As calls for EU-funded RDI projects are competitive, submissions received answering to such a call for proposals need to be evaluated in order to determine which project are eligible for funding and which are not.
These evaluations are not carried out by the European Commission itself. The EC is rather relying on an extensive network of external experts covering a vast multitude of domains and backgrounds. Any interested person may sign up to the European Commission expert database.
Upon request, the expert may then accept or refuse an invitation to evaluate a proposal. Three experts will first evaluate proposals individually, before consulting with each other and to reach a balanced final score. Experts receive financial compensation for their work.
But above all, evaluating a proposal is a creative way to hone one's one proposal drafting skills. Under Horizon 2020, the demand for experts is expected to rise.
Preparing the launch of Horizon 2020, the European Commission has opened a new call for independent experts in November 2013. Due to the large range of activities in science, technology, innovation, or social sciences covered, experts from both an academic and more business oriented background are invited to apply. The call is open to those of any nationality with a high level of expertise in a relevant field. Around 40,000 proposals coming from approximately 100 calls are expected per year.
Experts who have registered their profile under the Seventh Framework Programme are invited to declare their interest and update their area of expertise online. New experts are also invited to create their profile online.
Further details on the type of expertise sought and registration can be found on the new Participant Portal.