The Quality Cycle represents the process from project application to funding award and illustrates the various steps from application to review and funding decision as well as the associated "feedback loops" between applicants, reviewers, ECR Board and the Executive Board.
The special feature of the Quality Cycle is that doctoral reearchers not only submit funding applications, but also have the opportunity to review funding applications as part of the peer review process and thus gain initial review experience. Doctoral students have the opportunity to register in our peer reviewer database. They will then be asked to provide both subject-specific and none-subject-specific reviews and will receive a review template as well as an overview of our criteria of conflict. The same criteria, which are based on those of the DFG, also apply to the rapporteurs on the ECR Board. The reviewers and rapporteurs follow the rules of good scientific practice in the review process. The reviewers receive feedback on their reviews from members of the ECR Board and can attend workshops on Proposal Writing and Reviewing at RUB Research School. In addition, doctoral students are represented within the Executive Board. This involvement of young researchers in the review and decision-making process at such an early stage in their career is a unique feature in Germany.
The funding lines use the Quality Cycle to varying degrees. Its individual phases are coordinated by staff at the Research School (Central Coordination Office). They advise on the application process, check the applications for completeness and forward them for review.