Evaluation Process

Eligibility check

The eligibility of applicants will be checked by the Management Team immediately after the application deadline.

The result will be communicated to the candidates, with the clear reason in case of rejection.

Only eligible application files will enter the next stage of the selection process.

Eligibility criteria are presented here.



Evaluation - Stage 1 (application file)

The selection process is based on an international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral (3i) peer review process.

The proposals are submitted to the  Evaluation Committee for examination.

Each application will be evaluated individually by 3 of the 6 members of one of the panels (SSH, ES, MCSCT, ENG or ST) according to these criteria:


Evaluation criteria in Stage 1 – Candidates’ application file


1: Academic background and excellence of the applicant:(a) Originality of appropriation of the research, clarity of the objectives, (b) Research experience, (c) Education, qualifications

max = 35

2: Strength and relevance of topic: (a) Feasibility within 3 years based on former experience, (b) Capacity to carry out the project and preliminary career plan, (c) Dissemination & exploitation plan

max = 35

3: Professional references: (a) Ability to work independently, (b) Quality of previous work performed and scientific curiosity, (c) Soft skills

max = 15

4: Career development of the applicant: (a) Past and planed diversity of research agenda, (b) Past and planed international experience, (c) Past and planed non-academic experience

max = 15

Rejection under 75/100 threshold. In case of equality, criteria 1 will prevail on criteria 2, then criteria 3 and then 4. The 60 best applications will be kept for the Auditions (20 per panel max.)

Total = 100


The international experts review and rank the proposals according to the evaluation criteria. For each PhD project, applicants will be ranked and either shortlisted (max 60 applications) or not selected.

The candidates will receive a personal feedback from the management team.. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to the second stage of selection.



Evaluation - Stage 2 (Auditions)

The short-list of 60 candidates will be invited (by e-mail from the Management Team) to participate to an audition. Auditions will be organized remotely.


Each applicant will be evaluated by the Selection Committee, composed of all the six experts of their respective panel, plus a member of the Quality and Ethics Board, and the supervision team.


Audition will include a 15 minutes oral presentation followed by a 15 minutes discussion with the jury. The presentation will include the candidate’s background, motivation and preliminary career plan, the PhD topic with the intended approach, and the arguments showing how she/he would fit the position.


At the end of the audition, the jury will have to reach a consensus to award a mark according to these criteria:





Evaluation criteria in Stage 2 – Auditions




1: Academic Excellence & Motivation: (a) Qualifications, coherence of the resume, (b) Knowledge of the state-of-the-art of the topic, match between candidate’s profile and PhD topic, (c) Personal, professional and scientific motivation


max = 40


2: Appropriation of the PhD project: (a) Explanation of the problem and hypotheses, (b) Description of the objectives and methodology, (c) Feasibility (scientific agenda, dissemination plan)


max = 35


3: Communication skills and maturity of the applicant: (a)Quality and clarity of the presentation, (b) Quality of answers given to reviewers’ question,  (c) Fluency in English


max = 25


Rejection under 75/100 threshold. In case of equality, criteria 1 will prevail on criteria 2, then criteria 3. In case of equality, the score in the 1st stage will prevail.


Total = 100



Final consensus meeting


This meeting will be chaired by the Project coordinator supported by the Chair of the Experts-Evaluators. During this meeting, the 5 panels will meet to rank and provide with the final short-list of  the 16 highest ranked applicants and a reserve list of the 16 following best ranked applicants.

The top 16 successful candidates will be contacted by the Management Team and required to communicate their acceptance by email.


Failure to do so will result in the position being offered to the candidates best ranked on the reserve list. The final and formal validation by the Government Board will take place after acceptance of all candidates from the main list and after examination of all redress cases if any. Candidates will then receive an official invitation letter that will allow them to ask for a Visa.

For further information, the applicant may refer to the Guide for Applicants (available here).