The selection procedure occurs in two steps.
1st step : selecting a short list of three candidates
The selection panel assesses the suitability of the application on the basis of the experience and reputation of the candidates. This first selection occurs on the basis of the following information, which should be detailed in the reply to the call for tender:
- the scientific reputation of the team
- its competence in the field of interest
- the multidisciplinary composition and skills of the individuals that will work on the project
- the ability to work in a network
- the turnover in the research field during the past three financial years
The selection panel selects a maximum of three applicants, who are sent the specifications giving more details of the subject and the methodology to be used for the subcontracted work.
The selected applicants are then invited to submit an offer, generally within a period of at least four weeks.
2nd step : Awarding of the contract
The specifications contain an administrative section and a technical section consisting of a “pre-project profile”.
This pre-project profile:
- stipulates the questions to which replies must be provided
- summarises the main published work on the subject
- suggests a research methodology and a study design
- estimates the time and resources required to obtain results within the stated deadline
The offers from the selected applicants must comply with the pre-project profile, defining, complementing and possibly supplementing it with additional options to show how the applicant intends to handle the research question in practice.
After the selection panel has examined the offers, KCE negotiates with the applicants where necessary to define certain points and finally arrive at a “project profile” that will form the contractual basis of the agreement concluded with the applicant that submitted the most attractive offer based on the following criteria:
- Relevance of the proposed methodology
- Suggestions for improving the pre-project profile
- Availability and skills of the researchers assigned to the project