1. Anonymisation of proposals
2. Thorough review and assessment of each proposal
Are involved: the members of the KCE-management, all senior experts of the KCE, as well as at least two other (internal or external) experts specialised in the domain concerned.
The five priority criteria:
- Policy relevance: To what extent can the study provide support to the decision-making process?
- Importance of the topic – Frequency: Will the results of the study be relevant for a large number of patients, bouts of illness, care providers and/or care institutions?
Importance of the topic – Severity: Does the topic deal with a serious health or health care issue (life expectancy, patient quality of life , quality, continuity of care; accessibility, fair access to care, social and ethical aspects) or with economic aspects (affordability for patients and/or the relevant authorities; efficient use of the available resources)?
Importance of the study – Room for improvement: Will the proposed study be able to resolve the problem? What obstacles can be expected?
- Feasibility: Is the proposed study likely to be completed within a period of one year?
The members of the review panel can give five different scores to every item: 1 = unsatisfactorily; 2 = fairly; 3 = satisfactorily; 4 = adequately; 5 = perfectly.
The average and the standard deviations of the scores will be calculated. Every difference of opinion based on the standard deviation or the comments of the members of the jury will be discussed. The object of these deliberations is to reach a consensus which may involve an adjustment of the scores.
The overall priority score per research proposal will be calculated by adding up the five average scores. The higher the end result of the sum, the higher the priority of the proposal.
In case of different viewpoints, based on the standard deviations and the written comments from the evaluators, the subject will be discussed in order to obtain consensus.
3. Establishing a shortlist and the provisional programme
The best scored research topics will be included in a shortlist of approximately 20 study topics. This shortlist will be presented to the KCE Executive Board in October. The Executive Board may adjust the pre-set priorities and will ultimately decide the provisional programme for the next year.