Procedural rules for jury panels governing the award of the FWO Excellence Prizes for the period 2011-2015

Compositions of the Jury Panels

Art. 1.

Three jury panels shall be composed to evaluate the nominated candidates for the five-yearly prizes :

  • one jury for the domain of Sciences and Technology,
  • one jury for the domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, and
  • one jury for the domain of Biomedical Sciences.

The selection and composition of the jury members and panels falls within the province and competence of the Board and the Board of Trustees.

Art. 2.

The members of the three jury panels are not to be associated with a Belgian university or a scientific institute and are not permitted to nominate a candidate for a prize.

The jury panels shall be composed of 7 members each.

The composition of the jury will be determined after the expiry of the submission deadline in order to match the expertise of the jury members to the received applications.  The FWO administration will submit a list of suitable jury members for ratification to the Board and Board of Trustees of FWO.  The international experts will be chosen from former FWO-Odysseus Jury’s, the Big Science Jury’s, ERC chairs and other international evaluation panels.

Jury meetings

Art. 3.

The jury members shall meet inside the buildings of the FWO. Each of the jury panels shall be chaired by the most senior member.  The FWO administration will take minutes of the jury meeting.

Art. 4.

The jury panels shall designate, in writing, three referees per candidate. They shall select 1 or 2 referees from the list of five names as proposed by the nominator, and either 2 or 1 referees not on it, on a proposal of the FWO administration.

Art. 5.

The jury members are to render an objective evaluation on the merits of the candidates that is based on the information in the dossiers, on the reports submitted by the referees, and on their own deliberations during the meetings.

For each candidate, two jury members whose expertise most closely approaches that of the candidate under consideration shall be designated as pre-rapporteurs.

Art. 6.

The jury meetings shall be treated in the strictest confidence. The jury members shall be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement and declaration that they have not had any contact with any of the nominated candidates or the nominator.

Jury deliberations and jury voting

Art. 7.

Following deliberations on the scientific merits and on the strengths and weaknesses of each and every candidate, the candidates of each prize shall be ranked in two categories: A (qualifies for the prize), B (does not qualify for the prize).

In the event that not a single candidate has made the category A ranking, the jury shall recommend the Board of Trustees of the FWO that the prize not be awarded.

Art. 8.

In the first round, the jury shall take a secret vote on the candidates ranked in category A. For this vote, each jury member shall rank the candidates in order of preference (ex aequo and abstentions are excluded).

During the second round, the jury shall hold a secret vote on the three candidates that tallied the highest score on the first-round ballot. In case of an ex aequo vote for third place, four candidates are admitted to the second round. Also for this ballot, each jury member shall rank the candidates in order of preference (ex aequo and abstentions are excluded).

During the third round, the jury shall hold a secret vote on the two candidates that tallied the highest score on the second-round ballot. In case of an ex aequo vote for third place, three candidates are admitted to the third round. Also for this ballot, each jury member shall rank the candidates in order of preference (ex aequo and abstentions are excluded).

If necessary, an analogue fourth round shall be held until two candidates remain.

This last round is to be contested between two candidates so that a decision is certain to be arrived at since the number of jury members is uneven. Should this not be the case because of the absence of a jury member, the chairman shall abstain from the vote. 

Art. 9.

In the event a situation occurs that is not anticipated in the above Procedural Rules, the chairman shall decide on what course to follow, in keeping with the spirit of the afore-mentioned document.

Art. 10.

The jury panels shall announce the results of their deliberations to the Board and the Board of Trustees.