Partially Randomized Procedure - Lottery and Peer Review

Since 2017, the Volkswagen Foundation is testing a new selection procedure for project applications: In the funding initiative "Experiment!", part of the funded projects are selected by an independent jury. Additionally, further projects are drawn from those applications that are suitable for the program and eligible for funding. Background and reactions to a new and unusual selection procedure.

For the first time, the lot luck decides in the funding initiative "Experiment!" on the eligibility of project applications. With this procedure, the Volkswagen Foundation enters new territory in the funding landscape.

Im Gespräch: Ulrike Bischler und Pavel Dutow, Koordinatoren der Förderinitiative "Experiment! – Auf der Suche nach gewagten Forschungsideen" der VolkswagenStiftung, erläutern das neue teil-randomisierte Auswahlverfahren.

In our infographic, we explain the various stages in the selection of funded projects for the initiative "Experiment! - In Search of Bold Research Ideas".

Selection processes in research funding are known to be unreliable, costly and prone to bias. Injecting some randomness into the process may improve science while improving fairness and efficiency, says Dorothy Bishop, a neuropsychologist in Oxford, who started a lively online-discussion among researchers.

In addition to the jury decisions, a partially randomized procedure is employed by the Volkswagen Foundation in the funding initiative "Experiment!". An accompanying research project compares the two procedural elements "jury decision" and "lottery".