All submitted applications are first checked at the Foundation to verify whether the requirements contained in the "Information for Applicants" have been formally fulfilled. They are then passed on to respective experts for an external review.
The precise nature of such a peer review is determined by the requirements prescribed by the individual funding programs and applications. The spectrum ranges from individual written expert opinions (usually three per application), expert commissions (usually at least six members), or a combination of the two. Certain funding initiatives may call for applicants to make a presentation as part of the review process.
In addition to the "Information for Applicants" sheet, the participating experts receive a special set of instructions. These include the evaluation criteria which generally apply to all funding initiatives. They also contain a Code of Practice, which is binding on all persons participating in the review process.
The Foundation does not pay any remuneration to its reviewers, apart from any travel expenses which may arise.
The Foundation endeavors to reach decisions based on appraisals supplied by as many reviewers as necessary, whilst taking into consideration the extra work involved on the part of the experts. For this reason it calls on persons to participate in no more than two written reviews in any one year. The persons asked to participate in review panels are regularly monitored with regard to their aptitude for the applications in question and correspondingly changed from time to time. This contributes toward ensuring that the committees do not become too set in their ways.