A review must comprise a written statement in which the reviewers are asked to address specific questions in relation to the proposal. At the same time, reviewers are asked to provide an overall formal assessment (i.e. rating) for each specific question using the five-point scale shown below. Each review consists of two sections: The first section is transmitted to the applicant in its entirety (including the overall ratings). In the second section, reviewers can provide additional, confidential remarks to the FWF. The FWF provides the reviewers with a brief explanation of the quality standards that should form the basis for the formal ratings:
In cases where a review is not sufficiently well argued, it is not taken into account in the decision-making procedure. Reviewers are required to declare any possible conflicts of interest. In cases where bias or a conflict of interest is identified at a later stage, the review is likewise disregarded.
1 (a) The questions for reviewers can vary according to the relevant funding programme and its objectives; questions are generally included in the appendix to the programme's application guidelines. (b) Wittgenstein Award nominations, outline proposals for Priority Research Programmes and DK Programme proposals require only written reviews, i.e. no overall ratings are required.