scholarly disciplines as well as arts-based research equally and has no quota system regulating the distribution of funds among the various programs, disciplines, or research institutions. To ensure fair competition, individual programs each have their own budgets. Proposals are evaluated only in comparison to equivalent applications. Funding decisions are made solely by the independent Scientific Board on the basis of the “many eyes principle.” i.e. no decision is ever made by one single individual. The Scientific Board is made up of 69 Scientific Consultants and the members of the FWF Executive Board. The Scientific Consultants, researchers from Austrian research institutions who are experienced in their field, are elected and appointed for a period of three years. They have the task of deciding on each proposal based on the reviews received. In a few programs, multi-stage decision-making procedures apply; some also have juries. In most cases, decisions are made unanimously and (where necessary) often after a detailed discussion and comparison of the proposals submitted. For more information, please see the individual program pages and the General Principles of the Decision-Making Procedure.

Avoiding bias and conflicts of interest

Ensuring impartiality among everyone involved in the decision-making process is very important to the FWF. The comprehensive rules on bias and the measures taken to avoid conflicts of interest are detailed in the General Principles of the FWF Decision-Making Procedure

Upcoming Scientific Board meetings in 2023

  • October 2–4, 2023
  • November 27–29, 2023
  • March 4–6, 2024
  • April 29–30, 2024
  • June 24–26, 2024
  • September 30 to October 2, 2024
  • November 25–27, 2024

Evaluating the FWF decision-making process

The legitimacy of a funding agency in basic research and the reputation of its programs among researchers depends on a number of factors:

  • The organization's ability to minimize distortions in approval probability by its decision-making procedure
  • The quality of the scientific results generated by funded research projects
  • The acceptance of the decision-making procedures by the scientific community

In this context, the FWF has conducted a number of analyses itself or commissioned external agencies to conduct them: (Self-)Evaluation studies

Studien zur (Selbst-)Evaluierung [Translate to English]

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