Topic selection for the annual programme

The submission of research topics for KCE's annual programme should be done via the online form.

The selection procedure then carried out in several stages

1. Assessment of eligibility

In order to be taken into account, the topic must meet the following requirements:

Has this topic already been studied by KCE or by another public organization (e.g. Hoge Gezondheidsraad/Conseil Supérieur , Sciensano,…?) All published KCE-reports as well as the list of all planned or ongoing projects are available on the KCE-website.

Please note that: 

  • Research proposals for funding of interventional diagnostic or therapeutic studies (clinical trials) will not be considered for the annual programme, but they may be eligible for the KCE Trials programme.
  • For the development of guidelines, KCE will only withhold proposals that are intended for health care professionals  of the 2nd or 3rd line. Since 2018, the federal network for Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) has been responsible for the development of guidelines for primary care.
  • Regarding the development, updating or implementation of guidelines in primary care, the EBP network, in which KCE participates, is also launching an annual call for projects. The documents needed to participate in this call are on the Ebpracticenet website and are available via this link.

2. Assessment of priority

Each September, after closure of its call, KCE ranks of the topics based on the following criteria:

  • Policy relevance of the proposed topic: can it help with health care decision making?
  • Frequency, severity, and room for improvement of the health problem related to the proposed topic;
  • Feasibility of the proposed study.

For more details on the priority criteria and the methodology, click here.

  • In order to make the assessment process as impartial as possible, all proposals are anonymised.

3. Selection of topics

a) Setup of a short list

  • The priority ranking will be presented to KCE’s Executive Board in October. The Board will then make a preselection (shortlist) of topics for the provisional study programme of the following year.
  • In November, the individuals/organisations who submitted a topic will be informed whether their proposal was selected for the shortlist. 

For more details on the methodology of the short listing, click here

b) In depth analysis and selection

  • For each topic on the shortlist, KCE will perform a limited pre-analysis to assess more precisely the methodological feasibility of the study, the availability of data (if applicable) and an estimation of the workload required to perform the study.
  • Will only be retained, the shortlisted proposals that are truly feasible, taking into account time, budget constraints and human resources.
  • These topics will be presented to the Executive Board in December. The Board will then establish the work programme for the following year.
  • In January the initiators will be informed whether their proposal was selected for KCE’s work programme.

For more details on the methodology of this step, click here  

4. Who will conduct the studies?

  • Either KCE researchers.
  • Or KCE researchers in collaboration with an external scientific team which was selected on the basis of a public tender.
  • The individual/organisation who submitted the proposal may be invited as an external expert. They can also apply for the tender, if KCE decides to launch one.
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